Hi all, Nikhil and I are pleased to announce that our daughter, Nora, was born on November 20, 2007. Baby’s birth weight was 8lb 5oz. Birth was unmedicated and natural. The whole process was not as textbook as we expected, and baby was in a posterior position. Yet, the birth was empowering, and such beautiful birthing experience would not have been possible without our teacher and doula, Mary Esther, midwives Sandy and Coralie, and wonderful nurses at St. Lukes Roosevelt Hospital birthing center.The following is a recap of our experience:11/18 (Sunday)
In the bathroom, mucus plug slipped out followed by a discharge of an unknown volume of fluid, which was mistaken as part of the mucus plug. Called midwife to report the incident without mentioning the fluid discharge (Why? I don’t know. I guess the water not gushing like scenes in the movies did not alarm me that mine was actually water breaking). Midwife told me to go to my scheduled appt the following morning.
No sign of labor, only mild cramps.11/19 (Monday)
Reported the incident in detail with the suspicious discharge for midwife. Midwife was extremely concerned that the suspicious fluid was indeed rupture of membrane, which would mean hospital policy would want me to deliver within 24-48 hours to avoid infection, even though a cotton swab test did not show that membrane was ruptured. Midwife was not convinced by test result and insisted that I should watch for further leaks later during the day. 2cm dilated.5.30pm
Further leaks. Called midwife, who suggested taking castor oil to bring on labor.10pm
Castor oil was taken with juice.11/20 (Tuesday)
Early first stage labor. I found breathing, vocalization and curling up in bed most helpful.
Darkness and silence helped me concentrate.2-4am
Labor accelerated quickly.4.30am
Reached hospital. 7cm dilated.5.30am
Nikhil fainted. Doc was paged like in movies. Nikhil was sent to ER, and returned like new in 15 mins. I looked at the beautiful dark sky outside window, thinking it will be a long day.6-8.30am
Advanced first stage labor. To my surprise, no self-doubt, but I repeatedly requested to be told when pushing could start. I was eager to get going. I knew this was the time to imagine myself running a marathon. I was told that baby has moved from an anterior position to a posterior position… 8.30-11am
Long second stage labor. My body was tense at the beginning due to the pressure. However, as the pressure intensified, I felt that I needed to let the body take over, surrender to whatever it made me do. 11am-2.30pm
The encouraging coaching voices from midwives, doula, husband and nurses was my fuel and guiding light at this stage. Visualization images also helped pull me through. Fatigue caused a decrease in contractions.
All people in the room were stimulating my nipples and belly to intensify my contractions again and again, like a line of workers in a factory. I tried all birthing positions: lying sideway, all four, full squat, half squat. At some point, I remember Nikhil asking for Advil! he had a headache! In the end, I accepted an episiotomy that was fully consented and greatly needed given the circumstance. I knew I could not push for another few hours and I did not want the baby to be in distress. Baby was born shortly after the procedure. Nikhil and I are thrilled about the whole experience. I would like to share this story because I did not believe that an unexpected birth experience would be beautiful, but mine indeed was, because both Nikhil and I were prepared, and we had a great support team which helped catch all the curveballs and ease my path in the process.Good Luck to all of you. I look forward to hear all the stories!
See attached picture. Best,
Danielle and Nikhil