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Chapel Hill Hospital Birth
Brookelyn was planning to have a home birth, with a midwife attending. However, as Brookelyn got closer to the end of her pregnancy her blood pressure began to go up. At 38 weeks it had gotten high enough that they felt something needed to be done to ensure mom and baby’s safety. They decided Brookelyn needed to be induced. On September 25th, Brookelyn checked in to the hospital. They gave her cytotec, a cervical ripener, to begin the induction. I checked in with Brookelyn the next day, and she was dilated to 1 cm, 20% effaced, and baby was still very high. Brookelyn was having mild, regular contractions and was working through those. She really wanted to avoid pitocin. That evening they placed a foley bulb in to help Brookelyn dilate even more. It fell out quickly. Brookelyn decided to take an ambien that night in order to get some rest.
A few hours later, around 10:00 pm, I received a text from Brookelyn’s husband, Daniel, saying that Brookelyn’s water had broken. The doctor had done a check, and there was a small gush. He also said that Brookelyn was now 4 cm dilated and 60% effaced. Rose, the birth assistant, had been with Brookelyn for several hours, and was also keeping me up to date on everything. I offered to go ahead and head to the hospital, but Rose told me to wait just a little while longer. She tried to see if she could get Brookelyn to sleep some, but labor was really picking up, and she was unable to. I arrived at the hospital around midnight. At that time Brookelyn had already dilated to 6 cm! She was in the bath working through contractions. Daniel and Rose were in there helping. She was doing great making low moans, and working through each contraction as it came. After a while she felt like the bath was no longer helping. We encouraged her to get out for a little while so that once she got back in, it would become effective again. Brookelyn worked through several contractions on the birth ball. Daniel held her while I applied counter pressure to her back. Daniel and I both made nice low moans with Brookelyn to keep her making the same noises and to help keep her body relaxed. She was doing an incredible job.
After a few contractions on the ball Brookelyn really wanted to get back in the tub. I had her work through two more contractions, and then she got back in the bathtub. The bath provided some relief for a little while. Daniel and I sat next to Brookelyn, held her, and encouraged her. She was working so hard and completely rocking her labor. However, after a little while things got very tiring for her. She had been at it for over 24 hours, and she hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before. We had tried every natural pain relief option, and Brookelyn was very worried that she would be too exhausted to push the baby out. She wanted to be able to get some rest before she had to begin pushing. She made the decision to get an epidural. It takes a little while to get everything ready and set up for the epidural. Brookelyn got out of the water and worked through more contractions on the toilet and the ball. She leaned and held on to me or Daniel. She focused and got through each one.
The doctor came in and checked her cervix around 2:30am, before the anesthesiologist came in. She was between 8 and 9 cm. The anesthesiologist came in and administered the epidural. Shortly after, Amanda, the birth photographer, came in. And not long after that Brookelyn’s mother, sister, and brother came up. Nancy, the midwife, also arrived. Everybody was talking and joking around. Rose suggested that everyone, except Daniel, leave so that Brookelyn could get some much needed and deserved rest. We all went downstairs for about an hour, while Brookelyn took a nap. It was just what she needed to gain some energy for pushing. Around 4:30am Brookelyn was completely dilated and ready to push. Brookelyn worked so very hard to push the baby out. We tried several different positions, and finally at 8:07am after more than three and a half hours of pushing Atticus was born. He was occiput posterior (sunny side up). It definitely explained how long Brookelyn had to push to get him out. Brookelyn saw her baby boy, and she was absolutely glowing.
Brookelyn did an amazing job during labor and birth. She made very good decisions. Things did not go as she planned, but she did so many things to make sure her baby had a good start to life. She wanted to avoid inducing labor with pitocin and she did. She labored until almost 9 cm naturally, despite being completely exhausted. She pushed for over three and a half hours to make sure that he was born vaginally. She was a warrior. She was faced with making many tough decisions, and she made all the right ones!
Check out Brookelyn's birth video here.
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