I recently realized how much I read through other mother’s birth stories as I came closer to my due dates with my children. I remember how inspiring and how much courage each story gave me. Even though each one was completely different, it was perfect and the way God planned for it to go. So I decided to add a new section to my website that now will include YOUR Birth Stories. It can be helpful for us as mothers to write or type our birth story out not only to share it, but also to help process it. Many of us enjoying reading other people’s stories and I want to give some mothers a platform to share their story. I hope to share one every month or even more! As a disclaimer, some of these stories are from clients of Short Little Blessings and other’s aren’t but I in no way change the wording of the stories. I’m quoting the mothers that sent in their stories. If you want to share your birth story please fill out this form SLB Birth Stories Submission and we will contact you about sharing your story.
She was determined to achieve her VBAC. Check out Michelle’s Birth Story.
“This pregnancy was much different from my first. My first was smooth as can be, after the initial 12 weeks of pure, nauseous suffering. With this one, I had the same all-day sickness, but along with that had awful sciatic and pubic bone pain. Walking long distances hurt. Rolling over hurt. Really, anything I did caused pain. Around 16 weeks, I started having Braxton Hicks once or twice a day. By 34 weeks, I was having them every 10 minutes, 1 min apart, consistently. Around 37 weeks, I was having them consistently 5-8 minutes apart and was simply worn out. I am a birth-research junkie so I am well aware
of how your body will not go into labor unless it is ready but I was at the point of trying what I could. I busted out my Clary Sage essential oil and put some drops in my nightly bath and on a cotton ball while I
slept. I had been eating dates and drinking red raspberry leaf tea the whole third trimester, but bumped up the amount. With my firstborn, I had made an Italian dish famous for putting women into labor eggplant parmesan and had started losing my mucus plug the next morning. So at 38+5 weeks, I made this again, jokingly but secretly hopeful. The day I made it, I sent our 3-year-old to my parents’ because I was just so worn out from the Braxton Hicks. My husband and I enjoyed a movie together while we ate our eggplant parm. The next morning, around 5 am, I woke with contractions 4 minutes apart that had turned much more painful. I went to the bathroom, saw blood, and knew it was game time.
My husband had to leave for work at 7:30 and I sent him off, expecting it would be a long labor (my firstborns was 35 hours). By 8 am, though, my body was evacuating all its contents and I couldn’t find a single position I was comfortable in. We headed to the hospital at 9 am, feeling I was further along than we thought, judging by the closeness of contractions and intensity. Our doula, Shannon, met us there. After getting checked in, I was disappointed to hear I was only 1 cm dilated and very posterior. BUT, I was 80% effaced, which is just as important. My doctor gave us the option of going home or walking the halls for a few hours and seeing if I progress some more. I chose to stay. We chatted and walked the hallway, pausing for me to lean on the walls or squat during contractions. Every contraction caused intense nausea, sometimes vomiting, another difference from my first pregnancy. I was checked again around 12:30 pm. No progress. We opted to head home so my husband and I could get some rest. I tried a bath as soon as I got home, but I again couldn’t find a position that felt right. Lying down in bed was excruciating. Hands and knees, my go to in my first labor, was awful. I only lasted until around 5 pm before I was crying and begging to head back to the hospital. After getting admitted once again, I was checked and at 3 cm, 90% effaced. At that point, they admitted me. I began sobbing tears of joy, as my first pregnancy ended with me being wheeled out of triage for an emergency c-section. I had never made it this far! The feeling of relief was overwhelming.
I had desperately wanted a home-birth with this baby, but due to being a VBAC, it was very difficult to find a midwife to attend a home-birth in Illinois.Instead, I opted for the most natural hospital birth I could create. This was difficult being strep B positive, required to receive antibiotics via IV. It was also difficult because their wireless monitors refused to work so I had to remain hooked up the machines, pacing only as far as the cords could go. I spent most of my laboring hours on the birth ball or leaning over the bed. My doula and husband were incredible. Chris was there for me to lean on and Shannon was the coach I needed when I forgot to relax or when I simply needed to hear encouraging words. I can still hear, “Relax your shoulders, relax your butt.” Or her hand gently touching the area I needed to relax. After a few hours, my contractions started to space out so my doula suggested getting the breast pump out. After two rounds, the contractions became so intense, I chucked the breast pump, vomited, and immediately demanded an epidural. I was done. Honestly, if it hadn’t been for nausea and puking, I would have lasted longer, but I was dehydrated, hungry, and just plain tired. They checked me before placing the epidural around 11:30 pm and I was 4.5 cm. I am SO grateful for my doctor telling me that there is no reason I cannot have an epidural and still get my successful VBAC. She took the fear away, left me with a choice. I still labored naturally as long as I could, but I knew I had that option and it gave me peace. I was able to sleep the night away, giving me the energy I needed. I also kept a peanut ball between my thighs to open up my pelvis and help with dilation. At 6 am, I was checked and at 6 cm with a bulging bag. By 7 am, my water had broken; however, there was thick meconium in it, not the best news to hear (this happened with my first). At that point, I was at 8 cm and moving right along. By 9 am, I was 9 cm (do you see the pattern here…) and at 10 am, you guessed it, 10 cm and ready to push!
I was still having pain on the left side of my body, enough that I couldn’t stop throwing up, so they had to increase the epidural meds. The anesthesiologist told me I likely would not be able to push but once I was given the go-ahead, I pushed that boy out in 10 minutes! I couldn’t believe it! He was handed right to me, covered in all of his glorious goo. Because of the meconium, though, he was taken after 1 minute to be checked by the NICU doctor. At the time, I was unaware of the seriousness of the situation, but he had to be resuscitated for over 5min. He had never taken his initial breath, but his color was good. I am so thankful for my doctor and doula because they calmly explained the situation in a way that was honest, but calming. It was difficult to watch since my firstborn also had to have oxygen right away, but they made it much easier. After 10min, the doctor was ready to take our son away to the NICU when, out of nowhere, he stabilized and all was well. They brought him to me and laid him on my chest. My VBAC baby. I did it. I pushed that baby out of my body. No words can describe how healing it is to succeed in this way. God is good. God provides. God is gracious.”
Birth Story by Michelle Webster
Birth Doula and Photography by Shannon Bacus Birth Doula Services