The day has finally come! Even though he arrived a single hour before his estimated due date, this was the longest pregnancy I’ve had. But I did a bunch of things differently this time around. Here’s the third of my natural baby birth stories.
In short, there is so much truth in saying that successive pregnancies and what you do before hand to prepare will dramatically shorten your labor. Here’s proof….
Then through all of that, I did my best to:
- Exercise with core strengthening as my primary focus for my body. Yes, I also jogged and walked and hiked at least a few times a week, but keeping those squatting muscles and core abdominals nice and tight may a world of difference in my ability to carry myself.
- Visit a chiropractor regularly. Oh, over the years I’ve been to the chiropractor off and on for other reasons. But by the last month of going stir crazy, I went once a week to try and keep things in place as much as possible.
With my first two births (stories here and here), I had posterior babies–meaning they came face up instead of face down, which is the normal route. This led to months of painful vaginal delivery recovery because of large tears I got from the backward pressure of my babies coming out on the flip side.
So I decided that I didn’t want that. Sure, I could birth a posterior baby without severe issues, already knew that twice. But what if I could make it even easier on myself if this one came out right? So I did all the techniques regularly to help keep my baby situated correctly, and he was….until the last moment. But we’ll get to that.
- I did perineal massage, something I’d never done before to see if it would help too, just a few times a week.
- This time though I also had false labor a few times and man it was frustrating! I even misjudged my own fake contractions and ended up wasting my mother’s day as she came to watch our boys while I ‘would have been’ delivering.
I was also SO ignorantly confident that this baby would arrive in August (my due date was today) based on my previous earlier births, that I started to panic (not really). You see, I mainly wanted him to come in August so that he’d hit the school calendar year as a younger student because September 1st is the cutoff. If this had happened, all of my boys would have been a year apart in school. How nice, or so I thought.
The Last Month
So the last week of August I was trying to help him naturally come with natural inducing techniques:
- I was implementing the side-lying release I learned about for posterior babies.
- I was applying pressure and massage to the acupressure points in my hands, mouth and feet almost daily. I was going on more walks. Hubby and I had sex a few more times than normal, albeit uncomfortably. Heck, I was even eating more spicey foods, even though I know it likely wouldn’t make a difference. Whatever it was that wouldn’t hurt, right? Even bouncing and rocking more on my exercise ball.
Nada–August 31st came and went, bummer. But life is what it is. So I went to work yesterday (September 1st) just calm and not worrying about it anymore. And I think that THAT was what made the difference, getting it off of my mind.
Then as I was working on this gorgeous site for you last night, I started having mild contractions. I just ignored them, figuring they would go away and be false again. Both times previous I had woken up at four in the morning in active labor, so I figured this would be the same. I was wrong.
Then after about an hour, I started:
- Writing down the time intervals and they were 5 minutes apart, consistently.
- So I walked around to see if they’d get stronger or go away–they didn’t go away.
- I called my mom. It takes her an hour to get to our home and I figured I still had the time, no problem.
I packed the last few things in my hospital bag and then started:
- Walking around my kitchen, dining and living room in circles, while
- Timing contractions. Half an hour later I was transitioning into the final stage of labor and two minutes apart–so much that I moaning through them loudly.
That’s when even my husband knew it was time to go.
Heading To The Hospital
He ran over to the neighbor’s house to have our friend come stay at our home until my mother arrived. She was still about 10 minutes out. I texted her and we got in the car.
The moment we pulled out my water broke. I’d never had it break on it’s own before, but we BOTH knew that when my water breaks, I’m minutes away from needing to bear down.
Sure enough–immediately into the next contraction my uterus was bearing down. It was HARD to NOT push with it. I had practiced on the toilet everyday breathing baby out instead of pushing to also reduce the chances of me tearing again. I knew my body could do it just fine without me helping, I just had to believe I could allow it to.
But I was mainly mentally trying to:
- Tell myself to STOP,
- Slowly breathe and
For months, I’d envisioned the idea of the possibility of giving birth in a car and I’d convinced myself I would be fine–which I would have been. But in the moment that’s NOT what I wanted. Heavens no!
I didn’t even pay attention to my husband driving, but he later said he sped on purpose and we were blessed with hitting green lights all the way into town. We realized later that if it had been during the day, I WOULD HAVE birthed in the car.
At The Hospital
He wheeled me into the ER and I told the gal immediately that I was already bearing down. A nurse took us upstairs and kept calmly telling me to not push, “Don’t push, you don’t want to have this baby in the elevator.” I just kept saying things like, “I know, I’m trying.” I believe in following your body’s cues and your natural instincts, but as I said before–I knew it would happen without me pushing.
We got to the labor & delivery room, I:
- swayed for a moment,
- then stripped and
- got right onto my hands and knees in the bed,
- rocking backward.
FORGET showing and discussing my birth plan I’d typed up with the nurses. They just asked if I was going natural. I said, “Yes.” They checked me, and they got on the phone right away, telling the rest of the staff that I was complete (meaning zero station and ready to start crowning) and they needed everyone in there.
I pushed twice, maybe three times, and he was out. My midwife didn’t even make it. Literally in the hospital for five minutes and he came! It was crazy to think about later!
I had had a precipitous labor and birth, it was quick! And I’m SOOO glad it’s over. 🙂 Just re-living it now is giving me cramps.
Even before I turned over to lay down and take it easy, I said, “Don’t clamp his cord. Wait until the pulse is gone.” That was literally the only thing communicated about my birth plan to the nurses–I wanted delayed cord clamping. But they were great and complied wonderfully with smiles on their faces. We did skin to skin and he nursed for a few hours while things were getting cleaned up.
In the end, though, I did still tear. BUT, instead of level three tears clear down my rectum that I was used to, I had a level one that didn’t go too far down across my perineum. I did, however, end up with a few tiny tears at the top too, which I didn’t expect. But I recall remembering the added pressure up there because of being on all fours that I’d never felt before. So I guess I’m destined to tear somehow every time, but better than an episiotomy. That’s okay. I’ll deal with it.
What I Took Away
My midwife got there a few moments later and she and the nurses took a little while to decipher if he’d come out posterior or not. My not facing upward and forwards through them for a quick loop because everything was happening so fast that they didn’t realize he was STILL posterior until after thinking about it.
Guess I’m destined to have posterior babies no matter what too. I must be built for it. My midwife did say at my recent check last week that she noticed my pubic bone area felt a bit tighter and smaller than what she was used to with most of her patients. So we decided that my pelvis is shaped at the front in a way that simply makes my babies need to turn posterior in order to get out at all. It is what it is.
So there you have it. I hope this has been an inspiration to you that having your baby naturally IS possible and will happen much better than you think it will (even in a hospital).
What things do you have on your pregnancy bucket list now to work on for your birth? I’d love to hear from you. Always!