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September 2012 - Three Happy Birth Stories

Birth is about rolling with it! Unpredictable, and requiring of us flexibility and strength.


A first time mom emerges triumphant after refusing a c-section twice during labor and insisting on the pushing time she needs:


“My birth story did not go to plan either and thought to share this crazy experience..


On Friday morning at 1:30 am my water broke, and because I had gone to sleep at midnight, I went back to sleep to try to get rest. At 6 am, I still hadn't slept nor had any constant contractions (I felt mild cramping every 9 or so minutes but was too tired to keep track). The doctor on call at my gyn office told me I should come in at noon if I wasn't having contractions (I also lied and told her my water broke at 3:30 am so I wouldn't be rushed in)..so I went in hoping I could rest at the hospital.

Since my water had been broken for a while, and I was told that 1st time moms usually take another 14 hours for labor, they started me on pitocin at 2:30 pm. The pitocin definitely jumpstarted me, and even though the pain was crazy intense, I dealt with it until 9 pm, walking around, bouncing on the ball, leaning against the counter, but gave in to a painkiller Fentanyl which completely made me loopy and unsteady. This was only a short term relief since it wore off by 11 pm...and I was completely exhausted and knew there'd be no way I could finish the labor like this. So I gave in to the epidural which gave me tons of relief and I was able to rest. I was only 4 cm dilated meanwhile after all this time! So next morning (Sat), I got many vaginal exams to check my progress (ouch!)....sometime in the mid morning, I was dilated to a 7, but after 3 hours, I still hadn't made progress. They hooked me up to measure the intensity of contractions, and I finally dilated to a 9...BUT Then, they realized the baby was turned a bit sideways in my pelvis so I had to spend about an hour moving from side to side to move him straight. Epidural didn't really help this pain. The doctor also warned me I may be too small for the baby, and to consider a C section. (my gyn was not on call so I had no relationship with this woman and felt she was a naysayer). I told her I didn't need to think about it, that I was going to push.

So at 1 pm, I finally had the urge to push and at 3:30 pm, the doctor told me baby wasn't moving into my pelvis at all and she said it was most likely we'd have to do the operation. However, his heart rate was strong and even though I was utterly exhausted and beyond in pain, I told her I wanted to continue pushing. So she said 3 hours was her max...and I told her to give that to me. I can't even tell you how hard I pushed - besides that I had followed nothing in my birth plan, I really only visualized this baby coming out vaginally and on my chest after birth. So at 4:15 pm, he pushed through my pelvis and at 4:30 pm he started crowning...but it took another 25 minutes for me to push him out which was the craziest pain I have ever had. I got a fever during this, so had some antibiotics and the dr. almost had to use the vacuum but by some miracle, she didn't. So I got my baby boy the way I wanted for the most part...with 4 hours of pushing! But with my water breaking before contractions to begin with changed my entire plan and I was ok with the way I got him, drugs or not. 

Anyway, we spent until yesterday at the hospital and I have to say, Cedars was amazing. The midwives and nurses were so supportive and especially the ones who helped me during the labor. The doctor on call ended up being really great once I showed her I was determined, and I had a huge pep rally behind my pushing (I also used the bar and pushed on my side).  It was completely surreal but I also think this baby was just as strong, as I wouldn't have been able to do it without him either.

I know what I learned in your class education wise really helped me get through this. Even though I didn't want the medicine, I knew I'd be too tired if I stayed stubborn. Everyone was respective of the birth plan, but being flexible really helped me have a better outcome.”




This mom had her second baby, accompanied by her sister, 2 friends, and her 8 year old daughter (who attended classes with her!). She had to stay with a hospital and doctor she wasn’t thrilled with, but emerges triumphant as well!


“The birth went well. The hospital staff did what I thought they would and put up a bit of a fight when I told them I didn't want to be constantly monitored, didn't want constant checking, and wanted to walk around. The good news is that my friend handled it beautifully and we were able to get most of what we needed.


It was actually quite interesting this time around, as I was so much more in tune with my body and the labor signs to look for that I immediately recognized what was happening. First, I had 2 very restless days/nights. I couldn't for the life of me get comfortable. I remembered from class that this was one of the signs labor was close. Plus I was getting more and more Braxton Hicks contractions more regularly. Then on Tuesday,  while my daughter and I were out running the last of my prep errands I went to the restroom at Costco of all places (around 2:30 pm) and I had a bloody show. It wasn't much but definitely noticeable. At that point I knew something was happening and that the baby would be coming in the very near future. We finished up  shopping, got home, unloaded, and I sent a message to the team letting them know to be on alert.


Around 5 pm I started getting contractions and I think began the early part of labor. The contractions were sporadic, short in duration and between 5 and 45 minutes apart. We went to dinner that night. I remember thinking how funny I thought it was looking at the couple in one of the videos eating at the mall while she was in early labor and yet there I was out having dinner, simply quietly breathing thru the contractions when they came and then logging the time. When we got home, I made sure my bags and all the last minute little things were completed. I sent her to bed at around 10:30 pm much to her dismay as she wanted to be with me but I told her I needed her rested in case we had to get up early morning for labor. I sent an update to my team around 11:30 pm telling them the latest and that I would contact them when I made it to first stage active labor. Once I felt all was prepped and I was ready, I went to bed thinking I should get rest. At this point it was already 1:00 am. 


I did manage to get some sleep but at about 4:20 am I woke up to go to the bathroom (nothing new) and began having stronger contractions. I tried to get back to sleep but at this point, it was no longer possible as the contractions although still irregular were getting much stronger and I couldn't bear being in a sitting or lying down position. It made the pain worse and unbearable.


I was up and trying to keep myself occupied simply stopping during the contractions. I decided to take a shower around 7:30 am and got dressed. Shortly thereafter I told the girls that although contractions were still not very regular they were becoming much stronger and the intervals were now becoming closer.


By 11 am, everyone was here just in time for the contractions that were getting stronger. By the way that back massage technique you taught us came in extremely handy!!!!! I needed as much touch and pressure elsewhere to get thru the intense pain. Once it got to be 2 pm, given the timing of the contractions, we decided it might be time to head to the hospital to get a sense of where I was. Plus, we were going to have to get to Santa Monica on a weekday via 405 so we wanted to give ourselves enough time. The car ride to the hospital was torture. Because I had no mobility and was seated, it felt like I couldn't release the pain.


When we arrived to L & D they immediately wanted to strap me down to the bed for fetal monitoring, get an IV and then check me. I told them I didn't want to be in the bed, didn't want an IV (my team did an amazing job keeping me hydrated thru it all) and needed to continue walking around. Plus, that I didn't want drugs (which they couldn't believe). One friend negotiated with them and I guess the nurse called Dr. P. whom agreed with simply doing the Hep Lock, interval monitoring and letting me do my thing. Those 20 minutes they asked for me to be in the bed to get fetal heart info felt like an eternity and not only that it started slowing down my labor. The contractions when we arrived were coming much quicker and longer but once I interacted with them and I was put in bed it drastically slowed down.


The nurse then checked me and I was at 5 cm. I immediately went to the dark side and thought ‘that's all’ but then the girls quickly reminded me that it was good and progress and that we were halfway there. I channelled your lectures and shifted my thinking to embrace the fact that in such a relatively short period of time, I had been able to dilate to 5 cm and that another 5 cm wasn't 'bad.'


They finally unhooked me from the machine and I was able to walk. When I started walking again, the contractions came back full force and more regularly. I do remember the nurses continuing to tell me not to push and that when I felt the urge to push to tell them. I didn't. I pushed when my body needed it and simply envisioned each push helping further open up my cervix so my little girl could get out.


At around 3:50 pm my water broke while I was on the toilet (I was one who also found it quite helpful sitting on the toilet.) We didn't tell the nurses that my water broke until about an hour later as we knew they would want to check me again, and put me on the monitor for good. Once we did tell the nurses, they called the doctor who started to make his journey in. When they checked me again at around 4 pm I was at 7 cm and they began prepping the room. This is where it got pretty bad for me as they did hook up the monitors and I had to be in the bed on my back which was excruciating. I continued to push thru it all even against the constant voices of the nurses saying ‘don't push, wait, hold on.’ Really, how the heck do you tell the woman in pain to stop so you can get ready. Next thing I know, I got a contractions that made me scream and push like I'd never pushed before. With that out came her head and then the next push it was her body. She came into the world at 5:11 pm.


Honestly, Dr. P. was irrelevant. We timed it so that honestly all he did was get there and put on gloves to pull her out. Nothing else.


Overall I'm happy with how I handled it and with the team I had. What a journey and what a high afterward. It honestly did feel like I had gone through a battle and emerged victorious.”



Here is a first time mom who surprised us all:


“I had planned to give birth in the hospital, with the support for my husband and a longtime friend who is a doula.


I had several days of cramping and bloody show, then began contractions Monday night. I went into the bathroom alone a lot, and found myself remembering from class “if I were alone in a forest giving birth, I’d. . .give birth” and images from a film I’d seen of African women giving birth. My thoughts were “I’m doing this,” “the baby’s fine” and “don’t panic.” I felt peace and calmness.


I used the birth ball and did my yoga breathing, with the support of my doula. My husband was always near, waiting for his role of driving us to the hospital, except when he ran (literally) to buy fresh donuts for the nurses, as Jana had suggested in class.  My doula was very intuitive; she seemed to know exactly what was going on with me. At some point I realized that there was no way I could tolerate going to a hospital and hearing anything to the nature of “your dilation is __ centimeters.” Something happened inside of me and I knew I was going to stay where I was to give birth to my baby.


I was on all fours on the bed, moaning and vocalizing loudly, and my doula asked if I wanted her to call 9-1-1 when I began pushing. I said yes, while she coordinated between me and being just as peaceful as I was, and the panic my husband was starting to feel.


The paramedics made me turn over for the crowning, and the more experienced medic caught my baby girl. It was amazing.


We did go to the nearest hospital afterwards for followup, and my husband remained a bit shell-shocked for quite awhile, but I have felt incredibly calm, confident and blessed since giving birth and becoming a mother. It has been the most wonderful 2 months since! And, I believe if I am fortunate to give birth again I would like to plan a home birth.”



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