Hospital Birth | Raleigh, NC
***Birth Story and Images shared with permission from clients***
Mary Beth contacted me early in her second trimester. She greatly desired to have a natural birth, and she wanted guidance and support in achieving that. She knew a birth doula would help her with that. After discussing different providers and how supportive they were of natural birth, she decided to switch providers to one that was more supportive of her birthing choices. She worked hard during her pregnancy to do everything that was best for her baby. Mary Beth’s due date was March 8th, 2016. As that day came and went, the OB discussed induction with Mary Beth and Brandon. They decided on scheduling an induction for the evening of March 15th, when Mary Beth would be 41 weeks. Mary Beth tried everything in her power to get labor started on its own before then, but Molly was in no hurry to come out.
The evening of March 15th, 2016, around 8:00pm, Mary Beth and Brandon checked in to the hospital. Once there, they placed a foley bulb in Mary Beth’s cervix to help her dilate. She experienced some moderate cramping with it, but was able to take something and get some sleep. The next morning around 6:15am, Mary Beth sent me a text to let me know how things were going. She said the foley bulb was still in, and that they planned to start pitocin at 7:00am. I reminded her to make sure she ate a good breakfast before they started the pitocin and to request the wireless monitors and to let me know as soon as she needed me. At 7:30am, she sent me a text to say that her contractions were about two and a half minutes apart, but very mild. She wasn’t feeling much of anything yet. The foley bulb was out, and she had been able to get a room with a tub. I suggested if she was able to sleep anymore to do it, in order to preserve energy for active labor, but that if she wasn’t able to, then maybe try getting up and moving some to get things going.
At 9:20am, Mary Beth sent me another text to let me know that the OB hadn’t come in yet, but that the nurse had mentioned the OB breaking her water. I asked her how intense her contractions were now. She said they weren’t too bad, and that they seemed to be the most consistent when she was lying on her left side. Around 10:30am, the doctor came in to check on Mary Beth and to talk about options. She checked Mary Beth’s cervix, and she was about 5 cm dilated. She offered to break her water to help speed things along, and Mary Beth agreed to it. At 12:37pm, Mary Beth sent me a text to say she would like me to go ahead and come in. I got my things together and headed out.
I arrived at the hospital a little before 2:00pm. When I walked in, Mary Beth was sitting in the recliner working hard through each contraction. Brandon was sitting next to her encouraging her. After a little while, things began to intensify a lot more. I encouraged Mary Beth to get up and try some different positions to see if they would help. She agreed. We tried the birth ball for a few contractions. Mary Beth didn’t like sitting on the ball very much, so I suggested she try emptying her bladder and sitting on the toilet through a few contractions. I applied heat and counter pressure to her back during each contraction. Sitting on the toilet with the heat seemed to help some. She was able to handle contractions a little better.
She labored on the toilet for a little while. Then the OB came in. Mary Beth was beginning to feel very overwhelmed by the contractions, and asked the doctor what her pain medication options might be. Mary Beth was scared of getting an epidural, so she talked to her about the other options. She opted to first try a dose of IV pain meds. She went to lie back in the bed while those were being administered. The IV pain meds helped for a little while. Mary Beth was able to sleep in between contractions and only feel the peak of them. However, once that began to wear off, she really felt the intensity of the contractions. She felt very overwhelmed by them, and wasn’t sure how long she could continue to handle them. We encouraged her to get up again and sit on the toilet since she handled them so well in there before. This time it was not nearly as effective. I suggested maybe getting in the bath or trying some other position changes. Mary Beth did not want to do this. She wanted to go ahead and get an epidural. Brandon and I told her we would support her in whatever choices she decided to make, but that she would have to calm down first before she would be able to get the epidural. It was important that she sit completely still while getting the epidural placed. The nurse suggested she check Mary Beth’s cervix one last time to see how close she was. Mary Beth agreed. The nurse checked her around 3:30pm, she was 6 cm dilated, 90% effaced, and the baby was at a -1 station.
After this, Mary Beth got up and stood next to the bed. She leaned on Brandon during contractions while I did a hip squeeze or counter pressure on her back. She worked through several contractions this way, and was able to really calm down and get a handle on them. They were still very intense, but she was able to handle them a little better in this position. Brandon asked her again if she still wanted the epidural just to make sure, as this wasn’t her original wish. She said she did, and felt like if she waited any longer, than she wouldn’t be able to remain calm enough to get one. The anesthesiologist came in the room at 4:30pm to place the epidural. They only allow one person in the room while administering the epidural, so Brandon stayed with Mary Beth, and I went out to the waiting room.
About 5:00pm, Brandon sent me a text to let me know that the epidural went well. He said Mary Beth was going to take a quick nap, and for me to go get dinner and come back in about 45 minutes. He was hoping she’d be able to get some sleep by then. I came back to Mary Beth’s room 45 minutes later, and the OB had just left. She had checked Mary Beth’s cervix, and she was 9 cm dilated. She was progressing fast! Unfortunately, Mary Beth’s epidural was no longer working at all. She was feeling all of her contractions, and was able to move her legs with no problem. The nurses tried to up her dose, and give her a bolus of medication, but none of it was helping. At this point she was close to pushing. It was too late to do another placement of the needle. So Mary Beth just worked hard through each contraction. Brandon sat by her head constantly encouraging her.
At 6:15pm, Mary Beth began pushing. With each contraction she worked so hard to push the baby down. There were many times when she didn’t believe she was making any progress, and that her baby was never going to come. I held up one leg and changed out and applied ice cold cloths to her chest and neck. The nurse held up the other leg. Brandon sat by Mary Beth’s head, encouraging her, and applying cool cloths to her head. She felt like giving up so many times, as most woman do during that part of labor, but she just kept going. Finally, she pushed the baby out, and Molly was immediately placed on her chest. She was so overjoyed to meet her. Brandon was too. Mary Beth worked so hard and was so strong during her labor and birth. She felt every contraction, but still she kept going. Brandon was such an incredible source of support for Mary Beth. It really was such an honor to support Mary Beth and Brandon, and to be there as Molly entered the world!
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