I wanted to share with you my amazing birth story. Kaia Bel Sethi was born this morning at 8:12am. Weighing 7lb 3oz and 19.5 inches long. I am writing this as I sit awake in the hospital with my baby girl sleeping on my chest 🙂
I started to feel contractions at 10pm the night before. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for the week prior but I knew these were different since they started off being a little painful. At first it felt like bad period cramps and back pain. My husband kept telling me to go back to sleep since I knew I was supposed to get some rest. That was one of the first things we learned in our Bradley class. But my back labor was so intense from the beginning that there was no way I could sleep or rest through it, as my contractions started immediately lasting for one minute and were 6 minutes apart. I told my husband, Deep, to get some rest as I labored until 2:30am. I don’t think I actually believed it was real labor since I thought it would start off slow and I could still go about my normal activities.
At first I tried get through the contractions by relaxing in bed and doing breathing exercises. When they started to become more intense I got up and decided to take a bath. The bath really helped and I stayed in there for about 30 minutes. After switching between the bed, toilet, and bath, I decided I had to wake up my husband at 2:30am to get me a heating pad to press on my back. The pain was building and my contractions were about 4 minutes apart. When he saw how much pain I was in he told me that this was the real deal and he contacted our Doula, Kylie Shellstorm.
Our doula came to the house around 4am,and by then, my contractions were 3 mins apart. My husband had gotten our birthing ball to see if sitting on it would help. Sitting on the ball and leaning over our bed with my arms and head on a pillow were the 2 positions that helped most in getting through each contraction. In both of those positions, my husband and Kylie were able to massage my back, press on my hips and use soft touch to help with my back labor. I was breathing loudly and making low groaning noises. Emotionally, I was scared that I would not be able to get through this naturally and relied on my husband’s encouragement more than ever (I told him previously that no matter what I say, to not let me get discouraged and give in to an epidural). I definitely could not talk or hold a conversation during my contractions but was able to rest in between. Kylie helped so much in suggesting alternate positions, using the Rebozo and massage and touch techniques. After about and hour we decided that we should head to the hospital because I had a positive GBS diagnosis and needed to get my first dose of antibiotics. Unfortunately, my labor was so fast, the first dose of antibiotics didn’t have enough time to reach baby. It’s recommended by the CDC that a dose be given 4 hours prior to birth. I also had gestational diabetes so I was prepared for anything to happen!
The car ride to the hospital was very tough. I could not find a comfortable position and ended up on my side facing the window. Holding onto the top hand grip while my husband pressed into my back while he was trying to drive. During this drive was when I started doubting if I could do this. I told my husband that I didn’t think that I could but he just kept encouraging me, telling me my body was made to do this and that he knew I could do it. Those words really helped to keep me focused on my goal and get through one contraction at a time. Once we got to the hospital, I had to stop before entering since I felt like I was going to throw up (this happened a few times during my labor but my mouth just started watering and I never actually threw up). I was able to walk in and check in in-between stopping for contractions.
My contractions continued to speed up and become more intense. When we got to our room and the nurse checked me, I was almost 6cm. I labored at the hospital for an hour mostly on the birthing ball (after I was able to get out of bed after my first dose of antibiotics). It felt like my body was trying to open so I tried to envision that and relax to help that natural process. For me, the pain was a little harder to handle than I expected since it was mostly all in my back. After an hour of labor at the hospital, I told our doula Kylie that I felt like I needed to use the bathroom since I had a different kind of contraction that took my breath away and felt like an urge to push. The nurse said “No way can you use the bathroom until I check you”. To my surprise, the nurse told me I was 10cm already and that I can push if I felt the urge! I had to lie on my back while the nurse checked me and that was almost unbearable.
Kylie suggested I get on my knees with my head facing the top of the bed as the bed was propped up. I had a few pillows that I could grab and rest on in between contractions. I ended up being able to almost fall asleep in between contractions in this position. I stayed in this position to push since it was the most comfortable. I was so happy to be off of my back since that was where I was experiencing the most pain. Once I started pushing I could feel the baby coming down and felt like I was so close to meeting her. I really concentrated on pushing as hard as I could through the pain. After 25 minutes of pushing, our baby girl Kaia Bel was born. I labored for 9 hours total and pushed for 25 minutes and was able to have the natural birth that we envisioned. It felt so amazing and empowering to welcome our baby girl into the world as we planned and being empowered by the Bradley Method class to research and make every decision for ourselves, and our baby girl. We are so in love!!
Your Bradley Method classes were extremely helpful. Deciding to have a doula was a great decision. We were so happy with our experience with her there to help us! We also had Dr. Capetenakis who was amazing from the beginning!
Katie and Deep