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This is the story of my daughter’s birth, Grace. When I originally got pregnant, I was with an OB and was just expecting that I didn’t have many options for my birth experience, since there were no midwife’s i n my town, and my insurance only covered hospital births. When I spoke to my OB about my birth plan, I was discouraged when she was against some of the things on the list, especially an IV. (My veins are super small, and I’ve always had a history of technicians not being able to get an iv in or take blood out without considerable problems.) So, I made the decision to find a midwife. When I was 32 weeks pregnant, I discovered that 2 new midwives started at a local OB practice, so I switched over. The midwives also were working with our hospital on starting water birthing, which I really wanted to do, but still thought it would never be possible with my insurance and with the hospital rules. Surprisingly, my midwives ended up getting the approval a few weeks before I gave birth to grace! I also never needed to get my IV, and I had an easy/relatively trouble free waterbirth in a hospital – everything that my husband and I had envisioned for Grace’s birth.
Here’s my story:
I ended up going into labor with Grace 5 days before my due date, which I think was attributed to the massive amounts of Red Raspberry tea and EPO that I was taking up until the last few weeks of her birth. I went to my chiropractor appointment on Tuesday Nov 1st at 4:00pm for my weekly adjustments on trying to get Grace out of posterior position. (she had been posterior my whole pregnancy) Almost 1 hour after the appointment, consistent contractions started. (I had been experiencing contractions for weeks, but they were inconsistent and more like Braxton hicks.)
They got pretty strong by 11:00pm, and that's when we called my Doula to come to the house to help with the contractions, etc. She helped me use certain positions to make progress faster: ie: sitting on a toilet, sitting on a birth ball, using the shower, going for a walk. I was avoiding those positions because they hurt more, but she told me to do them since the pain is what you want to get you more dilated. My husband was a real trooper though all of this, especially when the pain started to get more overwhelming, he kept his cool. We continued different positions until 4:00am when I couldn't take the pain anymore, and wanted to go the hospital. In the parking lot, I chugged a concentrated version of the red raspberry leaf tea (2 cups of water with 1 oz of tea) to help with the rest of the contractions. It was disgusting, but I really do think it worked! My midwife checked me at the hospital and I was 7cm, and started going into "transition" right afterwards. I went from 7-10cms in about 30 mins. They tried putting an IV in my arm several times for a hep lock (which I was totally against but gave in to), but they couldn't find a vein! They poked me 4 times before they said that I don’t need one.
That's when they allowed me to get into the water. It's a inflatable pool that has a plastic liner. I was about the 5th person to have one at the hospital, so when I started that process, I was asked if a student nurse and student doctor could come in to witness the birth. I could have cared less at this point, so I said yes. I ended up pushing in the water for 1.5 hours! it was REALLY long, but I didn't really realize it was that long until my husband told me afterwards. That’s about the point that he broke down crying because I was in some pain. It took such a long time to push because Grace was posterior, but she ended up turning at the last few contractions. She was crowing the majority of the time, so I just had a hard time getting her from that position out. They almost had to get me out of the pool because she was crowing so long... In the end, I was able to catch her in the water and put her on my chest myself. That was the best part of the whole experience in my opinion. Grace was 8lbs 8oz and absolutely beautiful! We were both surprised at how "clean' she came out and pink too! I also barely tore. I had 3 small tears, but they were more like skid marks.
Having a natural birth was 100% worth it in my opinion. The high you get right after the birth was nothing I’ve ever experienced in my life. The pushing part though was VERY overwhelming, but a few days after grace’s birth, I didn’t even think about it anymore.
All and all I’m truly blessed to get to have the birth that my husband and I so much wanted for Grace! It all started with watching the documentary “The business of being born” when I was a few months pregnant. Back then, we never would have thought that we’d be having our birth in the water, and catching our own daughter! People just aren’t open to natural birth here, so we just thought that we’d be giving birth on a bed with an iv sticking out of my arm. But one by one, everything fell into place. It is quite amazing how when you really put your mind to it and do research, the stars sort of just align for you. Or so it did for us.