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Highland Midwife
Birth Services
South Central Washington
& the Columbia River Gorge

Isaiah’s Birth Story

The backstory (I’ll post the full story later) -

Both of my previous deliveries were hospital deliveries without medication – until after delivery anyway. Both labors were very quick, less than 7 hours from start to finish. My first I ended up with a 4th degree tear after an episiotomy and vacuum extraction because they lost the baby’s heart rate. (Turned out the internal monitor moved.) My second was induced early because my doctor wanted me to have a smaller baby so I didn’t tear again. After the delivery he decided to put in a few stitches to repair a minor tear “just in case,” and I was left with constant discomfort due to improper healing.

My last pregnancy I decided to go another route. I found Lorri and couldn’t have made a better choice.

The early pregnancy was great, baby was transverse and I hardly noticed I was pregnant. Then baby finally decided to flip at 35 weeks, causing some major contractions which we were able to stop. But from then on I had several occasions of very strong contractions that ultimately just stopped on their own.

I started going into fairly regular uncomfortable contractions around 8pm on the 20th of May – 10 days before my expected delivery date. I called Lorri the next morning, but we were’t sure how to proceed since I had already had so many false starts. While I was on the phone my son started saying that the baby is coming, so she decided to come on by. She came by around noon, and I was at a 3. I was so EXCITED since I’d been having contractions for so long and they were finally doing something. We called my sister-in-law and she came over to hang out with the other kiddos. I labored until about 5pm and we checked me again, only to find out that I had made NO progress. I cried I was so frustrated. I kept getting excited to meet my baby and the letdown was almost too much to bear.

So Lorri left with instructions for me to rest and for my hubby to pamper me all night so that I would feel a bit happier. Lorri lives about an hour away, so we both joked that as soon as she got home she’d end up turning around to come back.

The hubby and I decided to take our son for a walk before my sister-in-law left, and contractions started to pick up. She headed home to tend to some things and we told her we would call her if anything happened. I laid down around 8pm with my son and daughter, and the baby did this big flip-flop and contractions went crazy, but they still weren’t super-strong. I called Lorri and she said to keep her updated. I got up around 9:30 because they were getting stronger, and asked hubby to call Lorri and give her an update, and my water broke while my hubby was on the phone with her. A happy dance ensued. And squealing. And more happy dancing.

So, she’s an hour away. Contractions went crazy and were coming every two minutes so we called my sister-in-law to come back and help. We decided to start filling the tub around 10. It was so amazing to labor in my own space. I helped set up the pool, watched my fishes swim about, and labored leaning against the fridge. Lorri got here at 10:30 and I got in the tub at about 11.

I had a couple contractions in the tub and then had one where I felt a sort of a pop. I looked at Lorri and she smiled. Right around that time my doula arrived. I had the urge to push and breathed through it to let my body do the work. I remember someone (Lorri I think) saying I should reach down and feel baby’s head and I really didn’t know how to process it. I was not “allowed” to be involved in my previous births so the thought of moving from the “birthing position” was very foreign. I waited for another contraction to pass then felt this fuzzy little head. It was amazing. Then he was out.

I found out later that from the time I got into the tub until the time he was born was 19 minutes. I “pushed” for 7 minutes, though the first 6 was spent trying not to push. He latched on at 39 minutes and nursed really well.

It took 2.5 hours to deliver the placenta, which sucked a lot. I am so thankful I was at home because I am certain in a hospital setting I would have ended up with surgery to remove it. We instead used herbs and nursing/showering/moving, and I was able to feel it detach (which was a very strange feeling) and deliver without incident.

I am so happy I made the decision to go with my gut and have my baby my way. It just felt right. I only hope more women are exposed to the option of empowered and informed birth choices.

Pregnancy and childbirth are not a disease to be “managed” but instead a wonderful opportunity for women to embrace their own fears, strength, and joy.

September 3, 2012 - Katrina

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