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Right on schedule: The birth of Jethro Unmedicated

Right on schedule: The birth of Jethro

"My birth plan was to have an all natural birth—no epidural. I focused solely on breathing in and out of my nose."

My husband and were actually a little stressed about when our son would arrive. We have a 4-year-old daughter, and we don’t live near family. My mom is who we chose to watch her, but she lives three hours away in another state.

On April 4, I was 39 weeks. At my OB appointment my doctor told me that my cervix was pliable, and I was 3 centimeters dilated. She told me I could be induced if I wanted to be. I didn’t say yes right away because I honestly would rather have labor come naturally.

I talked to my husband about doing it and asked how he felt. This was a way for us to plan for our son’s arrival and have someone to be with our daughter. My husband and I agreed that it was right for us.

I called the next day, and we scheduled my induction for April 6 at 5:30 a.m., which just happens to be my husband’s birthday.

We woke up very early that morning to drive 30 minutes to the hospital. When we got all checked in, we waited 20 minutes before someone came to do anything. I was nervous about being induced. I have read about Pitocin making contractions ultra painful—more so than normal. Well, I thought that would be the only painful part—until they tried starting an IV.

Two very nice ladies came in around 7 a.m. to poke me with needles. I have very uncooperative veins, and I was stuck three time. My veins kept moving, and two collapsed. After the third time, I threw up the breakfast I was told to eat before coming. They decided to stop and call in a woman with a machine that could see inside my arm to find my veins. Fortunately she didn’t get there until about 10 a.m. After two tries she got an IV going. Of course, while she was doing that another woman stuck me to get blood.

Sometime afterwards nurse Barbara came in and started my Pitocin. An hour after being on it, my doc came in to start medicine for my Group B Strep. She couldn’t break my water until I’d had at least one round of antibiotics. (It would have been penicillin if I wasn’t allergic to it.) I would say it took about an hour to finish the bag of medicine, which by the way makes you very itchy and hot. 

They checked me, and I was dilated to a 5. So my doctor came in and broke my water. Up to that point my contractions were not all that strong or painful. Afterwards they began to get stronger.

My birth plan was to have an all natural birth—no epidural. I focused solely on breathing in and out of my nose. I relaxed my entire body while I did this. I have to say it really helped with tolerating the pain. I also changed my positions from side to side to help move the baby down. 

Around 2 or 3 p.m. we had a nurse shift change. I was taken care of by nurses Qin and Charla. My husband towards the end kept asking if the baby was going to be coming soon because my contractions picked up. He was very supportive during the whole process, and he was ready to meet our son.

When it was close to 4 p.m. I had decided to lay on my left side. I had gas through the entire time I spent laboring. I felt like I needed to push, and I thought it was that until I realized it wasn’t. I told my husband to call the nurse and tell her I felt the need to push. Sure enough, the nurse came in, and I was 10 centimeters dilated.

My doctor just happened to be nearby, and immediately they started to set everything up. I had one contraction before I began pushing. I pushed for five minutes before he came out. I was so happy I could actually feel him moving down. I had an epidural with my first and never experienced that. I honestly didn’t feel any pain pushing. I didn’t even feel what I have read and watched on TV about the “ring of fire” (the pain towards the end when the baby’s head comes out). I felt a different sensation, but it didn’t hurt to me.

I decided to delay cord clamping when he came out and of course do skin-to-skin. I didn’t even feel tired after—I was very wide awake.

I found out he weighed 9 pounds. My doctor thought he was about 7 or 8 pounds on Monday. I can honestly say I was happy to be induced. I can only imagine if he came the next week on his due date—he would have been 10 pounds.

I don’t think the Pitocin makes your contractions hurt more, or at least to me they weren’t that bad. I tried all natural with my daughter, and they hurt so bad. I also didn’t do any focused breathing, and it didn’t help I’d injured my tailbone the month before. I really enjoyed my birth experience this time around, despite being induced and being poked a lot. I plan on having the rest of my babies this way—except maybe not the induced part.

Send us your birth story! Whether you had a home birth, hospital birth, 37-hour labor or emergency C-section, we’d love to read the tale of your little one’s grand entrance. Write up your birth story (click here for tips on getting started) and email it, along with a few photos, to birthstory@pnmag.com. We’ll share it on our Birth Day blog and may even print it in an upcoming issue!