Monday, January 31, 2011

A Natural Birth Story - by Emily Frame

Hey guys. Check out this wonderful story from the amazing, talented, beautiful Emily Frame. It's enough to inspire me to {attempt} birthing my next child naturally.

My husband Russ and I went to my 37 week appointment 1:30 p.m. At my 36 week appointment I was already dilated to a 4 and 80% effaced. We were so anxious to hear if I had progressed further, and Russ said a few times on the way there "I bet you're a 6 now."

He was right. The doctor checked me and confirmed that I was now dilated to a 6. The doctor looked shocked, and I tell you, you never get used to that reaction. He and the nurse questioned me about my contractions. I told them, truthfully, I had false labor contractions the night before for a couple hours, and I thought I felt like what might have been a contraction waddling through the mall the day before, but I wasn't sure. Everyone says, "you'll know" and I didn't, yet.

The doctor said it was time to get to the hospital. He let me know that I also tested positive for Strep B and that it was imperative I get a treatment of penicillin before the baby was born. He said the treatment takes four hours and at this point we've got to get down there and get it started. He told us to go home get our gear and to not take more than an hour because-- "that's one bulgy bag of water you've got in there." Three weeks early or not, Hayes was on his way.
Russ and I drove home to get our bags. He gave me a blessing of comfort, stamina, strength, and the will-power to do this according to my goal -- naturally.

At 3:00 we got to the hospital. The admitting nurse stared at me blankly... "So, you're not having contractions, but you're dilated to a 6?" Yeah yeah lady, I know, it's not normal. By 3:00 I had heard PLENTY of non-believers express the utter impossibility of it all.
They monitored my contractions for awhile... they were coming consistently but once again, they're standing there puzzled because I am sitting there smiling, talking, and cracking jokes and shouldn't I bet yelling like Tarzan by now? They FINALLY start my round of penicillin, and tell me that it needs to run its course for 4 hours [4 - 8 p.m.] At this point I am dilated to a 7, and my water is still hanging in there.

During this treatment they started pitocin to establish a consistent pattern of contractions. I know it was probably the worst decision for someone planning a natural delivery, but with the promise of an even speedier labor, I was for it. By the time the penicilin was done, they were happy with my contractions and we agreed to break my water and get the show on the road. In walks the doctor with the largest crochet hook you've ever seen.

The moment my water broke, I felt what I had been waiting for: a crampy, wringing-out contraction. I had definitely had contractions before, but holy smokes, this is what "you'll just know" about. Time to start Lamaze breathing, except I can't remember any of the techniques. For the first hour of full-blown contractions I felt pretty good, I was staying on top of them, resting in between, staying relaxed. 

At 9:00 p.m. the nurse checked me and I was now dilated to 9 cm and 90% effaced.
The second hour of contractions (transition) are causing the worst pain I have ever experienced, thirty seconds at a time, each a minute apart. They are coming down on me like waves, every time I get pushed under and can't find enough time to come up for air before the next. I can barely hold my head up in between, I'm so tired. So, Russ holds me.
The baby's oxygen is dropping so they make me wear the mask.
I feel completely defeated.
Russ and my mom are saying "hee hoo hee hoo hee hoo." and I am saying "heehooahheahahoahaouchhh."
Somehow in a blur, I get through the next hour.

10 p.m.
BANG. Every muscle, bone, and vein in my body tells me it's time to push.
The nurse confirms that I am now at 10 cm then says, "The Dr. went home but I just paged him and he'll be right back."
As soon as this overwhelming need to push comes, there is really no stopping me now. The nurse says we can start pushing without the Dr. and at this point I'm like "
Who? Give me the stirrups!" Every time I feel a contraction coming, I hold my breath and push my heart out. Finally, after two hours of helplessly breathing through contractions, now I finally get to put my back into and actually do something about it, and I love it!

With every push I feel mounting pressure, but it's the most amazing feeling in the world! For the next hour, it's three rounds of pushing per contraction and then literally gasping for air.
My mom sees his little head first and I feel like a million bucks. I know I can do this, and we're all so ready to meet this little guy. At this point I am totally owning this push-fest. In fact I own this whole room, this hospital even, I am on a serious high. I've got a group of nurses watching my every push, and they're all cheering me on. I know what a good push feels like, and I know what a useless one feels like. If I don't get a good push in, I make myself do an extra one. 
[If only I had this motivation at the gym.]

After the quickest hour of my life, finally Russ catches a glimpse of Hayes' face. The Dr. says "Stop Pushing!" At this point I don't know if I can, my body is doing all the work, I am just guiding the pressure it's creating. I figure out a way somehow and then he says "Push now! Hard!" and I hear a cry.
Russ is sobbing and can barely see to cut the cord, but he does, and Dr. lays Hayes on my chest and I feel like I've known him forever, and he is mine!

I know it is not the popular choice to have a baby the way I did. But, it was a choice, and I am so grateful for the people in my life that supported my goal from the beginning. So, was it worth it? Absolutely. But, not because it was a natural delivery, because I don't think that one way is better than another, they're simply two different choices. But, because it was for Hayes. And I've come to learn real quick that I would do just about anything for that little man.

story and photos here
P.S.  Go check out her great news she announced just today :)


  1. that is one champion vajazzle. Go EMILY!

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