Grace and Josie | A Blog for Moms

Rhode Island based Mom blogger sharing fashion, shopping, and lifestyle tips.

My *Almost* Natural Birth

Brooke's Birth Story

As you'll note faithful readers, she arrived just a few hours after my last blog post and at that time I wasn't sure if her arrival was imminent or if I'd be in labor for days like some of the ladies I've heard stories about on the forums. At that point though I was ready (before that not so much). Tuesday was my last day of things that had to be done. Mainly, a preschool orientation for Grace that afternoon that I was determined to make it to. And I did, contractions and all. I had my phone in my hand to keep track of my ongoing contractions with the app I was using and at one point must have made a face because Grace's new teacher asked if I were ok. Oh yes, I'll be fine, just having a contraction. "Shouldn't you go to the hospital?" Not yet.

By 10 pm that night I took a bath and the contractions nearly stopped altogether so I was able to get some sleep. Until I was awoken around 3:45 am with a weird and jolting shift in my belly. When I stood up I realized my water had broken and it was go time. Fortunately, Grace was spending the night with her grandmother or else she probably would have had to come with us. Things were feeling urgent!

Contractions started to happen fast and furious and by the time we got in the car around 4 am they were 2-3 minutes apart. Yikes. Luckily the ride to the hospital from East Greenwich to Providence, which could have been a traffic nightmare during rush hour, was a quick 15 minutes or so. When we arrived all was quiet at Women & Infants (thank GOD!) and I was admitted to triage and then whatever those small rooms are before you're officially admitted to Labor and Delivery. At this point my contractions were awful but people kept asking me questions or to sign things, putting in IVs, monitors, you name it. Every time I had a contraction I felt the need to abuse Matt in some way, whether it was kicking his leg or squeezing his hand rhythmically. I mean, it was the least he could do until the epidural was administered.

Between the contractions and the pressure in my pelvis, I wasn't comfortable unless I was sitting up, with one leg under me (like half cross legged) and I remained like that all the way on my ride through triage, up the elevator and into my labor and delivery room. When we arrived upstairs around 6 am I ordered up that epidural stat! I remember two very uncomfortable things about arriving in that room. The first was that it was SO HOT and the second was that the local news had just started and as anyone who is under stress can imagine, the local news is not an effective stress reducer. I tried to get "please TURN OFF the news" out while I was having a contraction, but everyone was hustling around and no one heard me - so on it went.  The L&D nurses we had were amazing, just like our last experience at Women & Infants. Our main nurse was a lifesaver when it came to coaching me through the contractions while I waited for my epidural. Miraculously, my actual OB doctor was on call - but only until 7am so it didn't seem likely that he would be delivering my baby. I belong to a pretty large practice that has offices all over Rhode Island and last time the doctor who delivered Grace was one of the only ones I hadn't met. It didn't really matter because she was awesome, but I know it's important to some people. He poked his head in right when I was having a massive contraction and was basically like, I'll come back once that epidural has kicked in! See ya!

More contractions, more paperwork and more stupid traffic reports on the news before my epidural was finally administered and it was just about as unpleasant as the last time. I'd rather not think about the process too much but somehow they got it done between contractions and then ahhhh I actually got to relax for a minute. The first contraction while on the epidural was a few degrees less intense, then the second was even better - but then. THEN. I felt a different kind of pain. I was like Nurse, this one feels weird! Why isn't the epidural working! She looked a little concerned and asked where I felt the pain. I told her that I felt it really low, like a pressure in my bum. At that point all the nurses in the room looked up a little surprised. They checked me and voila. Time to push! They called my OB to hurry in, got into place and three pushes later (with a barely functioning epidural mind you...) Brooke made her debut with a full head of dark hair. It was 6:37 am, a very quick 37 minutes after we arrived in the L&D room. Matt and I even joked that we now had time to grab breakfast.

Since I wasn't that dilated when they checked me an hour before downstairs, all of the nurses and even my doctor definitely weren't expecting to deliver my baby before their shifts ended but Brooke had other plans. We were so relieved that she and I were perfectly healthy and amazed it was over so quickly!

Everything happened so fast that our families didn't even know we left for the hospital so it was nice to surprise them with the new addition before they even had breakfast!

As for my almost natural birth, it wasn't my plan to get an epidural 10 minutes before my daughter was born but that's what happened! I know that if they had re-checked my dilation status when my doctor first popped in they wouldn't have given me an epidural. However, if I heard the words "it's too late to get one", I think mentally that would have been harder on me when I started to push. Luckily the active labor stage was brief, but I would not have enjoyed hours and hours of that level of contractions.  What was nice was after she was born. I felt like I bounced back and was much more lively than last time. With Grace, my labor was very long but not very painful thanks to hours of an epidural. I felt loopy and exhausted after 19 hours of labor in the hospital when I held Grace for the first time. However, this time without needing much IV fluid or having the pain meds in my system for very long I felt great and alert! And ready to eat. I didn't have any tears or other complications so I felt like a million bucks even that day, and in the following weeks. With a proper hair and makeup team I could even see how Duchess Kate pulled it off!

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