Birth Stories

My natural water birth

On Sunday June 10th, 2012 I woke up at 4am having pretty consistent contractions that were lasting about 45 second, and were about 6 minutes apart. I decided to wait a few hours before waking Jonathan up. The contractions continued all through the day, and into the night. At one point I was so uncomfortable Jonathan suggested a bath to me. I got in the bathtub for a little while, and by the time I had gotten out it felt as though my contractions had gotten much closer together, and stronger. Jonathan decided to call the birth center and they suggested we come in to be checked. We called our photographer Tamara Hart of Baby Meet Bump Photography and let her know our situation. We arrived at the birth center around 6:30 am on Monday morning. After Leigh Wood, one of the midwives at Charleston Birth Place checked me she told me I was about 2-2.5 cm dilated. Not quite far enough to make it worth staying there. So we drove home. 
Labor continued on into Tuesday, so we made an appointment to come in and be checked again. At this appointment they told me I was about 3 cm dilated, and it felt as though Landon may be posterior. This made perfect sense to me since I had been feeling all of the labor in my lower back. Leigh suggested we do pelvic rocks, lunges, walking and stair climbing to try and give Landon room to turn around. We spent all day Tuesday doing these things, and by Wednesday I was feeling quite a bit of relief and wasn?t having as many contractions anymore. We thought labor had stopped, and while I was a little relieved to not be having back pain, a part of me was sad because it felt like we would never meet our son. 
On Thursday my contractions came and went throughout the day. Jonathan and I decided to try and help move things along in our own way. But it didn?t seem to work because when the contractions did come back they felt the same as before, nothing new. On Friday morning I felt almost nothing, but at this point was a little relieved. I knew Landon would come out when he was well and ready too, and obviously that wasn?t now, or so I thought. 
Friday afternoon my contractions picked back up significantly. All through the day I was doing almost everything I could to make it through them. I had zero appetite, and thought it was just going to be another night of false labor. By 6pm my contractions had really picked up. I could barely walk around the house comfortably. Jonathan kept insisting we should call the birth center, but I kept going back to one thing. I had been in false labor for almost 6 straight days now, why would we waste their time again if nothing had changed. Around 9pm I was upstairs in the bedroom trying to get through a contraction by getting down and doing a pelvic rock, and before I could barely get on all fours I felt wetness in my pants. I told Jonathan I though my water broke, but I wasn?t sure. I went in the bathroom to clean up and change. He insisted we call the birth center, but I thought we should wait until we knew for sure that it was my water that had broken. We went downstairs to the hardwood floor so we didn?t ruin our carpet in case my water did break. Jonathan decided regardless of what I thought he was calling the birth center. Laurie Hersey called us back and asked to talk to me. I told her I could barely make it through the contractions anymore and then quickly handed the phone back to Jonathan at the start of another contraction. At this point they were 2-3 minutes apart and lasting a minute. Right as that contraction started my water gushed, but this time a lot more. Now wee knew for sure that I was in labor. Laurie said she would start filling the tub and to head over. We called Tamara Hart and let her know it was for real this time. Then we headed off the Charleston Birth Place.
The car ride seemed to drag on for me. I could barely pay attention to anything other than my contractions. It took all my effort and inward concentration and relaxation to make it through them. Laurie greeted us upon arrival and could tell by my face that I was pretty far along and was having this baby. 
She brought us inside and checked me. I was 5cm dilated, and 100% effaced. She told us Landon no longer felt posterior and that his head was at -1 station. After that I got hooked up to the fetal monitor for 20 minutes. Landon was taking my contractions well. I sat and rocked on the birthing ball. After the 20 minutes were up Landon was monitored every 30 minutes with a fetal doppler. I had no concept of time other than how often she used the doppler. I felt a constant need to use the restroom, but every time there was nothing. I knew Landon was getting low because of the pressure I was feeling. Tamara arrived and tried helping me get more comfortable by moving me around. After kneeling on the bed for a while I wanted to get in the tub to see if the pressure would be relieved. 
At first I moved all around the tub trying to get comfortable and finally decided to stay on all fours. After a while I felt so much pressure I said that I felt like I had to push. Tamara ran to get Laurie, who checked me, and confirmed ??I could go ahead and start pushing. I got down on all fours and held on around Jonathan?s stomach. For a long time I pushed while yelling. Then Laurie asked me to try not to so my pushing would be more effective. As soon as I stopped being vocal I could feel Landon getting lower and lower. At the time it seemed to last forever, but looking back it felt like it flew by. I could feel a little burning and knew Landon was close to crowning. Laurie held back the lip of my cervix and stretched my skin a little to prevent tearing. I could feel his head getting close. I remember being so amazed and joking about how squishy it felt. 
Laurie asked me to try ad turn around so I could hold my legs and finish pushing our baby out. Jonathan helped me hold my legs because I couldn?t get comfortable. I pushed with every contraction and before I knew it I could see Landon?s head. He was almost out! With a couple more pushes came his shoulders, and then his body and legs. He was out. The pressure was gone. We were so in love! 
After the umbilical cord stopped pulsating, they clamped it for Jonathan to cut. Landon had an impressively thick cord too! Once he was separated Jonathan held him so I could get out of the tub and cleaned up. I got out of the tub to expel the placenta. I pushed once and then Laurie slowly pulled it out. The pressure was fully gone, and my belly was automatically empty. While they were cleaning me up Landon was being measured. 
Landon James Ray was born on Saturday, June 16th, 2012 at 1 am weighing in at 7lbs 6.5 oz. He was 19.5 in long, and absolutely perfect. 
I only tore in one spot, but not enough to need stitches, and had two small lacerations. After showering I put Landon on my chest and let him make his way to my breast. It took him about 45 minutes to find my breast, and when he did he ate well. After that Jonathan, Landon and I took a nap. When we woke up we started packing up our stuff, and left the birth center at 7:30 am. It only took 3 hours for Landon to be born once we got there, and we only stayed 6 and ? hours after. We went home feeling great about our birth experience. It was everything we wanted, minus the 6 days, well 5 days of false labor. Jonathan was amazing during the whole thing, and I couldn?t have done any of it without him. We feel so incredibly blessed by this miracle. Our lives are changed forever, and we?ve never been more in love, with him, or with each other.

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