Posts tagged ‘pushing’

Jennifer & Olivia

Olivia Rose was born at 3:57 on Wednesday 9/24 after 27.5 hours of labor.  It was very difficult, but I managed to have a completely unmedicated and natural child birth, like I originally planned.

After my water broke at 12:30am on Tuesday morning my labor wasn’t progressing as quickly as the midwives would have liked (concern with infection if birth is more than 24 hours after water breaking).  I was admitted Tuesday afternoon and we tried several rounds of nipple stimulation with the breast pump.  It worked to increase the frequency and intensity of my contractions in the short term, but they would eventually die down again.  By 6:30pm on Tuesday, I was only dilated to 5cm and at around 9pm my midwife and I made the mutual decision to use pitocin (even though I had really wanted to a avoid it).  The pitocin was very effective, but the contractions were intense!  At that point the epidural was looking mighty tempting, but my doula encouraged me to keep going one contraction at a time – I don’t know what I would have done without her and would highly recommend a doula to anyone planning an unmediated, natural childbirth (or really any type of birth for that matter).

I ended up pushing for over 2 hours and it was a real struggle.  It turns out that baby got her hand stuck along side her cheek and I was having to push both a head and a hand out.  I recall you discussing this a couple times in class, so I was at least familiar with the terminology, etc.   The other challenge that I had was that my pelvic floor was too strong – I recall the midwife referring to it as the perineum of steel – and it did want to stretch out for the baby (plus her hand).

All in all I made it through though and I have the most perfect, healthy, beautiful baby girl to show for it!  Feel free to share this in class if you like!  Things didn’t exactly go my way during childbirth, but with a lot of hard work and determination I was still to have the outcome I originally wanted.

My breath work was a huge factor in coping through labor.  I received a lot of complements from my midwife and nurses about how controlled my breath and pushing were – I really attribute it to all of my yoga training.


September 24, 2014 at 12:29 am Leave a comment

Jaime & Nora

Nora was born on October 3rd, 2013 – She was 8lbs 3 oz 20 1/2 inches long…th smallest of my kids. Ethan my oldest was 8lbs 8 oz 22 1/2 inches, Nico was 8.5 oz 21 1/2 inches long. So good size babies. 🙂

At 4:30pm I started having very mild contractions. They were not very painful and I could move around – they were just consistent. I left a message for the midwife at 5:30 pm just letting them know that my contraction have been consistent for an hour but have not increased in strength. I got a call back 10-15 min later from the midwife and she started asking me how far apart they were and other questions. While we were on the phone, we timed them – they were about 4-5 min apart and I think 20-40 seconds long. But still not intense.

As I was talking to the midwife my water broke. She asked if I wanted to get my things and head over to the Birth Center. I asked if I could eat dinner first and then come over she said that was fine, but to come over in an hour. So at 8pm, my husband and I got to the birth center. The next two hours were very boring. No increase in strength of contraction and Nora was monitoring just fine.

At 9:30pm they gave me a smoothie with I think cod liver oil, Almond butter and lemon, to help get things moving. I actually really liked it. By 10:30 my contractions started to increase and I had to breath through about 4-5 of them — I used the breath exercise we did in prenatal yoga. I slid into the bath tub where I had one strong contraction that made me feel like pushing, which also made me feel like I had to go pooh.

The midwife was in the room next door and had just caught another baby. I got out of the tub afraid to release a pooh in the tub, sat on the toilet had another strong pushing contraction. Now I felt like Nora ‘s head was coming out as I put my hand down below and could feel her head.

I quickly voiced for my husband to get the midwife. Less then a min later the midwife assistant Micky came into the bathroom right when I was having another strong contraction. Micky quickly ordered me to get off the toilet. She grabbed my arm as my other hand was holding Nora’s head. As I swiftly moved to the bathroom floor, Nora slid into Micky’s hands and she caught her. So three pushes and my little girl made it safely into the midwife assistant’s hands at 10:52pm.

I’m glad the final labor was fast. I was worried that it might take a while because of how long it took for the contractions to become more intense after my water broke. But I have no complaints – Nora came out calm and relaxed and interested in her surroundings. It was a beautiful, relaxed birth. I think my yoga practice helped make this an easy transition.

October 3, 2013 at 10:52 pm Leave a comment

Deanna and June

It was 5:15am and I was lying in bed with mild contractions that would not go away so I decided to get out of bed. They felt like the Braxton Hicks contractions I had on several occasions so I didn’t think too much of them, other than they were not going away. I thought walking around would help and also went online to see what other tricks I could find to make false contractions go away. I drank a cup of peppermint tea, ate a bagel and took a shower. I started timing the contractions just in case they were real. I had a hard time telling when one contraction started and stopped because the intensity varied with each contraction. I had stronger contractions every 7 to 10 minutes and several smaller ones in between. My online sources told me that real contractions steadily increase in strength and are consistently spaced apart so I continued to believe I was in false labor, but since they were not going away, I decided to call the hospital to speak with a triage nurse. She told me that I should wait until my stronger contractions were 5 minutes apart. She also asked if the baby was moving around but I was so busy focusing on the contractions I didn’t recall if I felt the baby move at all that morning.

I called back 15 minutes later and asked if we could come in and make sure the baby was ok as I was very emotional and worried that something might be wrong. I also told the nurse that my contractions were coming every 1-2 minutes, but they still were inconsistent when it came to the strength/pain. I vomited right before we left our house and at this point I was pretty sure these contractions were real. The pain was growing more intense with each contraction and I knew I’d want an epidural as soon as we got to the hospital.

The 15-minute drive to the hospital seemed to take forever and the contractions were getting stronger and stronger. I no longer had mild contractions in between. My husband dropped me off in front of the hospital entrance and there was another couple in front of me checking into the maternity ward. I had several contractions waiting in line and was trying my best not to make a scene but at this point the pain was intense. After we checked in, a nurse greeted us and could see how much pain I was in. She thought we were just checking on the baby and decided to skip the triage room all together and check me into a room right away. I had a few more contractions on the walk to the room and the nurse put me in a wheelchair, but it was unbearable to sit through the contractions so I walked and the pain was intensifying with each contraction.

We finally arrived to the room and the nurse quickly pushed the call button and said she needed help. I am so thankful that this nurse had experience and insight to see what was going on and took action quickly. She checked my cervix and said, “let me just verify what I’m feeling….yep, you are at 9cm.” To which I frantically replied, “Is it too late for an epidural?” I knew it was probably too late and she confirmed that it was because the baby would be here in the time spent trying to get the epidural. My biggest fear just came true. I NEVER in a million years would have wanted to have a baby without pain relief. I was terrified because the pain was so intense and I had no idea how long it was going to last or how much worse it was going to get. There was a lot of commotion in the room as several nurses were helping to get everything set up, starting an IV in my arm, and calling my doctor. I was screaming and moaning with each contraction and squeezing my husband’s hand (I’m surprised I didn’t break any of his bones) while a nurse was telling me to look at her and slow down my breathing. They were calling the on-call doctor when another nurse said “get the hospitalist in here right away”. I thought she said get “hospice” in here and that freaked me out as I thought something must be wrong. Then she explained that the hospitalist is a doctor that they have on staff at all times to deliver babies when the woman’s personal doctor cannot be there. ☺

I felt the urge to push just as the hospitalist arrived. My water was still intact and as the doctor was turned around to get out an instrument to rupture my membrane, I had a strong contraction that broke the water and shot it across the room like it came out of a fire hydrant. An unlucky nurse happened to get a nice soak and I guess that is an on-the-job hazard. Two pushes later, June came out and all of the pain was gone!

My husband and I were in shock how quickly June was born and how close we were to having a baby at home or in our car. It was about 30 minutes from the time the nurse came out to greet us until June was born at 8:18am. Everything happened so quickly, but after she was born there was calmness in the room and we were so happy to meet her. She arrived 10 days early and weighed 8 lbs and was 20 inches long.

March 23, 2012 at 8:18 am Leave a comment

Chrissy and Rylan

On Thursday January 12th at 9:30 a.m., my water broke. I was in the laundry room putting clothes into the dryer. I wasn’t completely sure, but I knew I hadn’t involuntarily peed my pants. A few minutes later, I felt a smaller burst, then I decided to go sit down and read my pregnancy book to make sure this was really happening. I should have known since I was already 6 days over due. As I was sitting there reading, I felt a larger gush. Yep, that’s it!

I called my husband and told him the news and he came home from work. I then called Puget Sound Birth Center, my doula, Mom, then Dad. Nicole was the midwife on duty. She told me to eat a lot of calories, drink a lot of liquids and get rest. My husband and I both took advantage of that. By this time it was about 12:30 pm, so I had my husband go to Kidd Valley and get us burgers and fries. He added in milkshakes.

My contractions started at about 1:30 pm and were about as strong as period cramps. My mom came over to pick up our dog at about 3:30 pm and my contractions had picked up a bit. She had also helped with my calorie intake by bringing cupcakes from Cupcake Royale, so I had a cupcake. Nicole checked in with us a little before 7:00 pm and had told me to eat another meal before my contractions became more frequent, so I did, then I finished it off with my chocolate peanut butter shake.

From 7:00-8:00, my contractions went from tolerable to pretty painful. When we talked to Nicole earlier, she had said that I should try to get some sleep and even get into bed early because it would be beneficial later. She had said she’d probably see us the next morning. My doula, Summer, said the same thing. Well, they were both surprised to get the call that my labor had sped up drastically.

Summer got to our house at 9:00 pm and I labored at home until 10:45 pm when we left for the birthing center. By this time, my contractions were back to back. I had 3 from my doorway to the car. We arrived at the birthing center at 11:15 pm. Nicole and her midwife in training, Katy, checked me out and I was dilated to an 8. I then got into the tub and continued to labor with my backside on the wall of the tub. They had me turn around and put my arms on the edge of the tub to get my IV in (antibiotics for group B strep). The IV was in for 20 minutes and it was the longest 20 minutes ever!

I continued in child’s pose and suddenly got the sensation to push. Katy had to help manually with moving the last part of my cervix so I could push. I pushed for about an hour. I could hear Nicole commenting on all the hair on the baby’s head when she crowned, then her head came out and on the next push her body.

Katy pushed her towards me in the water between my legs and I caught her, turned around and put her to my chest. She was alert with her eyes wide open and didn’t make any noise right away, then let out a big yell.

She was born at 1:09 am on Friday the 13th. My husband cut her chord (which was very short) and they had me hand her to him. He held her skin to skin while I delivered the placenta. I got out of the tub, dressed and laid down on the bed with her to feed her. The midwives weighed her and measured her. She was 7lb. 6oz. and was 20.5 inches long.

My dad had brought home made croissant sandwiches for everyone, so we all ate our meals, packed up and were on our way home in no time. We were home and settled by 4:00 am with our beautiful baby girl, Rylan Amanda Jones.

That’s our story!

January 13, 2012 at 1:09 am Leave a comment

Rachel and Evan

Some background, my first was an attempted homebirth, but ended up with a hospital transfer because she was asynclitic and posterior and I just couldn’t get her out. She was a c-section, 8lbs, 14oz, after around 50 hours of labor. Next baby was a successful homebirth. He had shoulder dystocia, and was born completely unresponsive and required resuscitation. He perked up after a minute or so, and then was completely fine, no hospital transfer needed. He was 10lbs 2oz.

Here’s Evan’s Birth Story:
A little before midnight Tuesday night I started having “interesting” contractions, but I wasn’t getting too excited since every night for the last 2 weeks I’d have a handful and then they’d go away. But these were stronger and took a little more focus so it did make me wonder. I decided to start timing them. 14 minutes.. 4 minutes.. 2.5 minutes?! SERIOUSLY?! I called my midwife at 1 am to tell her what was going on, and she said to call back with an update in half an hour. We called back at 1:30 to let her know that these contractions are *not kidding*, this definitely feels more like active labor than early labor. I skipped over early labor altogether (or maybe early labor was every night for the last 2 weeks, on the layaway plan). I called my doula and my mom and told them it was time to come over!

One thing that was cool is on some contractions, I swear I could feel my cervix opening. By the time my doula arrived, probably within a half hour, I was already hitting transition. I spent some time draped over the birth ball and my doula did some counterpressure in my back. The midwife and her team (assistant and apprentice) arrived just a few minutes later and started boiling some water for the tub. We only got a few inches in before the hot water ran out. I could tell I was in transition because I stayed “checked out” even between contractions. I looked up at one point and said, “hey, I think this is transition already..” and they were like, “yeah, I’d say so!” I started pushing a teeny bit at the end of contractions. Not so much with an urge, but because it felt good so I went with it. They got the pool filled and warm so I moved in there. The combination of the water and having my doula and husband switch off pressing on my low back felt really good, and I pushed a bit but the urge wasn’t super strong yet.

My midwife offered to check me, and I was curious if I had a bit of a lip or something holding me back, so I accepted. I didn’t even need to get out of the water. As suspected, there was a thin rim of cervix holding his head back – she described it like a rubber band.

After a bit I wasn’t feeling like I was very effective in the water and decided to get into bed for a while. The rim was so stubborn! My midwife kept holding it back so I could push the head past it, but then it would just slide right over. So frustrating. The water bag was bulging in front of the head. We decided to break it since I make crazy strong bags anyway, and figured that would help the head drop down a little more. That definitely helped, and of course, made the pushing urge that much stronger. I kept switching around locations and positions for pushing, toilet, back in the water, kneeling leaning on the birth ball, and then settled onto my back in bed. I was getting pretty mad while pushing, since it felt like I was making no progress!

After a while, I could see the head in the mirror and just kept thinking to myself, okay…almost done, almost done! But what really surprised me was just a contraction or two later the head was fully crowning, and just a few more contractions got the head all the way out. Last time, I spent a good half hour trying to get the baby’s head from crowning to out, and this one just popped right out. I was kind of on edge at that point, wondering if the shoulders would be stuck again. But then I heard, “okay, shoulders restituting..” and I was thinking, oh, cool! Since that meant no dystocia. But then she starts really messing around down there while telling me to push really hard, and I heard the..assistant? apprentice? of the two asking if she needed to do suprapubic (a maneuver for resolving shoulder dystocia) and I thought, oh crap, here we go again! But then the shoulders came out and the baby was brought right to my chest. Eyes open, alert, making noises right away and crying a few seconds later.

After a minute I took a peek and found out we had a boy! I found out he had an arm up and behind his head so his elbow was sticking out funny. My midwife had to reach in and sweep it to the front and out and then he came out no problem. He nursed within 20 minutes, and we waited for the placenta before cutting the cord. After some more snuggles we did the newborn exam. 11 lbs even, 23 inches long, 15 inch head! And I have to mention, since most assume otherwise given his size, no tearing! He was born at 5:48am so start to finish, labor was only about 6 hours.

November 16, 2011 at 4:48 am Leave a comment

Amanda and Ryan

Tuesday August 30th, the day before our due date my friend Vanessa invited us to a Mariner game. I was joking with her that we would be in labor on the way home from the game that night. We arrived home and got into bed. Ryan was feeling my belly and Benjamin’s kicks when I felt a pop. Right after that at 11:30 PM my water broke in our bed.

Ryan quickly got some towels and I made my way to the bathroom – it was definitely a gush. Adrenaline kicked in and I changed the sheets on the bed while Ryan took a shower. I called the midwives and texted my friends and family and told them to go to bed, we would let them know when we were on our way to the hospital.

My contractions were about 8 minutes apart at the beginning and lasted 40 seconds. I liked hugging pillows and standing on the edge of the bed for these. I was able to keep laying on my side in bed when I wasn’t having a contraction and I really liked the hot pad on my back because I would have chills after each contraction.

At 3 AM I ate an english muffin because my friend Kim said I should eat something if I could and Ryan went to install the car seat in the car and pull a sleeping bag out of the loft in the garage. By 4 AM my contractions were 6 minutes apart and they were lasting 2 minutes. I said to Ryan, “maybe we need to talk about this natural birth. Maybe I want narcotics but I don’t want an epidural.” Ryan said, “Are you sure?” and I said, “no.” Ryan reassured me by saying “I don’t think the contractions are going to get more painful, they are just going to come more often.” This made sense to me and we continued to labor at home.

I really liked the slide breathing – Ryan would say 3 breaths and I would take a deep breadth and let it out in 3 breaths. This gives you something to think about besides the pain. I spent this time in the slow dance position and it was difficult to rest. At 5 AM I liked to sit on the edge of our high-backed office chair with my feet up on the bed 3 feet apart and a cold wash cloth on my forehead. I told Ryan I might vomit so he brought me the garbage can and I did vomit around this time. At 6 AM I was still having my 2-minute-long contractions every 6 minutes but in between I was having a 40 second contraction and I vomited again – this time only water. I could not get comfortable in any position so we called the midwife back at 6:30 and told her we were leaving for the hospital.

We are only 5 minutes from the hospital and I had 2 contractions in the car. The agony was waiting the 5 minutes for a nurse to come pick us up at reception. I was laboring in the lobby in the slow dance position in front of another pregnant woman who was not in labor (poor girl was probably scared). The nurse (Nancy) walked us straight to our room and I told her I was feeling a lot of pressure on my tail bone. Our midwife Sharon showed up a few minutes later. I changed into my nightgown that I brought for labor and Sharon checked my cervix.

Sharon told me I could push anytime. “What?” I said. This is when I got really scared. I thought that I would have to labor at the hospital a little more. The pushing part was what scared me the most. I told Nancy and Sharon that I didn’t want to feel rushed into pushing so they told me just do a small push to practice.

I was on my back with Nancy holding one of my legs and Ryan holding the other. Sharon was in the middle stretching my perineum and putting hot compresses on the area. She was showing me with her hands how much of Ben’s head she was seeing when I pushed and telling me that he has brown hair. You definitely feel and urge to push during the contractions and they were telling me pushing helps so you don’t feel the contraction which is true.

When the head was out I just kept pushing (and screaming involuntarily) and after 2 hours of pushing, Benjamin Thomas was born at 8:51 AM. Sharon put the baby on my chest while she prepared the cord for Ryan to cut. I delivered the placenta shortly after and Sharon started on my stitches. The stitches didn’t hurt – the shot to numb the area hurt.

They gave me a shot of Petocin in the thigh to help contract my uterus and slow the bleeding. Benjamin was 8 lbs 2 oz, 19.5 inches long, and his head was 14 inches around (that’s right ladies I pushed that out with no drugs).

August 31, 2011 at 8:51 am Leave a comment

Krista and Hanna

My husband and I welcomed our baby girl, Hanna Linnéa on 8-9-11, one day ahead of her due date. We had a regular check-up with our OB that morning and I had been experiencing mild contractions, about 15-20 minutes apart since 5AM. At our appointment, we had our OB ¨sweep the membranes’ as I was 2 cm dilated. We then checked the baby’s fluids and found she was running low, at 5 cm, so decided to go in for an induction and checked into labor and delivery within the half hour. Well, it didn’t take much to get us going as I quickly moved to 4 cm after the sweep and was in full labor by 10:30AM, having contractions 3 minutes apart.

We felt pretty strong about having a natural birth, so I was glad to avoid pitocin to speed up labor. The contractions were strong, but manageable early on so my husband had time to run back home to pick up our hospital bags. At around 12:30, we were measuring at 5cm, so they broke our waters to keep things going. Shortly after, the intensity picked up pretty quickly and it was time to get more mobile.

I took a quick bath, but decided that wasn’t delivering a lot of comfort so I moved onto squats and lunges. For the next 4 hours, I alternated between plie squats at the bed and single leg lunges at the window seat. I took small breaks on the bed, but found the pain much stronger when I was lying down. I think the combination of squats and lunge definitely helped speed up the opening and I was really thankful that I had practiced these regularly throughout my pregnancy. My husband and I didn’t rely on alternate breathing techniques, it was more comforting to just keep taking deep breaths and break each contraction into sets of either 15 squats or 15 lunges.

I wanted to keep the labor natural, but admit there were several times throughout those final 4 hours that I questioned whether my body was going to take much more. The adrenaline rush and fatigue made my muscles tremor and I was less and less able to relax in the 30-45 seconds between contractions. My husband was a huge source of comfort throughout though, massaging me and providing a lot of encouragement. I also reflected back on the birth stories I heard in this class for motivation to keep to our natural plan, and I’m extremely thankful for that.

Finally, after 4 hours of strong labor we reached 10 cm. and it was time to start pushing. I actually found this phase of labor to be least painful, and was able to get good rests between the contractions as the body relaxed a bit more. I squatted through the first 30 minutes of pushing, but then became too tired to keep the position once the baby’s head started to emerge. It took another 45 minutes to finish delivery but all pain was forgotten the moment Hanna entered our world.

I’m really glad that I took the time to practice yoga throughout my pregnancy and felt that this experience definitely helped me have the smooth, natural delivery that was important to my husband and I. I look forward to continuing my practice in baby yoga next month and would definitely return to this class for future pregnancies.

August 9, 2011 at 2:15 am Leave a comment

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