*This birth story is told from the point of view of the father’s Aunt, who was also their doula*

My journey began on August 1st when Amanda and Jonathan called to ask if I would be their doula.  I was completely taken by surprise!  Being a doula for family is not “a right,” it is an honor.  Most people choose not to have a doula who is related to them, simply because it is just not comfortable.  Birth is a very intimate time in a couple’s lives, and I truly understand the importance of having those around you who make you feel comfortable.  (I just never dreamed that when they asked themselves who would make them comfortable during birth, they thought of me!)  In the end, I was completely blessed to be present for the birth of my great nephew!

September 23rd at 2:48am:  The phone rings, and it’s Jonathan.    I answered the phone “you’re right on time!”.  He giggled a little and let me know that Amanda was  having contractions a minute long and it had been that way for a few hours.  I had a feeling that the phone would ring that night – so much so that I went to bed at 9:30 P.M. (an unheard of time for me!).  I told  my family I had a feeling I would be getting a call at 3 or 4 in the morning.

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I had been having prodromal labor (labor that starts and stops, often referred to as “false labor” however there is nothing false about it) for about 2 weeks.  On Thursday August 6, I started having contractions at 10pm.  They were nothing terrible and pretty easy to breathe through but strong enough that I wasn’t able to sleep.  I was up all night with these contractions that were not getting stronger or closer together.  I was ready to chalk it up to prodromal labor.

When Josh and Jack woke up in the morning, I was still awake from the night before.  I was pretty tired but unable to sleep through these contractions.  Josh suggested we take a walk and see if they picked up.  We walked and they started to slow down.  I was pretty discouraged at this point but thought if it is meant to happen, it will.

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I knew from the moment I found out I was pregnant that I wanted a completely natural birth.  I was due on November 26th but had a feeling early on in my pregnancy that I would have him earlier than that.  I had read somewhere that a more accurate due date is to count 5 months from the first time you feel baby kick.  I felt him kick on the 16th of June so that’s the day I picked (Nov. 16th)

I had an appt. on the morning of the 16th and my Dr. checked me to find out I was dilated 1/2 cm and 50% effaced.  She said that it was pretty normal and it would still be a little while before baby came.  I left and went on with my day.  I walked everyday of my pregnancy and that didn’t change the closer I got to my due date so as usual, I went out for a 2 mile walk at around 1:30.

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I had a very easy pregnancy – felt great throughout all of it and gained about 30-35 lbs overall (I was slightly overweight to begin with).

At 37 weeks, I thought I would be pregnant forever (don’t we all feel that way?) but then I hit 38 weeks and I realized I would be having a baby very soon.

I worked on Feb. 12, 13 and then there was a Valentine’s Day snowstorm so I stayed home that day. I went into work on Feb. 15 to have my work baby shower! I told everyone that I would not be coming back (they thought I was a silly first time mom).

I went for my dr’s appt on Feb. 16 and my dr (who never gave me much information other than “looks good”) told me that I would have a baby by Monday. I was a little shocked that she was so sure but, hey, she does this a lot.

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Charlotte Sofia made her arrival 3 days late on Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm. She weighed 7 lbs 8 oz and measured 19 ½ inches long. Here is my story:

I had an OB appointment on June 29th (my due date), and the doctor informed me I was 2cm and 75% effaced. He said we would induce on July 7th if the baby did not come on her own. I was determined NOT to be induced, so I continued with walking and bouncing on my exercise ball, while also taking Evening Primrose Oil and drinking Red Raspberry leaf tea.

The morning of July 1st, I was so distraught about not having the baby yet that I called my best friend up in tears, begging her to walk around the mall with me! We walked for about an hour and I came home in the early afternoon and did more exercises/stretching. I started feeling some mild cramping around midnight and by 3:00 am was feeling mild contractions. I woke my husband around 6:00 am and told him “we are having this baby today”! I let him go back to sleep and I laid on the couch & timed my contractions for the next couple of hours.

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So it all started about 12:45am on September 18, 2009, early Friday morning.  Woke up wondering why I was peeing myself then came out of my prego sleep stupor and realized that it probably wasn’t pee…  So I ran to our bedroom (sleeping on the couch the past few weeks) and woke up George.  We agreed to call our midwife, Sherry and let her know.  She came over about 1:45am, checked my vitals and as I got up from a reclined position, the infamous “gush” arrived and I quickly waddled to the bathroom.

We all agreed to try to get a good night’s sleep for the inevitable labor heading my way.  Sleep was ok but contractions had no doubt begun.  Very much like I had been told, they felt like strong menstrual cramps though much more rhythmical.

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3rd of August, Monday: I attended an appointment with my midwife to discuss induction since I was 9 days past my due date (original due date 25th July 2009). I asked her if, induced, would I be still able to have a waterbirth as I had done with Lily. She stated that she didn’t see why not, especially since I had had a waterbirth before with Lily and there were no complications with my pregnancy.

The appointment for induction was scheduled for 8AM the next morning at the birthing centre.

I didn’t sleep well the night before. It wasn’t how I had wanted things to go – the word induction lit all kinds of warning signals in my mind. And although it was more ‘planned’ than a spontaneous labour, it felt open now for interventions, and those were something I had always desired to avoid.

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It all started on Monday January 28th, 2008 when I arrived at work at 6:45am. The morning routine started as usual but by mid-morning, around 10ish, I started noticing occasional cramping-like feelings in my lower abdomen. They would come and go every 20-30 minutes and last approximately 10-15 seconds and felt similar to premenstrual cramps except sometimes I would have to stop what I was doing because of the strong sensation.  Not knowing exactly what they were, I asked my co-workers their opinion and they said it sounded like I was having Braxton-Hicks contractions. That sounded like a reasonable answer so I continued my shift taking note of these cramps/contractions, their intensity and location.

As the day progressed they would follow one another and then stop for a while and then start again and I would have to stop walking or talking and let them pass. I started thinking if this could be the beginning of labor: could I work the following day with the contractions? would I be going to work at all the rest of the week? Was this IT??

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The power of prayer and faith before and throughout my pregnancy to have a natural childbirth lead me to have this truly amazing birth!

After battling 6 weeks of pre-term labor that landed me with strict bedrest and at 3cm dilated and 75% effaced, my 36th week came around. It was a Friday night and I was trying to sleep, but at midnight my first contraction hit, although it wasn’t painful. I was wondering if they were just my usual Braxton Hick’s but couldn’t get comfortable in bed.

I got up and called my midwife who told me to take a bath and see if they stopped and call her back in an hour. So I did, but they didn’t. I called her back at 1am and she said to time them for an hour and if they got stronger, longer, and/or closer together to call her back. After an hour they were still 5-7 minutes apart and not any stronger, but had gone from 30 seconds long to a minute long.

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I went from planning on making supper around 4:00, to sending hubby out to get McDonalds and my sister around 4:20, to them arriving home an hour later and 10 minutes after that hubby calling for my sister to come and catch while he was on the phone with 911.  The midwives were about 20 minutes out, but there was no way to know that I was going to go that fast.

I took a bath after hubby and our son left, and then went and laid down to see how that would feel.  The contractions had been about 10 minutes apart until about 4pm and then went to about 3 minutes but totally manageable just after that.  Once I laid down, I realized that I wasn’t getting back up again.  I didn’t have the phone to call the midwives or hubby, and the contractions started coming one on top of another, about 2 minutes apart and I was having trouble focusing on anything else.  Hubby and my sister and our son arrived and my sister got him into the kitchen for supper.

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About this website

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.


Recommended Reading:


The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
 
HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing