Kayleigh’s natural hospital birth

February 7, 2011

I wasn’t extremely anxious about making it to the hospital. I kept picturing having the baby in the tub, on my bed, and in my living room—pretty much everywhere but the hospital. I wanted to wait until the little one was ready and I knew he’d let me know. After passing my “due date”, I still felt at ease with waiting as long as he needed, but was a little frustrated with the week of surges 5 minutes or less apart that I didn’t feel were getting us anywhere. I was confused about what was happening or not happening to my body and my little baby. All the time estimations and recommendations about when to do what were completely wrong. It was emotionally taxing at worst and incredibly exciting at best. Being a first time mom, I didn’t know how intense the sensations of labor would get for me. Since I took my incredible and eye-opening Hypnobirthing class I believed in the theory of pain free birth, and the fear=tension=pain syndrome. I knew how to go very deeply into relaxation and could (and still can) go into hypnosis whenever I choose. So, I’ll go through the 2 days leading up to the actual birth because they were a very important part of my labor process.

On the 2nd: I woke up around 4 am to surges 3 minutes apart. I started timing and sitting on the birth ball while watching movies. I took a shower and called my doulas around 9. I was in a light state of hypnosis all morning. They came over and used the rebozo, helped me time my surges, and provided tons of needed support. My surges then started to taper off around 1 and my doulas left Matt and I for some oxytocin time. About 6 hours later the surges started up again at 3 minutes apart so we went on a long walk around the mall. I was getting very tired from the long day and was worried about how the baby was handling such a long labor. (Silly me, he knew what he was doing.) We headed to the hospital to get the little one’s heart checked to find out he was great. The surges started to taper off once we got there and I was only dilated to a 1, so after a chat with the midwife we went home to rest.

On the 3rd: I was awoken around 5 am with surges 5 minutes apart. I was laboring well at home in my (wickedly small) tub, eating and drinking, listening to music, watching movies, relaxing, calling (and calling and calling) my doulas, using the rebozo, birth ball, and timing surges for hours. After doing this til about 4 pm the surges really picked up and started getting more intense. I started to shake and decided it was time to go to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital and found out I was 3 cm dilated, which didn’t mean a whole lot to me because I don’t buy into the ‘follow this schedule or you’ve failed to progress’ business, though it was a little disheartening to hear anyway, and I knew it was hospital protocol that I had to leave if I wasn’t at a 4. They said I should stay for a few hours anyway, so I got into the big laboring tub and immediately felt lots of relief and loved cuddling with Matt. Unfortunately since I wasn’t dilated to a 4 after 3-4 hours of laboring at the hospital, I had to go home. It wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened because I was a lot more comfortable in my own bed and my own space, but it was hard for me to keep moving when all I wanted was to relax and stay in the tub. I was getting very tired from all the surges and not sleeping well. Because I had to lie on my back to have the 20 minute heart monitor strap, I started to get really uncomfortable. I kept moving when I was having surges and they had to keep the strap on until they had enough uninterrupted time which ended up being about an hour. During this time, it was very hard to keep my spirits up. I really hated having to move so many times. The midwife suggested a shot of morphine to help me sleep for a while and slow the surges. I gladly accepted this option. (especially when the nurse suggested pitocin… no thanks lady.) We all went home to rest. I ate and quickly fell asleep.

On the 4th: I slept for about 3 hours before waking up at 4 am with intense surges 5-10 minutes apart. I rested between them and got up around 10 am. The surges got much more powerful and I decided that I either needed another shot of morphine to sleep a little more or to try some natural surge inducing methods if I still wasn’t in active labor.

So, back to the hospital! I was checked again to find out I was at a 6. Then I had to get on my back for the heart monitor for another hour. I was so looking forward to getting back into the tub. But then at 12:20 pm, I felt the urge to push and couldn’t stay on my back another second! I got up onto my hands and knees and started pushing. Every surge felt incredible! I was laughing through and talking and breathing between my surges. I was very excited to meet my little boy. I had long breaks between pushes and it was easy to manage, but still a lot of work. I felt no pain, only worked with my pains. The definition of pains: laborious or careful efforts; assiduous care. I felt very present and acutely aware of my body. After only 10 minutes of this, my sweet baby boy was born at 12:31. At the moment he was passed under my body and into my arms I felt an incredible shift. I felt centered, accomplished, connected, vulnerable, honest, proud empowered and completely in love.

“Fortitude brings a new self-awareness and strength that feels overwhelming.” And it truly does. Every time I look in the mirror I see a changed woman. My eyes have the new experience embedded in them, changing the way I see the world.

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