journey1000miles: Jacob's Birth Story
Thursday, November 20, 2008 3:11 PM
"We got a room with a tub and that made ALL the difference for labor. I
spent most of the labor in the tub and can't imagine going without it..."
Our “surprise” turned out to be a bouncing baby boy! Jacob was born on October 30, 2008 at 9:39 p.m. after 35 hours of labor (including almost four hours of pushing). He weighed 9 lbs., 11.4 oz. and was 20 inches long. (Before his birth, our OB had estimated his weight at 7 lbs. 10 oz.) Here are the details of my natural birth...
Looking back on the birth experience
It was much more physically intense than I ever imagined, but was also incredibly spiritual, yogic, prayerful, and beautiful. Simply amazing! My husband and I worked really hard to prepare for a natural childbirth. We took the Bradley Method classes, hired a doula, and read lots of books (like Ina May Gaskin’s book Guide to Childbirth).
The long wait
We were 12 days past our due date. I tried every induction Old Wives tale out there (except Castor oil) and NOTHING worked! My water finally broke on the morning of the 29th. Our original plan was to labor at home as long as possible, but I could tell there was meconium in the amniotic fluid (it was a green/brown color), so we went to the hospital for confirmation. Our OB wanted us to stay at the hospital for intermittent fetal monitoring because of the meconium staining.
Laboring in water
We got a room with a tub and that made ALL the difference for labor. I spent most of the labor in the tub and can't imagine going without it! (The fetal monitors were wireless and waterproof.) I also used a birth ball and walked the halls. I chanted "OM" repeatedly through each contraction while my husband or our doula applied counter-pressure on my back. My husband (who also does yoga) walked me through an end-of-class-style relaxation every contraction. We also prayed through many contractions. The room was dark and we had candles and music. It was very zen and yogic. Our doula was a godsend for both my husband and me. We also can't imagine the birth experience without her. She was perfect and worth her weight in gold!
Sticking to the birth plan
We had a situation where our OB pushed me to take Pitocin because I hadn't "progressed" from seven centimeters in six hours and it had been around 30 hours since my water broke. Knowing about the natural alignment plateau (from the Bradley Method) and also wanting to avoid medical intervention, we told her to give us an hour to progress naturally. We power-walked and lunged around the halls and came back at 9 centimeters. Victory!
Ready to push
When I thought it was time to push, a nurse checked me and said I was fully dilated. Well after two hours of pushing, they thought I was ready to deliver and the OB came in to catch the baby...but her exam showed I was not even fully dilated...there was a cervical lip. She said if I were anyone else she would have sent me in for a c-section, since there were concerns with my cervical swelling, the fact that it had been 32 hours since water broke, and my meconium staining. But because we were prepared for a natural birth she agreed to try something else. She broke my waters because the bag had resealed. Then, with my pushing the baby down and her hands moving the cervix up, we got the baby to start moving...thank goodness.
The doctor kept saying I was doing great and wouldn’t tear…but my son came out with his hands crossed in front of his face, resulting in a second degree tear for me. He came out crying and there were no complications from the meconium staining, length of time since water broke, or his size. He scored 9/9 on his Apgars, latched on right away, and was very alert. A perfect baby!
My biggest tip for those of you planning a natural birth…remember to use the contractions for your benefit. Work with them; don’t just let them happen to you. That made all the difference for me!
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