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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rilo's Birth Story

So I know this is going to be long, but I really wanted to have a record of my experience. I've always enjoyed reading other birth stories so I figured I'd put it out there for others to read.

My birth story really begins a long, long time ago. All growing up, I knew my Mom had all 4 of us without any medication. She always had such good things to say about her experiences that I always knew that I wanted to do the same. When I started doing some research and reading and recognizing that I had a nice, normal pregnancy, I really determined that a med-free birth was exactly what I wanted. I recognized though, when it comes to getting pregnant/giving birth, things don't always go as planned. I'm thankful for the miracles of modern medicine and the options that they provided for me. Luckily, I didn't need any of the interventions, but I really was glad to know that they would be there if needed.

By the end of the last week, I was beginning to worry that she might not come on her own. I knew I didn't want to be induced because it can make your labor much more intense. We had tried all of the tricks in the book to start labor, but she was not quite ready yet. Friday afternoon, while doing some work on the computer, I noticed I was having very mild period-type cramps. It didn't phase me though, because contractions had been described to me as wrapping from your back to your front, and this didn't seem like a contraction by that description. Adam and I decided to head out to dinner and by the time we were eating, I realized that I was having this cramping feeling much more frequently. We left the restaurant at 9pm, after I used my iPhone app to time the contractions. A quick walk around Target confirmed that they were getting closer and definitely more intense. We headed home and I sent Adam to bed.

I tried to get some sleep, but my contractions were coming frequently...about 3-5 minutes apart lasting about 45 seconds. So instead I wandered around the house, took a bath and a shower and tried to sleep the best I could out on the couch. By morning, I knew we would have our little girl that day and I was so excited! Contractions had intensified over night and began lasting much longer. I was just breathing through them, really concentrating on nice deep breaths.

Relaxing through a contraction with Adam. He was the BEST through the whole process.

I called my doula, Melissa, at 8:30 am and she came right over. I was also lucky enough to have a doula-in-training come as well. I'm so so glad that Hannah and Melissa were both able to be there. We spent the morning chatting away in my living room. When I would have a contraction, I would interrupt the conversation and turn and lean over onto something. Then Adam and my doulas would find their positions: one on each hip and one on my back. They would apply pressure while I would relax my muscles and breathe nice deep breaths. I would concentrate on letting my body help her move down each time. It was amazing...my body was just doing exactly what it needed to do. So we continued this pattern, chat and contractions, all morning and into the afternoon. My goal was to labor at home for as long as I could without feeling like I would have a baby in the car on the way to the hospital! So by 1:30 pm, we decided that it would be a good time to head over there. We felt fairly confident I was far enough along in labor that I wouldn't be sent home.

Adam applying pressure on my back

Hannah sat in the back with me, while Adam drove. I was dreading the car ride...I always heard it was one of the worst parts. Good thing Miley Cyrus had my back...When we started driving, Miley's song "The Climb" came on and we all had a good laugh about the motivating and cheesy song that happened to come on at just the right time. The car ride was actually really smooth...I just kept breathing and relaxing and remembering I would be holding a baby in my arms soon enough.

We got to American Fork Hospital and they checked us into a triage room. Since I was a first time Mom, I think they assumed I hadn't progressed very far yet. They told me I would have to be in the triage room to be monitored for at least an hour or two. After checking me, I was already close to 6 cm dilated. The nurse happily decided to admit me to my room right away.

We checked into my room and I hopped right into the jetted tub. Water during labor feels so wonderful! I spent a very long time just soaking away with Adam by my side, encouraging me. After awhile, my temperature spiked and the baby's heart rate went up. To avoid putting me on antibiotics, my midwife had me get out and put some ice packs on me to see if that would cool me down. Thank goodness it worked! They did a quick check and I think we were all surprised to hear I was already at an 8. Only 2 cm more to go! I labored some more, with the applied pressure from my doulas, midwives and Adam. I really could not have asked for a better group to be with. I actually had my midwife Kathryn and a student midwife there. I had so much extra support and encouragement! One of the things I really enjoyed about having a midwife, was that she was there throughout almost all of my labor. Instead of just popping in to "catch the baby", Kathryn and the student midwife were there to support me all the way through.

I think it may sound strange, but I was actually really enjoying myself. I was so relaxed and in the zone. I was still smiling and laughing during the phase they call "transition". Everyone was teasing me because I was still saying "please" and "thank you". I can't really explain the how or the why, but it was all very bearable for me. It was a beautiful, natural process that my body was handling with ease. I had worried that in the heat of the moment, I would want meds, but the thought never even crossed my mind. I couldn't believe it when they told me that it was going to be time to push! Even though I had been laboring for a looong time, I was in shock we were at that point already.

Pushing was definitely the most challenging part of labor. I could feel the urge to push, but I didn't know exactly how to go about it. It took about a half an hour until I finally figured out the most effective way to push. It really is such hard work! I was tired at this point and really wanting to meet my little girl. Thank goodness for my great support team, because they really helped to keep me motivated! Finally after an hour and a half of intense pushing, Adam helped pull her out and onto my chest. Twenty-four hours or so since contractions started, we had our little Rilo Jane. It was the most amazing, beautiful moment of my life. I still can't believe that Adam and I brought a sweet little girl into the world. She is so perfect and we really couldn't be two happier parents!

"Pinking" her up with some oxygen...can you tell how happy we were?!

My amazing team of doulas! And me with my "I just had a kid" face.


Chapman Family said...

What a wonderful story! I am so happy that everything went so smoothly...and Bri she is so beautiful. I want to eat her cheeks too! Love to you!

Kim Murray said...

Bri, that's such a great birth story. It's so awesome to write down and record. You sounded so calm and prepared. I've done 5 natural births myself and people always think I'm crazy but I've always enjoyed childbirth, it's one of my favorite parts! With my littlest girl, I actually walked in the hospital at 7 cm! The boys required a little more work, but it's so worth it! Rilo is beautiful and you all look so happy!

Stacy said...

that is exactly how i hope my next birth to go! i really really really wish that i would have had support like that with avery, i am definitely wanting a doula next time and melissa is so nice!

Anonymous said...

awww I totally teared up!

Barratt Family said...

wow that was amazing congrats on going med free!

The Adamsons said...

Wow Bri- I'm so happy for you and Adam!

Katie Bug said...

Great story! So smart of you to write it down now, too. I didn't write my daughter's until she was about one month old, and many of the details had been forgotten by that time.
Sounds like you had some great support!

Nicole said...

i LOVE that story. I love all of the details. you will NEVER forget this, even as more children come.

and i LOVE that you delivered at the hospital that caroline was born! we had a great experience there.

Atom! said...

Put me to bed!? Please...I passed out all on my own.

cara lou said...

Great story! Just found your blog through Sheena. Your little one is so so sweet! I had a natural birth, too, and though it was HARD work (I was in labor for 63+ hours), it was so worth it and I can't wait to do it again!

Congratulations! Your family is adorable. And I love your blog!