This was my first baby and I had a fairly clear idea of what I wanted my birth plan to look like and what steps and preparation I needed to achieve it. I chose Wasatch Midwifery as my birth center and midwifery team. They had the approach, priorities and tools (like Nitrous Oxide) I was looking for. My experience with Adrienne and the team there was phenomenal. If a baby #2 is in our cards, I’ll be working with them again! Through their recommendation, I found Birthsmarter and ultimately took 5 courses that drastically helped me and my partner prepare with confidence for the unmedicated & out-of-hospital birth I was hoping for. I discovered my doula Annalee Muse, by fate. I was out for massages with a friend and her husband was the pre-natal massage therapist at the spa. He told me about his wife being a doula and the second I met her I was sold. I even found out after hiring her that she was a doula for a couple of my aerial community friends! And they adored her so, it was meant to be. Joe has stayed my massage therapist through the pregnancy and postpartum. The Muses are truly wonderful people! I also worked with Danielle Wilstead from Wild Oak Birth Photography and she was just a dream!
I truly think taking the time to find the right team that really fits your needs was so important. Also getting educated and knowing all the possibilités and the likely hood of your plans changing was invaluable. Not feeling like I was ignorant and at the mercy of others on top of just being at the mercy of birth was an enormous plus. I think it helped prevent a lot of additional trauma. Trusting my gut and intuition with who to work with and have by my side and also being able to trust my own knowledge was so impactful.
Here is the outline for the whole dang process!
Thursday June 29th
4:30pm: my water broke on it’s own at home while I was finishing work for the day. Cramping started about an hour later and noticeable contractions another hour or so after that.
Friday June 30th
12:30am: labor and contractions had intensified quickly since it began and I was unable to get any sleep in early labor. Tyler and I text my doula, sister and mom with an update and with the okay from our midwife, began the transition to the birth center once everyone met at our house.
2:30am: We were all settled at the birth center and found out I was dilated to 3cm and baby was sitting really low. Over the next few hours I labored in the tub, on the toilet, standing with Tyler doing the labor dance and side lying in bed with a peanut ball.
5:30am: contractions were REALLY intensifying and I was making progress now dilated to 5cm. The first wave of feeling like I was getting exhausted hit and I started to think about a transfer to the hospital. Instead I got started breathing nitrous oxide which helped me cope with contractions for another few hours.
11:00am: We checked again and I had been sitting at 7cm since around 9am and hadn’t made more progress. By this point my body was truly exhausted and the nitrous had also lost its effectiveness. I had been awake for about 30 hours and in labor for 19 hours. Everyone was in agreement that a transfer to the hospital for an epidural and some rest would be the best course of action.
2:00pm: We had transferred to IHC and I had gotten the magical epidural. My mom and sister were unable to stay due to hospital rules so it was just myself, Tyler, our doula and photographer. Baby’s heart rate was mildly concerning so between constant monitoring and position changes, I got about 1.5 hours of sleep.
6:00pm: I was still at 7cm and we found out there was a cervical lip so we began the lowest dose of Pitocin to get things going.
10:00pm: The doctor checked again and informed us I was almost to 10cm and fully effaced. Baby was also in a occiput posterior position. Or sunny-side-up which helped explain why I was stalled at 7cm for so long. We discussed a plan and interventions for getting her rotated and out safely. Ultimately a vacuum was used to turn her but I was able to birth her on my own after about 40 minutes of pushing.
11:36 pm: After being awake for about 42 hours (minus my cat nap) and in labor for 31 hours, baby girl was born! 5 pounds 14 ounces and 19 inches long.
Méconium was present in the amniotic fluid at the birth center and because of this, she had to be inspected by the NICU nurse minutes after birth so we didn’t get the delayed cord clamping, immediate skin to skin or the uninterrupted golden hour I had wanted. Tyler kept a close eye on her as she was inspected and thankfully she was in perfect health and back in my arms shortly.
We spent the next 48 hours in the hospital recovering and getting rid of baby’s jaundice. We all went home healthy on Sunday July 2nd around 6:00pm. We didn’t decide her first name for another day!
I thought I needed to have an out-of-hospital, unmedicated and natural birth to feel like I conquered my birth experience. But as usual, birth never goes according to plan. Turns out things happened exactly as they should have and I gained everything I needed and more.
I learned to trust my instincts. Surrender control. Accept help and love from others. Not apologize for making noise or taking up space and time. Advocate for myself and ask for things I needed. Appreciate and love pushing the limits of my mind and body.
I walked away from birth a lot less traumatized by the hospital than I had anticipated and more proud of myself than I had ever imagined. Birth is a roller coaster and the most transformative experience of my life. I’m so proud of myself, Tyler and Korra.