Welcome to Birth Story Collections at The Promiseland Farm! If you would like to share your birth story, please email me at thepromiselandfarm[at]gmail.com
I have a remarkable birth story from two of my dear friends at birth of there first daughter. They planned a natural birth center delivery with midwifes and ended up transferring to the hospital after 60 hours of active labor!
They want to keep there identity private, so lets call them Jack and Jill today Jill recently was promoted to a stay-at-home Momma! Congratulations! Husband, Jack works in Sales.
Here is their story, it’s going to “knock your socks off”… it’s that amazing.
Jane arrived one week after my “due date” and after 69 hours of labor.
At our midwife visit Tuesday, I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced and our midwife suggested I see a chiropractor to make sure I was in alignment. So that afternoon we did just that.
Labor started Thursday evening
That evening through Thursday, I had a many braxton hicks contractions and lost my mucus plug. Then, On Thursday afternoon the contractions began to be consistently 10 minutes apart, and started to take my breath away. Jack and I were excited that things were picking up, so we started timing them on the fun iPhone app around 5 p.m. Thursday night, we didn’t sleep much, but tried really hard (anticipation, excitement and contractions were keeping us up!); contractions remained at about 30 seconds in length, every 6-8 minutes and mildly intense through the night. I slept on the floor because it was more comfortable to jump into a good position for the contraction. We kept our Midwife in the loop, and she was happy things were starting to happen.
Labored all day and night Friday
Friday, the contractions continued at 6-8 minutes apart, and increased to 45 seconds to a minute long. I walked, I sat on the birth ball, I took a bath, I walked, I sat on the birth ball. We stayed at home and continued to try to rest between contractions (still, that was hard to do). On Friday evening, we took a car ride for some bumps and change of scenery. We talked to our midwife that evening and she was glad the contractions were getting longer in length, but we still had a ways to go.
Friday night, contractions were about 5-7 minutes apart and 45 seconds to 1 minute 30 seconds long, but not completely consistent. I didn’t sleep really at all, and Jack really only dosed off and on. He was always there for support. I remember sitting in the rocking chair in the living room at 4 a.m. thinking, “we are going to the birthing center at daylight, just make it to daylight.”
Saturday morning drove to the birth center to meet midwife
Sure enough, at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, contractions became 5 minutes apart and about 1 minute in length for a solid hour, so we packed up and drove the birthing center. Our Midwife, met us there at the front door with a smile, and I remember I had a huge contraction on the front desk right when we arrived. Our midwife checked me, and I was 5 cm and 100% effaced, and Jane was at station -2. Our Midwife said we came at the perfect time, so we unpacked and got settled in our room.
Labored all day Saturday at the birth center
Saturday, we labored all day at the birth center. I walked, took a shower, sat on the birth ball, walked, took a little nap for about an hour. Jack always was there for me – offering water, food, a hand for support, held me up in a leaning position for a lot of contractions. Unfortunately, contractions did not stay at 5 minutes apart – sometimes 7 minutes, 10 minutes, but always lasting about 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds. I got checked a few times throughout the day when I wanted, but by 5 p.m. I was still only at 6 cm.
48 hours into labor
I also got checked regularly for clinical exhaustion with a urine test because we were going on 48 hours of labor now. Dilation wasn’t progressing fast, but my vitals and Jane’s were always good and no clinical exhaustion.
Since things were still not picking up, and my water had still not broken, our Midwife suggested we call in a chiropractor/acupuncturist to do “the business” – a combo of an adjustment and acupuncture, so we did that.
Also, I took all kinds of herbs throughout the day, got in different positions, moved around. Anything our midwife said to do/try – I thought, “sure, let’s try it!”
At about 7 p.m., our midwife called in her partner Midwife, to come in and give us a little refresher – new ideas of positions, new energy, etc. While they talked and began to get the tub ready, our midwife encouraged me to labor on the toilet for at least 5 contractions (so uncomfortable), but I did it. I took another shower on the birth ball, and then took some more herbs that picked up the contractions to consistently 6 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute 30 seconds again from 7-10 p.m. I was in the hall, on the floor, leaning on Jack, leaning on the birth ball, etc.
Saturday night – 60 hours into labor
At 11 p.m. I got in the tub, and they game me another herb that picked up the contractions to about 4 minutes part. I remember they were just coming one after the other, and I was sank into a foggy place – never opening my eyes, remaining calm in the dark, candle-lit room, focusing on my breath. The water felt good, but it was hard to find a comfortable position. Jack and one of my midwifes sat at the edge of the tub and held my hands the whole time. At 2 a.m. Sunday morning, I got out of the tub and got checked. Still just 7 1/2 cm, station -2 and still my water had not broken. Our Midwifes looked a little concerned and they stepped out to talk while I got dressed. Soon after, they came back in to our room and Jack and I knew we were going to have a serious conversation.
I was going on 60 hours of labor now, 20 of which were at the birth center, and I was even starting to get worried about my energy level.
Our midwifes presented us three options: 1) stay at the birth center, do nothing and get some rest
(which we all felt was going to be really difficult), 2) stay at the birth center and have the midwives break my water (which they didn’t want to do because it would be safest to do at the hospital), 3) transport to the hospital.
The midwives said they had pulled out all the midwifery tricks. They advised that at this point it was best to go to the hospital to get all the bells and whistles – it was time for Pitocin and an epidural – so I could have the best chance to deliver vaginally. They left the room, and Jack and I discussed it, prayed about it, and decided it was time to go to the hospital.
Transfer to the hospital
So, at 3 a.m. Sunday morning we packed up (it wasn’t an emergency), and drove to the hospital. It was a tornado watch, it was rainy, and I remember Jack and I drove in silence – thinking how we couldn’t believe this was happening.
It wasn’t our plan, but we knew we needed help.
When we arrived at the hospital, my midwifes and Jackhelped get me settled into the room. The nurse hooked me up with two different band-monitors on my stomach – one for baby vitals, one for contractions. They put in the IV and strapped on a blood pressure cuff that checked me every 10 minutes. The OB on call came into meet us, and she was wonderful. She said that we were way off the “normal schedule” for having a baby under her watch, and it might be that we needed to have a C-section, but she was willing to work with us to help me try to have a vaginal delivery. We all agreed to start some Pitocin and an epidural, and she broke my water – this way I could rest while also getting the contractions to pick up.
Again, the doctors and nurses were just great. I think Jack and I were actually a little surprised at how nicely the nurses, OB and all staff received us. They let our Midwifes stay by our side, and they allowed us to continue to labor with the midwives’ direction.
It was very clear that these midwives had done an excellent job creating a
relationship with this hospital.
No one was alarmed to be receiving us from the Birth Center. Our midwifes were well versed in all the hospital protocols, familiar with all the machines and monitors, and they were wonderful at explaining everything to us. The hospital staff respected that our midwifes were not bringing in a “train wreck” and the nurses simply monitored my vitals while they continued to pull out more tricks. Apparently Jane’s head was turned and she wouldn’t tuck her chin to come down, so she remained at station -2 despite 7 hours of contractions at 3 minutes apart on Pitocin. I did all kinds of back-and-forth hip movements, rocking my hips, getting on my side, to try to get Jane in the right position to come down.
Started pushing 66 hours into labor
Finally at 11 a.m. Sunday, I reached 10 cm (still at station -2) and the OB gave us the green light to start pushing. We were now at 66 hours of labor. Thankfully, the epidural had given me the rest I needed to start pushing.
For the next 2 hours, my Midwifes and Jack held bed sheets, my legs, my knees, and I pushed my little heart out.
I got checked at Noon and 1 p.m. by the OB, and still Jane had only moved to station -1. The OB said that my vitals and Jane’s vitals were still strong, so she’d let me push for one more hour, but that would probably be it. Then it would be time for a C-section. But since Jane had still only moved 1 station in those 2 hours, and I had a LONG way to go to +4, I was the one that decided it was time for a C-section. Before we did though, we asked all the staff and Midwives to leave the room…
Jack and I prayed about it, and then made the decision for the surgery.
At 1:56 p.m. Sunday, Jane was born (sunny side up!). Jack was right by my side in the OR holding my hand, and Jane was out in just 20 minutes. They put her on me immediately for our first family photo, which was great. Because I was the only patient on the maternity floor at the time, our OR was filled with staff – all very excited to see if it was a boy or girl (they kept saying how that’s rare these days). And it was so nice to hear all the cheers when she came out – sounded kind of like New Year’s Eve with “it’s a girl, it’s a girl, it’s a girl!”
Jane made her debut on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 1:56 p.m. at 8 lbs 11 oz and 21 inches long.
Jane went to the nursery with Jack while I got stitched up, and we all met back in our room about 20-30 minute later. The nurses immediately gave us a chance to latch and start skin-to-skin. They respected our wishes not to do the bath immediately.
We stayed at the hospital 2 nights, and were home on Tuesday afternoon. Thanks so much to our Bradley Class and Hypnobirthing Class to prepare us for this adventure, and we’ll be forever grateful for all the love and support we received our Birth Center and our Hospital.
It was a great experience, we wouldn’t trade it for the world.
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* The names in this story are fictional to protect the authors privacy. If you would like to share your birth story, please email me at thepromiselandfarm[at]gmail.com