Birth Plan versus Birth Reality Part 3

My Birth Story

**Warning- This post is as completely honest as I can remember all the events.  I'll try to get as many details as I can remember.**

My birth story starts about a week before Phillip was born.

Threatened with an induction due to gestational diabetes, I tried all I could to encourage baby to come on it's own (I refer to him as it here because at the time we didn't know his sex).

I spent a lot of time walking- about an hour 3x a day around our apartment complex which is up on a hill. 

During the evenings I would sit on my exercise ball and bounce around to help open up my pelvis.  I also would squat against a wall (with the help of my husband) and do pelvic rocks (on hands and knees) before bed to encourage baby to move down.

I was able to encourage my husband to massage a few accupressure points know to induce labor.  One of the most well known points is behind the ankle on the external part of the leg.  On the internal part of the leg, about 3 finger lengths above the ankle bone, right below the calf is another point. 

Alas, none of my efforts worked.

My induction was scheduled on 12/28 at 11am.

At 9ish in the morning the hospital called and asked if we could push it back to later that afternoon or evening because they were so busy. 

I said no problem! We called our Bradley Instructor since she was our "phone doula" to update her.  She suggested I try Castor Oil, a laxative, to encourage my uterus to start contractions on its own. 

My husband mixed 2oz of Castor Oil with 2oz of OJ.  It was NASTY.

We waited a few hours and nothing.  No contractions at all.

The hospital called and asked us to come in at 2pm- we told them we would be able to come in at 3 and they agreed.

Obviously we were trying to stall as much as possible to give natural labor a chance.

At 3pm I was admitted.  They were still running behind and the nurses told me that the resident OB would be by shortley to check my progress and start the medication, if needed.

4pm- Resident OB shows up and checks my progress.  

Now, if you read my previous posts you know I wanted an unmedicated birth. After he checks me he tells me, "Don't worry, the next time you'll be checked you'll already have the epidural." I told him no I wasn't getting the epidural.  His reply, "Are you sure? You know it's going to hurt more than that with a baby coming through there."

Jackass.  I wanted to kick him in his face.  That's not what you tell a woman about to get induced!!

Anyway, he checks me and I'm 3-4cm dilated and about 70% effaced.  Baby was head down and at a -2 station.

What does that mean?  Well, 10cm is the the goal for dilation (opening of the cervix), 100% is the goal for effacement (softening of the cervix).  Baby's station tells us how high the baby is, starting at -3.

-3: high
-2: head is entering pelvis
-1: head is in pelvis
0: head is in the center of pelvis, most narrow point.
1: head is at the top of the birth canal.
2: head is halfway through
3: head is crowning.

So based on that check from Dr. Jackass, I didn't need the medication at all.  They would just start me right away on Pitocin.

7pm- "Right away" when a hospital is busy means 3 hours later.  But I didn't mind.  We turned down the lights, lit our flameless tea light candles, sprayed our lavender room spray and took a nap.

When the nurse started the pitocin I asked to start at the lowest dose possible.  She agreed and told me it may be awhile before things start happening.

9pm- Contractions start but they aren't very consistent.  Some I can't even feel! We continue with our napping =)

We brought some music with us on our iPad but didn't use it.  The hospital had great TV stations- even a 24 hour family friendly comedy station!

12am- Active labor starts.  My contractions were now 2 minutes apart and peaking at 30 seconds.  I was hooked up to the telemetry unit so that I could walk around.

The telemetry unit is this piece of machinery hooked up to my IV that allows me to walk around the nurses station while still being monitored for contractions and baby's heartrate.

Complete piece of rubbish! My belts kept falling down which gave the nurses a false alarm, thinking they lost baby's heartrate.  I was constantly trying to readjust the belts while walking and dealing with my contractions.

However, it still beats laying in a bed!

With each contraction I held onto the rails in the hallway and would squat down to open up my pelvis and encourage baby to move further down.

My husband also applied counter-pressure to my back using his hands and a home made heating pad made out of a tube sock and rice. 

2am- Transition hits. 

Transition is the most painful stage of labor- and also the shortest!  It's the body's way of preparing the woman to push.

My lips began to turn blue.  I got REALLY cold.  At this point I'm back in our room and leaning over our exercise ball on the bed while my husband massages me. 

I started to get tired to I climbed back into the bed and laid on my side.  I kept asking for blankets but all they gave me were these small sheets.  Not a big help at all!

Contractions were really intense.  And because my labor was induced, contractions wouldn't just peak one time, but sometimes would double up on eachother- even triple peak!

At this hour I ask for the epidural.  I started to doubt myself.

My husband asked me to wait another hour.  He reminded me that I was in Transistion and that this is the shortest phase- we're getting really close!

3am- STILL in Transition.

I went back and forth between standing and rocking on the exercise ball and laying on my side in bed.

My husband's massage techniques weren't doing anything anymore.

Contractions were still triple peaking so I told my husband AGAIN I wanted the epidural.

He AGAIN asked me to wait- assuring me it would be over soon!

4am- It is not over.  It is still going.

I got up from the bed to use the restroom. 

As I climbed into bed, my water broke! It was the oddest sensation I have ever felt!

Then things went SUPER FAST.

My baby's heartrate started to drop.  And it got SCARY.

Nurses rushed into the room to help my nurse. 

I got an oxygen mask thrown at me and was told to put it on.

They kept trying to find baby's heartrate but were having trouble. 

They did another check-

Nurse announced I was at 5-6cm.

Did you read that? 5-6cm.

I was admitted 12 hours earlier at 3-4cm.

On average, a woman will progress 1cm per hour.  I should have been close to 8cm at least!

When I heard my progress, I looked at my husband and told him- "This is it.  I'm getting the epidural".

He agreed.  At this point my body needed to relax so that it could open up more, since it wasn't doing it on its own.

4:15- The anesthigiologist is called in- so we waited for him to arrive.

All of a sudden I had a really really HUGE urge to push.

The nurse called my OB and helped me breath against the urge.

4:30- My OB arrived and checked me. 

I'm was at 9.5cm!!

Within 20 or so minutes I went from 5-6cm to 9.5cm.  A process that usually takes HOURS took mere minutes.  No wonder I was in so much pain!

I told them to forget the epidural, I can do this.  I was sooooooo close and I knew that I could finish the job.

5am- My OB checked me again and tada! It's time to push!

Contractions kept coming but with the pushing they were no longer painful.  It was actually the biggest pain relief to push!

Contractions got a bit stronger and my body started pushing on its own.  All I really had to do was hold my breath. 

As soon as I let my body do it's own thing, it started pushing up and out like the nurse told me before.

I truly believe that if I got the epidural, I wouldn't feel my body giving birth to my baby.  I would have been left out of the complete experience.

Baby Phillip was born at 5:58am!

6am- We tried to get Phillip on my chest for skin to skin contact but my cord was too short.

We waited for it to stop pulsing and my husband cut the cord and announced to the room that it was a baby boy!

I held him to my chest and we started breast feeding immediately.  He nursed like a champ!


I was walking around within a couple hours.  It wasn't easy, but I  knew that walking would help my body heal.

In the end I'm ecstatic about how things went.  While I didn't go into labor naturally, I still got the birth I wanted.

Yes, I had to compromise on the IV- I received Pitocin, glucose, and penicillin through my IV during the labor process.  Glucose to keep my sugar levels constant and penicillin to kill the Group B Strep bacteria that I tested positive for.  Group B strep is not fatal to the carrier (me) but when the baby passes through it can cause complications.  Fortunately for us baby was 100% healthy!

I was able to walk around and be mobile, as well as use the pain management techniques I learned in my Bradley Birthing classes.

Total success!!







  1. I am not going to lie, I couldn't even read all of this b/c my vagina instantly started clenching as tight as possible from remembering the pain!!!!!

    but I LOVED seeing yours, phillips and your mans smiling faces <3 xoxoxoxox

  2. Oh my Lord... While I know ALL OF THIS is worth it -- it is EXACTLY why I fear getting pregnant! Simply stated: I am NOT ready for that! Also, Karyn tested positive for Group B Strep bacteria with 'O Kona, but not with Healani OR Makana -- weird, right? Ohhh sister, all I know is that IF I am EVER hapai, you will be my go-to Mama, because you are officially a walking encyclopedia!! SO PROUD OF YOU!! <3

  3. I might be a little traumatized but I am glad i read it anyway! Your son is adorable, all that hair is soo cute!!


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