I’m finally writing my birth story now that this precious baby is turning 2 years old! His birth will be one I remember with fond memories.
This was my third natural hospital birth! I’m living proof that you can have a great birth experience in the hospital when you choose a great hospital and the right provider. I’ve done it three times now! We had our 3rd baby at home, but my gut and intuition kept telling me that this baby needed to be born in the hospital.
Our birth story began on Saturday, December 1st (I wasn’t due until Dec. 14th!) Our daughter’s birthday was on the 2nd, so we were celebrating with friends. We went to lunch and took the kids bowling on Saturday. Then we decided to have a movie night at our friend’s house. About halfway through Avengers: Infinity War I started having a few contractions and I wasn’t feeling very well. We decided to head home early so that I could lay down and rest. This was probably about 8pm. I figured that I was just dehydrated and needed some rest, I was only 38 weeks! I was sure that I still had at least one week left. I was determined that I would lay down, drink a bunch, and all of it would stop.
When we got home, my husband put the 3 kids to bed, tucked me in and filled my water bottle up for me. I rested and dozed off and on throughout the night. I continued having sporadic contractions, but I’d just wake up and breathe through them and go back to sleep. I didn’t keep track of how far apart they were or how long they were. Looking back, I’m so glad that I just rested and slept throughout the night.
Around 4am, I woke up to a very strong contraction. I had to get up and move during that one. At that point my husband convinced me that I was actually in labor. After having another strong contraction 5 minutes later, we decided to call our doula, photographer, and the midwife to let them all know. Because I’ve had fast labors before, we decided to get everything ready and our doula headed our way. After my doula arrived, we didn’t labor too long at home. Contractions were coming closer and closer together. We were also getting our first good snow so we knew we would have a bit of a longer drive than usual. It was still dark and we had a few inches of snow on the ground and the plows hadn’t gotten to our side of the highway yet. It was a “fun” ride.
I was having some pretty intense back labor! I’ve had back labor and leg labor with all of my labors, but this was much worse. I was grateful for the seat warmers in my husband’s car, because that heat worked to help alleviate it a little.
When we arrived at the hospital we checked in and I was already 9cm with a bulging sac!!!! I was hoping that I’d be 5-6cm, not thinking that I’d be so close! I continued laboring in multiple different positions. I preferred being upright, either standing, swaying, or sitting. I would take a break and lay down for a bit with the peanut ball as well. My doula and husband helped a ton with reminding me of my breathing, lots of counter pressure and hip squeezes. My husband is an awesome birth partner and he’s the one that always encourages us to hire a doula. We wants the extra hands and support so that he can be fully present with me.
After laboring another hour I entertained the idea of having my water broken, because my back labor was increasing in intensity and I was really struggling with it. After talking with my husband and doula we decided to have my midwife break it. After another contraction, I decided to stand up next to the bed. The next contraction hit hard and I immediately felt him drop, rotate, and his head started to crown. I immediately told my midwife that baby was coming out!!! She didn’t even have time to get gloves on! He was coming so quickly that she caught him and immediately brought him through my legs while I was still standing. I was a little shocked and I could tell he was too. It took him a minute to start breathing and crying. We climbed on the bed for placenta delivery and to check for tearing (minimal with just a few stitches).
I have always loved pictures of women giving birth standing up, but I never thought I’d be one of them! I’m so grateful our photographer got some amazing shots. We had a great 24 hour stay at the hospital even though I wanted to go home earlier. The nurses were respectful of our wishes and we were able to relax a little. Our 3 other children were immediately smitten when they met him and we’ve loved having him as a part of our family.
Hollie Hauptly is a Birth Boot Camp Instructor and Doula and trainer as well. You can find her serving women in and near Salt Lake City, UT.
Photo credit: Tree Haymond Doula & Photography