We had planned a home birth. I had a vision of how I wanted the birth to go; I wanted a natural, drug and anesthesia-free birth where my alert baby would be placed on my chest as soon as it was born so we could bond. I didn’t want the chord cut or clamped until the placenta was born so that my baby would get all the remaining oxygen and nutrients. I wanted as little medical intervention as possible, so I wanted to stay well away from the hospital setting. Unfortunately things did not go as planned.
I started having contractions on Tuesday 16th July. They got to 2 minutes apart, 30-40 seconds long. We thought for sure the baby would come that night... But the contractions didn't progress to active labor. Instead they slowed to an average of 10 minutes apart, 30-40 seconds long, and this "prodromal" labor continued for the next 4 1/2 days! And it was no joke; the contractions could get really intense and continued day and night, meaning I couldn't get more than 10 minutes of sleep at a time. And after 4 1/2 days of this I had only progressed to 1cm dilation.
While this wore me down, Brooke our midwife ran tests on the baby who was doing well, the contractions were not negatively affecting her. But the baby was in a posterior position (which is probably why the labor hadn't progressed), so we did a bunch of exercises to spin her around to the front for a better position to birth. I also underwent acupuncture and got some homeopathic medicines to induce labor.
Active labor finally kicked in at in the early evening on Saturday 20th, and by 11.30pm that night I dilated to 9cm. Unfortunately that's where things stalled again; my uterus was worn out from the long labor and wasn’t strong enough to make it rest of the way. Brooke broke my waters at 10.30am the following morning to try to pick things up, but by 1.30pm we decided to transfer to the hospital.
After a total of 136 hours of labor (28 of those being active labor) our beautiful little girl Rylee Rose was born at 11.19pm, weighing 8lbs 3oz, measuring 20 inches long!
My husband was amazing; he helped me through the entire labor with light touch massage during every contraction. There's no way I could have lasted as long as I did on my own.
The hospital experience was as I expected it would be. The staff were lovely, but the hospital birth process is what it is and they didn't follow our wishes (placing the baby on my chest immediately after birth and performing any procedures there, as well as keeping the umbilical chord unclamped and uncut). But the medical intervention was necessary; I couldn’t birth my baby without their help and we have a healthy, beautiful little girl on their account so I am very grateful and we can only be thankful!
The delivery room lighting was less than ideal for Glass video, and the noise from my oxygen mask distorted the sound. But I am lucky they let me record it at all! Here is my birth experience, #throughglass