The Birth Story Of Tavia Kate
This piece was written soon after my first child was born, September 2008.
My labor started on a Monday evening during a “night out” at the movies! They were pretty light still and about 15 minutes apart. I thought nothing of it, really, since I was already 3 days past my “due date“! We went to bed that night and slept most of the evening, getting up about every hour with contractions waking me. At around 5 am I was 5 minutes apart, consistently lasting 60-90 seconds. They were definitely stronger and at this point I was sure I was in active labor! By 9am contractions were 2-3 minutes apart lasting 60-90 seconds (do the math…not that much ‘resting’ time in between!!), so I called the dr. and was told to get to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital at around 10/10:15 and was told I was 5 cm. Being very thrilled with that news, we were admitted and the fun began! I was trying various positions but nothing felt better than being on all 4s or standing and holding my husband around the neck. It sort of comes naturally as to which position you want to be in, only once you get in one you have to stay there, so you’d better hope that you’re situated! I got into the whirlpool tub at one point and that was awesome! Lots of relief in between contractions, enough for me to relax for the next one. My contractions were consistently 2 minutes apart lasting for at least 60 seconds, usually 90 seconds up until the point of the bath, which slowed things just a bit. I felt a strong urge to push, so decided to be checked, at which point a different nurse checked me and told me that I was actually only 3 cm. (keep in mind this was at least 2 hours after arriving at the hospital and being told I was 5cm).
Very discouraging! This is why it was part of our birth plan not to get checked! I got back into the tub and realized I was definitely over 5 cm because the contractions were getting much stronger and still very close together. I was progressing quite nicely and had a fabulous support system that were helping me through-my husband, my sister and mother, and a WONDERFUL nurse. I still felt the intense urge to push and got out of the tub again and was checked to find I was at 7cm after a few more hours. At this point I was uncontrollably pushing (or involuntarily pushing) and couldn’t help it. My water burst (literally!) and some of the pressure was relieved temporarily but came back with a vengeance in a few contractions. By 5 or 6 pm I was ready to push but was told not to because I was only 8 (my dr. originally said 9 but then took that back because my cervix was swollen…again, very discouraging and something I did not need to hear)…to make a long story short, I had to ‘breath through’ the urge to push, which is nearly impossible and major work. At that point they gave me some oxygen because the baby’s heart rate was up. By the time by dr. arrived again, it was probably 6:45 or so and I was voluntarily pushing the baby out. She was stuck on my tailbone for a bit, but once I figured out how to push, she was on her way!
Tavia Kate was born at 7:34 and weighed 8 lbs 4 oz, 20 1/2 inches long. She is absolutely beautiful and healthy as can be.
There was meconium in my water so the NICU team came into the room and I couldn’t hold her right away & my hubby couldn’t cut the cord, which both really stunk but who cares?! We did it!!
Tavia latched on pretty soon after birth and made me look like a pro. No real problems…she is one healthy and alert baby. We feel like the Bradley method really prepared us for everything we encountered…when meconium showed up, we knew what it was…when baby’s heart rate increased, we knew how to handle it without intervention…when I wasn’t progressing “fast enough“, we knew which techniques were available. It is one heck of an experience and at this point, I’m still overwhelmed by the strength and power it gives not only us as women, but my husband and myself as a couple, as humans.
Our nurse was so fascinated by the whole birth that she actually came back the next day to thank me for giving her the experience and said it was one she would never forget. I used toning throughout the entire labor, which came sort of naturally to me. She said she had never seen that used before and was really amazed by it and by the support system that was in place. I hate to keep rambling on and on, but she was almost like a midwife in a sense…she was so in tune with our wishes and needs that she allowed our birth plan to come through. There were also a few nurses, residents and interns present for the birth which, at the time I was very annoyed by since it wasn’t in the plan. Looking back, I realize we gave them a gift. All but one of them had never witnessed a natural (unmedicated) birth. Can you imagine that?!
It is indeed the hardest and most painful thing I have ever done as well, but what a story and one incredible difference in the outcome (one beautifully un-drugged baby!). We sit with her at home after getting here yesterday and just stare at each other, the 3 of us, studying one another intently. Truly awesome!
Present day: “Lil’ t” was one of the most alert and aware babies I had ever witnessed as a newborn. She would look directly into our eyes from day one, always curious and still is!
Up next: the birth story of her younger brother. A whole different experience yet just as phenomenal.