My Birth Story

So I went into prodromal labor (sorta like false labor) on monday night (WHILE I was at birth class no less! However none of our practice contractions were in sync with mine! My prodromal labor continued through tuesday, thankfully giving me breaks at night to sleep.

Wednesday morning I woke up early and KNEW I was in early labor.The contractions just felt different. They were about 10-15 mins apart at the time. I had an appointment with the Nancy at one, I decided I could wait to inform her then, as I knew this was very early, and could even last days. I met Nancy, my doula Marci, and the student midwife Ivy at the birth center for my last prenatal appointment. So when I arrived and Nancy asked me how I was doing, I told her that I was in early labor. We discussed some things about it, and timed contractions. Nancy asked that I call around 9pm and give her an update. The rest of the day was much of the same. I puttered around the house, and rested, the contractions were uncomfortable but not really painful. By 9PM they had not progressed, I notified Nancy and we all went to bed. I tried to sleep as much as possible but some of the contractions were painful enough to wake me, they continued to come every 15-20 min throughout the night.

Thursday morning at 6am I woke up and KNEW she was going to be here before midnight. The contractions were more painful, coming around every 10 minutes apart and I was actually having to cope with some of them. My husband decided to stay home that day rather than go to work.

I called the Nancy and updated her, and just tried to clean the house and rest and wait. I assured her I would call her if things started to progress.

The contraction pain was starting to get worse, but they still were 10 minutes apart. I called the my doula, Marci to update her. She offered to come to my house in Deary, and work through the early labor with me, as I felt I had a ways to go before it was time to head in to the birth center.

I was talking to my friend on the phone when I realized that my contractions suddenly went from every 10 mins to every 3-4 and I suddenly felt like I had to throw up. Big change in a short time! I called Marci and told her I was headed in that things had changed. She assured me she would be waiting at the birth center for me. I called Nancy and told her about the changes, she agreed it was time to come in. She advised me to call the non-emergency number for the sheriff as at the time, there was 12 miles of constructions on the road between Deary and Moscow. This had been adding an additional 30 minutes to our already 40 minute drive.

We jumped in the car and drove to town, where the police met us and had an EMT evaluate me (it was unnecessary, and I declined the ambulance ride in.) I thought the sheriffs office would just call the road crew and tell them to let us through immediately. To my surprise we had a police escort into Moscow. No sirens but they did use lights. The contractions in the car, were worse than any contractions since the start (or even to the end of my labor) pain wise. I think because I couldn’t move. My husband did his best to help coach me through them as he drove us to town.

We got to the birth center no issues, despite the drama of the police escort. Nancy, Ivy and Marci were waiting to help me into the center. Nancy examined me and everything looked great and I just kept laboring on there.

I’m not going to lie, the contractions hurt, but my doula, my husband Matt and Nancy and Ivy really helped me through them.

At one point Nancy checked my dilation and decided to start filling the birth tub, when I got to slip into that water it felt wonderful. Nancy and Ivy checked my blood pressure from time to time and unobtrusively checked the babies heart rate. At one point my babies heart rate was pretty elevated, Nancy had me change positions and started to have me drink a lot of fluids to help with this.

Around 8 PM I started feeling like I had to push so I started pushing a little, then we took me off the birth stool and put me in bed on my side and I kept pushing my water broke with a POP I remember Nancy jumping, and me thinking FINALLY and we all kind of giggled.

It is true what they say that you really turn inward. I was aware of everyone around me at all times, but I kept my eyes closed, and really had to concentrate on coping with the contractions. I always wondered how women did it, but I too fell asleep between contractions.

And I was getting SUPER tired it was not 10 pm yet. She was starting to crown, and I am pushing when suddenly Nancy says “STOP PUSHING!”

I thought perhaps the cord was around her neck but instead of a head, it was her backside. My baby was breech.

Nancy (While completely competent) is not allowed legally to deliver a breech in Idaho – so I HAD to go to the hospital.

Here is where I need to say that I REALLY hate hospitals, and all things medical. I’ve never had stitches (I’ve always patched myself up) I’m terrified of needles etc. I had switched from the OBGYNs due to I didn’t know who would be on call when I was in labor. And I was really uncomfortable having a male dr. I know that drs can be hasty in recommending c-sections. I did not want a medicalized birth. Both Nancy and the Doula knew all my wishes as well as my wishes in the event of a hospital transfer.

I started to panic a bit, as I KNEW this meant a C-section for me. I tried hard to not push, but when you get to that stage, the body takes over, and NOT pushing is harder and almost more painful THAN pushing. Marci, the doula REALLY helped me through this time, while Nancy and Ivy called 911 for an ambulance transfer.

So I am hollering that I have to push and the ambulance crew is putting oxygen on me, and rushing me to the hospital (3 blocks away) Nancy came with me in the ambulance, helped me preserve what modesty she could (she knew how important this was to me) she talked to me and helped me through the contractions so I wouldn’t push. I was so glad that she was with me, as I knew and trusted her, and I had no clue who anyone else around me was at that point.

The got me to the hospital and whisked me into a birthing room. I am still panicking that I am going to have a c-section. I am trying to psych myself up for the dreaded epidural and cold clinical-ness of a c-section, telling myself, it is for your baby, over and over. My quiet, wholesome birth is obviously out the window. Nancy was a source of quiet confidence, still talking me through contractions, instructing me to wait for the Dr. She helped ground and center me, while nurses started an IV on me and prepped me for delivery.

The Dr on call was a male, and there was a bunch of staff in the room – which I did mind. But again Nancy helped keep me focused on my contractions and my baby. Marci showed up along with my husband Matt. My poor husband was off to the side, sitting in a chair looking woeful and worried (I do remember that). Marci asked me if I wanted him by my side. Marci and Nancy got the attention of the medical staff, and Matt got to be at my side while I pushed.

The whole time this is all going on I am STILL convinced that I am going to have a c-section. The Dr arrives, sits down at the business end of things and tells me exactly what is going to happen. Nancy is at my left leg, and a nurse is at my right leg, Marci is at my right side, with Matt on my left.

The Dr is telling me to push, I tried, but wasn’t giving it my all. I could feel tearing occurring, and I am STILL convinced (even though I am pushing) that I am having a c-section. Marci looked me in the eye at one point and centered me, telling me I could do this. And Nancy was still coaching me. I think others were instructing me, but I really didn’t even hear them. Nancy was able to get me to focus and push through the pain and fear (literally)

Somehow I mustered up the strength and pushed through all that and she was born. I pushed so hard (there was a point where they said I had to get her out NOW) that I ended up with many small pinpoint sized bruises from my bra strap all the way up through my face.

I wanted her to stay attached for a while, but in light of the circumstance she had to have the cord cut immediately – they took her over to the warmer and had to do a little resuscitation they gave her a few puffs of air, telling my husband and I to talk to her, soon she started crying!

Matt was with the baby in the corner while the Dr worked on me the placenta came loose easily (I actually had nightmares of retaining it the whole way through my pregnancy) Then Matt brought her over to me, and put her on my chest for skin to skin while the Dr stitched up some tears. Nancy stayed by my side through it all, as did my doula.

Clara Elizabeth Singer was born at 10:47PM butt first into the world, Within 30-40 mins of being born she was nursing when they did her measurements I asked them to measure her butt/legs folded so I knew how big she was that I pushed out it was only 1/4 an inch bigger than her head. I pushed for about 2hrs in all.

Turns out the Dr on call that night was the ONLY Dr in the AREA that will do a breech vaginal delivery! How I lucked into that I don’t know. He was also very direct and respectful towards me, which I appreciated.

So I am a first time mom, had a breech vaginal delivery, pain medication free. I have a healthy, beautiful daughter and a husband that is happy as a clam (as she was also born on his birthday )

I am so glad things went the way they did, had we known that Clara was breech earlier, I would have had a c-section for sure. (we don’t know exactly when she turned) The whole time that I was under Nancy’s care I felt confident in her and really trusted her experience. She took a lot of time at each appointment to address my concerns and to educate me. These things really helped when I went into labor. We had discussed things that would mean a hospital transfer, and I understood the need for any of those transfers.

While I didn’t get the birth that I wanted (wholesome, quiet, very few people there etc) I DID get my natural, pain medication free birth that I did want. And I felt VERY supported by my birth team the whole way from beginning to the end. Nancy, Ivy and Marci helped me through what could have been totally traumatizing event for me. I ended up feeling empowered and really respected. I slew many of my own personal dragons that day, and I have to say I feel pretty awesome about it all.

Since the birth I have had multiple follow-ups with Nancy. Each of these has been just as thorough as the prenatal appointments. Nancy has been helpful with things like breastfeeding and helping me to keep tabs on my depression, so it doesn’t evolve into postpartum depression.

If ever I get pregnant again I wouldn’t hesitate to use Nancy again as my midwife.


Did Motherwise Midwifery help you with your delivery? Feel free to submit your birth story here!