Hi Team Bradley,
We’d like to announce the arrival of our daughter, Isabella, 8 lbs. 2 oz. and 20 inches long, born 8:58 AM, March 2.
At 4 days overdue I was getting more than a little bit nervous that we would not only risk out of the birthing center, but also—because of my gestational diabetes status—we would likely have to be induced at 41 weeks. After three sessions of acupuncture, many long walks, evening primrose oil, lots of red raspberry leaf tea and pineapple, our little baby still stubbornly didn’t seem to want to come. We decided to try another method of natural inducement that night…the bit of magic that got us the baby in the first place.
Amazingly, not twenty minutes later at 11:59 PM my water broke. We were beyond ecstatic and tried with little success to go back to sleep. Less than an hour after that I was feeling contractions, which quickly progressed from 9 minutes to 3 minutes apart. We called our doula and she came over about an hour later. Meanwhile, Kerry took great care of me, setting the mood with our flameless candles and meditation music, keeping me hydrated, and giving me massages and caresses. I tried my best to surrender to each contraction and visualize opening. By the time our doula arrived, I’d already started to get a little tired, so I switched from walking between contractions to lying down. This slowed the contractions back down to 5 minutes apart, and our doula recommended that since they could be slowed down, that likely this was still early labor. She recommended that we try to get some rest while we could, so we continued to lie down for another couple of hours. The contractions grew closer and closer again until suddenly they seemed right on top of each other. I found taking the contractions lying down to be excruciating, so eventually, I couldn’t try to rest that way anymore. At that point I asked the doula if we should make our way to the birthing center. Seeing how intense and close together the contractions were, she agreed, and we made our way to the car. I heard her tell Kerry that she thought I was in transition. That gave me a bit of hope because I didn’t know if I could take much more intensity than that and I recalled transition was supposed to be the worst.
The car ride seemed incredibly long and bumpy. I found I couldn’t bear to sit down and instead had to face the back of the car on my knees gripping the head rest. I closed my eyes for basically the entire trip, and found my body seemed to move and make noise on it’s own. I swayed my neck and hips from side to side, and moaned almost continually. After what felt like an eternity we finally arrived at the St Luke’s.
Our doula helped me out of the car and inside while Kerry went to park the car. We had been trying to get in touch with our midwife to let her know we were on our way, but she was just finishing up with another birth at the time. We headed to labor and delivery, since we needed the midwife to get into the birthing center. Luckily she was there waiting for us at the doors of L&D, and together we went down to the birthing center. It was a short trip, but I had some doubts as to if I would make it. I had to make a sprint in the 1 minute between contractions to make any progress, and in between I gripped our doula for dear life and moaned and rocked. (Kerry was parking.)
At long last we arrived at the birthing center and it took all my strength to make my way in to grip the edge of the bed. I was somewhat aware that they were getting me checked in. Being poked and prodded on top of the contractions was pretty awful, but I just moaned and rocked through it all and tried my best to oblige and still stay in the zone. We soon learned that I was already 9.5 cm! “You’re going to have this baby soon!” said our midwife.
For the very last part of my labor they let me get in the jacuzzi. It was as soothing as anything could be at this point. I was gripped by contraction after contraction and also felt a new and incredibly intense new urge to push. They told me not to push, which seemed nearly impossible. I could feel her head descending inside of me. I was loosely conscious of Kerry’s hand holding my head above water. Soon they had me get out of the tub, and onto the bed. It was finally time to push! They had me in the traditional pose holding my knees with my elbows out. After only a couple of tries they said they could see the head. With the knowledge that I was finally going to meet my baby, I pushed with new resolve. Within another couple of pushes, I felt the intense burning and out she came! Our daughter came out crying lustily and had a full head of jet black hair.
A moment later, I had this squirming magnificent warm bundle on my chest, and Kerry was beside us. We were finally a family.
We really couldn’t have made it through without our awesome class. We look forward to hearing more birth stories and seeing you at the reunion.
– Amy & Kerry