I don’t know about you, but I love hearing other women’s birth stories. I think there is something inside us as momma’s that enjoy having the opportunity to hear other women’s experiences and rejoice in the miracle of new life.
So here is Miss Maggie’s birth story as seen through her momma’s eyes.
I was 39 weeks 6 days and had been having contractions off and on for the past several days, just like I had with Nora. Lot’s of pre-labor that was getting my body ready, but nothing significant. On the morning of May 8th I had my 40 week check up. I was 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced and my midwife asked me if I would like to have my membranes stripped. I didn’t do this with Nora, but at this point I was ready to have this baby so I readily agreed.
I left the Dr’s office at around 9:30 and we dropped Nora off at her friend’s house since we thought for sure this would be it. Then we realized that my contractions were coming much strong and closer together (yay!). I then realized that I was hungry and hadn’t eaten breakfast yet…not good laboring when you are hungry! So we headed down to Henry’s Diner on Church St. and grabbed some delicious breakfast.
It was at this point that I noticed how close together my contractions were getting. (3-4 minutes apart). I should add here that my labor with Nora was only 11ish hours so everyone was a bit concerned with how fast this labor might go. So we headed home, did some last minute prep, called Francesca, and we were on our way to the hospital. We got there around 1pm.
Let me insert here on why I desired to hire a doula with this birth. I had a great experience with Nora’s birth, but was disappointed with a few of my wishes that were ignored by my midwife and labor and delivery nurses. Nothing that ruined my birthing experience, but I was really looking for an advocate for me in the birthing process. I also really wanted someone who could support me as I labored naturally and help with pain management.
I discovered Francesca through VT Birth Haven when she volunteered to guest blog for us, and I am so glad that I did! She immediately put all of us at ease as she began building a relationship with our family. We met together several weeks before I was scheduled to give birth and went through my previous birth, my birth wishes, etc. It was so wonderful to feel like I had someone who was there specifically for me as I labored, even though my husband Robin really was amazing during the birth of Nora. He readily admits that it was so nice to have someone there who could understand what I was going through and how to help.
OK so there I am around 1 pm at Fletcher Allen. My desire was to have a water birth so I received that room at the hospital. Boy was the tub nice! Last time with Nora my contractions slowed down when I got to the hospital, but this time around they intensified pretty quickly. I got into the tub almost right away and it was amazing!! I didn’t know what I was missing as the water definitely helped with the intensity of contractions.
Let me also say at this point that our labor and delivery nurse was AMAZING! She asked all the right questions, listened to my wishes and immediately put me at ease. Between Francesca, her and my midwife Diane and my hubby, I had an absolutely amazing team of people around me! I sucked on some popsicles, joked with everyone around me, and relaxed in the tub until the contractions really started to pick up. This was around 2:30 or so. They were really intense and at this point the joking was pretty much done 🙂
I breathed through the contractions, had Francesca giving me a massage with essential oils and everyone around me eagerly anticipating the arrival of baby Maggie. It was around 3ish when I started to feel the need to push. I started to do some pushing in the tub since I intended to do a water birth, but I found that it was difficult for me to really get behind the pushes in the tub. Sorry if this is TMI, but at this point my midwife said that I really needed to try and go to the bathroom because I was full of stool.
Just what you want to hear as you are trying to push your baby out! So I headed to the toilet and attempted to empty myself. It was at this point that I felt the “ring of fire” as we women like to call it. I yelled that it was burning and that got everyone’s attention! All of a sudden I’m being lifted off the toilet by Francesca and everyone is asking me what I would like to do…get back in the tub, lay on the table?
At this point I could barely move, so what did I decide? I’ll just birth standing up, leaning against the bed. I have to say at the point that my midwife Diane did not flinch. She started getting everyone ready, instructing how the baby would come and what everyone needed to do.
All I had to do was push. I must say that it was amazing. Here I am standing and pushing and all of a sudden there she is. They lift her up to me still attached and I’m looking into the most beautiful little face. I stand there holding her while they let the cord blood drain (I did a delayed cord clamping) and I immediately noticed how small she was compared to Nora. Nora was 9 lbs. 2 oz. when she was born and Maggie looked so small! She was born at 3:53pm.
I got onto the bed and they let me hold Maggie for as long as I wanted. I had a small tear so they stitched me up and I delivered my placenta with no issues (last time I had to have it manually extracted). I held Maggie for a long time and she was able to start nursing. They then finally took her to cut the cord, weigh her, etc. She came in at a whopping 6lbs. 4 oz…our little peanut!
Francesca stayed with us to make sure we were OK and didn’t need anything else. I was able to take a shower, have some food and get ready to go to the recovery rooms. Everyone commented on how I did not look like I just gave birth. Honestly, I find giving birth to be such an adrenaline rush and so empowering. Yes it’s painful, but I love feeling so in tune with my body and being able to overcome the pain knowing what the end result will be.
Overall, I had an amazing birth experience. Everyone at Fletcher Allen was wonderful and I felt so cared for during my stay.
If you are looking for a doula in the area, Francesca is amazing. She helped me work through the pain, she advocated for my and my birth wishes, and she continues to care for me through a follow up visit and meal.
If you are looking for a great group of midwives/OBGYN’s, I had a fabulous experience with Maitri. I loved all the women I saw and Diane was amazing during my birth.
Maggie is now 3 weeks old and we are adjusting to life as a family of four. My hubby had almost 2 weeks off from work and my parents have been here for the last week, so I have had lots of help, which has been amazing! Now I couldn’t leave you all without showing off some Maggie photos done by the super talented Tara from Birdie Lou Photography…