Jenn – Hospital Birth

Hi Sara!
Sorry it’s taken so long to get in touch with you; this new parenthood thing is exhausting and somehow the days just fly by. Maude was born on Monday, September 17th at 12:11pm. She was 7lbs, 7oz and just perfect. Oh, and she has red hair!!

My labor and delivery were amazing. Intense and, yes, painful, but also exhilarating and powerful. I never felt more proud of myself as I did after she was born. I was able to have a natural, vaginal labor–with help from an amazing team. Martyn, my doula, Nora, and the nurses (well, all but one) were such a huge source of support and comfort.

We think my water broke sometime on Saturday–it was a real slow leak at first. I didn’t call the midwives until Sunday early evening and they told me to come to the hospital on Sunday night to just check. So, we headed into GW at 7:30pm and they determined it was amniotic fluid and I was contracting every 5 minutes. My contractions were so mild though—nothing more then light menstrual cramps. Sierra gave me two options: either stay at the hospital and start pitocin or go home, rest, and try to get labor jump-started on my own. Obviously, I chose option 2. If I didn’t start active labor by 7am, I was to come back into the hospital to get Pit since it would have been almost 48 hours since my water first broke.

But, after running around trying to get things in order and trying to get a few moments rest, I started to get intense contractions around 2:30am. I put my Blissborn CD on right away and was able to breath and listen for about an hour. And then the contractions got harder and closer. Right away they were 4-5 minutes apart and intense. So, I abandoned the CD, tried to just breath and relax, and finally headed to the hospital around 4:30/5:00am. Our doula who was coming to the house just met us at the hospital.

So, this is where things get a bit foggy for me in terms of time/events because I was just trying to cope and get through one contraction at a time. My contractions were so close together right away and that was really hard in terms of recovery. This is what I know: I changed positions a ton, the shower was terrific, lying in bed didn’t work for me, standing and either leaning on the bed or on Martyn while swaying worked best and I couldn’t even imagine being in serene hypnosis. We did use the affirmations a ton. And when I thought I couldn’t do it anymore, I would tell myself that I could do it, I was strong, the baby was healthy, and that I was doing it perfectly. Martyn reminded me of this constantly and was so positive and encouraging and loving. This made all the difference. I also admitted to everyone that I was scared, so this took the power out of it and, for me, helped relieve some of my inner fear–it felt SO good to just admit it, acknowledge it, and share it with my amazing team who understood and told me that I was ok.

So, after 10 hours, and totally letting go, I pushed out this amazing baby girl. I touched her head coming out and was able to see a lot with the help of a mirror (although, at the time, seeing what was going on was a low priority–I just wanted her OUT!) and Martyn caught her and pulled her on to my belly. And we just cried. And laughed. And were in shock that it was a girl, that we had done it, and that she was the most perfect thing we’d ever seen. It was the biggest high of my life. I wish that every woman could get a chance to experience something similar.

Once again, sorry for the delay in emailing you. Here’s a picture of me and Maude! I wish we had gotten in the last class before she was born and had those last two weeks to practice but she had other plans–the first lesson (of many!) in parenthood.

All my best,

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