Austen's Birth- Unmedicated Hospital Birth- Raleigh, NC
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Kim really desired to have a natural, unmedicated birth. She did a lot of research and reading and decided this was the best choice for her. On Tuesday, July 7th at 12:34am, Kim sent me a text. She said she thought that she was having contractions. They were about 10 to 15 minutes apart, and she was pretty sure her water broke. I suggested she try to rest and sleep as much as possible, while she was still able to. She agreed, and told me she’d contact me as soon as she felt like she needed me. At 5:39am, Kim sent me another text. She said they were aiming to get to the hospital around 7 or 7:30. Contractions were now 4 to 6 minutes apart, and Kim was having lots of diarrhea, vomiting, and chills. I told her I’d meet them at the hospital.
I arrived at the hospital shortly before 7:30am. Brad sent me a text to let me know that they were still in triage. I walked up to the triage room. Kim was lying on the bed while they monitored the baby’s heart rate and her contractions. She was doing a great job breathing and moaning through each contraction. Brad was sitting next to her. They told me they had checked her when she first arrived and she was 4 cm dilated. We stayed in triage for about an hour, then they moved her to a labor and delivery room. Once we arrived in the room and got settled, we decided to do some walking. We walked up and down the hallway several times. Kim would stop during each contraction and lean on Brad or the wall. Once she got tired we went back into the room, and Kim sat on the birth ball. She was feeling the majority of the contractions in her back. I put a heated rice pack on her back and used counter pressure to help.
At 11:55am, the doctor came in. She decided to check Kim’s cervix. She was 6 cm dilated, 100% effaced, and the baby’s head was at a 0 station. Kim was making great progress. I suggested she get in the shower for a while and let the hot water spray her back. She really enjoyed being in the shower. We rotated in and out from the ball to the shower. Finally around 1:30pm, Kim said she was feeling a lot of pressure as she was doing squats in the shower. She said that she felt like the baby’s head was about to fall out. I mentioned this to the nurse. The doctor came in at 1:50pm and checked. Kim was still in the shower when she checked her cervix. She said she was 10cm dilated and that she could feel the baby’s head. We all got so excited. Things were moving much faster than expected. Kim got back out of the shower at the point. She didn’t feel a very strong urge to push, and this seemed a little strange, but we encouraged her nonetheless. She pushed on hands and knees on the bed, then on the toilet, and finally in the shower. After over an hour of pushing with no progress, the doctor decided to check Kim’s cervix again. She was afraid that she didn’t get a good check, because Kim was standing up in the shower, rather than lying on the bed. Unfortunately, she was right. Kim was only 7cm dilated. She did say the baby had come down some and was now at a +1 station.
This was obviously a frustrating set back, but Kim handled it so well. She just continued to focus on breathing and vocalizing. We decided then to bind her belly. We thought maybe the baby was OP. Things were getting very intense for Kim, and they decided to try moving her to a room with a tub. They moved to a different hospital room. Kim got in the tub. Labor was so intense by then that it didn’t help much. Her contractions at this point were long and back to back. The nurse decided to check her, and unfortunately she hadn’t made much progress. The doctor said she’d give her one more hour, and if there’s was no change that they would discuss maybe trying pitocin to speed things along. Kim really did not want to have pitocin. The nurse and I suggested that Kim and Brad cuddle and kiss, in order to try to get some natural oxytocin flowing. We left the room to give them some privacy.
When I returned Kim was out of the tub and on the bed. She seemed to be handling contractions much better. Her contractions seemed intense still, but had a better pattern. Between every contraction Kim and Brad would kiss. It was so sweet, and it seemed to be very effective. At 6:47pm, the doctor came back in to see if any progress had been made. She checked Kim, and she had made some progress. She was 8 cm now! The doctor also felt that there was a fore bag. She broke that and things immediately started to speed up. Not long after this, Kim truly got the urge to push. She was grunting and involuntarily pushing through each contraction. We went through a few contractions like this, then Kim said she didn’t think she could handle it anymore. She was so tired. I told her that I thought she might be ready to push the baby out soon. I called the nurse to let them know that Kim was feeling like she needed to push.
At 7:25pm, the nurse checked Kim’s cervix. She was completely dilated! She was ready to push. The nurse coached her some on how to push and what to do. She did a few practice pushes, and then really got to work on moving the baby down. Unfortunately, the doctor she had all day was in the OR doing a cesarean when it was time to call an OB in to catch the baby. So a different doctor caught the baby, but she was very wonderful as well. Kim pushed for a little over an hour and the baby came out. Kim and Brad were head over heels in love with her. Kim was so amazed that she did it! It was a lot of work, but she kept preserving. She was so strong and powerful!
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