#101 | Birth Story Mini: Rachel's Perfect Birth Proves Some Things Can Go Wrong in All the Right Ways.

May 24, 2021

As Cynthia always says, no one is more determined to have a good birth than a woman who's already given birth. Meet Rachel: a  mom from Idaho who took Cynthia's live online HypnoBirthing class with her husband prior to having their third baby. After interviewing literally 17 home birth midwives - clearly a resource that's more abundant in Idaho than most states - Rachel felt she hadn't found quite the right provider yet. They ended up hiring a team of midwives in a hospital birth setting. Rachel describes how she felt - and what the midwives said to her - that made her realize she'd chosen the right team. In this birth story minisode, Rachel takes us through the details of her birth, which included having Group B Strep, an induction she had hoped to avoid, and discovering that laboring on her back for a brief moment was just the trick to allow her baby to easily descend. 

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If you enjoyed this episode of the Down To Birth Show, please subscribe and share with your pregnant and postpartum friends.

Between episodes, connect with us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow to see behind-the-scenes production clips and join the conversation by responding to our questions and polls related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood. You can reach us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com or call (802) 438-3696 (802-GET-DOWN). We are always happy to hear from our listeners and appreciate questions for our monthly Q&A episodes. To join our monthly newsletter, text "downtobirth" to 22828.

You can sign up for Cynthia's HypnoBirthing classes as well as online breastfeeding classes and weekly postpartum support groups run by Cynthia & Trisha at HypnoBirthing of Connecticut

Please remember we don’t provide medical advice, and to speak with your licensed medical provider related to all your healthcare matters. Thanks so much for joining in the conversation, and see you next week!

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View Episode Transcript

Hello, my name is Rachel and I live in a small town called kuna, about 30 minutes outside of Boise and Idaho. And my birth story really starts with my two previous births. My first birth, I was about 20 years old, not very educated in birth or anything birth related and very, very fearful experience. And I did the traditional, see the OB that the rest of your family sees, and just, you know, go with it, my second birth was a little bit different. I still saw the same practice. But I had taken a HypnoBirthing here in Idaho, and my husband and I were very much on a hunt for a better experience, which we ended up kind of getting and but the support from the provider was non existent. The way they run their practice is they have 10 to 12 OBS that you have, they encourage you to cycle through and see. So you don't actually get to pick who is going to attend your birth when your baby's born. So the few doctors that I really did, like, we're not on call the day that we ended up going into labor. And it was, it was very much so I had to fight for everything, as opposed to just the way they practice. So with our third baby, we were definitely on the hunt for better providers, or different type of care. So we really wanted to pursue homebirth because our two previous hospital births did not go as well as we wanted to. And I had done unmedicated with my second. And so I really was confident that we could do it with our third. But unfortunately, we interviewed about 15 different midwives, homebirth midwives here in Idaho, and just none of them really, I didn't get that vibe of comfort with them. And I felt like that was very important to to us. And then I found the midwives that we ultimately ended up hiring and they definitely strive to bring the home atmosphere to the hospital, my midwife told me that the reason why she chose to be a midwife in a hospital is because everybody that decides to give birth in a hospital deserves that type of care. And it's true, she definitely, she definitely came through on her word with the hospital environment, changing the hospital environment into more of a home environment and really doing good, true physiological birth is what she'll say, when I had brought to her attention that I was really wanting a home birth, and we weren't sure if we were going to hire her yet. She didn't try to scare me, she didn't try to tell me Oh, that's awful. That's dangerous. And that's so irresponsible, like most obese would probably tell you these days, but she just said that, you know, she she said to me, you know, whatever you decide, you will be supported. And to me, that was just, that was amazing, because she wasn't looking at wanting my money or wanting me to make a decision to make her happy. Or based on her beliefs. She truly wanted me to make the best decision for me and my family. So now on to our third birth, we had taken Cynthia's hypno birthing class, which was our second HypnoBirthing class, we took HypnoBirthing here in Idaho with our second and decided that, you know, we should probably take it again, just to make sure I don't I don't think there's anything wrong with that. And it was, it was nice. It was nice to take a different class and a different perspective. And Cynthia is amazing. So we ended up carrying until 41 weeks with this baby, which was odd for me, because I had never carried past my due date. And I just I just kept telling myself, I trust my my body, I trust my baby, and things will happen the way they're supposed to happen. At our 40 week I was 40 weeks and three days, four days appointment, we had discussed what our next steps kind of look like if we decide to go with induction. And mind you my midwives were very much. Here's the data, here's the protocol, here's your choices, you just tell us what you want. So we had discussed different ways of induction and all of these things. And I just felt very decision flustered. Like I just didn't really know what to do or what to say. And my midwife looks at me and she says, Rachel, what is your gut telling you to do? As we're discussing induction. And I said, My gut is telling me that we should try some sort of slow going induction process on Friday if I was going to be 41 weeks, which if I decided not to be somewhat induced on Friday, they wanted me back for an ultrasound and a non stress test doesn't mean they forced me to be induced or pressured me to be induced. It's just their protocol and kind of making sure mom and baby are doing okay. And so she said, Well, I think you should listen to that. So the choice they gave us was a prostaglandin gel that can be placed on the cervix and typically is a slow going process and they can give you up to two doses. When you have it placed. You have to lay on your back and you have to have the monitors on you and just go into triage to do it. But what's nice about it is that you can go home and labor, they want to get a good grip on the baby to make sure that the baby's doing okay with the slow going induction process and all of that. And we did that and baby did great. We went in on Thursday night, and we got to go home, which was wonderful. And then we had an induction scheduled for Friday morning for our second dose. So Thursday night, we got to go home. And we labored at home all night, which was wonderful. It was slow, and it was steady. But it was definitely I could sleep, I could snack, I could drink water. My husband I got in the tub, and we just had some really good conversations and just spent some time together. And about midnight, I got back in bed, and I'm, you know, I'm not super comfortable. So I finally get out of bed at 430. And I just, you know, I told my husband, stay in bed and get some sleep because I'm gonna need you later. But I can't lay in bed anymore. I'm not I'm not comfortable. I got back in the tub. And I decided, you know, maybe maybe it's a good time to time these and see what's going on. And my surges ended up being anywhere between two and three minutes apart. And about a minute long. I did end up testing positive for Group B. So we definitely wanted to get to the hospital and enough time to get the two doses of antibiotics, which is what we had decided was the safest for our family. Our scheduled induction was Friday morning at 7am. And kind of when my contractions started picking up it was kind of like, oh, okay, well, we would have been heading to the hospital anyways. So it was kind of cool, how it worked out. So we show up and I'm working through my surges. And I'm at the point where I, you know, I really need to breathe through them. And maybe rock and sway and rhythm was very important to me, I felt very in sync with my body and with my baby while I would rock or squat or, you know, I'd rub my belly and breathe and just it felt very connecting for me. When we got to the hospital.

I had to stop every two to three minutes. And it's kind of a walk from the parking lot. And we had to stop right outside the hospital doors. And there's these big planters with these flowers. And I just squatted down and like leaned up against one and I'm just breathing and my, my board has been just standing there with the bags just like yeah, this is this is the thing. And this doctor comes up to him and goes, Are you guys okay? And I just hold up my hand and I'm like just having a baby just laboring, and he's like, oh, okay, okay. And at that point, I didn't care what anybody thought I was just told it's totally normal. everything that's happening is totally normal. The gentleman was kind enough to wait to make sure that like I stood up and was fine. And we were able to make it to labor and delivery. And so we get up there and, and I told my midwife, I really don't think I need a second dose of prostaglandin gel. And she she didn't think so either. She is she had watched me for a few minutes and was like, No, you don't need another dose. So the very slight induction and slow going induction process worked really well for us. So I didn't have to break my water. I didn't have to have pitocin, I didn't have to have served until just a little bit of prostaglandin gel and things got going which was absolutely awesome. It was very wonderful. So we get there and I had to have an IV for the antibiotics. And she was nice enough to place the IV on the back of my arm because she knew I was going to breastfeed. So she placed it in a spot where it would be easier for me to breastfeed without wires and whatnot. And they did a headlock too. So all I had connected was for about 30 minutes for the antibiotics twice. And so and they were very good about taking it off. So I could move freely without being connected to anything. The other nurse that was there had the straps for the monitors that for the fetal heart rate and the contractions and I just looked around I was like God, you're not getting those back on me. That's that's not that's not happening. And my husband was just he just looked at the nurse and said, I'm sorry, we're the no patients. And the nurse that was placing my IV kind of laughed and giggled, and she goes, I would be the worst patient because I give birth at home. And then I begged her to stay. I said you please stay please, please, please, you're, you're my people, I need you here. And she encouraged me that the nurse that was coming on was just as good and was going to definitely support all of my wishes and everything that we wanted. And she did she raise the bed all the way up. So I could just lay my arm across. And I could sway back and forth with my bottom half while I was having surges so she could play Civ. And she did it really quick and easy. And then I was able to get in the tub. You know, we just we were just working through the contractions, my husband and I lots of rocking. I had lots of pressure in my back just like I did with my other two. So it must just be the way my pelvis is shaped and the way my babies come out.

So lots of pressure on my back was applied. And we had an oil diffuser. And what's interesting is I always think of being relaxed in a dark room with candles and soft music and a diffuser going and this was actually a lot of fun because it was a daytime birth and the sun had the sun was rising as we were driving into the hospital and it was just what a beautiful day to be born. Absolutely. And so we left the windows open and I let the sunshine come in and I didn't want music and I just really We wanted to be present with my husband and my birth team and my baby and, and kind of let that day that beautiful day shine in on the room. And it definitely made a huge difference. We were working through our surges and, you know, rocking and kissing. And it was it was about two to three hours in, after we got to the hospital that I started feeling very, lots of pressure and lots of lots of urges to push. So I would take a deep breath in, and then I would use that low, who moaning noise to help move the baby down and out. And I really didn't think that I would ever do that, because I didn't do it with my other two. But it definitely helped me control that power and that urge and really dig deep within myself to get through the very end of labor. And I ended up getting pretty tired, because I didn't get a ton of sleep the night before. So I just said I'm really tired. And my midwife said let's lay on your side. And you can asleep in between contractions. And so I got on the bed and I laid on my left side and they put a peanut ball between my legs. And in between contractions, which was two to three minutes, I was able to like get some get some shut eye and just close my eyes and my husband was playing with my hair and just holding my hand and kissing my forehead and offering me water and ice chips and all of the things and when I'd have a surge, I would breathe in and do the low moaning. And either my doula or the nurse or my midwife would press on my lower back. And it just felt amazing, it would instantly take the pressure off. And it was great. We tried all sorts of different positions I tried squatting, I tried hands and knees, I tried sideline, I tried the birthing stool, all of the above. And baby Wasn't she wasn't stuck, but she wasn't making any progress. And my midwife had suggested which you know, I really didn't want to do. And so she was very, very kind and very soft when she suggested it. But she had said, I know you really don't want to give birth on your back and you don't have to. But I do think the way your pelvis is shaped and the way you and baby are working together that if you could just do one contraction on your back, she may engage and stay there. And then we can move positions from there. But it's totally your choice, Rachel and I said, Let's wait, let's wait. It was like two or three contractions later, I just kind of slightly rolled over onto my back not completely on my back. And I did one really good breath down. And she just like engaged instantly and wasn't moving and was there. And every every contraction and surge after that she made more and more her and I made more and more progress working together to bring her into the world. And it was amazing. At that point. Then I moved I rolled over to onto my onto my left side and which is most comfortable for me, I was very surprised about that. Because I could have sworn I would want to deliver on hands and knees or squatting. But laying on my left side was just I just felt comfortable. It felt like I could control it better. I could rest in between. And it was it was just really nice. And so as she started to crown, I could feel her I kept touching down there because I really wanted to feel I wanted to feel her hair and feel feel her start to come out and I asked for a mirror and I got to watch. And that was the first time I've ever done that. I've never did it with my other two, it's very motivating. And it's really cool to watch. It's very special. And once she was almost completely Her face was almost completely out my midwife had my husband come down and she helped him catch her. So he got to receive our daughter. And he got to be the first one to hold her. And then he handed her to me and I'll never forget the look on his face. When he handed me our baby. It was just probably the most wonderful experience I've ever had. Everything worked out the exact way it should have worked out. And it's just it's crazy to think back. I didn't want to be induced, but the induction process went really well. I didn't want to be on my back. But being on my back helped me. It was really wonderful. And I also wanted to wait to cut the umbilical cord until the placenta was delivered. And about five, six minutes after the baby was born. And she was on my chest. My midwife looks at me and she goes Rachel, do you think you could push and I said sure I could push and and I pushed and it came right out. And so I totally got the Lotus birth that I wanted. And I didn't even have to say anything. I didn't even have to do anything. It just my body just did it.

And my midwife was very excited because it's a good thing that my placenta came out as fast as it did and as easy as it did. And she looked over at my doula because my doula is also a photographer, and she goes, we have to get a picture of this. And so the midwife said, Do you want a picture? And so they they took the baby and set her on the bottom of the bed, and they kind of did a heart with her umbilical cord, which was attached to her placenta and it's very special photo for me. So yeah, it's just everything in my birth ended up in our birth ended up being nothing what we expected but everything we wanted and everything we needed, and it's a true, true testament to it doesn't really matter the place, but it matters the provider and I would encourage anybody who is having second thoughts about their provider to definitely seek out or at least interview other people because it's well worth it in the end. I mean, at 1.1 of my first real intense powerful contractions, my nurse and my midwife and my doula could hear it in my voice. And I just, I instantly just felt the energy of the room change. And I felt my midwives hands and my nurses hands and my doulas hands all on me at once. And it was like I could just feel their energy, and their love and their support come through. And it was like, instantly relieving. I don't know how else to explain it other than the fact that it was so incredible to have such a wonderful care team that ultimately wants what you want and wants to support you and make sure that you are supported in the exact way that you want to be supported. I remember after a few of my intense searches, my midwife would look at me she'd look me right in the eyes, and she'd go, preach. Oh, that is so powerful. You were so powerful. Look how strong you are. Look at how wonderful you're doing words really make a difference. And to tell a woman that she's powerful in that state is just, I can't even explain how it made me feel. It made me feel powerful. It made me feel like it was doing all the right things. It made me feel supported and loved.

If you enjoyed this podcast episode of the Down To Birth Show, please share with your pregnant and postpartum friends.

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Between episodes, connect with us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow to see behind-the-scenes production clips and join the conversation by responding to our questions and polls related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood.

You can reach us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com or call (802) 438-3696 (802-GET-DOWN). 

To join our monthly newsletter, text “downtobirth” to 22828.

About Cynthia Overgard

Cynthia is a published writer, advocate, childbirth educator and postpartum support specialist in prenatal/postpartum healthcare and has served thousands of clients since 2007. 

About Trisha Ludwig

Trisha is a Yale-educated Certified Nurse Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Counselor. She has worked in women's health for more than 15 years.

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