Michelle's Birth Story


This week we continue our celebration of positive birth experiences.  Busting through the fear based culture around birth!  I'm happy to share rockstar Momma, Michelle's birth story.  Each birth story has lessons and moments of inspiration.  In Michelle's story, we learn how bonding the birth experience was for her and her husband.  They prepared for labor with workshops, classes, books, and more.  Putting it all to test when labor came.  Birth is a sacred experience with the partner playing a vital role, setting the stage for a team- parenting path.  

I love Michelle's story, especially the honesty of mistaking labor pains for Mexican food gas!!  Read on to learn more! 

"I had my 40 week appointment the day before my due date, which also happened to be inauguration day.  During the appointment I decided to have my membranes stripped.  It can reduce the likelihood of being induced so I was all for it.  I was not a fan of being artificially induced, since it increases your chances for a Cesarean and of course I was so anxious to meet baby Nicholas.  The membrane stripping was painfully uncomfortable and I remember thinking if this is what labor feels like I’m not going to make it. Ha!  But of course there was no turning back now. 


Exactly twelve hours later I woke up feeling a little uncomfortable.  I thought about how this could be the start of labor and remembered that everyone says to go back to sleep to get more rest, so I laid back down and slept for an hour.  I woke up to an odd feeling that could be a contraction.  It felt like gas-- not the resounding wave of cramping that I had read about in text books.  I waited a bit and felt it again, so I decided to time them.  Sure enough the pain was coming consistently every 15 minutes and it was so uncomfortable that I decided to wake my husband because I couldn’t focus on the pain and press the contraction counter on my phone at the same time.  Within 30 minutes the pain went from every 15 minutes to every 5 minutes but only lasting about 20 seconds, so at this point I was telling my husband that this is either gas or false labor.  I remember being told that before heading to the hospital the contractions should be 3-5 minutes apart for 60 seconds long.  I was also kicking myself for having that comfort Mexican food the previous night leading to this horrendous pain.  My husband decided that my reaction to the “gas” didn’t seem normal and made the call to labor and delivery.  They advised to take a warm shower for 30 minutes to see if the contractions became longer.  After about 10 minutes and me still saying “it’s just gas” while writhing on the tub floor my husband called labor and delivery again.  They heard me go through a contraction in the background and told us to come to the hospital.  At this point they were three minutes apart but still only 20 seconds long.  I fumbled through trying to get my clothes back on while doing my cat/cow poses during contractions.  My husband was frantically running around getting the car packed.  I’ll never forget getting a sweet kiss from my dog who knew something just wasn’t right.  I guess even she knew it wasn’t “gas.”  

We took what seemed like the longest 15 minute drive to the hospital.  I was cringing as I saw the clock inch toward every three minute mark.  When we made it to the hospital, I could barely walk and was hunched over trying to make it to a wheel chair.  I was put in the triage room and checked to find out that I was 4-5 cm dilated and 90% effaced.  I started crying thinking that they were going to send me home because I wasn’t over 5 cm.  The nurses quickly assured me that I would be admitted.  They asked my pain management method and my husband recalls me yelling “epidural” like a scene from a movie (I don’t quite remember it that way)!  An IV bag and two hours later I was finally seeing the nurse anesthetist.  Yes, two hours later!  I always thought the epidural would come much quicker, but it turns out you do need to be prepared to get through the contractions since you don’t know how long you’ll labor at home thinking it’s “gas” or if the nurse anesthetist will be busy in the operating room when you arrive.  My husband helped me breath through the contractions focusing on “blowing the candles out” on a birthday cake.  Before I received the epidural I knew I was heading into transition because I had the urge to vomit.  I asked the nurse how often the contractions were coming and she said they were every three minutes for 90 seconds long.  Apparently at home I was only counting a contraction as the peak, which was about 20-30 seconds.  Whoops!  So, I woke up with pain at 2:30AM, was admitted to the hospital around 7:30AM, received my epidural by 9:30AM, and by noon my doctor came in to break my water.    Did I mention it was inauguration day and my doctor, who is also a family friend, had off for the day?  I felt horrible making her come in when she had three little ones of her own to spend her rare day off.  So, we broke my water to get the show on the road.  By 2:30 she checked me and I was ready to push. 

With the help of my stellar nurse crew and my amazing husband, my coaches got me through the pushing.  I had no idea how intense that would be.  Thirty minutes later a healthy baby Nicholas was born at 3:19PM.  The nurses mentioned that was the fastest pushing for a first time mom they had seen.  I credit it all to my prenatal yoga of course.  Seeing Nicholas for the first time and watching my husband see him come into the world brought such joy to my heart.  Having my husband there coaching me through every contraction was such a special moment in time that I will never forget. Our bond not only grew stronger by being forever linked by Nicholas but solidified that we can do anything as a team in the future."