The Natural Birth Story
My due date of August 25th came and went, with no baby. I had several false alarms, where we would time contractions for a while, but they never got stronger or closer together. Each time they just stopped and left us feeling disappointed again. She was a stubborn one.
I had a spontaneous labor and natural birth with Becca, and I wanted to have the same with this baby. I did NOT want to be induced. Mary & Kim, my midwives, didn't want to induce either, but the fact that we were almost 2 weeks past my due date was making the doctors in the practice nervous.
I had a couple non-stress tests and an ultrasound, and each time, one of the doctors had to review the results. Luckily everything was ok with the baby and me, but on Sept. 6th we had another appt and we had to talk about induction anyway because of the date.
I felt like I was on a deadline and I was mad and scared. I worried, cried and prayed about the situation constantly, hoping labor would just start already. Nothing we tried was working, even though I was at 3cm and Kim had stripped my membranes twice. I went to bed on Wednesday just dreading the thought of the appt the next day. It was crazy, but I was wishing I was in pain and that I'd be eating hospital food soon.
I woke up at 3:00am on Thursday, feeling gross, crampy and uncomfortable. I went to the bathroom and then back to bed. Again at 4am, I woke up feeling the same. At 5:06 am I had a definite contraction. I timed a few, and they were averaging about 6 minutes apart and were actually getting stronger so I woke up Justin and told him this was the real thing.
We kept timing while he called the midwives and L&D and his parents. I called my parents and had to put the phone down during a contraction, so we knew it was time to start hurrying. I woke up Becca, and Justin took her to the next door neighbors' house to stay until our parents got here to pick her up.
The ride to the hospital was terrible - I was already in transition and having hot flashes and shivering. I doubted that I could deal with this for much longer without drugs, which I knew was a good sign. Last time when I started doubting myself the hardest part was almost over.
We got in to the ER and started getting checked in I guess but I have no idea what time it was or what was going on. All I was worried about was finding a place to throw up. We were taken upstairs and into a labor suite, and one of the nurses tried to help me get a gown on while I was going to the bathroom. I said I felt like I had to push and she rushed me over to the bed and checked me – already 9 ½. She called Mary again to tell her to hurry.
They put in an IV lock in between contractions and started my antibiotics for the GBS. They wanted me to get 2 doses at least 2 hours before delivery, but that wasn't going to happen. I barely got one dose in with the nurse squeezing the bag to get it in me faster. When Mary got there, I was so relieved. Up until then, I was asked to try little grunting pushes so the baby wouldn't come too fast and I'd tear.
My water broke around 7am, and things got even more intense. I was sweating and couldn't get comfortable. It was bad enough having the IV lock still in my arm, but the monitor and the blood pressure cuff were too much. Amy & Pat, the nurses, said that if I refused to wear the cuff, they'd take it off. I loved those ladies! They also loosened the strap from the monitor a bit so I could roll over and sit up to find a good position.
It was a little embarrassing, but I couldn't take the gown anymore either, so I got naked. It didn't seem like a time to laugh, but Amy said to Justin that she thought we both looked familiar to her, and I lost it laughing. No one wants to look familiar to anyone when they are naked on all fours and in labor!
Julia was sunny-side-up, but because of the position I was in she was face down. She wouldn't turn her head and seemed to be stuck, so I had to do some crazy gymnastics to help her out.
She finally came out crying at 8:11am, after the hardest 3 hours ever. It was amazing – as soon as her head and shoulders were out, I pulled her up onto my belly and I got to see her face for the first time. Justin cut the cord and we just stared at her while Mary and the nurses got us cleaned up.
She looks just like her big sister, with a lot of dark hair and everything. The nurses couldn't get over how great her skin looked, especially since she was supposed to have been 2 weeks late. Her Apgar scores were 9 and 9, and she started nursing pretty much right away. I didn't have a cut, or even a tiny tear, and I felt good enough to get up and shower right after.
Our parents came to the hospital and brought Becca, but they waited outside the room so we could have a little time to bond as a family before the grandparents came in to see her. Becca isn't quite sure what to think sometimes, but I think she'll grow into being a great big sister.
thing I can say is wow! I still can't believe it,
Julia Betty Stratton
8 pounds, 5.3 ounces
21 inches long
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Page Last Modified by Catherine Beier, MS, CBE
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