Courtney's story was so amazing because she had no expectations or desire for a waterbirth but when her midwife acted quickly to fill the tub yet and Courtney's veins responded slowly to iv fluids, she arrived somewhere she did not think she would be. Thank you Courtney for sharing your story....
I was due May 1st. This is my birth story: My contractions started at 5:30pm the evening before and they were very intense and strong but were not consistent or close together. 18 minutes apart, half hour apart, 12 minutes, 11 minutes apart. They never got closer together than 11 min apart so I called the midwife on call at 2 am (Lisa Milstein at Avalon Midwives) who said to call back when there 5 to 7 minutes apart. I called her again at 9 AM with the same news no updates and she suggested to set up an appointment for me to go to the office to get checked. She said we will just take it from there. I started using my TENS machine to deal with my contractions. Joanne Cunha was going to try to be available to deliver my baby but she was working in the office that day so she met with me at the office to check me. I told her that I lost my mucous plug yesterday and that my contractions are really intense. She said since the contractions are so far apart that this could be false labor and contractions can last for a few days like this. She wanted to do an internal check but basically suggested that we go home and wait until the contractions are closer together. I was so disappointed I really wanted to have my baby on May 1st- I love that date.
Joanne said before you leave let's just do an internal check, she said wow!!! you are 6 cm dilated right now!! She said you are going to have his baby today! She said if she breaks my water right now the contractions will be closer together and everything will start progressing normally. I was so afraid for her to break my water I was afraid it would hurt. She told me I wouldn't feel it, so she broke my water with a little pin prick on the end of a rubber glove. It didn't hurt at all but I started gushing water immediately and she put a giant chuck pad folded up in my pants lol so we can drive to the hospital without getting water everywhere. She said she wouldn't be available to deliver my baby today but Kim Kirby will be there and she is great. I love Kim I was so happy to hear that she was on call!! As soon as we left Avalon and walked out to the elevator the contractions started and they were five minutes apart the way they are supposed to be. My TENS machine really helped. We got to the hospital at 11am and I had to pee so bad. When I came out of the bathroom Rachel my Doula was in the waiting area with Rob! I was so happy to see her! I started telling her what happened at Avalon just when a big strong contraction came, she said don't worry about telling me the story let's just get through this contraction. Then I saw Kim with her iced coffee (which she never got to finish ) she gave me a kiss on the cheek and we were so happy to see each other. She said let's get you into a room! Do you want a tub? I said yes.
We were in the room that we saw during the tour. They sat me down on a yoga ball which was so relaxing and took away all the pressure. They were trying to put the belt on monitor on my belly but could not get it in the right position. Rachel was rubbing my back softly and using aromatherapy- citrus smelled so nice ! I told her I wanted an epidural and Kim said that they have to first flush me with Iv fluids for half hour and then they have to request the epidural. That takes a lot of time and Kim couldn't find my vein to get the IV fluids going I have black and blues all over my arms. She asked me if I wanted to get into the tub to get through the contractions more easily. I told Rob that they are tricking me I don't think I will be able to get the epidural. I wasn't panicking I don't think it really clicked in my mind what that would mean. Once I got in the tub I wouldn't be able to get an epidural quickly. Rachel looked at me and said think about the opportunity that you have right now you can do this! When I got into the tub it was so relaxing and warm it's unbelievable how wonderful it felt. The temperature was absolutely perfect. During contractions I would press the whirlpool button. Before I got into the tub I kept yelling that I feel pressure! I feel pressure! Kim said what kind of pressure ? I kept yelling I don't know I don't know I don't know I think it's the head.
Kim told me that she felt the head and that it was right there! She said there's no point in getting out of the tub the head is right there! She told me I could start pushing. I kept yelling I don't know I don't know I don't know I don't know how do I know when to push? I felt a contraction and I pushed and she said we see the head!! She said keep pushing I pushed again and I yelled I feel the ring of fire I feel the ring of fire! As I was pushing the head I felt my whole crotch stretch and burn. By that time the entire head was out I heard the nurse say okay shoulders are next. She told me to give a big push she said do it harder that's not hard enough! I pushed again and she said one shoulder was out I felt like my entire insides, my pelvic bones were separating as I felt the baby move through. I was yelling beastly sounds and started screaming get it out ! get it out! Why aren't you getting it out ?!! I don't know understand why you cant get it out!! I gave a long push, the push was so long I couldn't believe that the push lasting that long and the rest of the baby came out.
I went from intense horrific pain to complete bliss with no pain at all. The moment the baby came out there was absolutely no pain. Rob was crying because he said the birth was so beautiful just like on TV. He said the water was completely clear no blood, no poop! When the placenta came out that's when the tub turned red. She was born and they put her right on my chest in the warm water. She was beautiful 8 lbs. 13 oz. 20 3/4 inches. Rob cut the cord. We got to the hospital at 11 and I delivered at 1:06. I was really frustrated with how much pain is involved with the pushing the midwife said I only pushed for six minutes. She said stop complaining and can you just be proud of yourself? Look what you just did! You just had an unmedicated water birth- do you know how many people want to do that?! You are so strong and had so much control. You did an amazing thing today and you're still intact, no tearing! That's amazing!
Thank you for sharing your story Courtney.... It is so interesting the details of what we remember - for Courtney it was the words and the pain and the bliss :). Bring more bliss! I remember Courtney saying at our postpartum visit that she was so amazed how, with water birth, baby just went from being inside you to being on your belly - without interruption. Also, there were a few funny details... Courtney said thank goodness their wasn't a tour or something going on outside her door and I told her, there was- it all happened so quickly that the midwife needed to remind the nurse to close the door right as the maternity tour was walking by. It was also funny when Courtney said "This is orgasmic!' when they put the ice pack on her crotch or right after the birth when Courtney said "I feel so powerful, I feel like I could punch someone in the face!" I said okay Courtney - if that is how you want to use your power! May all postpartum mothers feel so powerful to want to punch someone in the face. Courtney tells me shops closed after baby #2 but I am secretly hoping to attend more of their births. To read Courtney's Tips & Tricks on early motherhood, visit her blog Angelic Treasure https://angelictreasure.wordpress.com/
Thank you Courtney (& Rob & Lucas & Rosa Lia!) for sharing your story! I of course wish for all women and, personally, all my clients to have such easy and uncomplicated beautiful births and if presented with more challenging births - I wish for safe and healthy motherbabies. May we all be happy and healthy at the end of the day(s).