This is the birth story of Sarah’s second birth. With her first birth, she was sent to the hospital from her doctor’s office after they checked her and was found to be 6 centimeters. Overwhelming contractions started once they artificially ruptured her membranes. Both she and the baby required oxygen. She felt out of control. Sarah’s hope was to not be induced and to have a much more peaceful and gentle birth than the first time. Her birth story follows:
I’d had several episodes of pre-labor for a month, and began early labor eleven days before he was born. I’d never heard of prodromal labor before that, but became very familiar with the term after eleven days of contractions ten minutes or less, apart. We went to the hospital twice with contractions three minutes apart, and me in a very serious frame of mind. However, each time, no progress was made past three centimeters, and so we went home. I was very fortunate this time to have a doctor and midwife who didn’t believe in induction unless it was absolutely necessary. They just calmly kept telling me that he would come eventually, and boy did he.
Around 11 o’clock on the 16th my contractions got noticeably stronger, but I didn’t make a big deal over it, because they’d been there twice before. I drank a big glass of water and went to bed. I was extremely restless for the next six hours, finally getting up to walk around at 5:00. My contractions were five minutes apart when I woke Chris up at 5:30. My back hurt, and I needed a rub with each contraction.
We went downstairs so I could lay on my birth ball. After a few hard contractions I decided to go through the Bradley test for “real” labor. I got up to make a bagel w/ cream cheese. I took one bite, and a contraction hit me so hard and quickly that I thought I would throw up. The contractions had moved to three minutes apart. Chris suggested I get into the tub to help me relax. I told him I thought this was definitely it, and he should call the sitter to come get Judah. He says he was still skeptical because I was still being so nice to him, and smiling in between contractions.
I had three hard contractions while walking from the table to the kitchen door,(About five feet) and told Chris I thought I was going through transition. He suggested we leave. I told him I wanted to go to the bathroom before we left. It took me five minutes to get there. My contractions were double peaking at this point. Somehow, Chris managed to run around the house getting ready to go, and still be there to rub my back during every contraction. While on the toilet I had the urge to push, and pretty much knew at that point that we weren’t going to make it.
My poor mother, who had arrived the day before, was having a nervous breakdown, and kept saying we should call an ambulance. The hospital close to us was less than desirable for having a baby, and I ended up screaming at her that we were not calling an ambulance. That I would have this baby at home and we would drive him to the hospital further away if we had to.
Chris kept saying we had to hurry, and I kept saying we weren’t going to make it. I finally looked him in the eye and said, “Honey, you’re delivering this baby in the car on the way, or here at home, and I’m more comfortable here.” He still wasn’t convinced we didn’t have time, but helped me to the bathroom to change my pants because with the previous push I had peed on myself. Not my most dignified moment. While sitting on the toilet my water broke, and there was no holding back the pushes after that.
Chris just looked at me and said, “Well you can’t have him in the toilet.” He had to drag me into our office, because the baby was crowning and I couldn’t walk. The sitter whisked Judah away right about then. I was moaning quite a lot, and he was a bit scared. Ten minutes and a few pushes later Clark was born. Chris caught him of course. We placed him on my bare belly, and he nursed beautifully. He was so warm and toasty.
We wrapped him up with his placenta, and got to the hospital two hours after his birth. Everyone was buzzing. I had a second degree tear, mostly because of the speed of his birth, and from having to push on a carpeted floor.
Read the story of her third birth: this time a planned homebirth.