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Audrey’s Natural Birth

April 2, 2012

By Thursday  Audrey was 3 days late and Giles and I were getting really tired of wearing the same clothes and living in a hotel. I went back in for another appointment and  was 5 cm, 100% and baby was at zero station. I had my membranes stripped again (I told you I was doing everything I could to get her out into the world, trust me this procedure is not comfortable). Almost immediately the contractions started getting stronger and more consistent. They put me on the monitor and contractions were coming about 5 minutes apart, but they still were not too uncomfortable. A new midwife came in named Sue Ann – I absolutely loved her. She said she didn’t have a crystal ball but she had been a midwife for 30 years and she predicted that I would have this baby in 24 hours. Before the appointment we had been considering heading back home, but after the midwife’s prediction we decided to stay and good thing too. That night we went to dinner at one of my favorite places in Tucson and then went to my doula’s house . My doula and I felt that the baby was in the posterior  position which would make for a painful labor and was probably slowing things down so I did some rocking on the ground to try and get her turned. Contractions were still 5 minutes apart and it was getting late so Giles and I decided we should probably go back to the hotel and get some sleep.  I finally went to sleep around midnight. Around 2:45 I woke to some stronger contractions and timed them on my own for about 30 minutes. They were still 5 minutes apart so I did my best to go back to sleep. Around 4:45 I woke again. The contractions were even stronger now and I timed them for about 15 minutes at about 3 minutes apart. I decided it was time to wake Giles. We walked around the hotel together and timed the contractions which were still coming consistently 3 minutes apart. I finally called my doula and midwife and they both said to go to the hospital. Because the process had been so slow all along Giles and I did not feel rushed. We packed up our hotel room, checked out and decided to get some breakfast along the way. Of course I wanted a bagel and Giles wanted a breakfast burrito so we went to 2 different places to get breakfast! (I’m sure glad I didn’t eat a breakfast burrito that morning…)  Giles got lost on our way to the hospital so in the end it took us over an hour to get there…I was getting pretty uncomfortable and really wanted to get out of the car at this point. Once we arrived ( with the doula extremely worried about us) I was checked and was now 6 cm. I had planned to be very active during labor – I did not want the majority of my labor to be on my back so we started out by taking a nice long walk around the hospital. My doula, Giles and I walked through the halls and enjoyed the courtyards. We identified all the different plants and cacti and birds that we saw. Every few minutes Giles and the doula would support me as I had a contraction and the people passing us would worriedly ask if  I was ok. Giles would reply with oh yes, she’s just in labor lol. We went back to the room and I had some fun on the birthing ball for about an hour – no one had come to check on me yet which we found strange and my doula went to look for my nurse. By the time she finally came and checked me I was 8-9 cm and handling things very well. I continued like this for about 3 hours- I paced the room, slow danced with Giles, listened to some hypnotherapy, and took a shower ( while on the birthing ball – now that was interesting looking I’m sure…)  This whole time Giles was my strength. Yes I did have a doula, but I was mostly relying on Giles because I simply felt more secure with him. He was amazing – much more supportive than I was expecting and he became really involved in the whole process so much so that I think he even surprised himself. By about 1:30 I was starting to feel some back pain and was getting really frustrated and unsure of myself. At one point I remember asking Giles what I was trying to prove by doing this naturally ha ha. He reminded me that I wasn’t trying to prove anything, but that I was just trying to protect the health of our baby – what an encouragement he was! The midwife came in and checked me and I was almost to 10 cm and I thought I might be feeling the need to push. I wasn’t sure though which I found strange because everyone had told me that I would know when the time came, but I really didn’t. The midwife had me squat and do a test push – let me tell you I had no clue what I was doing at first, I just know I must have sounded like a dying cow, how embarrassing. The squatting position was not allowing the baby to progress well  and they believed her to still be posterior so they had me get up on the bed on my knees with my arms over the birthing ball. This was my favorite birthing position, it’s where I learned to push correctly (and silently by the way) , and where I did the majority of my pushing. Audrey turned to the correct anterior position because of my rocking on the birthing ball, but because I was so fatigued (legs shaking etc…) they had me lay on my side which is when she turned back to the posterior position – little stinker. One of the most interesting things that happened was the mirror- yes a mirror. My midwife brought a large standing mirror out so I could see the baby’s progress. I saw her full head of hair long before she ever arrived- how cool and disturbing all at once ha ha.  I think they did this because I kept asking over and over how much longer. One time I asked if it would be another 4 hours. Everyone tried to contain their laughter. I am a very goal oriented person though so knowing how much longer I had to go was very important to me – unfortunately that’s not exactly something you can predict in labor. Anyway, I was in this side lying position for about 30 more minutes and towards the very end when the head was crowing they moved me almost to my back to complete delivery. I pushed for a total of 2 hours and for those of you who don’t know – oh yes when the head crowns the description ‘ ring of fire’ is most appropriate. I kept saying oh it hurts over and over. But, everyone was so encouraging – they kept telling me I was doing beautifully and they kept describing to me how much hair she had – so much so that they could braid it already! All of these things were so encouraging, I pushed harder and harder and finally I watched in the mirror as her head came out (with her hand on top of her head)  – whoa what a relief and with one more push Audrey had arrived. She cried a little bit, but was overall peaceful and alert (which of course I contribute to the no drug factor). She was so beautiful !! Giles had said all along that he would never cut the cord – but guess what ? He cut the cord and when I looked up at him a tear was running down his cheek (don’t tell him I told you!) He was so in love and so was I. In love with my husband all over again and this beautiful daughter that we had created together. As most mother’s will tell you – it is an indescribable feeling. March 16th was the hardest day of my life but it was also the greatest day of my life. I was in active labor for a total of 11 hours 2 of which I was pushing. I honestly did not have a lot of pain and handled labor well up until the last 2 hours of pushing. I remember being wheeled to the post delivery room with Audrey in my arms thinking that I would not be ready to go through that for another 5 years! The nurse told me I couldn’t think about another one while I was still in the hospital. She was right. Once I got home the memories of the pain had faded and I might not want to wait so long for our next addition  after all! So, no my labor was not as easy as my mothers, but I am so thankful for her wonderful example and story that natural birth is not always miserable. I am so glad I chose to birth naturally and would not have done it any other way. With the Lord’s strength I was able to accomplish my goal.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Louise Kay permalink
    April 3, 2012 2:33 AM

    You did it like a pro and you wrote it like the same. Such an experience…thank you for sharing…thank you for birthing…and thank you for Audrey!!

  2. April 3, 2012 2:33 PM

    Dani, I’m so proud of you and Giles. You described the Natural Birth process so well. It is simply beautiful the way God has designed our bodies. I’m thankful God allowed me that same experience three times. Most of all I’m thankful for my God given privilege to be the mother of three most beautiful children created in His image.
    Psalm 139:14
    I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

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