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The birth of our son

At our last doctors visit, a Thursday, we were 3 1/2 cm dilated. I had not had any noticeable contractions at that point. On Sunday evening we were walking and I had 2 contractions where I had to stop and breathe through them. We went home to lie down and well everything stopped! We went for a walk at 10 pm trying to get them started again, but no luck!! We went home and I went to bed at around 1 am!! I am a night owl.

For the first night in literally months, I slept through the night. At about 10:30 am I woke up, went to the bathroom, had a contraction and knew that this was it. I woke up my husband (he works out of the house) and told him.

I got in the bath tub to soak because my back had been hurting for a several weeks. Well at about 11 am I decided I should get my shower done and get out. I hadn't really felt anything since I woke up. I think the water really relaxed me and absorbed the contractions, because when I stood up to shower, I couldn't!!!! The contractions were really close and hard. I called my husband, he was cleaning some things up, and he started timing the contractions. They were anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes apart with most being 3-4 minutes apart.

This being our first baby we were a little anxious to get to the hospital! It was a Monday morning and we had to go to the doctors office first. When we got there, they checked me and said I was 6 cm dilated. We went to the hospital and walked up to the room with an orderly showing us the way. This was about 12:30 PM. My husband was calling our family to let them know we were at the hospital, while I was still having close contractions.

At 2:30 PM the doctor on call came and checked us, we were still 6 cm dilated!! We went over our Birth Plan with him. We went to a group of 6 doctors and this was the only one we hadn't seen!!!

My contractions were close and we knew I was having a Natural Alignment Plateau. Still I had Dave read me the definition out of the Bradley workbook! Though we had practiced all the relaxation techniques, I didn't want Dave to talk to me or touch me!! I preferred to labor on hands and knees. Forty-five minutes later, I kept telling Dave, "I can't do this, I need medication." We had agreed beforehand that he would not give into my pleas!!!! The nurse came in and I told her I couldn't do this anymore so she checked me and I was 8 1/2 cm!!! Two 1/2 cm in 45 minutes!! Then I knew we could do this, we were basically done!

At that point my contractions started spreading out, and Dave says I even slept between the last one (about 7 minutes) and when I pulled myself up into the squatting position, I said "I am ready to push." It was 3:40pm. Dave called a nurse.

Let me tell you here, we fell through the cracks at the hospital that day. It was very busy and I think that the nurses thought that I was having my first baby and I didn't know what I was talking about. They probably expected me to deliver later that night!

So the nurse came and checked me and said there was a slight rim of the cervix, but I could start pushing! Then she left us!!! So I kept squatting and pushing, then my water broke at 4pm. Dave ran out into the hall to get a nurse while I cleaned the water off my bed. Well then they realized I knew what I was talking about and came rushing into the room with the emergency table for deliveries and then a pediatric nurse came in with all the baby stuff. I just kept squatting and pushing, and yelling and asking them to call the doctor. The nurse told me that they don't call the doctor till the baby is crowning. I kept telling her "I am having this baby. Call the doctor," so she did. At about 4:15 PM the nurse had me lie on my back and get in the classic position. My husband and the nurse helped me hold my legs back.

At 4:26 PM I pushed our baby, Christopher, out without any medication, episiotomy, or DOCTOR!!!!! The doctor walked in right as the pediatric nurse picked up the baby and handed him to me. I did tear pretty badly. Our baby didn't start breathing well on his own, so the nurse took him and gave him oxygen. They said the reason was that I pushed him out so quickly the fluid hadn't been pushed from his lungs adequately.

While he was stitching up the tears (I did have a local anesthetic for the repair process) our baby weighed in at 10 lbs., 2 oz., was 22 inches long, with a head circumference of 15 1/2 inches!!!

So we were in labor about 5 1/2 to 6 hours. I had not eaten at all that day, just had some ice chips in the hospital, and I was pretty tired so they just wheeled my bed with me holding the baby to our room.

This is the hardest physical thing I have ever done in my life, but as soon as Christopher was born, it was over! The doctors also told me if I had had an epidural I would have ended up with a C-section because I would not have been able to push that big baby out. He also said that though I had a lot of tears, they were all surface and would heal quickly.

We are now pregnant with our second child and hope this birth goes as smoothly as the first, with a doctor there, of course!



For more information on The Bradley Method, for an international listing of instructors, or to contact the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth directly, please contact: The Bradley Method, Box 5224, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413-5224 - (800) 4-A-BIRTH or (818) 788-6662 -