I never knew if I could handle the pain of labor. I thought I had a strong pain threshold but then again, who was I kidding? I had never even been stung by a bee.
After a traumatic birth with my first, one that took me spiraling down the stairs of Postpartum Depression, I didn’t know what a normal birth could look like. Quite frankly, I was terrified of it. I certainly knew we wanted more children and that fear of birth just lingered while we tried for a second. I suffered a miscarriage a little over a year later and then, in early 2013, we were pregnant again.
Then something happened that changed my life.
I threw out my back picking up my toddler at the park. I couldn’t even stand up straight. I went to a chiropractor for the first time in my life. She asked me when I was due and I told her, ‘I’m thinking about picking a cool date, like 11/11 at 11:11 am.’ Dr. Lipari was taken back. She insisted that I do more research on vbacs (vaginal birth after cesarean) and at least labor before going in for a csection. She introduced me to Amy Gribbin, who ended up being my Bradley Instructor.
The Bradley Method teaches natural birth. It teaches you all about labor, what happens to your body, what your options are using informed consent. After taking these classes and learning that I was a great candidate for a vaginal birth, I was ready to go. I was also grieving the birth experience that I lost with my first. Each week, I would learn something new from my classes that would have me in tears. Like the side effect of an epidural is a fever. Like a fever during labor automatically sends baby to NICU. All of these things that had happened to us and made it so difficult to breastfeed and bond with my newborn.
So you can see how I was anxious. I wanted this natural birth more than just about anything else.
The classes had me so relaxed and feeling good. Instead of going out on maternity leave, I worked up until the day of labor.
November 20th, 2013
I woke up to a POP and thought that it was weird. I was trickling out a little bit of water but I wasn’t sure if my water broke. I decided to lay down for 15 minutes and if when I stood up, I felt a burst of water, I would know it was labor. 7 minutes into laying down, I couldn’t do it anymore. The waves of contractions were coming and I had catapulted past the putsy putsy stage. I could hardly put on pants. I called my mom and tried to explain to her that I was in labor. We asked my mother in law to come to the house to take my daughter to school. Waiting for her seemed like an eternity. I was getting the urge to push and needed to get to the hospital. As soon as she got there, I wobbled out to our car and peed in my pants on the way. I didn’t realize until after that this was my water giving way. Just the task of walking down my front steps moved baby enough that she wasn’t plugging the passage anymore. Even so, I was in such a state that I didn’t care.
Pee pants or not, we needed to get to the hospital.
My husband was like a professional driving us to the hospital. He was blowing red lights when he could and passing cars on the shoulder where possible. I transitioned in the car. I became silent and peaceful. I was sitting backwards on the seat and concentrated on a small piece of black foam on the floor in the backseat.
We pulled up to the hospital and left the car running. Yes, we left our car running. If that wasn’t funny enough for someone to see, we also left the doors open. I didn’t think I would make it through triage. I held on tight to my husband as we walked slowly to L&D.
Note to self: if you say you feel like pushing to the nurse, you are automatically upgraded to a room.
The midwife came in to check me and I was fully dilated a
nd +1. I couldn’t help but push. It felt so good to bear down in between contractions. They wheeled me into labor and delivery and tried to stall things in order to get antibiotics in me (I was group B strep +).
This next moment changed me. Transformed me. After pushing for what seemed like seconds, our baby girl was placed on my chest. I did it. I pushed for almost 5 hours with my first. They thought my bones weren’t right for labor. Well, in this moment, they
felt pretty damn right.
I didn’t cry. I giggled. At precisely, 11:03 am, I was blessed with a baby girl. I was in such a state of euphoria that I wanted to basque in it forever. You can’t bottle that feeling. It is unlike anything on earth.
All because I threw my back out.
Since this birth, I have had another natural birth; this time at home in the water. I also have since been stung by a bee. That hurt way worse than labor. ☺️ I started down the path of making birth better for women after my son was born. Birth matters. How you become a mother matters. You only get one chance to birth each of your children. It’s important to know what your options are. It’s important for you and your partner to be able to make informed decisions.
If you want to know more about natural childbirth classes, contact me today.