Shared here with permission, this story was originally written by Kayla Susie Douglas on April 12, 2020, posted on the Positive Birth Community Facebook Group.
…it was different from my first two. This is my first birth with no tearing and I have been recovering much faster with less swelling in my belly…
This pregnancy was the hardest for me emotionally. I was being monitored for red blood cell antibodies, my placenta was blocking my cervix until around 28w, back to back pregnancies was really hard on my body, in September we experienced an armed robbery, I had a severe respiratory infection in December, my sons seizures caused a bad fall on Christmas Day, we all had Flu-A in January and then the emotional tole of the COVID-19 outbreak.
I can’t start my birth story without first discussing how I was doing before giving birth in regards to stress and COVID-19. So, if you just want to hear about birth I’ll mark when that starts.
I had been mostly calm until March 11th (36w3d). My sons seizures had picked up (he has Doose Syndrome) and I was worried he had picked up a virus or his seasonal allergies were affecting his threshold. I picked him up from school early that day and he didn’t return the rest of the week. On March 15th (37w), South Carolina made the decision to close schools until April. Then on March 24th (38w2d), the decision was made to keep schools closed until April 30th.
I was overwhelmed. I was officially homeschooling (my son also has an IEP so it’s a lot). My mom had been exposed to COVID-19 so my parents and sister were being quarantined. My contractions were all over the place. One minute it felt like active labor and the next nothing. And my in-laws were the only people that could watch my kids and live two hours away. I was worried about everything. The hospitals were limiting visitors, so no birth photographer (she was at both of my previous births), there were scary rumors in my birth group that babies were being taken from moms after delivery, would my in-laws make it in time, would I end up delivering at home/in the car. I was spiraling!!
Then the night of March 24th, I decided to count my blessings. I was able to stay home, I was getting to spend extra time with my son before his littlest sister arrived, I was able to monitor his seizures without him missing any school, my 14mo daughter was healthy and the “new baby” was safe right where she was. I decided I wasn’t going to stress, I’d take things as they came and enjoy this time as much as possible.
Don’t get me wrong it didn’t make it easier. The kids were still losing their minds, things were messy, and uncertain but I was at peace.
**I will add the arrival of my robot vacuum now affectionately named Snow White helped a great deal 😆
Labor and Birth
I started to pass my mucous plug on 2/3 and was really hopeful baby girl would come soon after. At my doctors appointment on 2/7 (40w2d) the doctor suggested we pick an induction date and I agreed on 4/11 if I wasn’t laboring naturally. We decided I could start pitocin and then come off it if my body got into a good pattern.
Labor started on 4/8 around 4:30. My contractions were 15 minutes apart and slowly got to 10 minutes apart. Things were steady until around 8pm when they went from 10 minutes to 6 and then I had a bloody show that was pretty watery. My contractions went for steady to all over the place but I was still very much in control. I called the OB and they asked for me to come in since my show was watery.
My dad came over to be with the older kids and we arrived to the hospital around 9pm. I was in active labor, 4cm and we decided to stay. I completed all the admission questions and had an IV port. I hemorrhaged with my second child so knew this was the best option for me.
I agreed to intermittent monitoring so I laid in the bed and napped. After I was taken off the monitor I got in the tub for about 1.5 hours. I listened to a podcast (Office Ladies) as this keeps me distracted and I’m not good at meditating.
Around 2am I got out and back on the monitor for 20 minutes. After I got off again I sat on a ball and kneeled on the floor. Around 4am things had gotten pretty intense and I was starting to doubt myself. I couldn’t find a comfortable position, I was getting annoyed with everyone and didn’t want anyone to touch me. I realize now I was transitioning.
This is when things got a little crazy. At 5:05 I was checked and was 8+cm. I asked to get back in the tub and the nurse said, “I don’t think we have time, she’ll be here before we get the tub filled!” I was kneeling on the bed after she walked out and I told my husband, “I have to push!” At this point my water hadn’t broken and when I pushed down and my water broke.
My husband ran to get the nurses. At this point I was NOT myself. I was moving up and down the bed, they were trying to help me but I was yelling at everyone. I’ve had a natural, peaceful birth and I have no idea what came over me. I tried to lay on my side (like I had before to deliver) but my legs kept cramping up. Baby girl was crowning and her shoulder was stuck. They helped me to my back and with three big pushes she was out at 5:28am. They handed me baby girl and helped me do skin to skin, my husband got to cut the cord but I was losing a lot of blood.
They started pitocin and gave me a shot in my leg to slow the bleeding. After my second child I was bleeding so heavily I was given a uterine massage for over an hour, I didn’t want this again so the steps we took prevented things from getting worse. I delivered the placenta and was able to nurse.
This is my first birth with no tearing and I have been recovering much faster and with less swelling in my belly (I’m assuming since I didn’t have to be massaged). Baby girl is healthy and we got to go home on 4/10!
I’m don’t have any regrets with this labor and delivery, it was different from my first two. I think we can all acknowledge that each birth will be different. This one was much more intense but we all came out healthy and happy.
Born 4/9/20 (40w4d)