(Laboring at home for 4 hours)
( In triage getting checked. I was 3.5 cm dilated. They decided to admit me.)
( I asked to get in the tub as soon as possible. The water relieved so much pain for me.)
( I had them turn the lights off in the bathroom and turn on the tub lights. I rested my head on a pillow and towel in between contractions)
Looking at her face for the first time!
My first time breastfeeding.
Our announcement picture! Indie Capri Knight 8lbs 9oz 20.5 inches
1 Day Postpartum
4 months late…. I know I know! It’s a bit long but I didn’t want to spare any details:)
Let me start this off by saying thank you for all the love and support the past few months!! We are adjusting well as a new little family and learning how to be parents. We love our little Indie so much.
I’m going to begin this off with my pre-labor. I had a membrane strip/sweep (where the midwife uses her finger to sweep between my membranes of my amniotic sac – this helps to separate the water bag and hopefully results in the the initial stages of labor) at about 40 weeks. The first Sweep didn’t work – I cramped for a few hours and then nothing. I walked stairs, bounced on a yoga ball, and did curb walking – nothing worked. I was then given another Sweep on April 2nd and was measuring 36 weeks because Indie had dropped so low into my birth canal. I was 1.5cm and 70-80% effaced. This Sweep was so so painful because I have a posterior cervix. Indie was at a -1 station (low in my birth canal – typically what you are at halfway through labor) and my midwife could feel her head at which point she had to reach behind her head to get to my cervix. She stripped me for about 15-20 seconds and can’t lie…I had to distract myself with deep breaths through it and I was in a lot of pain. I instantly started cramping when I left the office and the cramping continued non-stop every 5 minutes until the morning of April 4th.
Although I was a week overdue, I was still feeling normal. I finally said on the night of April 3rd “okay I’m DONE being pregnant”. Lo and behold I went into labor the next morning. I woke up at about 6:45am with period-like cramps except a little more intense. I decided to get in the tub at home and I started timing contractions at 7:03am and they were about 5-7 minutes apart. I was in denial that I was in labor but texted my best friend and she talked me into believing I was actually in labor!! She said “do your makeup now because you’ll be in too much pain in an hour”. I’m so glad I listened to her haha. I was doing my makeup in between contractions in the tub … 😂.
Within the hour my contractions were 3-4 mins apart – lasting one minute each. This went on for a few hours and then the pain started getting more intense. I was doing my hypno-breathing – inhale for 4 seconds exhale for 7 seconds. I was repeating in my head “open like a flower” “ you won’t be in this pain tomorrow” “you can do anything for one minute”. Finally I got to the point I was falling asleep in between contractions and couldn’t talk. Michael called my midwife and she said to head in within the hour. My mom and Michael helped to dress me and we headed out the door.
The car ride was brutal. Every bump we hit during a contraction was horrible. I was breathing so hard but so grateful there was no traffic (one perk of a pandemic).
We pulled up to the hospital valet and they brought me a wheelchair. My eyes were closed the entire time – it was the only way I could focus on my breathing. They wheeled me up to triage and checked me in. I was at a 3.5cm-4cm, 90% effaced. They asked if I wanted to stay or labor at home more (good joke!)… No way was I going back home! I was in a lot of pain and asked to stay since I was a week overdue. They agreed and we waited for a L&D room to open up. About 40 mins later we moved to our room and they filled up the tub (I was planning to have a water-birth and actually deliver in the water but wasn’t allowed to because of COVID) but they did let me labor in the tub until I was 7cm.
I got a hep lock (saline lock that is capped off so I didn’t have to be hooked up to any machines; this made it easy to connect an IV when needed), and they did intermittent monitoring with a portable Doppler. The nurse would have me stand up in the tub and listen to Indie’s heartbeat. I labored for 2 hours before they checked me again. I was then a “good 4”. I was so discouraged because I was in so much pain and expecting to be much further along. My mom + my best friend were on Facetime the entire time and actually got to watch me give birth. When my mom heard the Midwife say I was a good 4 she said “a good 4 means a 5!” So in my head I had to tell myself I was a 5cm and halfway there. I started thinking if I don’t progress more in the next two hours… I don’t know if I can do this. I labored on my knees while leaning over the side of the tub and rocked back and forth. Michael was so sweet and would rub my arms and honestly was the best birth partner. He would tell me he was proud of me and that I was doing so good. After about 1.5 hours they decided to check me again because my laboring sounds were becoming more intense and I had a contraction that lasted about 5 mins straight. I needed to go to the bathroom before I was checked and I started bearing down on the toilet (my body started involuntarily pushing). When they checked me I was 7cm dilated. I stayed on the bed from this point on. The nurse told me not to push because I could swell my cervix. Indie’s heart rate was dropping a little bit so they had me turn on my side. The nurse grabbed a peanut ball and said that it can help the baby drop more into my pelvis and open me up. I had two contractions and they were sooooo intense. Then I started bearing down each contraction! I couldn’t NOT push. They said “don’t push” … I said “I CAN’T NOT PUSH!!!” So they checked me again even though it had only been a few minutes. My midwife said “you’re a 10 let’s start pushing!” I pushed 3 times for each contraction for 3 complete contractions. My first 3 pushes were not very productive. My nurse helped show me what muscles to use to push and said to use the bottom half of my body and relax the top. I pushed again 3 times and they said they could see she her hair!!!! My water broke sometime during these 13 minutes and apparently splashed Michael pretty good… oops haha. Then on my last contraction one of the midwifes said okay “your baby didn’t like that last one and her heart rate dropped – so let’s push your baby out on this next push”. Mind you, my eyes were closed my ENTIRE labor unless I had to walk from the tub to the bed. It was how I focused and stayed in the zone. I just pictured everything in my head and kept up with my hypno-breathing. When I finally pushed her out they pulled out half her body and let me pull the rest of her out and onto my chest. I only pushed for 13 minutes and let me tell you pushing is the besttttt part. It felt good to feel like I could finally do something about all the pain.
Indie was born at 5:59pm after 11 hours of natural, unmedicated labor. I still can’t believe I did it! My adrenaline was crazy high and I was in complete shock. I thought I would cry a lot but I couldn’t cry… I could hardly believe what just happened. I said ”Hi baby, she has so much hair”. I couldn’t believe this baby laying on me was mine. They had to take her for a minute because she was struggling to breathe a little bit. She then scored an 8 on the Apgar test which is great. They handed her back to me and I got to do skin to skin for almost 2 hours before they weighed her or did anything. She latched right away but had/has a tiny mouth and lip tie so she needed a little help. The baby nurse came back and weighed her and she was a whopping 8 pounds 9 ounces! I was one week overdue but not expecting a baby that big – we were all shocked 😱. She was 20.5 inches and has the cutest chubby cheeks.
They moved us over to our final room about 3 hours later. They taught me how to do all my postpartum care and we ordered dinner. Michael did skin to skin with her for the first time and it was so sweet. It’s true when they say you will fall in love with your spouse more when you see them become a parent. He was the best support and is the best dad. We decided to stay only one night in the hospital because of COVID – We wanted to get home asap and my Mom and Sis were at our apartment waiting for us.
I prepared my entire pregnancy to have a natural unmedicated birth. My Mom and 3 of my best friends all had unmedicated births. They are all so strong and gave me hope and motivation. I knew if they could do it… so could I. I am so thankful to have such amazing and supportive women in my life.
I want to give most of the credit for these resources (she pretty much told me to do all of this) to my best friend Caitlyn – You can read her amazing, crazy, and quick birth stories of her daughters Scotland and Shiloh. She is currently pregnant with her third baby and is waiting till birth to find out the gender!:)
If you are wanting to have an unmedicated birth, these are the things I did and seemed to work for me (obviously consult your Dr. for some of these if you are wanting to try anything!)
First read these three Books
A couple other good books that have been recommend are
Things I Took
I drank Red Raspberry leaf tea starting at 36 weeks and upped it to 2 bags a day at 39 weeks (makes your uterus strong and water bag strong and may help shorten labor)
I took Primrose oil everyday starting at like 35 weeks ( can help you not tear as bad)
I took another supplement called Birth Prep (For Sure ask your Dr. about this.) I swear it made my labor faster and more efficient
My prenatal- SmartyPants Gummies , love this combo vitamin B12 + methylfolate + (p5p) b6 (super important to take and I always take the methylated version), and Vitamin D ( I have a deficiency so I need extra) .
Things to watch and listen to
Look up Hypno birthing – watch free videos on breathing. This is the one I watched
You can also buy courses on hypno-birthing but there are so many free resources out there!
I also love love love the Podcast THE BIRTH HOUR