I have given birth to seven beautiful babies. My first labor I had Nubain. The next 4 I labored and birthed with epidurals. With number six I did not have any pain meds, but ended up getting pitocin. Number seven was different. It was the first time my body was allowed to completely labor and birth on its own. It was the first time I had no IV. I had no pitocin. I was not hooked up to a monitor. I did not give birth in a hospital bed. I had no medication for pain relief. It was my BEST. BIRTH. EVER. It was a surreal experience and afterwards I couldn’t wait to tell everyone how wonderful it was. Here is my story.
After my usual contracting night and day for weeks before my due date, I woke up at 1 in the morning to my water breaking the day before my EDD. I wasn't contracting at that moment, so I called Deb and told her my water had broken, but that I was going to stay at home until I was in really active labor. As soon as I hung up the phone, my contractions started coming every 3 minutes and were STRONG. I told my husband that we maybe should head to the hospital fairly soon. I called Deb back and told her I was already getting strong contractions frequently. She said she had texted the Dr I really wanted and that although he wasn't on call, he would come in for my delivery , I was so happy! My husband took a shower, and I called my mom to come over to stay with the other 6 kids who were all sleeping. After kissing them all good-bye, we set out for the hospital and arrived there 2 hours after my water broke at about 3am.
Deb met us outside and warned us that we may want to go to a different hospital because they had shut the water off in this hospital and it would not be back on until 6am (due to construction). So, there would be no laboring in the shower or tub, but at that point I didn’t care. She had the room all ready with candle light and soft music. The nurse we had was wonderful and went quickly through the usual questions. I was checked (dilated to 6), and was monitored for just a short time. After being free of the monitor, I labored through a few contractions in different positions and then at Deb’s suggestion, settled on the floor (on an egg crate mattress pad and blankets) leaning back into my husband who sat behind me in a chair. My body seemed to love this position as I was finally able to relax and get a few seconds of relief between the contractions. I was able to completely relax my body during contractions by closing my eyes and concentrating on the work my uterus was doing to open my cervix. With every contraction, I would think down and open, down and open. I almost felt like I was half asleep, maybe in a meditative like state, and was barely aware of what was going on around me. The nurse used the Doppler a few times to listen to the baby, and lab came in once to get a CBC (for what reason I still don’t know), but other than that, it was just myself, my husband, and Deb, and I was able to labor in almost silence. Deb made sure I kept drinking to stay hydrated and tried to encourage me to maybe change positions, but I had found a position that worked and I wasn’t moving, LOL. It was comforting to have my husband behind me to lean on and to hold me during contractions and to have Deb by my side encouraging me. After laboring for about 2 ½ hours, I could tell I was hitting transition. There were a few contractions where I started to panic and said I couldn’t do it anymore. Deb told me that, yes, I could and that I was doing an amazing job. Soon after, I started feeling like the baby was moving down and feeling pressure. After another contraction, I KNEW the baby was really moving down. The nurse checked me, right there in my comfy position on the floor and didn’t make me move a bit. After seeing that I was complete, the nurse went to call the Dr.. I asked if I could push and Deb said that I should just do whatever my body was telling me to do. I pushed a few small pushes, maybe one bigger one, and felt the baby crowning. I announced to everyone that the baby was coming out. The nurse left the room, to get help I guess, and in one small push the head was out. Deb made sure there was no cord around its neck, and with another small push my daughter was born! Deb guided the baby up onto my belly and the nurse came back to see it was already over! My baby was not suctioned and the cord was not cut. She was crying beautifully and I was elated! I had done it. I had finally had a birth with no medical interventions! It felt wonderful, it felt right, it was AMAZING! And I felt great. No lingering effects from narcotics, an epidural, or pitocin. No IV in my arm. No nausea, no vomiting, no sleepiness, grogginess and out of it feeling. And no meds to slow bleeding , since I was not even bleeding excessively. And I had such an amazing feeling of euphoria! The Dr arrived about 5 minutes afterwards and sat with us on the floor to cut the cord and make sure I wasn’t bleeding too much. It couldn’t have been more perfect.
It is so hard to put into words what a great birth experience it was. I have labored and birthed many different ways, but this, letting my body do it all on its own, was by far the best. I thought about it in amazement every day for weeks afterwards and still am in awe when I look back. I feel so blessed to have had this experience. I would do it again tomorrow if I could.