Hi! My name is Jen, and I gave birth to our son in early October 2011, in a hospital setting without any interventions.
Our decision to give birth in a hospital was predicated on a few factors.
- First, the women’s health care group I belong to offered “tiers” of labor and delivery care. I could opt to work with the ten ob/gyn doctors and be monitored (prenatal) and deliver under their care in the hospital setting.
- The second option was to work with the midwives who would monitor and deliver the baby in the hospital setting. In the event that I needed a c-section a doctor and surgical team were on call and I would be under their care.
- The third option was to give birth with the midwives group that worked in the “birth center” located in a small house on the hospital campus. This group worked exclusively without medical interventions and did not have doctors in their building. In the event of medical interventions, you would get wheeled across the campus and brought into the hospital l& d floor.
There are seven midwives in my ob/gyn group. I had met 6 of the 7 (due to scheduling) during my pregnancy. Of course, on the day/night of my actual delivery, the only midwife I had yet to meet- was on call. Interestingly enough, I barely saw the midwife during my delivery. I think I might have seen her for a maximum of 1 hour- probably less.
My birth story:
I was scheduled for an ultrasound on the Thursday I went into labor. They were checking to see that my fluid levels were ok. I was measuring on the small side so we had weekly checkups to ensure all was ok. I was at work (school) when I started to feel the “waves” of contractions around 1 pm. Since this was my first baby, I really was unsure what was going on. After a few waves, I started to watch the clock. Sure enough they were about 5-7 minutes apart. I left school for the scheduled ultra sound. On my drive I was tapping my phone and timing the contractions which were about 5-6 mins apart. I arrived at my appointment and told my husband that I wasn’t feeling so great. I showed him the contraction timer. He was unaware that I was even timing these or that something was up.
We had our ultrasound and when my husband told the tech that we thought I was having contractions, she noted “No babies in ultrasound room!”
We asked to speak to the nurse and ask to be seen by my midwife. At about 3:30 I was timing the contractions to be about 5 mins apart (or less). We hadn’t been seen by a midwife yet and I knew that we needed to go to the hospital. When my midwife came in to check me she could tell something was up. She did an internal and asked me “how dilated do you want to be?” Ok that was sort of strange. I didn’t have a response. I was 4 cm dilated (I was already 80% effaced so I figured I was at about 100….). She told us that we had time and to go for a walk and that my husband would know when we needed to head into the hospital. (The office and hospital are about 10 mins away from one another). We decided to go to the hospital area and walk around the campus. We headed over and called our families and I had to call my colleagues. After an hour walking around and still contracting I was starting to feel dizzy and there were a few contractions coming minutes apart 2-3 mins apart. We went into the hospital. I checked in at about 6pm.
Once in the l&d ward I met the midwife on call and the doctor. I explained that I was hoping for as few interventions as possible. OH- and that I was still at about 4cm.
I have no idea how they figured it out but they put an iv line in (this is standard procedure) and promptly started trying to get some saline into me. Apparently they knew I was really dehydrated. (By the end of the evening, I had 4 L of saline pumped into me!)
So, here is where things get fuzzy for me. I labored for a while moaning and walking around the room. Then they asked if I wanted to go into the bathtub. WOW! It was amazing. I just lay in the tub with my husband changing the temperature at my request (likely demanding). The tub was a jet /Jacuzzi like tub and I was in there for the majority of my labor. When I got out of the tub sometime after 9:30 pm I was checked by the midwife who said I had progressed to 7 cm. However, I was really surprised that the midwife pretty much had nothing to do with my labor. It was me, my husband and the nurse.
So, I continued to labor for a while in the room. It was not until after 11 pm when my water finally broke and the nurse in the room measured me at 9 almost 10 cm and ready to push. After about 45 minutes of pushing, I gave birth to my son Sawyer. (Oh and at that point the midwife was in the room for the eventual delivery of my son!)
The majority of my labor was spent in the room with my husband and the nurse. It did not occur to me to ask for an epidural or for any other medications. However, I am mindful that my labor (active labor) was 6-1 pm about six or seven hours. I spent quite a bit of time in the tub simply breathing deeply. I know it sounds simple, but it worked for me. The nurse I had was excellent, she was practical and helpful and firm when she needed to be. Neither the nurse nor the midwife suggested medication or interventions.
I am really grateful that my experience was as I hoped it would be. I am also really grateful that my husband was there as a coach and resource for me through my labor. It was quite a special experience for both of us.
So . . . That is it my story. I would highly recommend working with a midwife group to anyone! The midwives do an excellent job with prenatal care and I felt confident that they would try to make sure that my birth experience had minimal interventions.
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