Preston’s Birth Story
Two weeks prior to Preston’s due date, my cervix was 2 cm open and 60% thinned.The next week, my cervix was 3.5-4 cm open and 70-80% thinned.This was great, because I had not had any pain, other than some sporadic tightening every few days.I was disappointed to hear that one week later I was still at 4 cm and 80% thinned.My due date was the next day, so Dr. Nicole Clark (Utah Valley Family Practice) gave us the option of inducing.I was not excited about this, mainly because I wanted to avoid pitocin.Dr. Clark said that she could break my water and have me walk around the halls for 2-3 hours to see if my body would naturally go into labor.This was such a hard decision to make!Matt and I decided to schedule the induction.Dr. Clark said she would induce me at 41 weeks anyway, and I didn’t want to opt out of the induction just to have to be in the same situation the next week.
Matt and I arrived at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center at 8:30 am on 31 May (my due date).At this point my cervix was 5 cm open and 100% thinned.Dr. Graham (Family Practice Resident) ruptured my membranes at 10:20, and then Matt and I walked the halls.I had a mobile monitor on, so the nurse and doctor could keep track of the baby’s heart rate and my surges.Thankfully, I started having surges soon after my membranes were ruptured.They became pretty strong, but I was too nervous to lie down and relax, for fear of slowing down labor!I used the “slow breathing” during the surges, but I wish I had practiced these standing up.I had only practiced them sitting or laying at home.
Once the surges became too strong to continue walking, I went to my room to relax.By the time I asked my nurse to check me again, my cervix was 7 cm open!Things started happening quickly from there.Before I knew it I was at 10 cm.This may sound crazy, but for some reason I didn’t equate being at 10 cm with being ready to push.My nurse said, “Now, you’re at a 10, so you don’t need to try and relax anymore.You can push.”At that time I began the “birth breathing,” but my nurse was not familiar with what I was doing.She started to explain how to push, and I looked at her and kept doing my own breathing.Matt said to her, “She’s actually going to do a different type of pushing that we learned.”She gave us a funny look, but then let me do my thing.
I was able to stay so relaxed between my surges that I almost fell asleep between them.When a new surge would come on, my first thought was, “Oh no, just a few more minutes; I don’t think I can handle another one right now.”But then, in the nick of time, the birth affirmation popped into my head: “Each surge of my body brings my baby closer to me.”So, at each surge, I reminded myself that this was necessary to bring my baby to me.(I listened to the birth affirmation CD in the car everyday to and from work, and when I would run errands.It worked!!)
The hospital staff members were amazing.Dr. Clark and Dr. Graham were in the room, as well as two nurses.Dr. Clark patiently waited and let me direct my birth.She did give me other options to try a couple of times, but she let me know that I could do anything I wanted, and that she just wanted to give me more options in case I needed them.I did take her advice on a couple of things: I changed positions from my side to my back using the stirrups, and this worked well for me.Once I was on my back, I felt like my baby was really ready to come.I also asked Dr. Clark how to push, because I was so ready for my baby to get here!I ended up using her pushing method, and am glad I did.She said the birth breathing was great to stretch the birth path, though, so I’m glad I did that as long as I did.
My baby, Preston, was born at 2:40 pm.The birth went as smoothly and easily as I could have ever wanted.Dr. Clark said the nurses at the desk were all commenting on how well I was doing.It was a fairly fast first labor (from what people tell me), being just over four hours.Luckily, I didn’t need pitocin!Once Dr. Clark delivered the afterbirth she said I had the thickest membranes she had ever seen, so I’m glad I opted to have them ruptured.
Preston weighed in at a healthy 8 lbs. 5 oz and 20.5 inches long, and I couldn’t imagine waiting another week for him to come!I didn’t have an episiotomy (Dr. Clark and I had discussed this previously), and I did get a 3rd degree tear.That was the only negative thing about the birth, but that would have happened whether or not I had an epidural.I did ask for a local anesthetic once Dr. Clark saw how big the baby was.Other than that, I had a drug free birth!
Matt said that Preston came out facing to the side, and he immediately turned his head up and looked around the room.Neat!I don’t know if he would have done that had I had a medicated birth.I was able to nurse him skin to skin after the doctors sewed my tear, which took about 30-40 minutes.
I am now an advocate for HypnoBirthing, because it really works!