natural birth with postpartum hemorrhage

rachel • @cruelheaven

my water broke dramatically in the parking lot of an old metal diner turned mexican restaurant in new england. i remember walking out being like, this isn’t spicy enough to make my baby evacuate. i was wearing a long dress and no underwear (hippie) and felt this thick fluid gushing out of me and it felt so good- relieving since i was 41 weeks and relaxing because it was so warm. my partner and i were laughing and squealing as i hopped up in the truck and we headed to the hospital.

i was leaking amniotic fluid down the hospital halls until we got a room in the women and children’s wing. they said i was contracting every 4 minutes though i felt nothing and i could go home till they picked up. here i was being like “omg what if im one of those women who have a relatively painless birth and don’t know i’m in active labor”. needless to say i couldn’t sleep at night and went back to the hospital 5AM.

i could feel my contractions picking up but they weren’t too bad and titanic was on the TV so it was pretty chill.

since my water broke they were planning on inducing me within 24 hours as to not risk infection so i was really hoping she’d make her appearance quickly. i wanted no medication as i trusted in my body and knew my body knew how to have a baby. around 4 my contractions started to get intense and honestly i only felt excited because i knew it was supposed to hurt and the more they hurt the closer i was to having my baby. i would stand up, sit down, walk out the room, go in the bathroom - kept changing positions, walked sround the halls until it got so intense i layer in bed, silently, focusing on the lightbulb symbol on my hospital bed and just BREATHED very controlled strong breaths. i felt like throwing up but didn’t give in to it, (even though vomiting is helpful as it relaxes your sphincters ;) ) at this point i’m begging my nurse to check my cervix, my body was trying to push! it felt like i was dry heaving out of my vagina. the nurse was pretty shocked i was at 10cm because i was so quiet but truthfully i had to be! i couldn’t break my concentration or feed my mind who was like “shit this hurts”- i had to surrender to the feelings and i meditated, knowing that it had to get bad to feel better, riding the waves of the contractions.

ill skip the part about pushing for 3 hours...

when my baby came out the cord was around her neck twice, very common, and she was beautiful! they threw her slimy alien baby body on my chest and my placenta basically fell out with one contraction.

then the blood came. i could feel myself just gushing blood. 6 nurses/doctors came rushing in, my partner helped distract me as we oogled our new baby and while the nurses put IVs in my arms and hooked me up to pitocin and oxytocin and everything i didn’t want during my delivery. my uterus wasn’t contracting back and therefore wouldn’t stop bleeding. a doctor put her arm (seriously y’all, like up to her elbow) and manually scooped out everything inside of my uterus while massaging from the outside. this procedure hurt more than the whole unmedicated delivery. they were talking of a blood transfusion which i just barely escaped. i lost 2L of blood and now i can’t see a big soda bottle and not imagine it full of blood. a postpartum hemorrhage is rare but very serious and his experience as made me feel so much for women who have children without a supportive partner or no partner at all. i was so weak and anemic for the 2 weeks after my birth, if i didn’t have someone to change diapers or pass her to my bed for nursing i don’t know how i would have survived.


the moral of the story is my childbirth was fun! it was spiritual and trying and emotional and full of LOVE between me, my partner and our baby. we kissed a lot during the contractions and while i pushed. i focused on the LOVE which is also the main ingredient in making a baby so it seemed natural it would help her get out.

my last belly pic, having a ball between contractions.

my beautiful almost 2 month daughter, winona ♥️ 8/4/2018 8lb 20”