Birth Story: Olivia Tulip

June 30, 2008 {Jennifer & John welcome a girl in a birth center waterbirth.}

I truly had a wonderful L&D experience. From start to finish the whole thing lasted only 13 hours. I’m so glad that I took the time to prepare and educate myself so that I could have the delivery that I wanted.

My water broke at 10:30pm on Sunday June 29th. My husband and I had just gone to bed and he was being silly, making me laugh. I felt a sudden “pop” in my vagina. It wasn’t painful but I definitely noticed it. No fluid leaked out until I stood up and it was quite a gush. I called my midwife to let her know that things were beginning to happen. Since I wasn’t having contractions, she said to try to get some sleep and hopefully by morning my labor will have started. I laid in bed for about another hour and tried to sleep but I was just too excited. How do they expect you to sleep when you know you are about to meet your baby?

I started having very mild contractions, about 15 mins apart around 11:30 or midnight. Once I knew they were starting, I tried to watch something on TV to keep my mind off of things. I didn’t want to waste my energy on contractions that weren’t really doing anything. Within another hour, my contractions went from 15 mins apart to 5 mins apart and I really had to concentrate to breathe through them.

By 3am my contractions were 3 mins apart, lasting about one minute. I called Christina (my MW) to let her know that things were really happening, although my mom and I were up watching Food Network Challenge- Chicken Cook-Off. I was really having to breathe thru the contractions, finding different positions (being on my hands and knees especially) to relieve the pressure. She wanted us to meet her at the birthing center at 5:30. By 5am my contractions were 1 ½ minutes apart, lasting a minute. I wasn’t sure that I’d make it the next half hour at home, since my contractions were one on top of another, so we packed up the car and headed to the B.C.

I labored for about another hour at the birthing center before I got into the tub. The warm water was absolutely wonderful. I told my husband it felt like I was floating on a giant marshmallow. The contractions got more intense but I wouldn’t call them painful, I was so relaxed in the water, I was actually able to fall asleep in between them. By 8:30am, it was time to push. I let my body completely take over. I pushed hard for about two hours before I almost felt like giving up. I didn’t seem to be making any progress. Christina checked my cervix and I had a little bit of a lip left and it was keeping Olivia from descending. I got out of the tub once a big contraction was over and Christina was able to move the lip of the cervix out of the way, over Olivia’s head so she’d be able to descend.

Crowning was definitely the worst part of it all. It was painful, I won’t lie, but certainly doable. Once I was back in the water though, it really relieved the sharp pain of the crowning. I remember joking around in between pushes about how hungry I was and if Tulip didn’t come out soon, I was gonna have to take a break and eat some food. My growling stomach was really interfering with my concentration. Suddenly, I felt the need to be on my hands and knees to push, I pushed hard and out like a torpedo she came. It was incredible to see this little person in front of me. She was so cute and didn’t even cry. I brought her to my breast almost immediately and she started feeding like a champ right away. Apparently, we were both starving. While Tulip ate, I delivered the placenta. I had a small tear and needed three stitches. While being stitched, I ate lunch and then got cleaned up. Three hours after the delivery, we packed up our bags and came home.

Recovery has been going well. It still is a little painful to go to the bathroom. Prunes are my friend, that’s for sure. Breastfeeding is challenging but we’re working on it. My nipples feel like I rubbed them with Brillo pads for a week and when Tulip latches on it feels like her mouth is full of razor blades. Good times. Overall, I wouldn’t change a thing and I’d definitely do a water birth again. It was truly the best day ever!

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