Birth Story:  Augustine

My water had broken on a Wednesday, but, as it was only a very slow leak, it wasn't until Friday that I finally decided to call my doctor. My husband and I went in and the nurses confirmed that it was amniotic fluid! Up until this point I had not been feeling any contractions, but at the doctor's I was beginning to feel a little crampy. Our doctor was out of town, so our nurses set us up with a midwife at the hospital and told us to go check in right away. We were happy for the chance to work with a midwife because we thought she would be supportive of our plan to have our baby naturally. At the same time, we understood that I might have to be induced since my water had been broken for two days already. 

When we arrived at our hospital room and met with the midwife, she informed us of the possibility of needing to start pitocin, but agreed that she would let me go for a bit first as I was already 2-3 cm dilated and contractions were showing up on the monitor even though I couldn't feel them yet. When she checked me, my water broke completely. Though she did not say she broke it, we suspect that she did intentionally break it.  At this point we were beginning to realize that we were going to have to fight for our plan to have our baby naturally. Our nurse had insisted on giving me the IV needle, saying that she was required to draw my blood and that it would be best if we just left the needle in. I allowed it, but resolved to do whatever I could so that it wouldn’t have to be used. 

My labor began to progress naturally and when the midwife came to check me again I had progressed to 5 cm. The contractions were already very close together and became intense quickly. I had been laboring on an exercise ball and at this point decided to move to the bath tub. After laboring in the tub for some time, I returned to the ball. The nurse informed me then that my uterus was not relaxing between contractions - a worrisome factor because it may not have enough strength when it came time to push, she said. She let me know that if it did not begin relaxing, they would have to administer IV fluids. I decided at this point to lay down in the hospital bed to see if I could relax better, and I also began drinking tons of water. I was now 6-7 cm dilated and our midwife had gone to another hospital for another delivery. 

At some point, I was worried my lack of movement was keeping me from progressing further so I got up and returned to the ball. It was on the ball that I hit transition and felt like I couldn't keep going. At the same time, I was feeling like I might need to begin pushing, but wasn't sure the feeling was overwhelming. The nurse said I shouldn't push yet, though when she checked me again she could feel the baby's head low in my pelvis. She did not encourage me to push until the midwife had returned, rushing to the room. They asked me to return to the bed and insisted I lay down flat on my back. When I asked if I could be in a different position to push, they denied me that opportunity. I pushed for only 14 minutes before our sweet little son Augustine came into the world.  His elbow had made me tear slightly, so while I held him, the midwife gave me one stitch. 

Though we had clearly written on our birth plan that we would like to breastfeed after delivery rather than be administered pitocin, the midwife voiced to get the pitocin ready. My husband reminded her of our wishes and she informed us insensitively that I could bleed to death. This was after she had massaged and pulled my placenta out. Begrudgingly, she restrained from giving me pitocin. 

Despite having to fight with the staff throughout the whole labor and delivery, we were beyond thankful to have a healthy baby boy, and to have been able to give birth naturally after all. My active labor had been about 7.5 hours - relatively quick (for my first baby) and very intense. 

Today, we tell of how grateful we are to have taken Bradley Method classes so that we were informed and prepared to fight for the birth we really desired to have!

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