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Old 12-06-2011, 04:03 PM   #1
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The Unmedicated Hospital Birth with CNM of My Daughter Jorah - Plus Slideshow

It's taken me forever to get my birth story written, and it's really long, but I wanted to share.

Also, a good friend of mine did some amazing birth photography for me. Here is the slideshow that she put together -

Thanks for reading :-)


I was due Sunday October 23, 2011 with my fifth baby. I had been having regular contractions 10 to 15 minutes apart and feeling like I was in early labor for days. Sunday came and all was quiet. I didn't mind to be pregnant a bit longer, but I knew a quiet Sunday meant going back to work Monday. I was so not looking forward to all the "You're still here? Haven't had that baby yet?" comments. But when I woke up Monday morning with nothing much going on, I knew I had to go.

So I got ready for work as usual and ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a big glass of milk. I left the house at 7:15 am. Usually, as I was driving to work, the baby would get moving pretty good as my breakfast hit my system. But that day, by the time I had made it half-way to work, she had only moved twice. I figured she was probably just fine, but at the same time, once I was at work, I would be an hour and a half away from the hospital. I knew I would sit and worry all day long, especially given how far away I was. So I pulled over in Camden and called the midwife.

When I told her what was going on, she suggested I come in to the office and get monitored. She agreed the baby was probably fine, but that there was no way to know without monitoring for a little bit. At this point, I was an hour away from the hospital / office. We figured by the time I got there, she'd be kicking like crazy, but thought that was better than me being worried and so far away. She said I could go on to work and give it a few hours if I wanted, but we both agreed it would be better, if for nothing else than just my comfort level, to just do the monitoring.

So I turned around and headed to the hospital. I got there about 9:15 am. They took me back to the NST room and hooked me up to the monitors. After about 20 minutes or so, the midwife came back and looked at the strip. I was having mild contractions every 10 minutes or so. She said that the baby looked fine, but that they liked to see heart rate accelerations during contractions, as reassurance that the baby was fine. While my baby's heart rate wasn't showing signs of distress, it wasn't showing reassurance either. She recommended we do a biophysical profile ultrasound to try to get that reassurance.

I waited on the monitors while they tried to work me in to the ultrasound tech's schedule. After another 20 minutes the midwife came and looked at the strip again. Now, I really was expecting they would tell me the baby looked great, and I'd be on my way to get lunch and head in to work. At this point, she told me that the baby was having heart rate decelerations during the contrations I was having. That could be a problem or mean nothing, depending on how the decels coordinated with the contraction, and it was hard to tell on my strip when exactly things were happening. She said at this point she thought it would be better to just go upstairs and have a baby. When I asked what that meant for me, she started telling me about checking my cervix, Cervidil, and Pitocin, and I started to freak out. I was really scared of an induction. I said I still wanted to do the BPP, and as she was recommending to just proceed with getting labor going, the ultrasound tech came in and said she could fit me in, so I went to do the BPP.

The midwife was expecting that the BPP would show that I had low fluid, thus explaining the heart rates she was seeing on the monitor. The baby got an 8 / 8 on the BPP and it showed that I actually had a fluid level of 20 (about 10 is normal).

So the midwife went ahead and checked me, found that I was already 4 cm dilated, and she swept my membranes. She said I was at a 5 after the sweep. She said she still recommended we get the baby born that day. She thought all it might take was breaking my water, but that posed the slight risk of a cord prolapse, especially since I had so much fluid. I started getting a little teary and told her I didn't want to do anything until Eric could get there, which would take about 2 hours (to round up the kids, drive to town, drop the kids off, then get to the hospital). I asked if I could walk for a while and see if the walking plus the sweep would get things going on their own. She said she was okay with that if I went up to L&D to be monitored while I walked, and I agreed.

So, I left the office and went outside to make my phone calls around 11:30. I walked while I talked on the phone, and contractions were definitely picking up into a labor pattern / intensity at this point, which made me happy. I got upstairs and checked into my room around 12:15 or so. They put me on the monitors while I laid in the bed for about 45 minutes and signed paperwork and such.

My friend Sarah showed up around 1 pm. At this point, they said I would walk, but the baby still wasn't reactive (having the heart rate accelerations they wanted to see for reassurance) at this point (although her decels were starting at the beginning of a contraction as opposed to the end - beginning = OK, end = not OK), so they wanted me to be on a telemetry unit monitor, which was fine with me.

I got switched out to the telemetry monitor and went out into the hall with Sarah to start walking. We walked for about three minutes before the nurse came up to me and told me that the heart rate monitor was picking up me, not the baby. So she adjusted the monitor and we started walking again. Another three minutes, and the same problem. Adjusted again, started walking again, same problem again in three minutes.

They thought the monitor might work better in my room, so we went back to the room again. The heart rate issue did seem to improve, but once in the room, I could see how the contractions were showing up on the monitor, and they were not showing as anywhere near as strong as I knew they were at that point - they were barely showing up at all. The contraction monitor was at the top of my belly and the heart rate monitor was right below it. I told the nurses I thought we should move the contraction monitor to below the heart rate monitor. They told me no.

They said maybe it would pick up better if we plugged back in to the monitor base instead of the telemetry, so we tried that. Contractions didn't show up any better. So after a bit, they manually felt one of my contractions and agreed with me. They decided to move the monitor and see what happened. Sure enough, the contractions showed up much stronger. So we got the monitors settled pretty much, and I could be out of the bed if I wanted, but I couldn't go very far.

During the time we were fussing with the monitors, Eric showed up. That was around 2:30 pm. About the same time, a student midwife came in and introduced herself (C), and a medical student was with her (Katherine).

They looked at my strip and said that the baby was looking "more" reactive and that I would be able to get off the monitors if that continued. They suggested that I eat something and that the food might help the baby become more reactive. They told me I could order food, which I was really excited about.

Shortly after they left, my mom arrived, I guess around 3 pm. I swayed through the contractions for a while and we all talked. My food finally showed up and I ate.

I worked through the contractions some more walking and swaying, and then I started to get a little bit tired. I got up on the bed and sat the back of the bed up. I kneeled facing the back of the bed and rested my head on the top of the bed, swaying my hips between contractions. I got tired of that after a bit and got back out of the bed.

Sarah asked if I wanted to sit on the birth ball and rest my head on the bed. I agreed to try that. So I bounced on the ball and rested between contractions for a while. Sarah would rub my lower back during contractions, which felt good.

At some point, I had someone get my nurses, and I asked them if I could get into the tub. I wanted to be able to rest between contractions. The one nurse said, "You mean you want to lay in the tub without the water?" I was like, "Um, no. I mean with water."

They told me I couldn't get into the tub because I had to stay on the monitors. I asked about getting off the monitors since C and Katherine had thought the baby was looking more reactive. I also told them that one of the midwives had told me that I could get in the tub with the monitors on. They said they would go get C for me.

When C came in, she said that the baby was actually less reactive than earlier. So I needed to stay on the monitors. But she did confirm that I could get in the tub with the monitors - they just had to get me the waterproof ones :-) The bad news was that I couldn't have any bubbles, as that would disrupt the monitors. We also talked about how my labor was going. She said that she knew I wanted minimum intervention and that she didn't know how much I might want them to help me along. She commented on the fact that my contractions were that close together. I told her I didn't need any help at that point because it was 100% normal for me to labor with contractions 5 - 6 minutes apart until the end of labor.

I asked for a ten minute break from the monitors, because my belly was so itchy. They said they could do that while they went and found the waterproof monitors. I guess this must have been around 5 pm or so.

So I got my break and then got back on the monitors while one of the nurses got the tub ready. C went ahead and checked me and I was at 6 - 7 cm dilated.

Then I got in the tub. Sweet relief. I was able to rest quite nicely in between contractions. I was totally in the zone and relaxing, and I was perfectly quiet (actually, I had been all along at this point, as I prefer to focus my attention and effort on total relaxation rather than vocalizing). I remember several people commenting about how quiet I was :-)

Eric's mom showed up somewhere around the time I got in the tub. My step-mom Carol called and talked to Eric, as I had invited her to come as well. When she heard that I already had 4 visitors, she told Eric that she would just stay home. When I heard that, I made him call her back, but then he made me talk on the phone. I told her to go ahead and come, so she said she and my dad would be on their way.

While I was in the tub, K (the regular midwife) came in with C. They asked me if it would be okay to put in a saline lock, since my fluid levels were so high. It was merely a precaution in case the baby's cord should prolapse when my water broke, since the risk is higher with a lot of fluid, and they wanted quick access if that should happen. I consented and they put it in. C also asked me if I minded if Katherine (the medical student) was present at the birth, as she was pregnant and considering a water birth and was hoping to see one. I consented to that as well. As I was already at my 4 visitor limit, my mom asked if they would allow in my dad and step-mom since they were having extra people. Somehow they agreed and made that happen, so when Dad and Carol arrived, they were allowed back in the room.

So I labored for a bit longer in the tub. I started to get the shivers and the shakes. I lthought I was in transition, and so did my mom and Eric. My mom told the midwives I was in transition. K asked if I would try to urinate, since a full bladder could be holding the baby back from dropping down the rest of the way. I didn't want to stand up, because I thought I was in transition and I thought standing would drop the baby down on my cervix and make it crazy intense with a quickness, as had happened with Vera. Finally, though, I agreed to stand up and pee in a bed pan while standing in the tub. When I peed, she said, "You'll probably have your baby on the next contraction." Also, my water broke at this point. I have no idea what time it was at this point.

But then, my labor slowed down like crazy. The contractions weren't that strong and they weren't coming very often - maybe every 6 or 8 minutes? I don't know. I was really confused and did NOT feel like the baby was about to come. But I was getting tired. C reminded me that sometimes you get a bit of a break between transition and pushing.

So, I did things to try to help encourage the baby down. I stood up in the tub and leaned forward during contractions. I squated through contractions. But things just didn't seem to be happening. That became apparent to everyone else after a bit.

I started to get tired and frustrated. I noticed it was now dark and I was feeling frustrated since I didn't have any idea how much longer things would take. I decided to lay back down and rest for a bit, hoping that would help. During this time frame, my Dad and Carol said they had to leave.

I remember thinking about how much I wanted to give up and that an epidural and some pitocin would just be the best way out of this at that point. I kept telling Eric I wanted to give up. But at the same time, I didn't want to say that out loud, since Eric's mom was in the room, and I wanted her to see how well I could handle labor. I also wanted to be a good example for the medical student. I also didn't want to start vocalizing at all for the same reasons. In hindsight, having so many people present was definitely messing with my head and holding back the labor.

After a while longer, C started trying to talk me into doing something else. She suggested either I try a few contractions on the toilet or perhaps try some IV fluids to help refresh me. I declined both at this point, but I agreed to try some other things in the tub.
I tried lunges and leaning over during contractions for a bit, as that was the "trick" I had tried with Lukey that got him out within 10 or 15 minutes. The contractions were getting pretty hard, and at this point, they felt better if I pushed through them, though I didn't have the unbearable urge to push. K told me she didn't think I sounded like I had the unbearable urge to push based on the grunting noises women usually make then that I wasn't making. She asked me to try a few contractions without pushing and see what happened, so I did. I didn't *have* to push.

So, K suggested that I let C check me, because she didn't want me to push against my cervix if I wasn't all the way dilated. I agreed to the cervix check. C said I was at an 8 and that my sac was still intact. I was really confused by this because I was sure my water had broken. She said it might be the "hind" sack that hadn't broken, or something like that.

So at that point I really was exhausted. I just wanted to be done. I wanted it to be over. I was finally ready to do whatever it took to get the baby out. K suggested that I walk to the toilet, have two contractions there, then get back in the tub and let C check me again, even though she knew I didn't want to sit on the toilet (I HATE toilet contractions and had repeatedly expressed how much I detest them and that I was avoiding the toilet at all cost). She said she thought that would do the trick and get the baby out. As all my other "tricks" had failed at this point, I agreed.

Somehow, I managed to get myself out of the tub, with the help of the midwives and Eric of course, and walk over to the bathroom, stopping once or twice on the way for very intense contractions.

I made it to the bathroom and had a contraction. I was definitely making some noise through these contractions, like loud, deep moaning and groaning. After the contraction, I sat on the toilet. I had two or three more contractions there. I *hate* toilet contractions, but I just wanted the baby OUT, and I wanted to be DONE, and I would brave even the dreaded toilet contractions at this point to get there. During the time I was on the toilet, C and Eric were with me. Eric said, "I think she has too much of an audience." I agreed. C said she and K had discussed that with each other as well. I then asked C is she thought all my work was doing any good. I had a good bit of mucous and blood that had come out since I had started doing lunges, and a good bit more while in the bathroom, so she said something was definitely happening, which helped me mentally a little.

C asked if I was ready to go back to the tub, and I said yes. But first, I asked if they were going to kick people out for me. Eric said he would and asked if I wanted my mother to stay. I said yes. So he asked Kriss and Sarah to step out. They left the room and I made my way back to the tub. I laid back and had an intense contraction. C asked if she could check me and I said yes. She said I was *almost* complete but still had a cervical lip in the front - just what I wanted to hear - bah! I had another contraction, and then she said she wanted to check me during my next contraction to see if the baby's head was pushing my cervix out of the way. I said, "That's going to hurt really bad." She said, "I know." Then the contraction started to come, I was moaning loudly, and she checked my.

I can't recall the exact order of how things happened at this point. I think the first thing that happened was that the remaining water sack broke with a huge bust and C said, "Oops - water broke!" Then, she said, "She's complete." All the while I'm moaning through this crazy huge contraction, and I feel the baby start to come. Then C says, "There's the baby's head." Somewhere in all of this they got Eric in position to catch the baby. And I feel the baby crowning (still the same contraction here). Then her head is out. Then the contraction is kind of dying down, so I am thinking I need to wait for the next one to push her the rest of the way out, but K says, "Push your baby the rest of the way out." So, I give a big push through the last wimpy bit of the contraction, and the baby is out! So within one contraction, the cervical lipped got pushed out of the way, my water broke, and the baby was born.

I'm crying, "I'm done. We're done. We did it baby, we did it!" as they place the baby on my chest. I don't even care about finding out if it's a boy or a girl, because I am just so happy to be DONE. Someone says, "See what your baby is." And Eric and I look and see that she's a girl.

So that's the end of the exciting part of the story :-) I kissed on the baby and talked to her, rubbed her to get her to cry a bit more. After a few minutes in the tub, we got out and moved to the bed. The placenta was already detached, and with one contraction and a big push, it was out - such a relief! It took about 30 minutes or so to get settled to the point where I could nurse the baby, and in that time, she had already latched on to her own hand :-) When I put her to my breast, she latched immediately and nursed for about an hour and a half - she's such a champ!

We named her Jorah Danielle. She weighed in at 7 lbs 5.5 oz and was 20 inches long at birth. She is such a blessing and an easy fit into our family, and we are so happy to have her with us.


~Amy, Loving wife to E and Happy mama to
K 4/04, L 11/05, E 8/07, V 1/10, J 10/11, and E 5/13
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:45 PM   #2
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Re: The Unmedicated Hospital Birth with CNM of My Daughter Jorah - Plus Slideshow

Gorgeous slideshow!!! And CONGRATS!!!!
Lisa, wife to Toby. Mom to Ethan, Morgan, Maggie, Molly,
Blaize, Damian, and Jett
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:05 PM   #3
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Congratulations! Great story.
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:55 PM   #4
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Great story! Congratulations, she is beautiful.
I'm so tired of hearing about how important a birth is. It is absolutely nothing more than an obstacle between a family and a baby.
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:55 PM   #5
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Re: The Unmedicated Hospital Birth with CNM of My Daughter Jorah - Plus Slideshow

Beautiful story, mama!
Thia, semi-crunchy wife to G (2005) and mama to Ashur (9/2006) and Julian (3/2010-birth story). Bfing, Dr. Bob vaxing, sling wearing, extended rear facing

Little girl, Seren Elise, born at home 11/18! Birth Story
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:42 PM   #6
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Re: The Unmedicated Hospital Birth with CNM of My Daughter Jorah - Plus Slideshow

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I loved the slideshow!
Happiness comes from within
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:51 PM   #7
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Re: The Unmedicated Hospital Birth with CNM of My Daughter Jorah - Plus Slideshow

Congrats! thanks for sharing.
Wife to Nick, 10 years now. Mom to Lydia (c/s) 6/6/07, Arwen (HBAC) 6/3/09, Silas (HBAC) 7/2/12 and Archer HBAC 10/15/14. Jesus loving, CDing, BFing, non vaxing , homeschooling SAHM who loves my new community is Spring Hill, TN
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:00 PM   #8
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Re: The Unmedicated Hospital Birth with CNM of My Daughter Jorah - Plus Slideshow

What beautiful slide show!
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:43 AM   #9
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Re: The Unmedicated Hospital Birth with CNM of My Daughter Jorah - Plus Slideshow

Great slideshow! This is an encouragement to me, because I want to have an unmedicated hospital birth this go around - thanks for sharing!
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Victoria -Wife to Daniel, momma to Noah & Eli, follower of Christ

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Old 06-30-2012, 08:57 AM   #10
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Congrats and great delivery!
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