Today's birth story is shared by Andrea, first-time mom in Fort Myers, FL. Please join the Mindful Birth Doulas in welcoming baby Kate Elizabeth and congratulating proud parents Andrea and Jimmy!
"During my 40th week appointment, we decided to schedule for an induction for Friday March 6 (right at 41 weeks). This little girl was too comfortable in mommies womb. I started my maternity leave from work that same Friday. We did not receive a call from the hospital that day since they had no rooms available. This was a little frustrating to me since I was not aware of the process and how room availability worked. The hospital did call Saturday morning on March 7, 2020 at about 5 am. I had a waken up already with some pain. This was usual to me since I had been experiencing contractions and waking up with pain since I was about 32 weeks pregnant.
When I received the call I got really excited because I knew the day had come! I did not know what to expect with this whole induction process as a first time mom. I thought it would be a fast process where I would get to the hospital, check in, go to my room, and get induced right away. In my head I would have this baby in a few hours.
When we were in the hospital room, the nurse explained to me that we were going to do Cervidil first to let my cervix soften and let dilation start. I was 70% effaced and about 1 1/2 cm dilated. We initially checked in at 6 am and the Cervidil was given to me at 9 am. The nurse told us that this medicine needed to stay in for 12 hours before they check my cervix again.
This was going to be a very long process and by this time I was not expecting to start labor until that night or even maybe Sunday morning.
My husband and I decided to have our parents over for lunch. My husband left the hospital to get sandwiches and I stayed with my mom in the room. I was already experiencing period like cramping, but the nurse said it was the discomfort from the medicine. When my husband got back with his mom and my dad with the sandwiches for us to eat, I was feeling very uncomfortable so I asked our parents to leave so Jimmy and I could practice some of the exercises we had learned during our birthing classes with Christine. This was at about 1:30pm.
We always kept our doula, Emily, informed of everything I was experiencing. I ate that sandwich as fast as I could because I did not want to go in to labor and not eat anything! Little did I know that I was already in labor. Jimmy and I did some side-lying release exercises from Spinning Babies to help with pain coping and positioning baby, as well as other simple exercises and positions.
The cramping kept on getting stronger and more uncomfortable. I was bending over because the pain was getting more and more intense as I would hold on to the hospital room sink. This sink became my corner. I asked for a birthing ball to sit on to help me manage the pain and it did for a little while. I kept on reminding myself to empty my bladder to ease the pain. I told the nurse once again that the pain was getting stronger, and the nurse kept on telling me that Cervidil does not start labor.
In my head I was asking myself, “If this is not labor pain, how in this world am I going to manage actual labor?”
When it got close to 4pm the pain was very intense and I asked Jimmy to call our doula, Emily, for support. I remember I had tears flowing on my face because I started feeling I was not going to be able to manage this labor process Emily asked if I wanted to have the nurse check my cervix, and I was only 2 1/2 cm dilated. Emily told us that she would be at the hospital in the next hour. Rosy, my 2nd Mindful Birth doula, got to the hospital before Emily and she recommended changing positions. She started massaging my back and helped me with pain coping. I felt my contractions getting stronger and stronger and they were really close together but not very long. By the time Emily got there, she realized I was not getting a break from my contractions. She asked if I wanted the nurse to check my cervix again to see if the contractions were helping me progress.
Emily quickly got the laboring bed ready in position for me to get on my hands and knees so she could do the double hip squeeze. I remember thinking in my head, “Yes, we went over this during our Mindful Birth birth class”.
The nurse came in to check my cervix at around 7:30 pm, and she told us I was 7 cm dilated. I went from 2 1/2 cm to 7 cm in 3 hours! Emily asked Rosy to fill the bathtub with hot water and for the nurses to bring me the nitro gas to help me relax. Emily was helping focus on my breathing, doing my double hip squeeze and guiding me on how to stay focused. Once the tub was ready, Emily and Rosy helped me get in it. This is where my unforgettable experience started.
As soon as I was in this tub with the nitro gas, I could feel my body relax. Emily started massaging me and Rosy started pouring very hot water all over my body. Emily asked me to find my happy place. As I was working to find my happy place, I found myself in three different places at the same time. Part of me started thinking of memories with my family, places I would like to be with my newborn baby and I kept on coming home to my pets. Another part of me was telling myself to listen to what was going on in the room and what I was being told to do. I was actually fighting with my head to stay focused to listen to Emily and to help them out and cooperate. The third part of me was on this very peaceful place where I could hear the background music. I can still remember the rhythm of the spa music. I could smell the infusion Emily had used (I think it was lavender), I could feel Emily massaging my legs and Rosy pouring hot water on me. It was completely peaceful, emotional, and a sense of disbelief of all the emotions and feelings I was experiencing all at once. I remember asking for Jimmy, he instantly grabbed my hand and at this point I felt complete.
This moment felt like a life time. I could hear myself vocalizing along to the rhythm of the music in the background, and I was not in control of the process.
All of the sudden I could hear Emily saying that I was ready to push, and asking the nurses to get the doctor because my baby was ready to be born. Emily told me that we needed to get out of the tub and go to the birthing bed, but a big part of me did not want to come out of the hot tub. All of the sudden my alert side insisted to listen to Emily. I don’t know how I got the strength to get up and out of the hot tub and with my husband‘s and Emily’s help I got in the delivery bed.
I have a clear memory of all the delivery nurses the doctor getting ready, as Emily kept on supporting me through my contractions. I felt this urge to push…this pressure. The pain was out of this world. I could hear the doctor saying how he could see the head and he only needed a couple more pushes. I could hear the excitement in Jimmy’s voice and how supportive he was.
Soon after, I felt this relief; my little girl was born. I heard her cry, I felt confused, the pain was gone, and all off the sudden my baby girl was brought to my chest.
When I felt my baby on my chest for the first time, my first thought was “she’s heavy”. I looked at the clock and it was past 9 pm. I asked what day it was, and Jimmy told me, “It’s still Saturday.” I never had to be induced, my body went in labor naturally, and the intense part of my labor lasted 5 hours! Our baby girl was born after 20 minutes of pushing. It was at this point I realized how blessed we had been with such a fast labor and a wonderful experience.
We are so eternally thankful for Emily and Rosy for making our birthing experience as unforgettable as anyone could ask for. Not everything happened as planned but I do believe that it was a perfect experience after all. I can honestly say it was painful, but my mind and soul did not suffer through this process. I am grateful to know that Jimmy’s memory is that of a spa room and he was not traumatized by this laboring process." Written by first-time mom, Andrea, to welcome her daughter Kate Elizabeth, born 3/7/20
Mindful Birth Doulas: Emily Lugo and Rosy Ramirez
From Christine: We love helping parents share their birth stories! It's not only a way to keep those memories preserved, and not only an opportunity to celebrate and announce your baby's unique arrival, but it's also your chance to tell your story and to be heard. You've spent all 9 months of pregnancy gathering information and birth stories from others, and once your baby is born IT'S YOUR TURN! There is no pressure for parents to share their story, and it's an honor for the doulas at Mindful Birth to be given this privilege when they do. Welcome to all of our new babies and deep gratitude to all of our new parents. For more birth stories, visit our blog.
-Christine Ghali, owner of Mindful Birth Services, certified doula, certified childbirth educator, certified birth mentor