Melissa's story about the birth of Khloe Raein
My due date was February 2nd…but I knew she would come another day as a surprise. I was 41 weeks and 2 days “late”. I felt like I was going to be pregnant forever. Scared that I would have to be induced...I patiently waited for the day to come to meet my little sweetheart.
On February 11th 2014, I woke up to use the bathroom. When I finished peeing I stood up and water kept coming out. Sure enough…it was my water! I was feeling all kinds of emotions. I was so happy and scared to death at the same time! Since it was so early I wanted to wait to call the midwife. I wanted to lie back down to get some rest but I was way too anxious for that!
I stayed up Google searching water breaking. My water was slightly pink in color and I read that it was normal. I texted my doula and gave her a heads up that I was 90% sure this was it. I called the midwife on call which was Sarah to let her know. She asked if I was having contractions and I wasn’t at the time. She said wait about 3-4 hours and give her a call back. 3-4 hours went by and I still wasn’t noticing anything. That is when I was told to come in to try naturally inducing labor. I packed up the rest of my stuff and looked around my house suddenly realizing that next time I come back it will be with my baby!
When I arrived at The Midwife Center I felt so nervous. I had butterflies in my stomach as I looked around in the Ocean room, hoping this would be where my baby was born. I started pumping on each side, then I would walk outside to try to get things moving. I did about three rounds. Sarah didn’t want to check me since my water broke and I was more at risk for an infection. She did check without using her hands and I still wasn’t progressing the way we wanted!
Then she explained the one thing I hoped to never hear. I most likely will have to go to Mercy to start Pitocin to get things moving. Since my water broke at 4 a.m. I needed to have her within 24 hours and the clock was ticking! Sarah left the room to let me think about it. That is when I had quite a breakdown. I wanted to birth at The Midwife Center. I wanted to be in the tub when I was in pain. A hospital is not where I wanted to be at all and this is not what I planned. But soon I realized the best plan is to have no plan at all. To go with whatever happens and whatever is safest for you and your baby. That life isn’t always going to go the way you plan and that is just the way it is! I pulled it together, ate my veggie burger and started to pack my things again to head over to Mercy.
When I arrived at Mercy around 5 p.m., I felt relieved and safe. I remembered that the midwives would still be with me until the end and they would still deliver my baby. I was reminded that even though I have to get Pitocin (which made my stomach turn thinking about!) that I could still do an epidural-free labor which was most important to me.
My doula Jami arrived. My two best friends, mother, and boyfriend Kevin were with me. I felt safe and much more relaxed. The lowest dose of Pitocin was started. Things started moving quickly from there and I was beginning to have noticeable contractions that I was still able to talk through. I sat on the exercise ball and bounced around. That helped me a lot. When my sister arrived she gave me a massage to help keep my mind off things. When contractions started to get worse I got down on the floor and started to do some yoga on my hands and knees. I was reminded that the more I move, the quicker the baby would come out. The bed was my enemy and I refused to be in it!
Since I was in so much pain they decided to check me and I was told what seemed like the worst news of my life. I was 2cm dilated. I felt so hopeless when I heard that because I felt like I had days left to go. I really didn’t think it would ever end. I would get comfortable in a spot and want to stay there. Then I was reminded that the more I would move the quicker this would be. So I took another walk in the hallway. I was afraid to walk out there because contractions were so intense I thought I was being obnoxious and loud for the other moms. According to everyone else….I was doing great! That is something I didn’t believe while I was in labor.
I suddenly had a major urge to push every contraction. I would run to the toilet and sit there and push. I was convinced I would have my baby on the toilet. I didn’t understand why I needed to push so bad because it wasn’t time yet. The toilet is where I felt most comfortable and when I pushed I felt major relief. I was checked again and was 5cm. It still felt to me like I wasn’t progressing at all…even though I was making great progress!
Eventually I found my ritual. I was swaying my hips from side to side making the same noises over and over again. It really helped me cope. Everyone thought I was being funny because I would make comments like “WOMEN DO NOT DO THIS!” and “I think I am going to die..” I truly was in the worst pain of my life but looking back I wouldn’t change it for the world. If I could give anyone advise that I wish I would have taken it’s to get rest! I really think if I was more rested I would have taken it better. Each contraction I felt like I could pass out because I was so exhausted. My contractions were so close together I felt like I had no relief. When I wasn’t having one I would talk about not wanting it to come and before I was done speaking there is was again….I ran to the bathroom and started to push again. This is when pushing became intense and my doula Jami decided to get Ann to check me. Sure enough I heard the best news of my life which I NEVER thought I would hear. I was 10 cm dilated 100% effaced and ready to have my baby! I suddenly got this gush of energy. I was MORE than ready for this.
Pushing was a huge fear of mine but surprisingly it felt better to push. I remember feeling like her head was out and when I looked in the mirror it wasn’t even showing. This encouraged me to push harder and it helped a lot! After each push I would look and see her coming out more and more. A head full of hair is what I saw! Anxious to hold my baby I kept going. I eventually lifted my own leg and felt her with my own hands!! Soon her entire head was out and with one more push her body slipped right out of me! This lasted for about 45 minutes.
On February 12th at 4:39 a.m. my boyfriend handed me the best birthday present I ever received. My beautiful baby girl was placed on my chest for the first time. Her warm, wet body, umbilical cord still attached we laid there and cried together. We waited until her cord was done pulsing to cut it. I kept her on my chest and watched her do the breast crawl. What a fascinating experience that was to see! She latched on within 15-20 minutes and ate all night! I will never forget the sound of her first cry, the warmth of her tiny body, the look on her face, the way her eyes looked when they first opened, the feeling of her latching on for the first time. The moment she was born so was I. I was reborn into a mother that will carry this memory with me for the rest of my life.
6 lbs. 14 oz. 20.5 inches
Thank you to all of the staff at TMC. I truly had the experience of a lifetime and couldn’t have done it without the support and encouragement of all of you. I really felt like I was in control of the birth of my baby and you were all there to guide me through like angels.
Melissa & Khloe