My Birth Story

Our little guy gave us quite a surprise this month.

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Though he wasn’t due for another 3 weeks, our son decided he wanted to join us early!

It was a Friday when I hit my 37-week mark, and it felt like any other day. I wasn’t having an uncomfortable pregnancy, and I was showing absolutely no signs of labor up to this point. I didn’t even know what a Braxton Hicks contraction felt like! (Though, my doctor did confirm that when I felt like my baby was sticking his rump out out of my tummy, that was most likely just my uterus tightening– they just never felt uncomfortable or like my entire stomach was tight.)

So, imagine my surprise when late that Friday night, I got up from sitting in my bed and found myself sitting in a large wet spot. My water had broken, and I didn’t even feel it! I looked at Austin, and told him I was pretty sure my water had broken, since I could still feel warm liquid dribbling down my leg. It was either that, or I had peed myself. (And I was hoping it was the latter– we weren’t ready for labor yet!) We were both oddly calm about the whole situation, and after texting my doula to let her know what had happened, we decided to go to sleep to see if contractions would start on their own during the night.

When I woke up in the morning, I still wasn’t feeling any contractions, so I decided to keep my Saturday morning breakfast date with one of my girlfriends and ended up chatting over a large egg breakfast for a few hours. I figured if I was going to go into labor that day, I might as well relax and eat up!

When I got home, it was time for us to be productive. Austin and I hadn’t installed the car seat yet, or the baby monitor above the crib. Luckily, both didn’t take too long to install, and we were able to relax by the afternoon. I even decided to work on a few pre-scheduled blog posts for the upcoming week, knowing that the blog would be the last thing on my mind once the baby arrived. I sat on my exercise ball while working, which I used regularly during this last trimester, and that’s when I started to feel some cramping start, around 2pm.

The funny thing about contractions is, no one can tell you what they’re going to feel like. I didn’t believe I was having “real” contractions, because they still only felt like menstrual cramps to me. I thought they were supposed to feel distinctively painful, not just cramp-like. But, because they started to become more regular, I started timing them using a free app I downloaded to my phone. My doula kept in touch with me all afternoon, and by 7:30 I was pretty sure these “cramps” were really contractions– though they still weren’t very consistent. At that point, they were anywhere from 3-7 minutes apart and about 60 seconds in duration.

In hindsight, I think the fact that I wasn’t sure about these contractions helped keep me calm and relaxed about the whole situation. If I had been positive that I was in labor, or had I been getting cervical exams to monitor my progress, I’d probably have been more anxious– and possibly in more pain.

By 10:30 pm, my contractions started to become REALLY uncomfortable. I still hesitate to use the word painful, because they weren’t the kind of pain I was expecting, but I wasn’t able to talk or walk through them anymore. Talking to my doula, she still thought I sounded cheerful enough to be in “early labor,” but I told her if this is what early labor felt like, I was going to need an epidural! So, at the urging of Austin, we headed to the hospital, praying that I was progressing enough that I wouldn’t need any medical interventions.

By the time I arrived at the hospital, I needed to moan and vocalize while breathing through the contractions– they were pretty intense! They gave me a wheel chair when I arrived at the hospital, and during my next contraction, I experienced the “bloody show” that I had heard about. They checked me in quickly, made me walk to the bathroom to pee in a cup, and then got me to triage to determine how far along I was. They put a monitor on my stomach to check on the baby’s heartbeat, and did a cervical exam to check my progress. When I heard the doctor say “I don’t feel anything,” I got nervous. Could I have really made no progress? She had another doctor check, for a second opinion, and he confirmed that he felt nothing.

As it turns out, “nothing” meant I was completely dilated and effaced–> ready to start pushing! Thank goodness.

In fact, I was so far along, there wasn’t even any time to treat me with antibiotics, which is their standard treatment for mothers who haven’t been tested for Group Strep B. (I actually had been tested the day before, but the results weren’t back yet.) They did manage to put a Hep-Lock in my hand, just in case of emergency.

I was transferred to a delivery room, accompanied by my husband and my doula, and things progressed quickly. I felt the urge to push almost instantly, but I had no idea what I was doing, so I was grateful for all of the support in the room. The baby was positioned at “zero station” which meant the baby was in the middle of my pelvis– halfway there! I remember hearing a nurse say that I should be able to meet my baby in about an hour, and I thought to myself, “I don’t want to push for a whole hour!” So, I felt an extra burst of motivation to meet our baby faster, and pushed with all my might. After about 6-7 pushes, with some nice, relaxing breaks in between, our baby was out with just 17 minutes of pushing. I remember being surprised that the “ring of fire” everyone talks about lasts for so long (I thought it would be brief, like ripping off a band-aid), but feeling immediate relief when our little guy’s body emerged. What an amazing feeling!

Almost instantly, the entire labor experience felt like no big deal. My baby was here!

He was immediately placed on my chest, and we were allowed to bond for about an hour while I delivered the placenta and was stitched up after experiencing a small tear. The hospital normally attaches the mother to an IV bag of pitocin after delivery, to help the uterus contract and prevent too much bleeding, but as it turned out, I knocked the Hep-Lock out of my hand while pushing. Instead of making me go through that process again, we all decided to just skip the pitocin. So, I truly managed to avoid every medical intervention I could have imagined. Lucky me!

My doula helped us establish a good latch for our little boy’s first breast feeding experience, and then we were eventually transferred to a different room for the rest of our stay.

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The nurses swaddled him like a little burrito, and he slept as long as he will probably ever sleep in the next few months. Austin and I quickly discovered how much we will NOT be sleeping– we couldn’t take our eyes off of him!

Other than a slight case of jaundice, our baby is perfectly healthy, weighing in at 6 lbs. 11 oz. As it turns out, my Strep B results came back the next day, and I was actually positive for it! So, our son managed to avoid a dose of antibiotics that he surely would have gotten had they known that result the night before. Because they didn’t administer the antibiotics immediately after birth, the staff decided to simply monitor him for 24 hours, after which he got the “all clear” diagnosis from our doctors. Whew!

I still can’t believe how lucky I was to have my labor and delivery go almost exactly how I wanted it to go, as I know it is often not the case– especially with hospital births. Of course, no matter how our little boy arrived in the world, we would have been ecstatic! We’re so happy that he’s here, and are loving every minute of being his parents so far.

Sleep deprivation and all.

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Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organs— no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

42 thoughts on “My Birth Story

  1. Lyzz Kirk

    Thanks for posting your birth story so quickly! Your due date must have seriously been the day after mine… I’m so glad that you got to have a pretty wonderful birth and avoided the “extra” stuff! That’s fantastic. I also appreciated the notes on Braxton-Hicks as I wasn’t sure I’d been feeling any, either, but after reading I’m sure I have. 🙂

    Enjoy your family!

    Reply
  2. Misti

    Congratulations! He is beautiful! So glad everything went smoothly. We’re expecting number 3 in March- I’ve so enjoyed your pregnancy posts. Enjoy motherhood, there is nothing like it!

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  3. LissaNY

    Congratulations on your beautiful boy! I always love hearing birth stories, especially being so far distant from all three of mine (kids are now 12, 10 and 8). I am happy for you that it was such a relaxed process with no complications so that you could enjoy him right from the start. And don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially when it comes to getting sleep for yourself!

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  4. Michelle

    Congratulations! So many cool aspects to your story. I love that your water broke and you were able to go for a relaxing breakfast and do errands around the house. Thank you for sharing and enjoy watching all the little things he will be doing. xo

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  5. Marissa

    Congrats! I love reading birth stories..and yours was actually pretty similar to mine…like really similar-had my baby within hours of getting to the hopsital and they had to put an IV in for the abx but didn’t even get time to get give them all to me before my baby was born at 6 lbs 15 oz! Gosh this actually makes me baby hungry for another baby but at the same time I had a flash back of the pain of labor. ha! Thanks for sharing. Congrats on going natural, I personally think it was a rewarded feeling! Love your blog!

    Reply
  6. Laurie

    Awwww I am so happy for you and your family! Your son is absolutely beautiful! What a great story…thank you so much for posting! 🙂

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  7. Favi

    Wow! Your birth story is amazing for a 1st timer! Makes me want to drink that coconut smoothie you were making to see if it makes my birth go smooth. This will be my 5th birth and none have been as smooth as yours. All of mine have been back labor, no crampy feeling, just an unbearable pain in my tailbone the entire time. What I love most of all is that no matter how much you prepare for a labor it is never what you expect. Even your doula thought you were in early labor from your symptoms which goes to show you that everyone’s symptoms are SO different and so unpredictable. God’s design for babies is amazing! Congratulations and enjoy!! The first few weeks are so hard but oh so special!

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  8. Christine P

    You were lucky! My daughter tested positive for Strep B also and was unable to have antibiotics administered because of a really quick labor and delivery (delivered less than 15 minutes after arrival at hospital). My granddaughter ended up getting it and was in NICU for 10 days. Thankfully she’s a healthy little 4 year old now 🙂

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  9. Alyssa

    Congrats Meagan!! So excited for you and so happy it was able to go how you wanted it. Hope you have a wonderful time adjusting to motherhood!

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  10. Jennifer

    Congratulations on your smooth delivery! We just found out yesterday that we are having a little girl, set to be here in February. I have one daughter already & my labor did not go that smoothly, hopefully this time around it is close to how yours went. Enjoy your little man, he is precious!

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  11. Sandra Luna

    Congratulations!! Thank you for sharing your story with us. Just curious why you didn’t go to the hospital right after noticing that your water broke? During check ups, I was always told to go to the ER if I bleed or if my water broke. I ask because in my case, my water broke 2 days before I went to the hospital. As dumb as it sounds, at the time, I didn’t realize my water had broken because it wasn’t a pool of water. Well, when I got to the hospital (2 days later) with contractions, I was scolded by the doctor’s because they said the baby could be without amniotic fluid. My baby (2 years old now) was kept at the hospital a couple of days for observation and all was well. Enjoy your baby as much as possible because they grow up so soo fast. 🙂

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  12. Lauren Gellins

    Megan! Congrats! Of course, you know your dad informed us of the joyous news! Your story is awesome. I think you are the PERFECT example of what to do, things went so well cause you took such amazing care of yourself and baby! Hope your family is doing well!

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  13. Jeni

    Congratulations! Thanks for sharing. I had a little boy on August 21 and my birth was great also, tho not at all like I had expected. That is great you didnt have to take the antibiotics, I also tested positive for the GBS but had the baby at home, so no antibiotics for my baby either. Congratulations on a great birth and beautiful son! I look forward to hearing more!

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  14. Kristin

    What a beautiful birth you experienced. I am so happy it went so well for you. I have 3 healthy beautiful children that are now teenagers or almost, and I wished for a birth like the one you had. Unfortunately none of mine did turn out that way but like you said no matter how he came in the world you would have been escatic. I agree, having them ultimately arrive healthy is a blessing and sometimes the way they come may not be how we planned. I am glad you had both, such an overall peaceful birth and a beautiful healthy boy. Enjoy this time and nursing, it is a magical time in your life. Congratulations.

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  15. Living Outside of the Box

    I didn’t realize you had posted this already–wahoo! Thanks for sharing the details, and I’m so glad that you were able to deliver without interventions. Sounds like things worked out *just* right! I’m proud of you–Mama!!!

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  16. Rhonda

    Congratulations on the baby boy and congrats on the quick birth! Two of my nine were “ready by the time you get to the hospital” births and trust me, they are the best!

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  17. SoarAway

    I love a birth story with no interventions! Good for you for sticking to your guns… my birth was similar – my boy was a water birth with no interventions and he was born 30 minutes after arriving to the hospital. Although it sounds like I screamed louder than you did. 😉

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  18. Cait

    Wow, what a blessed birth! I’m so happy you were able to avoid so many common things, down to the antibiotics and pitocin. How awesome to arrive fully dilated, too! My first baby was a 15 hour homebirth, which was a beautiful experience, but I’m still hopeful for a slightly shorter birth this February 🙂

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  19. Krystyna Bowman

    Found you from a friend’s link on facebook – glad she pointed me this way. Can’t wait to see your recipes for “clean” eating. I couldn’t agree with you more – with the age of the internet, our children will have an electronic record from birth if we post pictures/news about them everywhere. I enjoy sharing pics of our family on our blog, and make every effort to post as many as I can of side/back views of their face so that their privacy is somewhat protected as I share how we are learning to live an AP, green, GF life as a family of six. Best wishes to you as you start your journey into parenthood – it’s amazing! So happy your “wish list” came true, and that you got the natural birth that you wanted for your child. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  20. Stacey

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing! For any moms reading, that would like to avoid pitocin, breast feeding immediately after birth has the same effect to help the uterus contract and expel the placenta. 🙂 It also helps with bonding, and if you and baby are skin-on-skin, even better! Enjoy your now-1-year-old!

    Reply
  21. Anna

    Your first birth story is very similar to mine. Before giving birth I hardly ever heard positive stories like yours. I wrote mine down and share it with mom’s to encourage them (especially the ones that want to birth unmedicated). My 2nd and 3rd also went great – much faster and also unmedicated. I was also able to breastfeed my 2nd throughout my pregnancy with my 3rd (since he was only 9 mo when I got pregnant) and then breastfeed them both until my 2nd was almost 3 yo. My 3rd baby stopped nursing (with minimal help from me) at 2yo. I’m looking forward to reading more about nutrition and recipes from your site. Thank you! Got your blog address from your sweet sister-in-law. Our daughters are in the same 1st grade Spanish Immersion class. Congrats on your 2nd!!

    Reply

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