My first birth experience was not what I expected, imagined, or wanted and did not leave me with warm, fuzzy thoughts.
So when I got pregnant with my second daughter, I wanted a new midwife and a new hospital. My sister and doula, Susanna, had read about UCHealth’s Center for Midwifery and their progressive practice of doing water births. After my first experience, I was too apprehensive about home birth, so I opted to use the resources of the hospital for delivery – and their facility at Lone Tree for my prenatal care.
Wow! What a pleasant experience. I got to meet all the midwives, so whenever I went int labor, I would already know the midwife on call. Everything felt just right. My prenatal care was exceptional and they 100 percent supported my birth plan.I went to midwife Jessica on Tuesday, Oct. 25 and learned I was dilated 2 cm and 50 percent effaced. Feeling great, I went about my day, even to the gym for a 45-minute workout. That night, I woke up at 2:38 a.m. feeling a small gush. It kept happening, so I texted Susanna, but I wasn’t feeling contractions yet. When I felt another gush, I thought my water was breaking. Susanna decided to come to my house because labor was imminent.
I started having contractions and began timing them – and they were 3 or 4 minutes apart! I got dressed while my husband, Matt, packed the car, and when Susanna got there we decided to call the midwives.
On the way to the hospital, I entered the transition phase and was very uncomfortable. When we arrived at University of Colorado Hospital, at 5:10 a.m., I was already 7 cm dilated and fully effaced.
In the Labor and Delivery room, the nurse took my vitals and hooked me up to a fetal monitor. We soon
realized there was no time to blow up the pool for the water birth, but they did put me in a tub of warm water, which felt glorious!
Matt and Susanna took turns wiping my face with a cold cloth, but the tub was becoming uncomfortable, so they got me out. The nurses wrapped me in a warm, dry towel and midwife Anne checked my progress. She suggested lying on my side and grabbing my right knee as I pushed, and it worked! After one long push and some visualization of the baby moving down the birth canal, I started to feel her crown. I wanted to push with all my might, but the nurses and Anne reminded me to do slow, easy pushes. Finally, her head was out and after two more big pushes, she was born at 6:04 a.m.
Holy cow! I was only in that hospital room for 30 minutes.
They laid her on my chest and vigorously rubbed her and urged her to cry. She didn’t make much noise and moments later Anne cut the cord and said the NICU needed to look at her. I didn’t understand at first what was wrong, but I could hear and see the NICU team and the nurses were reassuring me.
After they removed some fluid from baby’s stomach, they checked her shoulder, which had gotten stuck as she was being born. The team got her moving and she was OK.
Finally, it was skin-to-skin time! She was laid on my chest and she tried to nurse. She weighed 8 pounds, 10.5 ounces. I had no idea I was carrying such a large baby. I’m rather petite and my first child was only 6 pounds.
We settled into our new room. All the nurses who tended me were amazing. The staff was supportive, comforting, and encouraging. I had an insanely rapid birth. And I did it. Natural. No time for drugs, even if I had wanted them. The experience was fast and furious and glorious.
My midwife and nurse team were flawless and professional and made this the best experience of my life.
[box]The UCHealth Center for Midwifery has three outpatient locations throughout the Metro Denver area and delivers babies at University of Colorado Hospital. The Center for Midwifery is the only practice in the Metro Denver area that offers an in-hospital water birth option. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call 720-848-1700.[/box]