Baby L Is Here! + my natural delivery experience ~ I Heart Heels

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Baby L Is Here! + my natural delivery experience

She's here! And she wasn't even fashionably late...gasp! However, she did make her appearance in the midst of February's NY Fashion Week, just shy of Valentine's Day (and might I mention immediately after one snowstorm and predicted during another, although it didn't snow an inch). ON her due date! So...she's my punctual lil' fashion week baby and tiny, darling sweetheart. {swoon}

It's only been a couple of weeks and I already feel so much joy...what a bundle of love! Aren't babies such miracles? I think I stare at her every day in awe as she sleeps. I helped *make* her...mindblowing. And I'm so thankful because baby L, just like little C, is a wonderful gift from God. I'm thankful for an amazingly smooth pregnancy (seriously, 0 problems), and a healthy baby girl and mama. Now, to the good stuff. Wanna hear (err, read) how it all went down? I have to spill because it's so completely different than my labor experience with little C. 

Water breaks
You read that right! I woke up on a Sunday morning...walked back to bed. Um, honey? I think my water broke. His response? Okkkkk...now what? Talk about taking us by surprise! I thought for sure she'd stay tucked in the womb until her due date. Surprise! I immediately texted my doula who said hold tight and things should get cranking in a few hours. I was anxious, excited, nervous...and I waited. Um, no contractions for a great chunk of the day. (By the way, my doctor gave me clear instructions at my previous appointment that if my water were to break, I could remain home and not have to rush to the hospital until I was ready since I was wanting a natural delivery, was low risk and strep b negative, etc. I just needed to be careful and not take a bath, etc. for risk of infection.)

We wait...and wait...
So without giving you too much TMI, I used several methods to simulate contractions.15 minutes apart...hey, I was happy for anything! Then, 10 minutes apart. Yay! Working down to 7 minutes apart. Pretty much all. night. long. I think I slept two hours, seriously. And recorded every contraction, waiting on the magic 5 minutes apart. But they never became consistent, or on their own. So...

The next morning
Monday morning arrived and it was the same ol' until the contractions actually started tapering back off. I know, right?? So I finally had my doula come over at lunch and form a game plan. If things didn't pick up, we would go into the hospital and get things started there. I was so desperate because I wanted a natural birth, and wasn't sure how this was going to play out. So, I had D. grab me eggplant Parmesan for lunch, which is known to send women into labor. While it was ahhhhmazing...nothing. (And, I know, I'm silly.)

Hospital time
So we called the hospital and headed in late that afternoon. At this point, I can't believe I could stay awake! But our bodies are amazing, as I later found out, and I just kept going. We had to wait an hour in the waiting room (with hardly any contractions, which was sorta wierd) to get a prime tub room for a natural birth (funny thing is, I ended up not even using it!). But the room was amazing and spacious and good thing we made ourselves at home. Because they checked me and I was not even a 2...sigh. 

Pitocin, please
It's not something I ever wanted, but in order to ramp up my contractions, I needed Pitocin. I got a hep lock instead of a regular IV, and that way I could still get up and move around throughout labor. Loved this. And the Pitocin was at the lowest possible...just enough to move things along. After an hour, it did. To a measly 3. 

Hospital Party?
This point felt more like a big sleepover with me, my husband, doula and student doula chatting away, me much of the time in the rocking chair, breathing through minor contractions and watching the Winter Olympics. We even all took a couple walks around labor and delivery. Call me crazy, but looking back, it was kinda fun. 

More Pitocin
Unfortunately, things weren't ramping up very quickly so I was put back on the Pitocin. This is when I also started changing positions. Insert my lovely yoga ball (which I found out I hated outside of early labor) and lots of hands and knees poses (thank you, Pilates!). I also tried standing and leaning on D., but I got tired soon after. 

Progress! Like, Whoa. 
Before I knew it, and after a (gasp!) short nap, I was at a 5. And I kid you not...from this point until baby L was delivered, it took a mere hour. That's. it. After all that! Let me tell you, folks. This hour was an intense one, and nothing I can really put into words. It was the point where I started doubting myself...wondering if maybe I did need pain meds? I remember my doula stating my options and me thinking no. I've come way too far. So, I just kept going. Without any meds. 

The grand finale
My left side is where I felt comfortable (err, if you call it that), and that's where I remained. I remember shaking so uncontrollably, squeezing the mess out of D's hand (he literally had to take his ring off) and chanting out the breathing and sorta moaning that we had practiced in my natural childbirth class (it all sounds so hippie, but, hey, it works). One of my mantras I said over and over was, "I can do it." And I just said it over and over until I was totally believing in myself and relying on the instincts of my body. Sure, it was incredibly painful (the burning while pushing was not pleasant...wow), but it was also an incredibly beautiful experience I'll always have and never forget. With just three pushes, baby L was here! (And might I add, I had the doctor running...who would've imagined it so quickly after all that? Even more of a reason why I'm so glad I didn't cave and get the meds.) But seriously...

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!

The Healing Process
When she arrived (err, the next morning...so, yeah, two days later), she was just perfect...and alert. And I have to tell you, I felt pretty darn amazing. I was me! Alert...could feel my body...it was refreshing. (Long story short, with little C's birth, I had a strong epidural among other pain meds that made me completely lethargic and all-around ugh. I'll take the hour of natural childbirth pain over the yucky side effects of the meds any day!) My body continues to feel out of this world as I continue to heal - and as I take my placenta pills that have honestly helped me get "back to normal," both physically and emotionally. They've also been amazing for nursing baby L and my milk production. You might think ugh, but trust me, these pills have amazing healing properties. It's not really a gross thing, it's natural. 

So, that's my birth story. ;) Let me disclaim I'm not here to knock mamas who have epidurals. I had one the first time, discovered it wasn't for me and decided to listen to my body. As with anything, it's all about intuition and listening to what's best for your individual body. With that being said, if you're willing to go natural, study up, prepare (it's like prepping for a marathon, you've got to!) and just do it. I highly recommend it, and would do it all over again. 

Um, except I'm dunzo here! :) 


  1. Thanks for sharing! I had such a similar experience ~ epidural with 1st child, natural 2nd child. I hated how I felt after my 1st (being in labor 38+ hrs might have had something to do with it), so I was determined to go natural with my 2nd. My doctor said I was her 1st patient to ever dislike the epidural! With my 2nd, I was dilated to 3 for almost 2 weeks before he was born and he was measuring big. My doctor decided we should induce when we hit the 3wks before due date. All it took was a little gel, and we were off to the races. Ideal progressive labor (walked the halls the entire time) and when I became dialated to 9, the team decided I should just start pushing. I hit that pain limit a few times & tried to change my mind about drugs - but my team was supportive & kept me going (it was too late for drugs anyway, lol). Five minutes after my son was born, I was felt so great that I was requesting someone make a Wendy's run! That short term pain was so worth the ability to recover so quickly. It's not for everyone, but I'm so glad it worked so well for you too! Great job Momma!!!


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