I had been having contractions for a couple of weeks, but I refused to time them. I figure I really could care less how far apart they are unless I am in labor. At my 38 week appointment I was dilated to a 1 but still thick mucus & the baby was floating. Dr Spoon originally wanted to strip my membranes this week but couldn’t plus since it was a couple of days till Thanksgiving we both weren’t in a hurry.
39 week appointment I was dilated to a 1-2, 50 effaced & baby was at a -1/-2 station. I had my membranes stripped and… nothing happened. I walked my 1.5 miles each day & got some contractions but nothing to interesting. Dr Spoon set up my induction appointment for Wednesday 10th @ 1PM.
It was really difficult because I had a time table to have the baby. I really wanted to go into labor on my own and have the baby without medication. I knew that if I had to be induced my chances of no medical interventions would most likely not happen.
So I went in at my 40 week appointment. I was dilated to 3-4, thin, & -1/-2 station. He stripped my membranes again. This time I was feeling more pressure but nothing too big. At this appointment I grew a whole new appreciation for my OB/Gyn Dr Spoon. I discussed my concerns with inductions and how I really wanted as natural a child birth process as possible. He really listened to my concerns and addressed them. Together we came up with a birth plan that he felt was safe and I felt like would work for me. First and foremost was the importance of having a healthy baby. Las Vegas tends to be a very “medical” (for lack of a better term) place to have a baby so that fact that he was willing to work with me is awesome.
Monday night Dec 8 we went to the Ethel M chocolate factory to walk around & look at the lights, the festival of lights in Henderson, and Bass Pro Shops to see Santa. DH took off the next day and that night we went on a walk. I figured it was my last chance to go into labor before getting induced the next day. So we did a fast walk. I got some pretty good contractions, but again nothing to say this is labor. I went to bed thinking; well tomorrow I will be having a baby.
That night Marshall came into our room to cuddle with me around 2:30AM. At around 3:30AM the contractions were uncomfortable enough I took him back to his room. At 4:30AM I woke up DH to tell him, “I’m having contractions about 10 min apart, but don’t get too excited because this may not be it.” Over the course of the next couple of hours the continued to become closer & more intense.
DH gave me a blessing of comfort. I felt much more calm about the labor and peace that everything was going to go OK. I had felt some apprehension about the labor & whether I would be able to do it naturally, but after the blessing I felt more confident that my body knew what it needed to do. By trusting in Heavenly Father and relying on my husband for support I could do this.
We had planned to take the kids to my good friend Cathy’s house before the induction but she said I could bring them earlier if I needed to. So at 7AM we called my mom to come & take the kids to Cathy’s. I wanted to wait to call but the kids were waking up & I needed him to help me through my contractions. My mom came & took the kids to Cathy’s house and the contractions were coming about 2-3 minutes apart.
The contractions were getting really intense. During the early stages of contractions I would just walk during the contractions to get through them. As they continued to get more intense I no longer could walk during the worst part, & would lean against the counter with DH putting counter pressure (massaging) my lower back. DH was a super star husband support coach through out my labor. He was always there supporting me, comforting me, & giving me positive reinforcement. “Jen you are doing awesome. I know you can get through this. You are so strong. I am so proud of you” I am so grateful that I have a husband that was willing to support me in a natural birth even though he would rather have had me had pain medication so I wouldn’t be in pain. (Though he has changed his mind after my experience). He just hated to see me in pain & not be able to do anything about it.
At this time my mom & DH really thought we should go to the hospital (something about not having the baby in the Tahoe…) so off we went to the hospital. We got to the hospital & things had slowed down with sitting in the car. We walked up to labor & delivery and see Dr Spoon as we walk in. He tells the nurses that I deliver fast so if I am here just to admit me and there was no need to triage me. So he asked what room they wanted me in & walked me to my room. As we were walking to the room he told the nurse my orders (no IV only a heploc, intermitted external monitoring (20 minutes every hour), no pain medication unless I ask ~ do not offer, “Jennifer would really like to have as natural birth experience as possible”) Then he checked me… dilated 5-6, 100% effaced, +1 station.
My nurse, Linda was a traveling nurse from Michigan and was just awesome!! Since she was from back East she was used to the natural thing so she had no problem with anything I wanted to do and felt completely comfortable with it. When we got to the room Casey gave them my birth plan. So she gets me set up on the monitor, answer a million questions. By being on my back my contractions really slowed down (which really made me frustrated). Then around 9:30AM Linda breaks my water and get up and start doing my walking. The pediatric nurse, Amber, came in to discuss my plans for after the baby came. Based on the assumption that everything was going to go fine I wanted… to hold the baby immediately after she was born and have the baby cleaned on me, nurse immediately , and wait to do the bath, no eye antibiotics, etc… for as long as possible. She was wonderful. She said she was more than willing to do everything and was so sweet about it.
Back to laboring… I walked a little down the hallway, but by this point DH had to hold me up during the climax of the contraction because of how intense it was. Then it was time to put my heploc in & monitor. While she was getting everything ready, she put me on the bed and because of how intense the pain asked it I was feeling pressure.
At this point I was dilated 10, ready to go. She tells them to call the Dr (who was getting ready for a c-section at the other hospital, Mountain View) & get him back over. At this point they tell me not to push. Umm yeah OK. That sucks!! Linda tried to do a heploc but my vein ended up blowing out. At that point there wasn’t time to try again. There was so much pressure, I finally told them ~ OK probably yelled back at them, “I can’t help it, I have to push.” So then they tell me, “You have to stop pushing so hard or you are going to rip.” So it took all my strength but I tried to control my pushing.
At this point Linda puts on gloves because the baby was coming though they were still telling me not to push. (Yeah whatever). I then yelled, “Get it out, Get it out” because the baby was crowning. So the baby’s head came out. Then Linda yelled at me to not push so she could check to make sure the cord wasn’t around the baby’s neck. At this point Dr Spoon walks in and goes to put on gloves. The cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck a couple of times and Linda tried to release (pull it over the baby’s head) it. She couldn’t get it over & every time I had a contraction the baby started loosing color.
All this time everyone is yelling at me, “Jennifer you have to stop pushing. If you keep pushing it will hurt the baby. Pant, Pant, Pant. So DH & my mom are in my face… Saying pant, pant, pant… it was pretty scary. My body wanted to push so much but I knew I couldn’t. It took everything in my power to stop pushing. Then Dr Spoon told Linda to just cut the cord (he was still getting sterile) from around the baby’s neck. At this point I pushed her the rest of the way out.
DH leaned in and whispered, “It’s a girl!” Yeah a little girl. How exciting to find out the sex this way. They put her immediately on my stomach. The baby was really alert and kept looking around. They dried her off while I was holding her (apgar scores 9 at 1 minute & 10 at 5 minutes) and I tried to nurse her.
Dr Spoon then checked me out (no tearing and no need for stitches, wooo hooo) and delivered the placenta. They ended up giving me some pitocin (by a big ol needle in my leg) to make sure I didn’t hemorrhage. I was able to hold DD2 for a half hour and just love her. It was just awesome. Then they took DD2 to do her bath and get her measurements. 7 lbs 7 oz 18 in long. I then got up & walked to the bathroom, went pee and got ready to move to the next room.
I felt pretty tired but so happy. We moved over to post partum & felt really good. That night my mom brought the kids in to see their new sister. We had Costco pizza. DD1 was so happy to have a baby sister that she calls Sleeping Beauty. DS2 was so cute. When we saw her he said, “ahhhhh, cuuuue. Baby”. They were both too cute.
That night I was sick of sitting in the hospital bed so I did some laps around the post partum unit. There was an older couple visiting their daughter I passed in the hall. The man wished me good luck on having my baby. His wife then told him, “I think she already had her baby:” “ No her belly is still big, she is still pregnant” “No I don’t think so”. So I went & told DH, well I still look pregnant. Oh well what can you do.
The pediatrician did not want to let us go home at 24 hours because of my gestational diabetes (standard 48 hours check) but couldn’t find anything wrong in order to keep us. I couldn’t wait to get home & not have nurses coming in all the time to check my vitals. So we were able to leave the next day after getting mine & DD2’s clearance.
I feel so grateful to have everything have turned out so well with this pregnancy. There seems like there were some big obstacles but I just wanted a healthy baby. The Lord has truly blessed our family and I am so happy. You could feel a heavenly presence in the delivery room that I felt so much more this time. God has sent this beautiful little girl to brighten our lives. She is wonderful & I hope that I can be what she needs me to be as her mom.
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor's Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices
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Birth is inspiring, amazing, and empowering. This website shares a collection of real natural birth experiences from you, the readers. Births the way nature intended. No pitocin. No epidural. Just the beauty (and intensity!) of the human body at work. Whether you've had one natural birth, five natural births, or are considering natural birth in the future, our hope is you will find courage and joy in these stories. Enjoy.
The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions
The Doula Book: How A Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have A Shorter, Easier, And Healthier Birth