Barbara's beautiful determination to have the drug-free birth she wanted.
While Barbara didn't have the drug-free birth she wanted with her firstborn, two years later she had the unmedicated birth she so deeply wanted. She prepared herself, believed in herself and was well supported.
"I was nearing the end of my pregnancy. With my firstborn I really wanted to have an unmedicated birth. But, I was nowhere near educated on it, so due to my lack of knowledge on how to cope with labor and delivery my first child’s delivery involved Pitocin and an epidural.
Fast-forward two years, just weeks away from my due date with my second child. I was so determined to have the unmedicated birth that I so deeply wanted. I wanted to know I could do it, I wanted to know what it was like for women before the epidural was invented. I had read all the books and listened to all the podcasts. The difference this time is that I had hired a Doula, and I’m not sure I could have done it without her.
"I was so determined to have the unmedicated birth that I so deeply wanted."
With my due date approaching I was getting impatient. I walked every day and would just sit and think all day long about how I would go into labor. I was 38 weeks and 4 days pregnant when I woke up to slight spotting, smaller than a pinpoint but bright red, so I called my OB. My OB told me if I had no other symptoms that I could take my time but still go get checked out by the end of the night. My mother came over to our house, so I could take my son to his pediatrician appointment with her. I felt fine the whole car ride but as I was waiting at the front desk I got a strong contraction that hit me. There was no doubt, I was in labor. I’m talking about the type of contraction when I had to stop and grip the wall. My son's pediatrician said “At this point you’re in the wrong hospital, we can reschedule." I knew I needed to go to the hospital. I was there the night before thinking I might be in labor but I was not, or maybe I was. The lady at the front desk seemed annoyed by me as if she knew I would be going home shortly.
"My son's pediatrician said "At this point you're in the wrong hospital."
Once I was being monitored, the contractions really started. They weren’t painful yet but definitely there, I was 2 cm dilated. Within 30 minutes the OB came in and said he could admit me at the maternity hospital but not to give me hope of having a baby today. Because I wasn’t full term they weren’t legally allowed to offer me anything to help the labor progress. I told my husband to stay at work because I probably was not going to stay anyway.
As I got up to go to the other room my waters completely broke. Immediately after that, my contractions came in full force, and they were painful. I walked to the delivery suite gripping the walls and I remember passing a mom and dad in the hallway screaming with my butt out, I still laugh about that. By the time I got to the room I was definitely in active labor, so I tried to call my husband to tell him to hurry up, but he didn’t have his phone on him as he was working. I told the nurse not to offer me medication, luckily she didn’t. The moment I walked down the hallway I went from 2 cm to 5 cm. At this point I was working on the contractions, they were quite intense but manageable. I messaged my Doula to get to the hospital, and she lived 3 hours away.
By the time my husband got to the hospital I was 7 cm dilated! This is when I really had to dig deep, my contractions started to be on top of each other, and I wasn’t catching a break. I hadn’t had a vaginal exam again yet because it had not been an hour since the last time I had one.
My husband was amazing, I didn’t even think he was listening to me when I told him how I wanted him to give me support, but he did. He applied counter pressure, gave me words of affirmations and didt leave my side. I remember at one point, the contractions completely stopped, I had no sense of time, but it was long enough for me to really relax. The next contraction was not relaxing, I could feel my baby coming down, my Doula hadn't arrived yet, and I started to panic. I needed my Doula by my side, but I remember my husband telling me "Just remember what she told you, relax your body. Things will happen how they are meant to happen." When I relaxed my body I really did feel my baby drop, I felt myself stretch, and I felt no pain. The nurse came in and told me it was time for another vaginal exam, but at the same time my baby’s head came out!
" When I relaxed my body I really did feel my baby drop, I felt myself stretch, and I felt no pain."
It was incredible to me that the contractions were still so strong during this time, but I felt no pain. At this moment I knew I could really do it, that I already did the hardest part. I didn’t even push, I remember the OB ran really fast and immediately caught my baby. I shouted out of pure joy “I DID IT !"
I can’t even describe the amount of bliss I felt. After giving birth to my first born I didn’t even cry, I feel like the epidural blocked my emotions, but this time I moaned and cried with pure love. Now I’m not going to lie and say it was easy, during transition I swore, screamed, and I begged for an epidural, but my support people talked me through the contractions and within 10 minutes my son was born. I got to feel my baby during labor and delivery, I was in tune with my body and with all the other mothers around the world who were giving birth at the same time as me. It was a magical experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat."