Carissa Tells Her Birth Story

Jack’s Birth Story

On Wednesday, July 6th, I had an internal exam at my doctor’s office, and I was not dilated or effaced. That Saturday the 9th, I had a birthing class with my doula, Teresa Howard, called FEAR to FREEDOM and I believe that during the relaxation exercise I started to dilate. I lost my mucus plug at around 2:30 pm on Monday, July 11th, shortly after my mother and sister, Katie, arrived (they were just staying for the night, driving through from Chicago to Florida). Later that afternoon we went to the pool and I didn’t feel right. My stomach was upset and it was the first time all summer I didn’t feel good in the pool. I knew I was going into labor. That night we got prepared and I had trouble sleeping, so I took an Ambien (which was approved by my midwife). At 6:30 am the next morning (only about 5 minutes after Adam left for work), my contractions started. When I was getting out of bed an hour later, my water released on its own.

I called Adam and Teresa to let them know my status, but I knew I was still in early labor, so I didn’t think there was any rush (boy was I wrong!). I ate breakfast (yogurt, granola and blueberries), and was having an easy time breathing through my contractions. At 8:45 am I was in my office sending an email to my boss letting him know I was in labor and I transferred my employees to him. Around 9:05 am, I think I went into active labor, since I got serious and went upstairs to lie down. Adam arrived home from work a few minutes later and we left for the hospital around 9:45 am. I sat in the back seat of our SUV, listening to my Hypnobirthing relaxation on my IPOD and wearing an eye mask. I was in full-on labor during the drive since I had to really focus through each contraction.

Upon arriving to the hospital, Adam had to check me in since I could barely speak. Unfortunately the systems were down and my insurance card was nowhere to be found, so check-in took a lot longer than necessary. We also had forgotten to call my doctor’s office to let them know we were heading in, but luckily my midwife was at the hospital doing rounds. We got to our delivery room at 10:32 am. I declined putting on the hospital gown and stayed in my pink dress. When the nurse asked me to lie down so she could examine me, I got the urge to throw-up, and did so in a basin. Right after that Teresa got to the room and I told her that I was upset that I didn’t make it in time (because I knew I was going into transition). But she told me that I had arrived at the perfect time.

I then went to the bathroom, and while I was in there Adam gave the nurse my birth plan and some M&Ms and posted Hypnobirthing signs around the room (Teresa described him as a very protective “bear”, that you had to get through him to get to me). When I came out of the bathroom, my midwife, Amy Kayler had arrived (I was very pleased, since she was my favorite CNM at Northside Women’s Specialists). She tried to examine me but I then felt like I needed to go to the bathroom again. When sitting on the toilet, I realized that I was actually getting the urge to push. Amy performed an exam at 10:55 am and determined that I was fully dilated. They had me lie on my left side to slow down my progress to hopefully not tear again.

During each contraction when I would begin to panic, Teresa would just say my name and tell me to breath and I would calm down. She also had ready cold wash clothes for between contractions. During one contraction, I started to dig my nails into Teresa, so Adam stepped in and I grabbed him instead. When I felt Jack crowning, I said quietly “I feel him! Come on boy!” With only 3 contractions, I gave birth at 11:09 am on July 12, 2011. Our baby, Jack Steven weighed 8 lbs 10.6 oz and was 20.25″. He was healthy and perfect! It was an extremely fast labor (the active phase was a lot quicker than I had anticipated, but it made sense since my water broke and I was vertical most of my labor), and it was a very positive experience. The only thing I would have changed would have been leaving for the hospital sooner (even 20 minutes), so I could have gotten back into a relaxed state upon arriving to my room.

Even though my doula was only with us for a few minutes, the support she provided in that short time was priceless.

Time line:

6:30 am Contractions began

7:30 am Water broke

8:54 am Sent an email to my boss letting him know I was in labor

9:05 am Active labor began

9:15 am Adam got home from work

9:40 am Called our doula

9:45 am We left for the hospital

10:05 am Arrived at the hospital

10:32 am Got to the delivery room

10:35 am Threw-up, entered transition phase & doula arrived

10:55 am Had the urge to push and midwife confirmed via exam that I was fully dilated

11:09 am Jack was born!