Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fabulous Natural Hospital Birth Story...

From my own sister Lori! Lori and I gave birth to our first babies 2 days apart. Her first was one of those amazing, inspiring natural childbirth stories, so she had set the standard high (And also showed me that I COULD do it).

Baby Number 2, Simon Atticus B____ arrived this morning at 2 am. 8 pounds, 9 ounces; 20.5 inches; 2 very superficial tears.
This is her birth story as I understood it (she called me at 5 am to tell me all about it, so forgive me if I get the details wrong, I was tired, though elated):

She'd had uncomfortable prodromal labor for 9 weeks (that's the way we do it in our family) but held out til she was 39 weeks along. She was very patient and ready to wait for a few more weeks if need be (not likely, since she was the farthest any of us girls have ever made it into pregnancy- we bake them fast) until a friend had a baby, then she got a little eager to meet her LO.
They DTD and she pumped and stuff yesterday to try to get things going, and it worked to get contractions really going so they headed into the hospital- she had already been dilated to a 5 for a few days, but her contractions petered out without dilating her further so rather than let them move it along (strip membranes, maybe break waters), she opted to go home and relax and let baby decide when to come. Her "false alarm" from trying to force the baby to come sooner made her realize really he was going to be the deciding factor. She was GBS+ and her first birth was only 3 or 4 hours total, so that was a consideration, but she wanted to give him the option of choosing when to come.

(walking around the hospital during the "false labor")

Sure enough, she went home, relaxed, ate, slept in her own bed one night... and the following night baby Simon decided to get things going at 11:30 pm. They arrived at the hospital at midnight, she went straight to a birthing tub while her husband and midwife took care of paperwork, and got into her zone. She says there was a point where it got super intense and she thought "man, if I'm only at a 5, and it's this bad, I can't do this, I won't last, I'll make them break my water to make it move along". Then another voice answered "no, you know what to do..." and like that she got into her zone and started moaning and letting herself space out to another place. Just after they had told her she was now at a 7, at 1:45 am, she felt her water break while she was in the tub. And within two contractions (which she says felt incredible, she could actually feel the baby moving downward and things opening up), bam, she felt pushy. She says she actually found herself shouting "I'm feeling inclined to push!" (though it was more like "IIIIIIIIIIIIIIII'M feeling inCLIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINED to PUUUUUUUUUUUSH!")

They got out of the tub, she danced around for a little while figuring out what to do next.
She wanted to push standing but then realized her legs wouldn't last, so her midwife had her get on her knees by the bed, and that felt right for her:

Before the last final contraction (edited to add: apparently Simon's head is already out in this pic, she's waiting to push the rest out):

It only took two primal pushes to get him out- apparently she got the head out and her body did the rest- and her first reaction was "that was IT?!" She was amazed at how short it had been and manageable.
Once she realized he was out (just before 2 am):

(^^we've decided this should be a poster for Natural Childbirth:))

They put him right on her chest where he rested then found her breast and nursed for 25 minutes. It was then that they weighed him, so that might have contributed to his hefty birthweight. He went on to nurse on the other side for 20 minutes.

Big sister Adelaide:

I'm SO super proud of my sister. It takes a powerful woman to manage a natural labor that comes and goes that quickly. She made wise choices, and, I'll admit, has some easy-birthing genes in her, but in the end she made sure she got the birth she wanted. I wish they didn't live 2000 miles away! Her story makes me excited for my own second birth:)


  1. What a beautiful birth story! Do you mind if I share it on my blog and the Houston Doula blog?

  2. Nicole- Please do! (And now I'm adding the Houston Doula blog to my roll- I'm in Houston too, as well as your bellies and babies one)