Birth Story of Hudson Fletcher
It was Friday May 22nd and I had my 41 week appointment at the birth center that morning. My mom insisted on coming to get Leo just in case and I am so glad that she did, that took a lot off my mind knowing he was safe and little did I know this would be the day. At my appointment the Midwife confirmed that my water had indeed broken (I had felt some small gushing the day before and I was fairly sure it was my waters). The fact that my water was broken meant I was on a time limit, I had 2 days to go into labor before I would risk out of birthing at the center, and getting my water birth. It was super important to me to have a water birth because I had my first son Leo at Natural Beginnings as well but there was a water main break which prevented me from having him in the pool. Anyway back to this story, Midwife Erica gave me some options for natural induction and suggested trying the midwives brew first (castor oil) so that is what we decided to do. I was kind of nervous because of all the stories I had heard about Castor Oil but I preferred to try it first over a medical induction. When we left the birth center we went out to look for the ingredients to make the brew and got some lunch. I decided to take a nap before I took it because I knew labor could be an all night ordeal and I hadn’t slept much the night before. When I woke up I mixed it up and drank it and this was around 5 pm. It tasted so gross, I don't think ill be able to eat almond butter for a loooong time. It mainly made me nauseous....super-miserably nauseous, for about 2 hours. During that time I watched one of my favorite movies Leap Year and bounced on my exercise ball. Gotta love a good Chick Flick to get those emotions flowing. ;) When I finally started to feel better I decided to eat some dinner for energy and was craving soup. A cup of noodles was all I had on hand so I made it and sat down at my kitchen table, had a few bites and felt a POP! I knew that was my waters breaking....it’s a strange feeling being a Doula and being in labor because you know what’s happening and you know what’s coming. At that point I got up to go to the bathroom and water was streaming down my legs...I checked for color and all that good stuff...all clear there so that was good. But it was also at this point that I felt a little panicked, I knew that waters leaking meant the cushion between babies head and my cervix would be gone and that equals pain and time to push. I wasn’t sure how long we had so as I sat on the toilet to see what my broken water looked like I told Jon what had happened and that we needed to leave ASAP, he was in the shower. He rushed out and started getting everything together and also following me with a towel wiping up water as I threw the last few things in the bag. Contractions started immediately and were 4-5 mins apart and pretty strong. I called the midwife and she asked me questions I couldn’t answer and finally asked if I thought it was time to come and I said yes! Lol I also texted my Birth Photographer and Doula and that was probably the last communication they got from me. We hit the road and the contractions were down to just under 2 mins apart and insanely hard. I prayed they would slow down and ease up but that did not really happen so the ride there was pretty terrible. I definitely felt like I would be pushing soon if I made a change in position so I just sat in my seat, tried to breathe through them and timed them for the hour drive. I called the midwife When we were 20 mins out and asked them to fill up the tub because I knew things were going fast. When we got there I went straight to the bathroom because, you know, castor oil . Nothing would come out but I was terrified of pooping in the birth tub so I wanted to try before getting checked. Erica checked me and I was 8 cm! Woo hoo! So in the tub I went. I was relieved that we made it and I probably didn’t have long to go. The tub felt great but I was at the point where it didn’t offer that much relief. I can at least say it was worlds better than the car. My friend Melissa arrived shortly after us (my photographer) and I could barely greet her but I was so glad she was allowed to come. Then a few more contractions and my Doula Andrea arrived. I was happy to have her for moral support, I needed her to be there for my birth team to be complete! I had been laboring in the tub for 30 mins or so and I just felt like he wasn’t coming down like he should be so I tried lunging each leg up alternating in the pool per Erica's recommendation. Then I felt like I should take one last trip to the potty just in case and of course that was agony...as I knew it would be from my first birth. Toilet contractions hurt and move baby down so sometimes it makes you feel pushy. Still nothing happened so I got back in the pool and started feeling an urge to push. At this point the nurse, Jamie, checked Hudson’s heartbeat and then the way that she looked at my Midwife and they exchanged glances, I knew what that meant- I needed to get him out soon. So I decided to let my fear go and just try to push. I probably pushed 5 contractions or less and could feel his head. I will say it was so much easier the second time, it wasn’t such a scary feeling but it was still intense to feel that power surge through me. This pregnancy I had focused on learning how to use my pelvic floor muscles and tried really relaxing those as my body compelled me to push. I didn’t feel like it was working at all because everything just feels so stretched and like it was about to tear, but I leaned into it and tried to release and I heard Erica say “ok he’s at eye level” so even though I was in between contractions I tried little light pushes to ease his head out, she said “nose, lips, ok head is out” and I was like “wow! Hard part is over!” (I pushed for like 2 hours with Leo so this was surprising.) Erica told me I needed to get him out with the next contraction and so I waited for it...it felt like forever and then I gave it all I had and pushed him out with a primal scream. Erica grabbed him out of the water and I saw her unwrapping the cord...three times! Then she handed him to me and he was very gray-blue and not moving. I knew this was somewhat normal from experience at births and I kept rubbing him trying to get him to breathe. Erica then told me to give him some breaths by putting my mouth over his nose and mouth and blowing, so that’s what I did. After two breaths he coughed and began to cry, and so did I! I pulled him to me and said “my baby!” I just thanked God that he was okay and in my arms. I was overjoyed that I finally got my water birth!! The icing on the cake was having my dear friend be able to capture those moments forever, having my Doula there for a second time, having the sweetest Midwife who felt like a friend and a nurse who was just the best, and learning that I didn’t tear at all! The pelvic floor exercises must’ve worked! I was super happy and just enjoying my natural birth high. Hudson weighed 9lbs 8 oz (WOW!) and was 21 inches long! He was chunky and wide eyed and just so so sweet. I will cherish the memory of his birth forever. <3
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