My Natural Birth Story:
I remember reading hundreds of birth stories when I was pregnant, but I never realized how badly I would want to write my own. If you would like to share your birth story also, please feel free to type it out about what does giving birth feel like. Here is the story of the birth of my beautiful baby girl Gayle Perry.
This was my first pregnancy, and my due date was August 12, 2017. I was concerned about being pregnant during the hot summer months, especially since I live in Alabama, but my pregnancy progressed without complications. About five weeks before my due date, I was dilated 2 centimeters and 50% effaced. I was so excited and thought I would definitely be having this baby early. The next week I was dilated another centimeter, and the next it was almost four. Two weeks before my due date, I decided to take off from work because I had a long commute and knew the baby would be coming soon. So, I am thinking and excited about what does giving birth feel like.
Well, I was wrong! Two weeks later on my due date, I was still pregnant. The night of August 12 I stayed up late which I later regretted. When I went to bed at 01:00 a.m., I felt a slight pain in my lower abdomen, but that was pretty common late in my pregnancy. As I turned in bed I felt the amniotic fluid gush out all over my sheets. I grabbed a towel and decided to try to rest before the contractions started.
I woke up five minutes later with intense contractions. Having learned the Bradly method I was prepared, but my husband was working until 03:00 a.m. that night. Even though it is a big no-no I relaxed in the tub until my husband got home. He excitedly finished packing our bags for the hospital, and we left around five. The car ride was not fun at all! The only way I was comfortable in the car, was on my hands and knees- almost like the yoga child pose. Finally, 20 minutes later we waddled to the ER entrance of the hospital. During the registration process, my Bradley method lessons really paid off.
The nurse was surprised at how relaxed I looked. Well, let me tell you, it was a lot of work looking that relaxed. When the nurse checked my cervix at 06:00 I was dilated 6 centimeters, fully effaced, and the baby was at zero station. I figured this labor was going to be over soon. I remember my husband eating a huge breakfast and all I could have was jello. At 08:00 I could feel the contractions getting more intense, and the nurse said I was 7 cm dilated. Around 09:00 the contractions were becoming extremely intense but I was determined to have natural childbirth the Bradley way.
My husband was supposed to be my coach but the poor guy was so exhausted from working a 12-hour shift at the factory. He kept falling asleep instead of helping me relax my muscles. I was getting so mad at him, even though he was trying so hard. The best thing he did for me was massaging my back. Constant deep massage on my lower back was a great relief of pain for me. One thing I wished we had done was to hire a doula to help with that kind of thing. By lunchtime, I was at 8 cm, and around 01:00 p.m. I had progressed to 9 cm.
This will be over soon I thought. At 02:00 p.m. the pain was becoming really difficult to manage and the contractions were a little different. I was only 9 ½ cm though, so I couldn’t push yet. When they checked me at 04:00 p.m., I was only at 9 ¾ cm but I really felt like I ought to push. It’s difficult to describe but I didn’t have an intense urge. The pain was just so unbearable and somehow I instinctively knew it was because I needed to push. I tried to push as the nurse tried to move the rim of the cervix out of the way, but it wasn’t working. By 04:30 I had enough of the pain and told my husband to tell the doctor I was going to push this baby out without them.
The doctor came in to check me and decided to let me try pushing. Wow, what a relief. I hardly felt any pain when I was pushing but that was really tuff work. Seriously, it was so much harder than I imagined it would be. Unbeknownst to everyone including myself, I have a narrow cervix, and the baby’s head got stuck. Since I am an extremely stubborn person, I refused to have a cesarean and kept pushing. As the baby started to move down, I could feel her pushing with her legs trying to help out.
It was so amazing!
The doctor talked me into an episiotomy even though I really did not want one. My husband agreed with her that I was small down there and should have it done. Anyway, two hours after I began pushing, Gayle Perry came out all at once with a gush of fluids. I held her as my husband cut the umbilical cord. As the nurses were checking her I asked “Is my baby girl, a girl?” and everyone found that to be hilarious. I got to hold her for a few more moments and realized it was worth the effort a hundred times over. Finally, I have got the answer about what does giving birth feel like.
I ended up with a third-degree tear- ouch. As the doctor was stitching me up, the nurses were trying to get my uterus to contract so the blood vessels would close up. I was really weak and things were getting hazy for me at this point. They had to inject me with hormones because my uterus couldn’t contract due to the prolonged pushing phase. After my episiotomy was repaired I was still hemorrhaging blood, so I had to be prepped for surgery. I don’t remember much at this point because I had lost so much blood.
My mother was freaking out so I told her not to worry. I started to pass out from blood loss once I was in the operating room. The next thing I remember was waking up at 09:30 that night, my husband and baby both asleep in the room with me. Through the entire labor and delivery, I had no drugs, and I was so proud of myself for that. The doctor told me afterward that if I had received an epidural, I would have needed a cesarean. I am so proud of my wonderful baby girl Gayle Perry, helping to push her way out into the world. She was born August 13, 2017, at 06:43 in the evening.
Thank-you Bradley method, I could not have a natural birth without it.