Natural Birth

Talk about your birth plan, ask questions, and share advice.

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Postby lilbwitty02 » Sat May 14, 2011 1:38 pm

Thank you for the advice; my doula suggested the same thing! We have a ball for home so that I can labor at home for a while, and since we're delivering at a birth center, they have tons of birthing balls. During classes when we would practice various pain management techniques, bouncing was by far my favorite/most comfortable position! I hope to move around AS MUCH as possible, which is why I am hoping to not need an epi (the birth center doesn't allow them, but you can go down the hall to L&D to get one) I hope to avoid it altogether and have as quick/smooth labor as possible, drug free. Thanks for the advice and encouragement!
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Postby Hunnybunny22 » Thu May 19, 2011 6:45 am

i didnt plan on a natural birth my labor was 1.5 hours so there was no time for pain relief. i took cocodamol in the first stages and had a bath and i labord on my side and upright this helped a lot. i kept mobile even in active labor. this was my 2nd birth and my first vbac so i had to be continuously monitored so when my daughter was in distress they basically broke my water and attatched a clip to her head. i used only gas and air from 5cm and it didnt work lol!
i asked for an epidural but they tried to get it in and it failed. the only pain relief i had was a local for the episiotomy they had to do. it was an invigorating experience but very very painful. in the first stages i could take control of the pain but when i got to 6-7cm it just became too much and i screamed. i am glad i did it though the midwives were awesome and they encouraged me to get through it it was a really positive experience
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Postby stefanielynn » Thu May 19, 2011 1:49 pm

My natural birth story. I will say, all I did to prepare was read a lot of natural birth stories and read and practice some breathing techniques. I wanted to take a class and wish I would have, but I survived without!

From the time I went to bed Saturday night (March 26) I was having some painful contractions that were waking me up. I was so tired, that I just kept noticing them as more of an irritant and inconvenience and then falling right back to sleep. Around 2am, they started to get more painful and more frequent. At first I thought "What is going on?? Why won't this stop??" and then I finally woke up enough to realize I was probably in the beginnings of labor. I got out of bed so I wouldn't disturb DH (I was too wound to sleep once I realized what was going on anyway), and just relaxed on the computer and watching TV. In that time, I had a couple of loose BMs and realized we would probably be meeting our baby girl that day.

At that point, I decided I should try to get some sleep. Since I was hoping to go without an epidural, I knew there would be no chance to rest once labor really hit. I took a nice hot shower, and then I laid back down around 5am and managed to doze between contractions, which were about every 8 minutes at that point. Finally around 8, I decided it was time to get everyone out of bed, call our friend who was watching DS, and start getting ready to head to the hospital. We got everyone fed (I just had some fruit, water, whole wheat toast, and a yogurt so as not to upset my stomach), loaded up the car, and headed out to drop DS off. The contractions were about every 3-4 minutes in the car, and it was SO HARD to get comfortable during them while sitting upright.

We got to the hospital around 9:30, I was hooked up to the monitors, and right away the contractions started to slow down. They were registering as pretty powerful, but they were few and far between. The midwife came to check me then, and I was 4cm and 100% effaced. Baby was at 0 station. On Wednesday (I had an episode of "false" labor) I was checked and told I was 2cm, 50%, and at +2, so this was a definite improvement. I told her my wishes to NOT have the epidural, so she sent me on a walk for a few hours. If I'd wanted drugs, she would have admitted me then, but she wanted me to be able to get my body working the way it needed to before admitting me as an epidural-refusing patient.

Around 1pm we returned to the hospital. At that point I was 5cm, 100% effaced and was admitted. I walked the halls, found comfortable positions on the bed, and just got myself as relaxed as I could. Around 4, the contractions started to become extremely painful and more regular. The pressure when I was standing was intense, and it felt like she was about to come out. I was checked and was 7cm and -1 station. The midwife and my nurse suggested some positions to help me get the baby to come lower and put pressure on my cervix, and OH MAN did those positions put pressure on me! It was so unbearable that I couldn't do it for very long and had to half lie/half sit on the bed to get through the contractions. It slowed the contractions down, but when they came they hit HARD.

At 6 I started swearing and telling DH to call the nurse, I wanted the epidural. He asked me repeatedly if I was sure, then called the nurse for me. The nurse came in and also asked me several times if I was sure. I remember her saying "I don't want you to be upset about it tomorrow. You've made it so far." I told her I was sure, I just wanted it...and then I said "Well, can you check me first?", knowing I would have been very angry at myself if I got to the end and then wanted one. She agreed, but before she could the anesthesiologist came to the door. She and the midwife told him I wouldn't be needing him (they could tell by the sounds I was making that I was close). They checked me and I was still only at an 8, but I was completely losing my resolve at that point. They broke my water for me at that point, thinking that it would likely cause the baby to come very quickly. I wanted everything to stop, I didn't want to do it anymore, I was DONE. I think my midwife knew that I was doubting myself, so she had me try a few different positions, like all-fours and squatting. I felt so badly like I needed to push, but I knew it was too early. My midwife told me to push enough to get the edge off, so I did. Before long, I was screaming, and pushing, and really not myself at all. She told me I could push through the contractions, that it being my second baby my cervix didn't have to be completely dilated. When I was contracting and pushing, there was only a tiny lip of cervix left around baby's head that she could push away.

Once the pushing started, I knew I had to just do it. It hurt so much, and the infamous "ring of fire" is no joke! I was so afraid that if I stopped, that would be it. I wouldn't be able to finish. The motivation to push when there are no pain meds is amazing. It hurts so unbelievably to do it, but you logically know that the only way to get through the pain is to push through it. So even though it hurt more than anything I have ever done in my life, I pushed and I pushed until I could feel her come out. It was amazing looking down and seeing her tiny little body right there. I gave one final small push and out she came! I only pushed for 13 minutes, and Teagan Ella was born at 7:03pm (less than an hour after I started begging for my epidural) weighing 7lbs, 9oz and 20 1/2 inches long.

It turns out that the little miss was a "Full OP" meaning completely posterior aka "sunny side up". I didn't fully understand what that meant, but all of the nurses and the midwife were talking very excitedly about it and talking about how amazing it was that I did it drug free, without tearing (I had two "skid marks" but they don't even burn when I pee), and with only 13 minutes of pushing. After doing research, posterior babies tend to cause longer labors (17 hours for me), more often require Pitocin to stimulate contractions (my contractions were sometimes pretty spaced out), take longer to push out, and have more risk of tearing/episiotomy. Back labor is also suspected to be more common, which I did have. The back pain was completely cancelled out by the extreme pressure at the end, though! It made me feel better finding out that I had a difficult positioned baby. For one, I didn't think I'd ever try a natural birth again. Now, knowing that it was harder than the next probably will be (if there is a next), I may just give it another go. Also, I watched natural births online. I read stories of people's natural births. I read books. I had an image in my head of how mine would be (and how I would behave during it!) and let's just say that my birth is not probably one that should be viewed by anyone considering going without the epidural! I'm pretty sure I would have swayed several to go the other way.

Overall, it was a great experience. It was fantastic going into labor on my own--so exciting! And it does feel really good to look back and know that my body was fully capable of delivering her without intervention or pain-relief and that, for the most part, I was mentally able to do it, too. And recovery was so easy--no waiting to walk or use the bathroom, no catheters, no bedpans, I was able to eat immediately afterwards which was great.
Me: 30
DH: 30
DS: 8/9/06
DD: 3/27/11
DS2: 10/14/13
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Postby lilbwitty02 » Thu May 19, 2011 1:59 pm

Thanks for sharing your stories, ladies!! I'm getting pretty close so I need all of the encouragement I can get!!!
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Postby victoria_1024 » Wed May 25, 2011 10:04 am

happymedium wrote:I will tell all mamas new and experienced alike...do not lay down and go through labor. Get a birthing ball...use the Foster's method. Basically you lay on the ball with the base of your spine...like you are balancing on your tail bone. spread your legs and hand on to the side of the bed. Now bounce with contractions until you feel the baby's head bouncing onthe cervix. There is no pain and you will go from 1-10 in no matter of time. I did it, a friend did it and we laughed through labor. ANYONE who lays down during labor is NUTS! Bouncing is the way to go. Have your partner behind you to make sure you don't slip or fall and when you feel the contractions...BOUNCE!!!!!!! I'll find a video of the Foster's Method and post it!


I HATED the birthing ball during labor!! It was just not for me. The tub was my friend though! :)
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Postby BeccaM » Thu May 26, 2011 8:51 am

victoria_1024 wrote:
happymedium wrote:I will tell all mamas new and experienced alike...do not lay down and go through labor. Get a birthing ball...use the Foster's method. Basically you lay on the ball with the base of your spine...like you are balancing on your tail bone. spread your legs and hand on to the side of the bed. Now bounce with contractions until you feel the baby's head bouncing onthe cervix. There is no pain and you will go from 1-10 in no matter of time. I did it, a friend did it and we laughed through labor. ANYONE who lays down during labor is NUTS! Bouncing is the way to go. Have your partner behind you to make sure you don't slip or fall and when you feel the contractions...BOUNCE!!!!!!! I'll find a video of the Foster's Method and post it!


I HATED the birthing ball during labor!! It was just not for me. The tub was my friend though! :)


I didn't like the birthing ball either, though to be honest, I didn't give it much of a chance. I hated sitting down at all. I had to stand or walk the whole time, except during the short times I was being monitored, and lying on the bed killed me. I couldn't even sit down in the tub, but a hot shower (and I mean HOT) sprayed on my lower back and shoulders while I was standing bent over the shower bar felt great!!
Isaiah, born Nov 14th, 2010, @ 39 weeks, 2 days. 8 lbs 2 oz. All natural hospital delivery.
Simon, born Mar 23rd, 2013 @ 39 weeks, 3 days. 8 lbs 4 oz. Our first home birth!!

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Postby meg1492 » Thu May 26, 2011 9:25 am

I think the key here is to keep trying different positions. birth ball, shower, walking, rocking, kneeling, who knows? Just keep trying.

if your body is telling you this isn't comfortable keep moving until you find the sweet spot.
Dear Son born at 41w, delivered vaginally and med free after labor for a day and a half.
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Postby Fawkes » Sun May 29, 2011 11:16 pm

meg1492 wrote:I think the key here is to keep trying different positions. birth ball, shower, walking, rocking, kneeling, who knows? Just keep trying.

if your body is telling you this isn't comfortable keep moving until you find the sweet spot.


Yes this.

I was induced, but I did go pain med free and my labor was very quick. I had GD so I was induced for fear of very large baby. Anyways, because of the induction I had to be monitored a bit more closely and I had my water broken early. If you can avoid the water breakage, do it. After it broke, oh my did those contractions intensify.

Here's mine, sorry its a bit long:

On December 30th I had a doctor's appointment with Dr. A (he's the other OB in the practice). He did all the routine checks, checked for protein in my urine, weight/blood pressure, and listened to the heart rate. Everything sounded great. He measured my fundal height and I measured at 41 weeks (I was 38 weeks at the time). Now all these measurements can be off, but with my ultrasound at 35 weeks saying that she was 7 pounds this suggested that she might be a large baby. After the appointment we chatted in his office and he reminded me when I should call and what to look out for contraction wise; "5 minutes apart, 1 minute long, for 1 hour." I then brought up that Dr. L(my actual doctor) said that we could schedule an induction for next week (due to her size and me having Gestational Diabetes).

Now I wanted the induction because I DID NOT want to end up in a c-section if I went overdue and she was too large for my pelvis. Dr. L said he would rather me go in for an induction and allow my body to labor on its own before going to a straight c-section, but if it turns out that I did need one then he would not hesitate to do so. I was glad to hear that he wanted me to actually labor instead of booking me for an OR right then and there.

Dr. A said that they only do inductions at 39 weeks (which would be the following week) and, only IF, my cervix is favorable. Now at my last check (35 weeks) I was 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. He went ahead and had me undress to check me. He was very pleased to say that I was now 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced. My cervix was also anterior and he could feel the bag of waters and the baby's head. He told me that he went ahead and stirred things up in there to hopefully get things moving. He didn't think I would make it to my induction date. The procedure wasn't very pleasant, but wasn't unbearable at all.

We then met back in his office and filled out paper work. He called the hospital and booked it for me and I dropped that off with the girls at the desk and they faxed it over. I now had my induction booked for January 7th, 2010. I knew that no later than this date I would finally be able to meet my little girl.

On December 31st I lost my mucus plug. I'll spare the details of what it looked liked, but it was defiantly it. It also had a tinge of blood which all the pregnancy books refer to as bloody show. This let me know that labor was near (though it could still be weeks away). I was glad to know that my body was doing something! I continued to lose more plug throughout the day and into January 1st. I did get a few contractions here and there, some were a little painful but nothing consistent and nothing that screamed I was in labor.

Each day crawled by and the 7th of January got closer and closer, but I was no closer to going into labor than I was on December 31st. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep on the night before the induction. The nerves had my stomach in knots. I was nervous about being in the hospital and nervous about stepping into my new role as a mother. My whole life was about to change in a matter of hours. There was no turning back now. Jonathan tried to console me and told me everything would be okay and that it would all be okay. My mind still thought a thousand things a second and I, of course, always play the worse case scenarios in my head. I really feared having to have a C-section and then I worried about the recovery time of the operation. I didn't have weeks on end paid from work. AHH the stress!

Four-thirty am crept up on me quickly and I got up to shower, letting Jonathan sleep a little bit longer. I was already up so my alarm didn't go off. I just couldn't believe that this was it. I showered, woke Jonathan up, and then ate some fruit. We grabbed our bags, said goodbye to the dog, and then headed to the hospital. It's a short, less than five minute ride there. We made our way to labor and delivery and I checked in with the nurses at the front desk. I signed a few papers there and then they took me to my room. I had more consent papers to sign, I answered a ton of questions, and they started the IV and hooked me up to the monitors. They told me that all labor patients were also considered surgery patients so I was NOT allowed any food. I could only have ice chips and that my IV fluids would keep me hydrated. I also let my parents know that I was in the hospital. They in turn let me know that they were on their way.

At about 6 am they started the pitocin drip. They put it at the lowest setting and said that they would be back in every 30 to 45 minutes to up it until my body gets into a regular pattern. At this time I was feeling a few menstrual cramps but nothing terrible yet. At around 6:30 (as promised) the nurse came in and upped the pitocin. I was still getting cramps and I slowly started to notice a small pattern. But they weren’t close together and they were by no means painful. At around 7 they upped the pitocin one more time. Nothing exciting was happening yet. As I tried to move around and get comfortable I kept setting off alarms. It was pretty annoying. If I moved around the heart monitor for the baby would lose her heart beat or if I moved my head a certain way it would stop the IV. It was getting frustrating because the beds were so uncomfortable.

At 7:45 Dr. L came in and said good morning and informed me that he was going to check me for progress. At this time I was now about 4 cm dilated. He then let me know that he was going to go ahead and break my water and put a fetal heart monitor on her head. That way he wouldn’t be called so frequently because they lost hear heart beat (i'm overweight and it wasn't picking her up very well). When he broke my water it wasn’t really uncomfortable but it did feel sort of gross. It was a warm gush of fluid. After he attached the heart monitor to the baby I could feel it move around as she did. It was a very STRANGE feeling! Since my water was broken and I continued to leak fluid, I had to have a towel between my legs as I walked to the bathroom. FUN!

After my water broke the contractions really started to pick up. I watched on the monitors to see if they showed anything and they didn’t. The nurse that came in said I wasn’t contracting at all, but I knew otherwise. I was contracting and it was getting worse and more frequent. Between now and the actual delivery times are a bit vague. I can only recall what I remember.

The contractions were getting stronger and more frequent. I couldn’t talk through them and I needed Jonathan’s support. They were really starting to hurt. I couldn’t find a comfortable position to get in. The only one that was “okay” was sitting almost Indian style, except I had one leg hanging off of the side of the bed. That for me was the best position, though it didn’t make me feel at all better. The pain got to the point where it was brining me to tears. Wanting to actually enjoy my labor and delivery (and partially scared of what was to come) I asked the nurse for an epidural or some type of pain medication. They said okay but the doctor is in a c-section right now and will be in here as soon as they can.

At some point my mom made it in there. I think it was around 9ish. The anesthesiologist wasn’t there yet and my contractions got worse. I was in so much pain. I got vocal. I couldn’t help it. It was the only thing that made me feel better. I remember the nurse coming in and telling me that the doctor would be here shortly to give me the epi because “I really needed it.” She even commented to my mom that I didn’t handle pain well because I was “only 4 cm.” Sometime after they rolled in the cart with the equipment to give the epidural. They told Jonathan that he couldn’t be by me and told my mom that she had to go into the waiting room. They needed a sterile field. At this point my contractions were coming hard and fast. I couldn’t talk through them; I couldn’t find a comfortable position. I was having back labor and when I would feel a contraction leave the next one would start right back up. The doctor was asking me questions about my medical history, but
I was in too much pain to answer them completely. She informed me that in order to get the epidural I had to sit a certain way on the bed and that I had to stay completely still for 10 – 20 minutes while they did the procedure. There was no way I could do it. I got into position and at that moment a contraction would come and I would have to move and then another would come… and another. The pain was bad. They told me that they couldn’t give me the epidural because I couldn’t stay still.

I asked for something just to take the edge off. The only thing they offered me was stadol. They injected that into my IV and I instantly felt sleepy. I was out of it. However, I still felt every single contraction in all its glory. My back pain increased, I knew that she was turning. I remember hollering in pain and the nurse telling me to get on my hands and knees and lean up against the back of the bed. I complied, but only for a contraction. Then I was back sitting half Indian style with my leg hanging off of the bed. The nurses and doctor that was performing the epidural was still in there and they kept asking when the last time I was checked and if I felt like I needed to push. I told them no. My regular nurse checked me and said, she’s only a 4 or a 5 cm. But as they stood back and watched the monitors (which still wasn’t showing any contractions) and me, the nurse for the anesthesiologist suggested that I was further along because of the way I was acting. So anoth
er nurse checked me not 5 minutes later. She said I was a 6 or a 7. As I suffered through the pain of each contraction they kept asking me if I needed to push. I tried to think about it. Did I? I wasn’t sure. The pain was bad enough that I was shaking with each contraction. One of the nurses, Daisy, actually had to grab my face to make me look at her and told me that I had to breathe through them and that I could do this. It helped me concentrate through the contractions. It calmed me down. At the time I didn’t know it but I was going through transition, the WORSE part of labor. The nurse checked me again and as I had another contraction she left her hand in there to see what my body was doing for the contraction. I don’t remember what she said, but I did feel the need to start pushing. Before I knew it I had a room full of people. My doctor walked in wearing his scrubs. The nurses started breaking down the bed and I was positioned onto my back.

They told me that if I felt the need to push that I should. As the contraction came I felt it; that unbelievable urge to push. I couldn’t control what my body was doing and I had to bear down. They wanted me to grab onto the back of my legs but I couldn’t, it wasn’t comfortable. The nurses then pulled up bars for me to grab onto instead of my legs and that was a god send. I gripped those with everything I had and I pushed. I remember the nurses saying that I was a fantastic pusher and that I was meant to do this. Each push was productive and I felt her moving down through the birth canal. As she started to crown it hurt more than anything else (but not as bad as the contractions). They wanted me to push and bear down for 10 seconds, but I couldn’t. I could hold it for 5 or 6 seconds, but at that point I was out of breath and in pain. I had to listen to my body. I pushed on my terms. I felt her head come out and they told me to stop pushing so the doctor could suction
her out. Then with one or two more pushes the rest of her was here. Hearing her first cry was great, I don’t think she cried right away when she was born. Jonathan said Dr. Lhad to tip her upside down. I remember them asking Jonathan if he wanted to cut the cord (and he did) then she was placed on my stomach as they wiped her off. He apgar scores were 8 and 9.

Addison Elizabeth was born on January 7th, 2010 at 9:50 am weighing in at 8 pounds 2 ounces and 21 inches long. My entire labor was only 3 hours and 35 minutes. Insanely fast for a first time mom.

The moment she came out all the pain just stopped. It wasn’t there anymore. I stared at my little girl in amazement as I then felt one last urge to push and deliver the afterbirth. I vaguely remember one of the nurses asking me if it was okay for her to take the baby to get her cleaned up and weighed. I said yes. As they were doing that I felt the doctor start cleaning me up. Apparently the nurses usually do this, but my doctor did it instead. He then went ahead and gave me a few stitches. For as fast as my labor went I only had a 1st degree tear, which isn’t too bad. I felt each needle prick as he gave me the local anesthetic to numb the area and I only slightly felt him actually put in the stitches. I actually remember getting onto Jonathan for not taking pictures with my good camera. He was taking them with his phone. Apparently he couldn’t find my camera, though I know I told him where it was. So her first pictures right from the womb are saved on his phone. I did t
ell him where it was and he was then able to get a few good pictures once she was cleaned up. After he was done one of the nurses helped me to the restroom so she could help me get cleaned up even more and so that they could clean up the bed as well.

I had my baby in my arms and told Jonathan that he could go ahead and let the family know what had happened. See, my mom had been pushed out of the room for the epidural and then everything progressed so quickly that she never came back in. They had NO idea what was going on. The nurses wouldn’t tell them anything and wouldn’t let her back in either. So one by one they came in and greeted Miss Addison. They were all stunned it happened so quickly as well. They barely made it there in time.

Recovery went well. My bleeding slowed quicky and my uterus did what it needed to do and shrunk down. Addison’s blood sugar levels checked out just fine. I think my wonderful recovery was due to not having an epi. I am SOOOO gald that I never got that stupid thing! I was more scared of the needle going into my spine than I was with the pain. I wish I wouldn't have asked for the darn thing! The pitocin contractions sucked, but it gives me that much courage, knowledge, and faith in myself that I can and WILL do it naturally again (hopefully with out an induction). I cannot wait!
Crystal | Jonathan :hb:
Mama to 3 beautiful daughters and one handsome baby boy.

Best Advice: "Just be you. She will love you no matter what." - From my mother.
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Postby Eren » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:49 am

I`ve copied and pasted this from the birth stories section further down, but I don`t think many people go there as there is still spam remaining...

My only preparation was reading a book in Japanese of natural birth stories and reading Ina May.

My reasons for a natural birth were

1) My epidural directly led to a vacuum birth with Ailyn
2) It was possibly my last birth and I wanted to experience it in full. I didn`t want to be 90 and saying I didn`t know what birth really felt like.

Lily Jude, 27th July 2010/22:12
3725g (8lbs2oz), 50cm (19.7in)

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For some reason I had assumed that being my second child, labour would start more suddenly and definitely and I would be in no doubt that things had begun. However, much the same as it was with Ailyn, Lily`s labour began slowly and built up over several days. Before my 38w5d appointment on the 24th July, I had been having some period-like cramps and I had wondered if I had started to dilate slightly at all. The doctor confirmed that I was a finger dilated and I felt pretty confident on leaving that I would be back before my next appointment a week later.

The following day I began feeling stronger and stronger Braxton hick`s contractions. They were irregular, as close apart as every 5 minutes, and as far apart as every 30 minutes or more. That night and the next night I didn`t get much sleep due to the contractions. Even though they didn`t become much more regular, I did notice a general build up in length and intensity.

The morning of Tuesday 27th July, I felt sure that my baby would be arriving within the next day or two. I timed my contractions intermittently but they still weren`t regularizing. They were between 5~20 minutes all day. By the early evening they began to get stronger. I started to wonder if I`d be meeting my baby that day. I asked dh to come home as quickly as he could, planning to have a light dinner and then see what the situation was before deciding whether to go to the hospital or not.

The contractions started getting a lot more painful though. I was starting to have to concentrate to get through them and I found leaning forwards helped a lot. I was very calm and with each wave I really tried to relax my muscles and imagine my cervix opening. With one particularly strong contraction I lost a large amount of mucus plug, so I guessed I was probably dilating. By the time dh arrived at around 6:40pm I started to think we might need to head to the hospital at some point soon. So I asked him to call his Mother, who had promised to come and look after Ailyn, who was already in bed, while we were at the hospital. It turned out that my Father-in-law was out drinking with friends, so she had to call a taxi and come by herself since she does not drive.

I ate a very light dinner of salad and boiled potatoes between contractions. During the contractions I couldn`t do much, except lean forward. I didn`t need to moan or vocalize yet, but I did start to take some deep breaths. Between the contractions I felt so completely normal, that part of me thought maybe it wasn`t really labour and then when one hit I would think it was. It was pretty confusing. MIL arrived just before 8pm, saw me and told us to hurry up and get to the hospital. It didn`t worry me though, as my impression of her is that she`s a bit of a worrier. Dh rang the hospital and told them we were coming in. We left. I felt calm and excited at the same time. During the car ride (about 30 minutes) I contracted roughly every 5 minutes. It wasn`t easy as it was impossible to get into a leaning forwards position with the seatbelt. I still wasn`t at the point where I couldn`t cope with the pain, so I kept the seatbelt on, but managed to turn my body to the side slightly during contractions which helped. We listened to Queen on the way. I`ve always found them uplifting and it was hilarious listening to “I`m going to have myself a real good time….” knowing I was on my way to the hospital to give birth. We had the volume up and sang loudly. We even stopped off at a convenience store for some water on the way. I really didn`t think we had to rush.

When we arrived at the car park (just after 8:30pm) and I stood up, the contractions suddenly started coming every 2 or 3 minutes. I contracted in the car park, in the entrance to the hospital, on the stairs, outside the LDR, inside and several more times before I could get changed into the gown and be checked. I joked with the midwife that it would be embarrassing if I was only around 2cm or something. Then, at 8:50pm, the doctor checked me and told me I was 8cm dilated already. I couldn`t believe it. I was convinced that although painful it should be a lot more painful at 8cm. I was extremely happy though that I would soon be meeting my baby and probably on the 27th, rather than the 28th which I had been thinking it would be as it was already late in the evening.

For the next hour I continued to contract every 3 minutes. They insisted on putting on the NST monitor for 40 minutes, but I was able to lie on my side and so I could manage the contractions fairly well. Dh helped by applying pressure to my lower back during a contraction. He tried kissing me during them, but although I appreciated his caring, I had to tell him not to as I just found it incredibly irritating at the time. I was slightly frustrated that I wasn`t dilating any more, but the midwife told me the baby was coming down lower, so it was still progress. After the NST ended, at 9:30pm, I was told I was still 8cm and the baby was at -1 station. I decided to stand up and try and use gravity to hopefully speed things up. Moving around made the contractions intensify, although I was still amazed that I felt absolutely normal in between them and could joke and talk and even email from my phone, as the gaps were two minutes long. I was thinking it may still be a while as I was recalling other people`s birth stories mentioning that towards the end the contractions came on top of each other and mine weren`t yet. At 9:48pm the midwife wanted to check me during a contraction. I remember she started her internal check just before when she predicted a contraction would start, yet it didn`t come and there was this funny situation where she had her fingers inside me, watching the monitor (which she had just reapplied) anxiously for a contraction. Eventually it came. I`m not sure exactly what she was checking for but looking at my notes afterwards she wrote down that I was bearing down or something. (It`s in Japanese of course). The doctor called her and apparently asked if he had time to pop home. She told him she`d rather him stay close by because if my waters broke, she had the feeling it would be quick.

I remember after her internal check the contractions suddenly took on a new strength. At 10pm I started shaking. My moans got louder and turned into more of a shout. I started to tell dh that I couldn’t do it. I screamed to the world that I was actually dying and I think I lost it at this point. Then I felt a strange sensation. My waters had broken. I told the nurse, despite the fact that it had hardly gone unnoticed. I felt completely removed from the room. I was totally overtaken by the pain and the intensity. I was aware that the midwife was preparing the bed for the delivery and that she had called the doctor and that I must be in transition, but it was a kind of distant awareness. I was holding tightly on to Dh`s waist. Yelling helped somehow. Maybe it helped control my breathing? It just felt good. Looking back, I find it fascinating that despite being in such an intense moment, I was yelling in mostly Japanese not in English.

I was briefly aware that the doctor had appeared. I felt this insanely intense urge to push. In fact I don`t feel like I had any conscious choice in it whatsoever. My body completely took over and pushed so hard I truly thought I was going to break. I felt a burning. The infamous ring of fire? Is this what it feels like? Baby is coming! As I was pushing, my thoughts were not “I`m doing this for the baby” or “I wonder whether it`s a boy or a girl?” or any of the things I had been thinking about during early labour. In total honesty my thoughts were, “Must get this baby out! When will this be over?! I`m truly dying!” Then I was aware of the doctor telling dh to get his camera ready. I was still shaking uncontrollably, pushing as and when my body dictated, unable to process that I was being told to push because I was anyway. I knew it would be over soon and all I could think about was it being over. I realized that pushing harder would end it quicker. So I started adding to my body`s own efforts by consciously pushing too. I felt the crowning, the stretching, the baby going back in, then crowning again and tremendous pressure and dh told me the head was partly out. I pushed again. The head was fully out. With the next contraction the shoulders were out and then the baby slipped out. I felt instant relief. I was still shaking.

Dh reminded me to look at the baby to see the gender. The gender was the last thing on my mind those first few seconds. I was listening to the baby`s cry, relieved that it was loud and strong, which told me the baby was breathing and healthy. The doctor held the baby up and I immediately saw it was a girl. A sister for Ailyn! I was really happy. Then a minute or two later, it dawned on me. I had done it! I had given birth with no pain medications and I had survived.

It turns out that because I had refused an IV, the doctor forgot to give me the shot of oxytocin that he had insisted was necessary when discussing my birth plan and so it ended up being a completely med-free birth. I safely delivered the placenta and my bleeding level was apparently completely normal. After being stitched (maybe 4 stitches) I asked to be able to breastfeed before they administered the eye ointment. With the midwife`s help, Lily latched on and had her first taste of mummy`s milk. I turned round to dh, who busy taking photos of her first feed, and said “Can you believe we are parents to TWO daughters now!”

Afterwards I asked the nurse for the details of the birth as she had recorded them. She told me then that she thinks the doctor overestimated with his initial check and that I was more like 5/6cm probably. However she hadn`t wanted to tell me at the time as she had worried that the thought of going “backwards” would have been disappointing. In fact I`m glad she waited and told me once it was over. Here was her record of events.

21:30 – 6~7cm, -1 station
21:48 – bearing down
22:00 – 7cm. I started shaking.
22:03 – Water`s broke
22:05 – 10cm
22:12 – Baby born

I am still in shock from the speed of everything, in disbelief that I did it, in awe of the beautiful little girl I gave birth to and amazed at how much easier the recovery has been this time compared to last time. I wouldn`t have changed a thing. The whole experience has given me a greater appreciation for how amazing my body is and how it just knew exactly what to do. With Ailyn I came home from the hospital feeling unsatisfied and regretting my epidural which had led to her vacuum birth and being separated from her for her important first few hours. This time I have no regrets whatsoever. My family is complete and my job now is to give my two little girls the best childhood and start in life that I can.
me 37 dh 40
dd, 6
dd, 5

:angel: #4 9w1d "Akari" (light) Dec 2014
:angel: #6 15w4d "Melanie" Dec 2015
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Postby stefanielynn » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:19 am

Eren--I loved your story. :)

I chose natural for some similar reasons. My first birth was induced with pitocin. That was fine until they broke my water and the contractions were on top of each other and unbearable. I got the epi which caused my blood pressure to plummet (I was being induced for HIGH blood pressure!) and my baby's heartbeat dropped. I was stuck in the bed, monitors were constantly beeping, and all I could do was stare at the heartrate monitor hoping he was okay. Pushing was awful, he didn't want to crown. I did it for almost three hours, which I know isn't COMPLETELY unusual for a first birth, but I hoped that feeling it would make the process quicker (and it did!).

This time, I didn't want to experience that. And I found it really bizarre that I could be going through such an intense, beautiful thing and not feel any of it.
Me: 30
DH: 30
DS: 8/9/06
DD: 3/27/11
DS2: 10/14/13
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Postby lilbwitty02 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:44 pm

Just wanted to get back on here and reply that I got my epi-free birth ;) 34 hour labor, was crazy. After 30 hours I got a shot of nubane and then pitocin since they were starting to get concerned about how long ago my water had broken. So the nubane helped relax me for about an hour, though it does NOTHING to help the contraction pain! Then the pitocin kicked in and WOW. Intense!! I got the strong urge to push and she checked me and I was only 7cm, I said I didn't care, he was coming OUT! 30minutes later...baby boy was born!! So glad I didn't give in and get the epi, I loved feeling everything (well, you know what I mean lol!), am so amazed at what my body can do, and am so ready to do it all again...hopefully a few hours shorter though ;) Oh, and I must add, I never felt the infamous ring of fire, pushing felt WONDERFUL, and even as fast as I pushed him out, I only needed 1 stitch. Recovery was 10 times easier than labor!!!
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Postby lilbwitty02 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:47 pm

oh and a few other things to add; 1-my birth plan was the best thing I could have done, because ALL of the nurses had read it and respected it to a "t". 2-because babe's heart rate was dropping on every contraction, I was stuck hooked up to machines starting at about 3cm, and that SUCKED! Moving around is the best thing you can do for the labor pains, and I was upset I couldn't move too much and I couldn't use the jacuzzi tub. That would definitely have helped! But, still, I survived ;)And 3-I was stuck in the birth place even though I was only 1cm upon arrival because of GBS and needing antibiotics, and because my water had broken. Would have loved to labor at home, since then I would not have needed to go until about midnight, but it was such a great experience I never gave that too much thought in the end! It was 95 out that day, and we have no AC, the birth place did, so I was ok with it ;)
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Postby meg1492 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:17 pm

Congrats on your birth and arrival. :)
Dear Son born at 41w, delivered vaginally and med free after labor for a day and a half.
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Postby Nat » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:46 am

Oh my look at those beautiful baby boys!! JilliganJiggs & lilbwitty :hb: well done ladies.

It's just as well i am not in a position to get pregnant again or else i'd have to stay away from this forum lol
DD1 14,DD2 09/29/09,DS 12/17/10
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Postby stefanielynn » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:50 am

Congratulations on your birth!
Me: 30
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DS: 8/9/06
DD: 3/27/11
DS2: 10/14/13
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