Birth & Parenting Series (15): Baby Born Before Doctor Arrives to Newly Minted Alaskan Parents
This is part 15 of our Birth & Parenting Series.
Part 1 (Thoughts From a Mother of Four) is here, part 2 (Mother of Seven Shares Her Empowering Birth Stories) is here, part 3 (First-Time Mother of Twins) is here, part 4 (How First-Time Parents Braved a Placental Abruption) is here, part 5 (Childbirth Collective Doula Film Premiere) is here, part 6 (First-Time Mama Bravely Faces Transverse Baby & C-Section) is here, part 7 (Homeschooling Mama Shares Her Path to Schooling) is here, part 8 (First-Time Papa’s Perspective on Birth Center Birth) is here, part 9 (Mama’s First-Time Birth and Faith in Women’s Bodies) is here, part 10 (Unmedicated Birth for First-Time Parents) is here, part 11 (Followup on Little V’s Traumatic Birth) is here, part 12 (Beautiful Little Girl Passes Away After Long Battle) is here, part 13 (Our Daughter’s Birth Story) is here, and part 14 (Mama Handles 24 Hours Post Water Breaking and Avoids C-Section) is here.
This first time parent couple moved to Alaska while expecting their first child, but happily had each of their sisters come up to help out. Despite the terribly difficult news of the husband’s father passing away, the couple persisted with unmedicated labor. The ending of how the baby girl came before the doctors is a crazy surprise, so keep reading and admire this strong mama’s trust in her body!
I had a doctor’s appointment on a Wednesday, and they wanted to “check” me because my next appointment would be past my due date. I didn’t want her to because I didn’t want to get excited because I knew that whatever she told me didn’t really matter, and Lucy would come when she wanted!! But I was 1 cm dilated, and 50% effaced, so I was excited 🙂 I couldn’t help it! I really couldn’t wait to meet our baby!
My sister finally got here on Friday evening after being delayed a day due to stupid airplane problems traveling to Alaska. Saturday was Lucy’s due date, but I wasn’t feeling anything. It was a nice, clear day so we went for a drive to show my sister the area – the Kenai river, Mt. Redoubt, and the Cook Inlet beach.
My husband’s sister got here on Monday morning and we all just hung out. Waiting. We went to Fred Meyer, played Trivial Pursuit, and watched TV. On Tuesday my sister went with me to my doctor appointment, and we talked about how long before they would induce me, and we made an ultrasound appointment for that Friday and the doctor recommended I take caster oil . . . UGG!
So on Wednesday, I did. We had a big breakfast, and then I took a couple teaspoons. I started feeling AWFUL a couple hours later – I had diarrhea and felt very nauseous. Right after my husband got home from work, around 5 or 6pm, I told my sister I felt like I was having contractions. I tried to lie down and sleep, but I couldn’t . . . I was excited! They weren’t very painful, but they were consistent.
Around 7pm, my husband asked me if it was FOR REAL, if this wasn’t going to go away, because we wanted to let our moms know, but not if it was a false alarm! As he was about to call his mom, unfortunately she called to tell us that his father had passed away. He had been sick and in the hospital for practically the entire time we had been in Alaska. We cried together with our sisters, but my contractions kept getting stronger, and it was a welcomed distraction.
We called our doulas and let them know that my contractions were getting closer together and gradually stronger, so they came over around midnight. This is when my contractions were starting to get painful. I tried to lie down and rest between them, but it was more comfortable to stand during the contractions. I tried to sit on the balance ball leaning forward, but I preferred standing and leaning forward on a giant Tupperware tub that was on top of our dresser in our bedroom. I would sit on the foot of the bed between the contractions, but stand during them.
At about 2am, I wanted to go to the hospital. The pain was really strong, and I thought I might be feeling pressure. My husband and the doulas tried to tell me that it was probably too soon, but I really felt like I wanted a change of scenery (not that I thought I was going to deliver at the house!). The contractions did not slow or ease up on the way to the hospital.
I was 5cm dilated when we arrived at the hospital just after 2am. After monitoring the baby for a little bit, and everything looked ok, they filled a bath for me, which did not ease the pain at all, but there seemed to be longer breaks between the contractions.
When I got out of the tub and they checked me again, I was 9cm dilated! Once they told me that, I knew that I would be delivering soon – I was determined to end this pain! I was standing next to the hospital bed, and with each contraction, I would squat down, and I felt like I was pushing. My water broke with one contraction, and few contractions later, I felt the head coming out – no doctor in sight! It was the worse pain in the whole world. Someone said to me, “If you put your hand down, you can feel the head!” I didn’t want to feel the head, I wanted the baby out of me!! I pushed as hard as I could, but they told me to wait for the next contraction. With the next one, I felt the baby slide out, and it was the biggest relief in the entire world! I looked down, and saw that I had a baby girl!! It was 5:20am on Thursday, January 21, 2010.
I reached down and grabbed her, and held her tiny, squirmy, slimmy, skinny body! I sat down on the bed and the nurses and doulas helped clean her body while she was in my arms. My husband cut the cord and took her, and then the doctor walked in! She sat down at the foot of my bed, and tried to help me deliver the placenta, but it wasn’t happening. They massaged my belly, and the pain was worse than the labor and delivery of the baby. I told them to give me any drugs – I was done having pain!! They gave me something so that I wouldn’t remember the pain, and it worked. Next thing I knew, I was in the room with my daughter, my husband, my sister, and the doulas. Everyone was asking her name, and we knew it was Lucy Marian. He had said that as soon as she came out and she had her bright eyes open.