I’ve been very fortunate to have been able to birth all of my children naturally. 3 were delivered in the hospital and two at a birth center. They were all wonderful experiences. Since I have so many to share I’ll try to keep it as condensed as I can.
Our oldest, Jordan, was born in the hospital. At the time I wasn’t 100% sure if I could handle the pain and believed the hospital was the best place to have a baby. I had fully planned on having an epidural. I went into labor in the early morning hours on November 9th. I had been lying in bed cramping and decided to get up and walk around the house. My water broke the minute I stood up. I called my doctor and she said to go to the hospital as soon as I was ready. I loved my doctor. There was no urgency and rushing like we see in the movies. I took a nice long shower (I actually used up all the hot water), slowly packed my bags and then I woke William up to go to the hospital. I was about 3 ½ centimeters when we got there. Jordan’s heart sounded great, and my contractions were every 7 minutes. My doctor encouraged me to walk around the hospital. That’s what we did. We walked for what felt like hours. I did a lot of moaning and deep breathing to cope with the contractions. William was such a great support. He knew exactly what part of my back to rub. I could feel Jordan’s head coming down so we found my doctor and asked her to check me. Turns out I was only 5 centimeters. I was really upset. I was hoping to hear 8 or 9 centimeters. My doctor told me to trust my body and not to worry. Of course she was right. I needed to rest, but I quickly learned how uncomfortable lying in bed was. One of the nurses brought me a birthing ball and it became my new best friend. By now my contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes. My nurse complimented me on how much control I had. After a few hours I didn’t have to ask…I knew it was time to push. With William’s help I slowly laid down in bed so I could birth on my side. My nurse gave me suggestions on how to push, but said to listen to my body. William gently lifted up my leg and there was Jordan’s head coming out on its own. I hadn’t even pushed yet. My body was doing all the work. The nurse called the doctor and said to come to the room now. A contraction came and I pushed. I knew the doctor wasn’t going to make it. Jordan was coming. My nurse got in position to guide him out. 5 more pushes and Jordan was out and in my arms. He weighed 8lbs 12oz. My doctor came in shortly after. I don’t think I could have asked for a better first time experience.
Our daughter, Anna, was born in a birthing center. I had a wonderful midwife named, Robin. She helped educate me even further on natural birth. The days prior to her birth were full of on and off contractions. When I finally went into labor I actually didn’t believe I was in labor. I just went about my day cleaning my house. It wasn’t until I’d had almost 2 solid hours of consistent contractions that I decided to call Robin. I waited until William got home from work before we went to the birth center. It was almost 6:30 before we got there and I’d been laboring all day. Robin recommended I get into the birthing tub to help relax. That tub was the best thing ever. It made the contractions so much easier to cope with. My water ended up breaking within minutes of climbing in. My whole body just relaxed. I remember feeling like I didn’t have to do anything. I only got out to use the bathroom. Jumping ahead a little bit when I told Robin I was feeling pressure she said to push if I needed to. I didn’t know if I was dilated all the way, but she said if my body wanted me to push then it was okay. I quickly found kneeling was my favorite position. In no time at all, I could feel Anna starting to crown. For some reason decided I wanted to get out of the tub. I knew I couldn’t make it to the bed, but Robin had a birthing stool in the room. William helped me out of the tub. I had a contraction while I still had one leg in the tub. William held me up while Robin reached between my legs to support Anna’s head (it was halfway out just from me moving around). By the time I was sitting on the stool, Anna’s head was completely out. I groaned while her shoulders started to deliver. I gave one hard push and she was out. She weighed 8lbs 4oz. Her birth was a little extra special because she was also born on our anniversary.
Dominick and Devin’s birth was also in the hospital. My doctor had scheduled an induction because my fluid levels were starting to look low. I ended up going into labor on my own three days prior to this. I was very grateful because I hated the idea of any medical intervention. We went to the hospital pretty quickly after contractions started, and had an ultrasound to check the boy’s position. Both were head down so we were able to go ahead with a vaginal delivery. This labor was by far my most uncomfortable. While one baby was making his way down, the other was pushing on my back. I also had heart monitors on me the entire time which I wasn’t used to. I was much more vocal this time. I still had control, but was doing more moaning, groaning, and heavy breathing than I did with the other two. It was decided that I should deliver in the operating room just in case any complications arose. I told the nurse I was feeling pressure. She checked me and said I was between 7 and 8 centimeters. She called the doctor to see which OR we’d be moving to. I laid down in bed and was wishing I could just walk down there. Within minutes I was feeling a strong urge to push. I remember lying on my back, legs bent, and gripping the arms of the bed. My nurse encouraged me to breathe and not push. The urge was so strong I was screaming just to fight it. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to push. I just prayed the boys would be okay. Very little pushing was required to birth Dominick. He was ready to come out. My nurse was frantic when he started to deliver. I groaned, grunted, and nudged him out. The nurse was cleaning Dominick off when the doctor came in. He put gloves on and checked me. He said he could feel Devin’s head coming down. There wasn’t going to be time to go anywhere. I started groaning as the pain built up. I didn’t even realize my legs had been propped up in stirrups. I pushed as hard as I could. Devin’s head came out with one push. They suctioned his nose and mouth (he was facing the ceiling when he came out). I felt the urge to push, but no contraction. I didn’t care at that point. I grabbed my legs and pushed. Dominick weighed in at 7lbs 6oz, and Devin at 7lbs 9oz.
You’d think that having 4 kids under 5 years old was enough, but less than 8 weeks after the twins were born, I found out I was pregnant again. Savannah was also born at the birth center. She was my first baby to go past her due date. I was due on the 20th, but she decided to cook for another week. I was so miserable and uncomfortable. I finally asked Robin for suggestions on how to induce labor. Not to get too detailed, but we found that intercourse did the trick. My labor with her was by far my shortest. With the other babies, I labored for at least 15 hours. With Savannah, I was ready to push after 5 short hours. I opted to not have any cervical exams so I’m not sure how far along I was before labor started. We just barely made it the birthing center before I announced I was ready to push. For this delivery I decided to use the squat bar. William was actually able to sit on the bed and support me from behind. Savannah was on the larger side so it took almost an hour of pushing to bring her head down. Once she was crowning I just breathed her head out. Turns out being in the squat position proved to be smart because her shoulders weren’t coming down as easily. Robin instructed me to give a strong push while she reached in to ease Savannah’s shoulder loose. Looking back I was so focused on pushing and staying calm that I didn’t realize that Savannah was stuck. I pushed the shoulders free and slowly breathed while Savannah slid out of me. Once she was out, I dropped back and into William’s arms. Savannah weighed an even 9lbs.
It’s definitely true what they say about each experience is different. With #6 we’re looking into having a homebirth. We’ve hired Robin again and she is very supportive of the idea. We’ll see how it all goes. Anyway like I said in the beginning I tried to give as condensed of a version as I could. I hope you ladies enjoyed it.