My Birth Story

My water broke at 3:30 am on Monday January 24th. I was only 36 weeks so as you can imagine, I had a mini freak out when it broke. I called Kurt into the room, he was awake to get ready for work, I told him it had broken so he immediately let work know he wasn’t coming in today. I was shaking with excitement, anticipation, nervousness, etc. Our labor bags were not packed, our nursery was not finished, and we had just switched providers so I had not even MET my new OB! Now, you understand my freak out, right?! Anyway, I tried to calm down. I made some phone calls to my mom and to Jenny. They were both planning on attending my birth. With mom coming from Delaware- she needed to get on the road! Well, we couldn’t get ahold of anyone. I called over and over. We decided we better call Dr. Brabson’s office to let them know my water had broken. Kurt talked to the answering service who said he’d have the on call Dr. at St. Mary’s call us back. Meanwhile I was trying to relax. The Dr. called us back and told us to come in to labor and delivery. Being that we were Bradley trained we KNEW it was too early to go to the hospital. We decided to wait until Dr. Brabson came in for rounds at 7am. I took a shower while Kurt packed our bags. I took the time to blow dry my hair then I laid down for a nap. I had only slept about 4 hours when my water broke so I was still very tired. Kurt asked me to put him to work so he could stay busy, what a sweetie!! So he set about making banana bread, washing dishes, doing laundry, installing the car seat, and buying me a Best of Enya cd on iTunes. I slept until 8am. I called my mom when I woke up to see where they were and her and my dad were already on the beltway going through Washington DC. Kurt called Dr. Brabson’s office again to let them know our situation. They said they’d talk to the doctor and call us back. We went ahead and repacked our labor bag- I was so nervous I’d get to the hospital and not have what I wanted! Around 8:45 am we got a call back from Dr. B’s office. They said the doctor wanted to see us in his office and to leave as soon as we were able to. At this point I was so happy! As I said, I had not met Dr. Brabson. A natural birth was EXTREMELY important to us and we had heard people say Dr. Brabson is more of a midwife than the midwives in our area! I was so relieved that he was taking the time to see us in his office. He wanted to meet us and wasn’t rushing us to L&D. SO we finished up some things at home and took our time getting out the door. We left home around 10am. I was starving but did not eat because I was unsure if I was supposed to. Looking back that was a big mistake! Did I mention that we had never been to St. Mary’s before either? We needed directions to the hospital. 

Fast forward to seeing Dr. Brabson. He came in smiling and welcoming! We chatted a little about my pregnancy- since he was catching up on the whole 8 months, then talked about what to do from here. I had not had my GBS test done yet so I was going to have to be on antibiotics, but he said I could have a port. He did an exam and saw I was 1 cm, I also leaked fluid all over the floor during the exam! LOL I asked what we would do from here and asked if we could go home- he said no you’ll go over to L&D, “we’re going to have a baby today!!” I fell in love with him right there! He was not treating me as if I were only 36 weeks. He valued natural birth as much as I did and was very laid back. He was not going to rush me to have a baby by the 24 hour mark from the time my water had broken. I was feeling anxious still but very blessed to have switched providers and to be under his care.

By the time we got to our room at L&D it was about 12:30pm. Dr. Brabson wanted us to walk the halls and to try nipple stimulation to begin labor. I had to wait until after my first round of antibiotics to begin walking the halls. We walked for about an hour then tried nipple stimulation for about an hour before my mom and Jenny arrived. I was so excited to see them! I changed out of my hospital gown into a nightgown I brought and began using the breast pump to try to bring on contractions. By about 4:30pm nothing was really happening and pitocin had been talked about the whole time I’d been there. We agreed to start it with the condition that it would be shut off once labor started and that it would be raised by 1 instead of 2’s every 30 minutes. We walked with the pitocin going. Long story short- my pit kept being raised and contractions did start. By 11pm my contractions were double peaking and very intense. After another exam we found I was only 2 cm dialated and not effaced. Oliver’s heartarte was also dropping. I had had enough! I remember saying, “I’m on the rollercoaster of intervention and I need to get off!” We discussed our options and requested to speak with Dr. Brabson directly. He called our room and Kurt spoke with him. Kurt told him our concerns and Dr. B said we could turn the pit off and get 4-5 hours of sleep!!! This was the turning point!!....

At this point it had been 24 hours since I had eaten and I was starving and exhausted. Mom fixed me some peanut butter toast even though I wasn’t supposed to be eating. I ate and then went to sleep. Kurt cuddled up in my bed with me and we spooned and rested. It was wonderful! Around 3am I awoke with my first contraction. I laid there in the dark room resting still and just noticing the clock to keep track. I realized quickly that they were 2-4 minutes apart!! I was so happy that labor had started on its own!! As soon as I realized it I woke Kurt up and let him in on the news! We got Jenny and my mom up as well and we almost instantly got up to walk the halls to help keep bringing those precious contractions! As we were walking my contractions were coming strong, I’d lean on the walls and Kurt would rub my back. It felt so good to be with my team and to have a Dr who was on our side, and for contractions to be happening without that freaking pitocin! We labored back in the room for awhile before I went to the toilet. I lost the rest of my mucous plug! I had to refuse starting the pitcon back up over and over. My nurse was basically in my face at 4am that it was time to start it again. I told her no because labor was happening on its own. After another exam at 7:30 am we found that I was 3 cm and totally effaced. Dr. B came in to see what I wanted. I was so tired it was hard to even look at him to talk. I said I felt like I needed to get side-lying. I had been laboring around the room in different places like using the birthing ball, the stool, and sitting on the toilet (even backwards so Kurt could rub my back). I laid on my side with my mom holding my hand and Kurt was behind me so he could continue with the massage during contractions. These contractions were stronger with each one. I would squeeze my mom’s hand when one was starting to let her know. She coached me in my breathing and reminded me to release tension in my face and arms. Kurt applied pressure to my back and talked me through each one. It was hard work for all of us but we were very in sync. I felt like I could handle it because of their presence and love. Around 9:30 my nurse wanted to check me again. I was not interested at first because I was so scared I would only be another cm but after talking to Kurt we decided to go ahead with the exam. We waited until the next contraction was over fir her to check. The exam brought in another contraction immediately. She typed some things in the computer went to the curtain and said as she was leaving the room, “she’s 9 cm”. Jenny, mom, and Kurt all cried tears of joy. They celebrated while I continued working. Honestly at that point I was really happy to be 9 cm but I knew my work wasn’t over. The contractions kept coming and by the end of them I was kicking my feet out and beginning to push. I couldn’t control it, it was an impulse. The room suddenly was rushed by dr. B and several other nurses. I was oblivious that I had such an audience until later. People came to see the natural birth. Dr. Brabson began rubbing warmed oil on me, (can you believe an OB did this? I love him!) and I quickly was ready to push with another contraction. I pushed with 4 contractions. I put my chin to my chest and they counted to ten, then I’d breathe and push again. There was a mirror to help with the pushing. I remember everyone saying they can see him, he’s coming so I pushed again harder than ever and there he was only 14 minutes after my exam. He came out screaming which was the best sound, especially since he was only 36 weeks. The feeling of him coming out and straight to my chest all warm and wet felt so good. That moment was the best moment of my life, I feel like a changed woman because of my birth experience. I feel like I can do anything and am amazed by my body and what it is capable of. The love I feel for Oliver is greater than I ever knew possible.

At Dr. B's office around 10:30 am 1/24

Woo! 3:30 am 1/25 REAL LABOR!!

My wonderful birth team. Notice Jenny's hand resting on my hands.

Mom giving Kurt some juice.  He didn't eat during my labor either. 
One of my favorite pictures. Laboring on the toilet.

I tried leaning on the birthing ball but didn't like this position much.

10 cm and ready to push

Less than 15 minutes later

Our first breastfeeding.

Later that evening.