This is the birth story of how our first daughter, Eden Eileen, arrived into our arms. I hope my story encourages anyone who plans to go intervention-free! Childbirth does not have to be painful and I am living proof...
I woke up late Saturday morning at about 8 am to go to the bathroom (38 weeks exactly). I had gotten off late from work the night before and had gotten my hair cut before heading home. We ordered in and watched a movie. I snuggled back into bed and noticed that I was having some rhythmic contractions.
However, I didn't think much of this because I'd just been to the doctor 2 days before with no progress at all, no dilation, or effacement and the baby hadn't engaged at all. I'd been having these contractions off and on all week. So, I just relaxed through them and drifted back to sleep until about 9 am. I looked at the clock and realized that I was still having them and they seemed to be pretty regular, so I started to time them...7 minutes apart.
Then I decided to get into the shower. I knew that sometimes water could kick start real labor or stop a false labor, so I wanted to see what would happen. Well, I got out of the shower still having contractions and starting getting myself together-hair, makeup, everything. Then I started timing the contractions again...3 minutes apart.
Now I started to think that maybe this was the real thing, but I still wasn't in any discomfort so I wasn't sure what I should do. It was at this point-around 9:30 am-that I finally woke my dear husband and told him I thought I might be in labor. I very much wanted to avoid going to the hospital too soon and being sent home, or worse, being subjected to a myriad of unnecessary interventions.
My husband called the hospital (an hour away) and was told we should definitely come in since we were so far away and my contractions were only 3 minutes apart. Since I still had two weeks at least to go, I hadn't even packed my bags yet. I didn't want to be sitting around just waiting to go into labor. So, I started throwing things into my bag as husband went to get gas for the trip.
While he was away, the contractions started getting closer together and much more intense. I concentrated on staying completely relaxed. I took out my Hypnobirthing tapes and began listening to them while I used sleep breathing through the contractions. I then had to the urge to go the bathroom. I then had some bloody show and actually felt my baby drop. It was like one minute the baby was right up under my ribs and the next, she was ready to fall out!
It was at that moment I realized that this was indeed the real thing. I was in labor. The day had finally arrived. Today would be my baby's birth day.
My husband came home and I told him that this was it! He ran like hell to get everything in the van and we left for the hospital at 9:45.
By the time we left, I was shaking uncontrollably. I stared to feel nauseous as well. I knew this meant I must be in transition. Once in the van, I just listened to my relaxation script and fell asleep. Yes, I fell asleep! My husband said my head kept bobbing up and down the entire drive. I didn't wake until we reached the hospital emergency entrance. My husband left the van running by the entrance and walked with me to the maternity floor. He helped me into a gown and then went downstairs to go park the van.
It was about 10:30 at this point. Somehow, we made the trip in 45 minutes. I think, perhaps, he was speeding just a tad.
The nurse hooked me up to the fetal monitor and started the whole admission and history process. We were about two questions in when my water broke with an audible "pop". I mean, you could actually hear it break, like popping a balloon. She decided to check me because she said I seemed kind of far along.
She took forever to complete her check and finally said, "I'm having trouble finding your cervix...I can't believe this but...I need someone else to check, I think you're complete!"
She then ran full-out from my room, leaving me alone to wonder whether my husband might miss the birth! In a few seconds, she returned with the charge nurse for the floor, who efficiently checked me and announced that I was indeed full dilated and effaced. She also stated that the baby was starting to crown and the paperwork would have to wait!
Now they BOTH ran out to get help. Five nurses came back this time and started scrambling to get ready. The only concern on my mind was whether my husband would get back in time! The nurses told me they'd sent someone to find him.
At this point, I felt the urge to push. I told the charge nurse, who told me to do my best not to push. Yeah, that's really going to happen. When your body is telling you to push, you NEED to push. I focused on holding off for my husband.
Seconds later, my husband ran breathless into the room. I was SO relieved to see him. He told me a nurse had actually run out to the parking lot to find him. She said, "Are you Mr. Beier?" When he affirmed it, she said, "Your baby's coming now, we've got to move!", and they sprinted back to my room.
The nurses were trying to find a vein for a saline lock but in the panic, they were having trouble finding a vein. A nurse actually started screaming, "Can anybody find a vein?" and I almost started to laugh. I felt that I was the most calm of everyone in the room. I think it unnerved them a bit.
Now I REALLY needed to push and my doctor still wasn't there. We could actually see the baby's head at this point and knew she had hair! My dear husband asked the charge nurse if she had ever delivered a baby without a doctor present. She said they would if they absolutely had to do it. He said "You have to right now!"
The charge nurse just looked at me and said, "Do what you have to do". As luck would have it, my doctor walked in just then.
4 pushes later at 11:05am...out came our perfect, beautiful baby...and we both saw she was a girl!
Eden Eileen, at 7lbs 6ozs and 20 inches long with a head full of hair. The doctor immediately put her on my chest and she started to breast-feed right away!
We were the talk of the hospital! None of the nurses could believe how fast I delivered a first baby nor that I went completely natural and wasn't in any pain! I was able to discuss my views on natural childbirth with many of the nurses. Even some who were off came in to see us!
I believe we owe our wonderful birth story to our belief that the key to pain-free natural childbirth is RELAXATION. I used Hypnobirthing classes to learn the deep relaxation necessary for natural childbirth. I don't believe that Hypnobirthing is the only way, but I do believe that relaxation and education are the key elements to a pain-free birth.
I was able to stay so relaxed that I didn't create any pain for myself and was able to have an intervention-free birth with no episiotomy, drugs, nothing
I wish you all the best with your babies and hope this story encourages anyone who plans to go intervention-free!
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Page Last Modified by Catherine Beier, MS, CBE
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