My Birth Story

Ashley • Mama to 3 ☺️

After waiting for almost two weeks past my original due date of April 4, Sebastian David “Dash” came into the world from under the water after over 40 hours of unmedicated labor on Tuesday April 17th at 7:47 am.

He was born at a birth center in a birth tub, surrounded by dim candlelight, my mother, sister, midwife and husband to the sounds of fifties music. The song playing was “Oooo Baby Baby” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

The labor contractions began late on a Saturday night and they were never regular. We kept timing them to see if they would consistently be 5 minutes apart, at least 1 minute each for two straight hours but that never really happened.

I did most of my labor at home and the mucous plug finally came out after a day and a half of off and on irregular contractions. We finally went to birth center Monday night to discover that I had dilated from 3 to 7 centimeters and that’s when it hit me that, oh shit this is really happening! No epidural for me. It would be too late for that so I then began to mentally prepare myself for how I was going to “ride the waves of pain” to shore with each contraction.

I just tried to stay as positive as possible, even when it seemed that the labor was stalled.

We discovered that my cervix is at an unusual angle and although was 100% effaced, it dilated slowly (leading to prodromal labor). It very slowly took hours to go from 7 to 10 centimeters.

At one point the midwife had to break my water to speed the labor when I was 8 centimeters! Crazy! It felt like such a relief but then that still didn’t help much with speeding things along, even with my contractions. This little baby or my body definitely had a hard time letting go of being pregnant!

Finally at somewhere in my daze of being around 9-10 centimeters I began to push in the tub and I know that I dislocated my poor husbands fingers every time I would push. It took every bit of my energy after 3 days of no sleep to push for the last two hours of labor. The urge and pressure to get him out was almost beyond anything my mind could control. And I really had to focus and listen to my midwife when she would tell me to slow down after three hard pushes at a time to save energy and let everything stretch as he was transitioning. This, along with her lubricating and stretching me with oils helped to prevent tearing. I had no tears!!!

At the very end when I didn’t think I had anything left, I felt a popping sensation as he came through and I let out a gutteral yell like a warrior Viking woman. Before I knew it, he was being passed to me from under the water up into my arms and he was so alert. With wide eyes and no cries, he locked his stare with my eyes, as if he was specifically looking for me.

They laid him up on my chest and let the cord blood pump through for a few minutes. When they went to take him away from me, I instinctively did not want to let go of the baby. It was the weirdest thing.

They announced that he was 8 pounds, 12 ounces, 22 inches long with a head full of dark hair.

It was beautiful and I was bonding with him on the bed with my husband, doing our skin to skin when they had to deliver my placenta.

After that, was the post partem hemorrhaging.

At this point there were multiple nurses around me pressing down on my stomach to get the clots out.

I was bleeding through 4 large bed pads very quickly.

I began to pass baseball sized blood clots. It felt like I was giving birth all over again. Then it got worse. They realized I was loosing a lot of blood and gave me an IV of pitocin to help with contractions to get the rest out. Then they brought nitrous oxide mask over to me and I began to breath it in furiously as it was my only form of “pain relief” while the midwife put her hand inside of me and used her fingers in a scissor like motion to break up clots and left over tissue all the while other nurses were pressing on my abdomen. The pain was worse than labor and I got high off the nitrous from hyperventilating then ripped the mask off my face and basically through it in rage at one of the nurses. They stopped at that point. My son was screaming like he could sense my pain.

The birth experience itself was beautiful and empowering and I couldn’t ask for a healthier child but the hemorrhaging was a nightmare. I still understand that they had to do it to save me but my recovery this week has been pretty slow, painful and I’m still passing some large clots.

We will get through this. I’m typing this as I’m laying in bed, having just finished breastfeeding my little angel.

Just know that even though births never turn out exactly how we think they will in our mind, that our bodies are capable of amazing things and we just need to control our minds.

Don’t let anyone tell you how to birth. You make your own informed decisions and do what’s best for you and your child if you have an uncomplicated and normal pregnancy.

After enduring all of this I know there is nothing i wouldn’t do for my son.

Good luck to all my fellow mamas out there no matter how you give birth. May it always be a beautiful and memorable experience in your lives. ❤️