Let’s Try Some Natural Labor Induction First
This was my first pregnancy, and I was nine days overdue. To avoid a medical induction and to naturally induce labor I tried three methods of natural induction:
- I took a homeopathic blue cohosh, caulophyllum, (click to order it ahead of time so you’ve got it on hand if you need it)
- I had an acupuncture appointment,
- We took a long walk with steep hills.
Then, I had a half a glass of wine to relax. Either it was finally my time, or the three natural induction remedies worked!
A Big Thud And Things Got Going!
That night, at midnight, I felt a sharp and sudden “thud” come down on my tailbone. The baby had dropped! I continued trying to sleep, but was constantly interrupted by my need to use the bathroom. A baby on your tailbone/bottom/rectum makes for quite a lot of poop. (Sorry, but true.) I couldn’t believe how many trips to the restroom I made that night for a woman of average size! Where was it all coming from? LOL! We called our doula to inform her that labor was beginning.
Ignore Your Labor
That morning, I continued to feel the pressure in my back, but I wasn’t in actual pain. Because my husband and I took the Bradley Method class, we felt pretty prepared to recognize the three phases of 1st stage labor. In our Bradley Method class, we had been taught to ignore our labor and continue to do what we would normally do until labor required my full attention. So, I ate my breakfast of eggs and toast, talked on the phone, and did chores around the house to keep busy. I knew we still had a long way to go.
A Dream-Like State
A few hours later, around 10:00 or 11:00 AM, I started recognizing a shift in how I felt. I started feeling like the LAST thing I wanted to do was to go to the hospital, or drive anywhere for that matter. A dream‐like state had overcome me, big time. I wasn’t in reality anymore. Thinking of going anywhere, in the car, seemed dangerous and a waste of time. I started “going inward” and not caring what was going on around me. In our Bradley Method classes we learned about the emotional signposts of 1st stage and I realized that I was now in Active Labor. I knew I was heading toward Transition, also known as “Hard Labor”. As we were on the phone with the doula, I told her I cancelled my scheduled appointment with my OB. I was afraid of having the baby on the way there! I said I was just going to wait to see him at the hospital later that day to deliver. She seemed surprised that I cancelled, but I told her I was sure I was very close.
In The Tub, My Husband By My Side, But Still No Doula
Only a couple of hours later, at noon, I started having really strong contractions. I found relief in my warm bathtub, my husband by my side, timing contractions. Finally, the pressure found it’s way to my abdomen! My backside was relieved temporarily, which made me feel grateful, strangely enough. I clutched the sides of the bathtub as the contractions came, and breathed (or tried to) through each surge. They became stronger and stronger, and lasted longer and longer. I noticed I was starting to hold my breath through the strong surges, as it was getting more difficult to suck in breath. Basically, it felt like very, very bad cramps. Even though it was painful, I still felt it was doable and that I could keep going. However, our doula still wasn’t here and I was getting nervous. My husband spoke to her again on the phone and told her the contractions were getting stronger and closer together. She said she would come over after taking care of some things. She clearly was in no hurry and didn’t understand how much we felt we needed her with us. I looked at the clock and it was 1:00 pm, I was VERY nervous now and hoped she hurried!
Like A Flume Ride At An Amusement Park!
I continued to labor in the tub for another 45 minutes. At 1:45, I felt a painful surge hit my lower back. Suddenly the contractions disappeared from my abdomen and concentrated on my lower back. For some reason, this shift made me leap from the tub and run to my bed. I got on my bed on all fours and my water broke, gushing LOUDLY, like a flume ride at an amusement park. I felt an unstoppable urge to push! As water gushed all over the bed, I started pushing as hard as I could. OMG, I was having the baby now! Just as I knew I would! I started to panic, as we were 30 miles from the hospital and our doula still wasn’t here! Jimmy said the baby’s head was showing and he had dark hair!
“You Weren’t Kidding! You Really Are In Labor!”
Just then, at 2:00 the doula arrived. She heard my screams of panic, and said, “You weren’t kidding! You are in labor!” I asked her if she could please deliver the baby right here, as I couldn’t imagine making it to the hospital on time. She said she couldn’t do this, and that if we left right now we would have time to make the hospital. My husband folded me (literally) into the backseat of my Prius and he drove to Pomerado Hospital. I lay across the backseat in my open robe, spread eagle, exposed for the world to see. A truck driver looked into my car and did a double take. I was desperately trying to “suck” the baby back up, praying that we made it to the hospital on time. Because I took the Bradley Method class, I was comforted by the fact that I knew my baby would be OK if he did have to be delivered on the side of the road. I knew babies have been delivered safely in various scenarios, and it was really just ME who was so uncomfortable. During the 40 minute car ride (traffic and an accident!) and me trying to hold my legs up at an awkward angle and breathe through the contractions, I truly felt comfort in the fact that I knew my baby would be safe.
11 CM Dilated!
The nurses met us in the parking lot with a wheel chair and wheeled me up to the room. I was 11 cm dilated! They commented that they could see my son’s hair, and boy did he have a lot of it! They said it would only be a matter of time before he was out. But, the car ride had totally slowed down my labor! I threw off my robe and got in various positions to push the baby out, and for the life of me, I couldn’t do it! I felt so much pressure/pain in my back, that I actually missed the pain in my stomach. I squatted with the squat bar, got on all fours, had the doula hold me up from behind, and I lay flat on my back. The doctor could tell I had lost momentum, so he left the room so I could regroup and refocus.
Begging For Drugs
I felt defiant and refused to push! My back just couldn’t take it! I begged for drugs and everyone in the room tried not to laugh. They reminded me I was 11 cm dilated and that his head was practically out already! They asked if I could please give it a few more pushes? I lay flat on my back and thought about it. (I actually had to THINK about it!) When my doctor came back in I (half seriously) asked for a C–‐section. He smiled and said, “You don’t want one if you don’t need one.” I realized I had to keep pushing. A volunteer nurse held up a mirror so I could see my progress, which helped me to refocus. The amazing nurses kept guiding me and cheering me on. I couldn’t curl my back up like they wanted me to, so I laid flat which seemed to help my back. I gathered all my strength to keep pushing, and after a couple more pushes I could feel the “ring of fire”. It felt great! It meant I would meet my baby soon, and it distracted me from my back pain! (ha ha!)
17 Hours Later – A Beautiful Baby Boy!
He was born at 5:14 pm. From the first moment of beginning labor, to my holding my baby in my arms, was 17 hours total. Leo wasn’t breathing very well so they cleared his lungs and put him on oxygen for 8 hours. He recovered quickly, and today we have a happy and healthy toddler, who is, as his pediatrician said, “ahead of the curve” developmentally!
We are so thankful for our delivery nurses at Pomerado Hospital! I wrote a thank you note to them. I was so touched and grateful to have them in my corner during such a special time. We are also grateful to Liza and the “uber-informative” Bradley Method Class, which helped me to labor at home and recognize all the stages of labor, as well as what to expect at the hospital. She pointed me toward an amazing doctor, Dr. Damon Cobb, who we felt blessed to have deliver our son. Thank you Liza!
Written By Heather Jensen, Edited by Liza Janda