Kira’s First Birth: Four hours of labor; Almost birthed in the parking lot of the Birth Center!

March 17, 2013

When a woman births without fear, her body can open very quickly, just as it was designed to do. Even in a first time mom! The NUMBER ONE benefit of preparing for your birth with HypnoBirthing is that it helps to eliminate fear and increase confidence in the birth process. 

My Birth Story: Kira Ritchie

I had always admired women who had given birth naturally. Probably because I didn’t ever think I was strong enough to do it myself.

However, when I became pregnant with my first child, I began to research alternatives to a standard medicated hospital birth, mostly out of curiosity. I stumbled upon a website that introduced me to the world of water birthing, a method I was previously unaware of, where the baby is actually born in a tub full of warm water for an easier, gentler transition into the world. I read that water actually acts as a natural epidural. Intrigued, I furthered my investigation by watching video clips of live water births. These women astounded me! They seemed so calm and relaxed. And the environment! It was so much different than the bright lights and beeping panic of a hospital! I knew I wanted to bring my baby into the world this way. After all, I reasoned, millions of women have given birth naturally. What made me think that I had to do it any differently? After all, our bodies were created to do this. I sought out the midwives at Better Birth to help make my dream into a reality.

9 months, a million check-ups, and a HypnoBirthing class later, I was ready—and dare I say it—excited to give birth! The clock seemed to slow down as my due date passed by…one day…two days…6 days.

And then it came:

Sunday, September 9, 2012

3:30am

I woke up to a strong surge that felt different from the ordinary Braxton Hicks. This was it—I was in labor! We would hopefully have a baby in our arms by the evening time.  I opted not to wake up my husband Kip; after all, we had a long day ahead of us, and I wanted him to conserve his energy for when I would need him most.

As much as my body ached to go back to sleep, I realized that wasn’t a possibility. I climbed out of bed and decided to take a hot shower to freshen up for the journey. The water felt so soothing as my surges began to increase in intensity.

After I got out of the shower, a wave of 1st trimester nausea came over me. The sound of me throwing up and groaning became Kip’s alarm clock, and he found me huddled over the toilet. I hadn’t expected to throw up so early on in the process. After that, Kip knelt at my side consistently, helping me through each surge. I quickly discovered the most effective pressure points to help relieve the pain: the sacral points on my lower back. All of the other ones I had researched flew out the window. I hunched over the bed while Kip dug his fingers into my back. There was no such thing as too hard at the time—I needed the counter-pressure more than anything else to make it through each surge. (Although I afterwards had bruises in the places he pressed!)

Even though it was early on, I told Kip to begin timing my surges—it seemed to me that they were fairly regular already. I was right—5 minutes apart. Definitely time to call the midwives. Kip called Better Birth, and the midwife on-call answered the phone. Kip explained that I had been in labor since 3:30am, and that my surges were already surprisingly close together. She asked if I was a first-time mom, to which he responded yes. She told him to let me soak in the tub for 20 minutes to see if my surges evened out at all. She obviously expected me to be in labor for many more hours, as did we.

So into the tub I went. The water relaxed my muscles and took some of the pressure and tension away from my aching body. I couldn’t wait to get into the tubs at the birth center, which would hold more water and allow me to be much more immersed. The longer I stayed in the water, the more intense my surges became.

Kip fed me bites of applesauce and sips of water, but I soon gave up on the applesauce. This took all of my concentration. He couldn’t leave my side for longer than 3 minutes before I needed him to reach over and lean with all of his weight into my lower back. He couldn’t have been more supportive. At times I started to breathe rapidly and somewhat hysterically, but Kip would lean down close to me and breathe slowly like we had learned in class, and it reminded me to slow down. I remember telling myself to endure to the end, to take it one surge at a time.

Near the end of the 20 minutes, I felt a surge followed by immense rectal pressure. Kip helped me out of the tub. It was too early for the baby to be coming, so surely I just had to clear out my system. Then it happened all at once—my water broke, I started bleeding, and I felt another intense wave of rectal pressure. It was baby saying, “Ready or not, here I come!” I clenched Kip’s leg while he called the midwife back and explained what had happened. She told him to get me to the Birth Center immediately. Yeah right! I thought. I’m not going anywhere, the baby is coming! We’re not going to make it! But the midwives insisted that we get there as fast as possible. But it’s 20 minutes away! I can’t move!!!!

There wasn’t time to put on my clothes. Kip grabbed my robe and threw it on me. He had already loaded up the car, but the challenge was getting me down two flights of stairs into the front seat. I can assure you that it’s not an enjoyable experience when your baby is inches away from crowning. Kip helped me into the car and we zoomed away. Thank heavens it was early Sunday morning, around 7:00, so traffic was light. We somehow still managed to hit every stoplight, though! One time Kip pulled up to stop at an intersection with absolutely no cars around. I told him to run it—the officers would understand! I kept muttering prayers in between surges that we would make it on time. I did NOT want to have this baby in the car! And I was certain Kip did not want to deliver her in the car.

After what seemed like an eternity, we pulled into the Birth Center. Kip didn’t bother pulling into a stall; he parked in front of the door and rushed to help me waddle inside. Sarah, a midwife who wasn’t even supposed to be on-call, grabbed my arm and pulled me into a room they usually use for prenatal examinations. A queen-sized bed had been laid out for me. She informed us that we were the third couple to have a birth at the center that day, which had never happened to them before. “So,” she explained, “we don’t have a tub ready for you, but even if we did, there wouldn’t be time!”

Great—I wasn’t going to get my water birth. But, my baby girl was coming, and there was nothing I could do about it—except push. Before I knew it I was lying on the bed with Sarah on my right. She told me to push whenever I felt the urge. The student assistant, Harmony, sat at my feet stroking my leg. Kip leaned over me on the left, giving me words of encouragement and again breaking his poor fingers from pressing so hard on my back. Every time I felt a surge, I involuntarily let out grunts and load moans that sounded something like a hunchback whale. But it’s hard to feel self-conscious when something so big is happening to you! My entire body was involved in the effort of bringing my baby into the world. I focused on getting her head out—I knew once her head came, the rest would slip out easily.

Kip held me and proclaimed, “Honey, I can see her head! She has dark hair!” I smiled and gave the next surge all I had. Harmony told me to reach down and touch my baby’s tiny head. That was all it took to give me the stamina to make it through the last few pushes. With one final breath, my baby slipped out into the arms of her daddy. Harmony helped bring her onto my stomach. My sweet little girl hardly made a few whimpers—no crying, no screaming. I couldn’t believe it. There she was, her tiny little body and dark eyes wide open. I did it! Through tears and shaking hands I exclaimed, “My baby! Hi baby! Hi sweetheart! It’s me—mommy is here!”

No words can describe that moment. I reached down to hold her while they wiped her clean. They didn’t take her away from me, and that’s how it should be. I brought her to my chest, and Kip and I had time alone with our precious little one—our little Cielle Rose.

It had been 15 minutes from the time we pulled into the Birth Center to the time Cielle came into the world.

Labor time? 4 hours.

I laughed when the alarm clock on my phone went off some time after her birth. Well, I guess I won’t be getting ready for church today!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jill Di Pietro March 18, 2013 at 7:26 am

I love first time mom fast HypnoBirth stories. I was just telling my moms in class about this phenomenon this weekend in class. I have two first time moms :) Awesome job!

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