#139 | Katie's Redemptive Birth After a Host of Unnecessary Interventions the First Time Around

December 15, 2021

At 41+1 weeks Katie was pressured into an induction beginning with a foley bulb followed by forcefully rupturing her bag of water,  high amounts of Pitocin,  restricted movement due to fetal heart rate abnormalities, a maternal fever resulting in an urgent need for a forcep delivery  to "save her baby," and a six hour separation from her baby for monitoring after birth.
Left traumatized and burdened with guilt, when she became pregnant again she sought out midwifery care at her local hospital and set her intentions on the "redemptive birth" she deserved.  In her second  birth, she didn't even know she was in labor until she had a cervical exam and found she was 6 cm and shortly thereafter had her baby in her arms. Her story represents the classic cascade of labor interventions that all too often leads to an avoidable traumatic birth experience for first time moms who then become empowered with the knowledge to choose differently the next time around.
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View Episode Transcript

Almost every night, I would lay awake, just replaying our birth experience and my heart would just race. And I would think of all the things that I should have could have done differently. And honestly, I was just so mad at myself for not speaking up, I just had laid there panicked and a deer in headlights. And why didn't I say anything on behalf of me and my child is all I can really think about.

I'm Cynthia Overgard, owner of HypnoBirthing of Connecticut, childbirth advocate and postpartum support specialist. And I'm Trisha Ludwig, certified nurse midwife and international board certified lactation consultant. And this is the Down To Birth Podcast. Childbirth is something we're made to do. But how do we have our safest and most satisfying experience in today's medical culture? Let's dispel the myths and get down to birth.

Hi, everyone, my name is Katie and I live in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with my husband, my two year old daughter and eight month old son and two dogs. And this is the story of what I like to call my redemption birth. And how I recognize some trauma I had from my first child's birth and how that led me to having an unmedicated birth with my second.

Alright, great when you start off by telling us a little about your first birth. So really, I had desires for a more natural birth process with my first pregnancy. But admittedly, I didn't really know much about it. I wasn't very educated or prepared. And I kind of just had a laissez faire attitude and really had a lot of trust, honestly, in my provider that everything was just going to be fine. And I did communicate my desire for a more natural birth. But other than that it kind of stopped there with my OB was the kind of the message of like, we'll have to wait, we'll see how that goes. Like that's nice for you.

I mean, it might not have been in those exact words, but it was a team what? We'll see how it goes. Yeah. So my first birth was with an OB out of a large hospital in Chicago. And they're very medically based teaching hospital there. And I was induced at eight days past my estimated due date. And they manually had to break my water four times. Or they had to try to break it four times, which was the first of many fun things that birth, maybe that was a sign that we just should have left it be and why are you saying they had to why did they have Why did they break it at all?

Honestly, they just said that was part of the induction process. So I had the whole gamut of like the pill, the balloon. And even though I was fully effaced, they still did all those things. And then they said, Okay, next up, is we're gonna break your water. So I really, you know, I, I just didn't think to question it at the time. So I went with it. And they had the midwife and they're trying a couple times, and then basically, she couldn't do it. So then they pulled in the OB, and she was basically like, okay, brace yourself.

Oh, what's that supposed to mean? I didn't. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, that's just gonna build anxiety, brace yourself. Yes. Yes, get ready.

And in general, I wanted to wait to get an epidural for as long as possible aches, I had a basic understanding that if I waited, the longer I could hold out naturally, the better the birth would be. But that's all I pretty much understood. And I have scoliosis. So I knew getting the epidural was going to be a challenge. And I actually met with the anesthesiologists for pre consults on that. So that was honestly like, I was terrified of an epidural, but didn't really know of another way. So they had to try four times to break my water, they finally did, and they basically started to blast the Pitocin and adapt point contractions in a matter of five minutes went from like nothing to 100. And the back labor was so intense. And now and in comparison, it felt like full on transition. So I just didn't have a chance to adjust. It was very scary feeling. And so I tried to hold out as long as possible, but I knew again, epidural was going to be a challenge. So I only made it about 45 minutes, which was still a lot all things considering and I made my husband like run down the hall and go find it. The anesthesiologist was like, I'm done. Gotta get this thing. And so they did have a little trouble getting it in. I got like zinged once and then they finally got in the second time and it did work and not my whole body, which again, they weren't sure if it would work at all if it would do half my body. So thankfully, that all worked. I was able to relax a little bit to jump in for a second Katie. Sure. You know, when you hear a story like this, it's so it's so hard to listen to women going through such a thing. It's just so frustrating and it's so difficult and I know our listeners get that. But the part that I always think about next is then the A woman like you, comes out of a birth like that. And all you can tell other women is that was brutal. And then all they can conclude is oh my god, it's true childbirth is painful. And you didn't even get to experience one iota of labor as nature intensive, you experienced a completely chemical and mechanical combination of procedures that were done on to like done unto you. But anyway, I just I want to say that that's just so important because it it's like this self perpetuating problem. Now we come out of it. And all we can say is that oh, my god, that was terrible. Oh, my God, I don't want to try natural birth, I want an epidural. It's just, it's such a shame. It's such a shame that you went through it as an individual. It's just anyway, I don't know where I'm going with it. But just That's always where my mind goes. But all you can do is come out and think, wow, childbirth really is hell, it's brutal.

Well, I think that's what probably messed with me even more mentally was I was like, but I want this to happen naturally. And they only let me go, you know, so long after my due date. And it was just like every decision was kind of taken, as it went on. I was just gonna comment a little bit further on what Cynthia said, it's because anytime anything goes even slightly outside the norm, we were just talking about this on Instagram today that you either get lucky and your birth falls into this predictable pattern that fits the mode of the protocol and the policy or it goes outside the norm, and then boom, the cascade of interventions begin and you no longer get the natural birth that you want, no matter how much you want it because you have to fight against all these policies, procedures, protocols, and it's called the cascade of intervention. And we hear about it all the time. And this is why women learn from their first birth.

Absolutely. So back to the to the epidural, they got that in, I was able to relax for a little bit. And after a few hours, the baby's heart rate started to jump around a bit. The nurse warned me she's like I'm about to press the panic button just tried to stay relaxed. She hit the button. And about like 15 people swarmed into my room. They just basically all manually got me onto all fours, but oxygen on my face. And they're all just talking and it was kind of chaos in the room. Basically, I think her heart rate had spiked too high. And so they were trying to slow down the contractions because she just wasn't responding well, because they gave you too much. Pitocin Yeah, that's exactly right. Maybe we shouldn't maybe we shouldn't turn at the pet up so high. And now they put you on your hands and knees, which I'm glad to know that they put you on your hands and knees. But why does it have to take a crisis to put you in a position that would have served you from the beginning? Right if they know and that the baby clearly like Oh, yeah. Your heartbeat slow down? Yeah. Turns out babies like space and freedom.

Who would have thought? Yeah, so then after that, I tried, they would try to reposition me a little bit every time they did her heart rate would jump up and down. So at that point, I basically was stuck to my right side and I was terrified to move for the rest of labor because that was the only position that she seemed okay with. So kind of fast forward dress of the labor was fine. My My family was in the room with me trying to keep me distracted as they could, which was so sweet. And then I basically felt the pressure and alerted the nurse who brought in the OB to check me and like okay, yes, you are Tenzin centimeters dilated. One other thing to add to which I thought was interesting, it is what it is. But the OB that was basically there wasn't even an OB on call from my practice. There was the like the spotlight Doctor through the hospital. So I didn't even get anyone from my practice. Nice. And like, I've never seen your face before. But okay, like you're doing a way didn't even matter, right? Because what really mattered was the interventions that they were imposing on you. Right? Yeah. From the start? Yeah. Was that the person dictating all those interventions? Well, oh,

she it changed over to the doctor, the doctor that was starting all the interventions was one that I had seen in my practice. All right, who actually taught she made a joke. She was like, you know, just try to hold off until tomorrow at 7am. And then I'll be back tomorrow and I can deliver maybe what's Okay, try to hold off. Let's give you as much Pitocin as possible. So we can speed this up. Or now let's hold off until I get back on call. What the hell? How is this about them? Seriously?

Yeah. Yeah. So then they checked me I was 10 centimeters dilated. So I said at start time to start pushing. I pushed on my back, of course, because they don't mean when they had your hands and knees to resolve the crisis and put you back in your back afterwards. Yeah.

Because they don't know how to help you push on your hands and knees and they don't know how to catch a baby. When you're on your hands and knees. Not that hard. It's not. Let's get you back into the position that we best that makes us most comfortable even though wasn't good for your baby. Got it makes good sense. Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. So you pushed on your back.

So push my back pushing was going really well was pushing in total for about 45 minutes and they said okay she's progressing we can kind of see her starting to move down, I could not feel a thing, which was, it was frustrating for me because they kept saying push with every contraction. I'm like, I can't even feel the contraction, I have no idea what my body's doing. So it was kind of a guessing game as to I think maybe I feel some tightening, let me try pushing, didn't know how to push. I think I was doing it all on my face and that I'm supposed to. But either way, she was making progress, which is great. And then at about 45 minutes into it, I had spiked high temperature, and they noticed that the baby's heart rate again, was jumping up and down. And so that was kind of her signal. Okay, she came down with or I came down with choreo infection, which I don't even really totally know what that is.

But it's basically when you get an infection inside the uterus from too many vaginal exams. Too many hands in there. Too much stuff going up in in and not down and out. Usually, it is related to that.

Yeah. Oh, so then at that point, since they said, Okay, you have a choreo infection, this delivery is now considered an emergency. So the doctor was considering, you know, C section, forceps and vacuum. And I was just kind of laying there, deer in headlights. I really had no idea was going on, but I was terrified. And so she came back, like okay, we're gonna do forceps, I'll give you a couple more tries to push the baby even though they can literally like see the head that gets close. And at that point, they called time. And a resident actually pulled my baby out with forceps, which, in retrospect, I'm still angry about that. But the forcep did go over her left eye. And so her eye was swollen shut for a couple days. And I obviously got pretty beat up from it. But you know, it's just me you're thinking?Yeah, and like, rather me than her.

I feel that when you said that, yeah. Now we disagree. You both you both matter. Right. We take too much we take too much abuse thinking, you know, better me than anyone else. But that shouldn't have happened. I think I just want to understand your your resentment or anger toward the whole situation with the internet's that basically they were getting their experience on you. Like, oh, here's an opportunity to do a forceps. Right?

Oh, 100%. And the doctor I mean, the doctor was coaching her through it. But they I heard I remember the doctor saying, Okay, no, move the force up a little bit to the left. And I'm just I was completely frozen. I could not speak I couldn't move. I just I don't know where I was. But I could I couldn't I wish I had spoken up and demanded that the doctor do it by sometimes go into a little bit of a state of shock because it's just too much to take in emotionally. And you're holding your breath waiting for the baby to be born. I told you that this was an emergency. So you're shut down in a state of your own self protection as you're waiting for your baby to be birthed as quickly as possible under whatever circumstances needs to happen to get your baby out because now you're in a panic, right? So I basically I didn't get to hold my baby. As soon as she was born, they whisked her over to the table to take a look at her did have a fever at the time, but so far, she was checking out okay. And then so after 15 minutes, I got to finally hold her only for 30 minutes. So because they had to take her to a special Koryo nursery for antibiotics and to observe her for six hours. So I didn't really get to see my baby until the following morning, which was, you know, six to seven hours after she was born, which is unfortunate.

I'm just gonna say this because it's so frustrating because we see this so much. And it really is infuriating to know that you were 41 and one in this all started with an unnecessary induction as long as you and your baby were okay would have been fine to let you go longer. And then the second thing is your bag of water didn't want to break right, it didn't want to break and they broke the bag of water. And that started off this whole process. I mean, you ended up with choreo because they broke your bag of water and did lots of vaginal exams. And you didn't see your baby hardly at all for the first six or seven hours because of unnecessary intervention.

It probably led to the forceps delivery as well because of course it did lead because the baby got a fever and they needed to hurry up. I mean you had a fever so they were right there was also like a positioning thing though because the baby didn't come out easily.

They wanted they did the forceps because your baby's heart rate was getting out of the normal range because you had a fever because you got correio because you cut your bag of water ruptured too early. And then they had to extract your baby with forceps giving your baby and bruised I going to a special Korean NICU or whatever. They're wherever they took her all that separation unnecessarily classic cascade of interventions classic. Yeah. So many so many in that cascade. You did have a vaginal birth? Yes, you did. It's a little surprising and I hate to say lucky. But given the scenario, the odds of a C section would be very high statistically.

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Recovery for my daughter's birth was tough. I had a hard time walking for a week, I think because of the forceps. I couldn't sit straight and breastfeeding was super challenging. She actually wouldn't latch until she was two months old. But we made it happen eventually. And almost every night, I would lay awake, just replaying our birth experience and my heart would just race. And I would think of all the things that I should have could have done differently. And honestly, I was just so mad at myself for not speaking up. I just had laid there panicked and a deer in headlights. And why didn't I say anything on behalf of me and my child is all I could really think about. I felt like something was taken for me. But I didn't really understand why I was so angry about it. Because at the end of the day, mama and baby were healthy. And yeah, can you when we're looking at each other, but it's not going to help the listeners right now, I guess so we should comment on. I mean, you now know that we always everyone always knows the most important outcome is a healthy mom and healthy baby. But by no means is that enough. Right? And now that's exactly where you were. So now did you start to feel guilt that you were even angry and resentful about what happened during your birth guilt? Because look at me, I have this beautiful little baby girl now and I'm still so angry.

Oh, absolutely. I think that's what was so hard to identify any potential trauma I had, because that's all you hear from other people as well. You and baby are okay. So you know, just be thankful and how could I not be anything but grateful and thankful for everything. So yeah, that was it was hard to understand and really put any labels to my emotions that I was experiencing until I started to kind of dive into things when I got pregnant with my second, which was when I think I first was about eight months old. I immediately knew I wanted a different birth experience. But I had absolutely no idea what that looked like. My girlfriend in London had given birth had an unmedicated birth with a midwife in their birthing center there. And that was the first time I had heard of someone directly having an unmedicated birth and that was honestly very inspirational to me and set me off on a journey for looking at some Instagram influencers and kind of bouncing around from different research resources. And then I did come across the Donda birth podcast, and the first episode about is a healthy mom and baby all that matters. Exactly.

Really just stuck to me. You know, like I was saying, that's the phrase I would heard hear from people time and time again. And it really just helped me to finally understand the way I was feeling. Kind of put that behind me and decide I wanted to move forward in a new direction. And I don't know if it was in the first episode or a leader one. But I remember hearing at one point, it was if you're hearing this and feeling emotional, you may have experienced birth trauma. And at that point I was in my kitchen, and I stopped and I was already sobbing. So that was kind of what I needed to accept my feelings and, and move forward. And really at that point, they changed the total trajectory of my next birth, it changes it because it was probably the first time you felt entitled to a good birth experience above and beyond that of just a healthy outcome you felt entitled, like, it's your right, you said earlier, something like you felt robbed, we hear that all the time, I spoke with a new client this week, just signed up for my class who was crying about her first two births that she had a few years ago. And she was saying, I felt robbed of my experiences. That is how we feel because on some level, you know that it's your right, to have a satisfying birth experience, and not to feel afraid and pushed and bullied. But yeah, it's like no one gave you permission until that moment.

Absolutely. Yeah, I just you you don't think of birth in that way. Because I think our culture has ingrained in our brains that it's up to the medical providers to deliver our baby safely, and you're in their care. And so I'd never thought about the fact that it was my like, innate need to have this birth the way I wanted it. And that's what was stripped away from me becaus that's your, that's your innate birthing instinct to trust yourself. And when you go into that environment, and you have a provider unnecessarily intervening, even if they're intervening under the guise of it being safer, instinctually you knew it wasn't.

Not to mention they don't deliver your baby. That language is absurd to begin with. They don't that's how they see it. They, they'd love for us to see it that way. They can't deliver your baby, they wish they can't you deliver your baby, they tend to birth. But just that language starts to rob us of something that's ours. How dare anyone claim that they can deliver our baby.

So after kind of going full throttle into podcast, research, and all of that I made the decision that I was all in, I was going to have an unmedicated birth. Yeah. And I knew one of the first things I needed to do from listening to your episode on finding the right provider was find a new provider. I was with the OB out of a large Chicago hospital. And I knew I needed to either find a midwife or an OB that really supported natural births. And this was probably the hardest step for me. I didn't have a lot of luck, just Googling midwives and all of that. So really, it that was probably the biggest struggle, I think, was finding a midwife. So I eventually did find butter lock looking for a doula first. And I found one on Facebook that had its own Facebook page with 1000s of likes and reviews. So I felt really comfortable starting there, because I figure they have all that positive report, they must be pretty decent. So I talked with the owner of that company and asked her for recommendations on midwives, which was awesome, because then she had a couple that they worked with and always had good outcomes. So that's how I found my midwife. I interviewed the office manager of the midwife practice and I spoke with her for like over 45 minutes I had a million questions. She was so receptive and positive which honestly just made my confidence skyrocket skyrocket at that point. And what's crazy is she actually she asked What hospital i birth that and she told me, I was the third call that week alone of people that birth their first and that hospital and wanted a different experience for their second. So that is very sad. I should have started a little support group for the three of you, the few of you really need to talk to people who get it.

Yeah, that's true. So at that point, I had my doula and my midwife in place, and I was around 28 weeks pregnant. My next step for myself was to find a hypno birthing course. And to be honest, I was one of those people a couple years ago that thought it was you know, some hippie dippie hypnotizing thing, and it's obviously Definitely not. And I found it extremely helpful with the breathing techniques and the visualization. So I practice those every as much as I could probably not every day but and the education component. While I knew a lot of it from my first birth, it was helpful to be walked through every step of the way kind of like the decisions I'd have to face so I felt you know, more empowered during the actual birth on that and my daily mantra for myself was I will have the redemption birth that I deserve. I said that one probably every day and then I saw Webster certified chiropractor to help with back pain and help position me better wrote a very detailed birth plan and kind of had all my as as much as I could my ducks in a row for the second part one little tweak on the affirmation I have to say You know, it always belongs in the present tense. It feels weird to say it but I am having a redemptive birth. At every point in pregnancy. That's the affirmation. I am having a redemptive birth. Because will is this out of reach, right? So if that's ingrained in your mind, I'm having redemptive birth, it's within you. It's like you embody it. So we affirmations are always in the present tense, as weird as it feels. interesting detail, right? You know, to keep negative words out of it, you never use the word not you never use the word, right. But that's a fun little detail to make an affirmation particularly effective becomes a belief rather than a goal. It becomes a belief right in your mind.

Yeah, no, that makes sense. Okay, so I think this is moving into the birth now. So leading up to my son's birth, I was very anxious that I wouldn't go into labor naturally, since it didn't happen the first time, would my body be able to do it? And would I be strong enough to have an unmedicated birth was kind of the biggest, probably fear of mine, especially because I didn't know what real labor felt like. All I knew was Pitocin labor. And my husband would joke that I probably don't have the best pain tolerance. So. So that was, you know, floating around there. But I told myself, this was the only option. And we were doing this for the benefit of myself and for the baby. This pregnancy was harder on my body overall. And we moved when I was eight months pregnant. So it was just kind of a lot. And I thought for sure I'm going to deliver before my due date, which was a bad mindset. And my due date arrived, and there were no signs of labor. And so I really started to get discouraged. And then four days past my due date, and Valentine's day, I woke up, feeling really down. I actually cried for like, 30 minutes that morning. I don't know why I was just very emotional and just didn't think that it was going to happen for me. And around probably noon that day, I started to feel like some really like contractions. But I just kept telling myself like no this, isn't it. Like, everyone would say, Oh, you'll know when it's a real thing. Like you'll know. And no, sometimes you do not know it's happening at all.

Totally, never really got that until the very end, obviously. So I just kept ignoring it didn't want to get my hopes up. We're moving into the evening, and contractions are starting to pick up. But they're all over the place. timewise anywhere from like six to 12 minutes. So again, from what I read online, that's could be false labor, you just don't know. So it was since it was Valentine's day, my mom and her husband were actually over, we ordered heart shaped deep dish pizza, and I sat down and had a couple of slices. And probably that point, I felt the intensity really starting to pick up and kind of told everyone alright, don't let me talk myself out of this like it's happening for sure. So they took my daughter home with them. And I decided to, you know, try to take a shower and calm down a little bit. And in the five minutes, I was in the shower, I had two contractions. So they were two minutes apart. And so I realized, Okay, we got to go. So we drove to the hospital, which will and I forgot to add to I did Call the Midwife before getting in the shower, and talked with her about it. And she was like, you know, I really don't know if this is it. You sound way too calm. You know, it could be and you're welcome to come to the hospital. And if it's not your you can go home and finish laboring but I'm not sure it's up to you type of thing. So at that point, I was like, I don't know, I don't want to overreact. But then once they were two minutes apart, we knew that we had to go. It was blizzarding out that day, which I'll never forget. And we ended up getting a heat like tons of snow and we were in the hospital so that it was a little magical, I guess. And so we got checked into our hospital room, probably run EPM and the doula my doula and midwife are still a little hesitant on if I was really in active labor or not.

It's not uncommon in HypnoBirthing at all, it's not that it's the goal. It's not that you have to birth that way. It's just not uncommon at all because you learned the tools to be less reactive to keep your physiology relaxed. And that's what happens. You were practicing your tools.

Absolutely. I think that was the biggest thing was anytime I had a contraction I just kind of let my body go limp. And so I did look calm and and it really wasn't. It wasn't that bad. Up until this point. I was totally fine. So yeah, they were they were just I think very surprised. And the midwife actually said I remember this, either you are either you have the world's best poker face, or you're not inactive labor.

Oh my goodness. I experienced this before.

Can we just can we just come up for one second quick? I know we keep diverting you from your story, but we are sorry, we are interrupting it's just in this doorway. Don't do this, but for some reason this story is making that happen today. You had 45 in your first birth 45 minutes of tolerating, of being in labor where you're like, I cannot do this. I cannot do this. I need that epidural. Now your second labor, no Pitocin no bag of water ruptured your natural physiology everything doing what it's supposed to do and nobody even knows you're in labor. Can you just, I just want to make sure our listeners understand the difference. This is why unmedicated undisturbed birth works, and all women can do it. Because what you experienced the first time, you couldn't even handle 45 minutes. You didn't want to handle 45 minutes.

And it had nothing to do with labor and Boise, even your own husband concluded something about your pain tolerance. That's a term I never use anyway. Because we know that it really isn't about what we're feeling. It's about how we react to what we're feeling. But see, it was like what we said earlier, you came out of that birth thinking that's what labour felt like that was brutal. And here you are everyone even you were guessing, like, Is this really happening? And your midwife, the expert in the room, is saying can't be? Well, it'd be. So what happens next?

So the midwife then asked if she could check me, at this point, I hadn't been checked through the whole pregnancy. But she explained, you know, it's just a helpful gauge to know if you really are inactive labor, or maybe you want to go home for a bit. So I did agree to being checked. And I said, I did not want to know, I was like, Don't tell me I don't want to be discouraged. Like I just want to let it be. So after she checked me she had this like little grin on her face. And she was like, well, let's just say you're not going home without your baby. So I was like, Okay, now I want to know. So I was between, like a five and a six at that point. So we were, you know, fully into active labor and things were moving nicely. We did have the room kind of setup for ambience. my doula brought LED candles, we had the lights turned off. I had this crazy playlist of meditation, HypnoBirthing music and really just trying to set the stage. So I didn't feel like I was, you know, in under the hospital lights. Did it help? Oh, yeah. Yeah. And we brought like the speaker, we're blasting it last and all the calm things, right?

That's okay. Loud meditative music is good.

Yeah. So I was GBS positive, I did decide to receive the antibiotics through IV, which wasn't ideal. But that's what I decided to do. So once the IV was in, I sat on a birth ball to help my hips open up and watch the opening blossom video on YouTube or know if you've heard of that. But my HypnoBirthing instructor mentioned now that's one of the visuals, the opening rows.

I don't know if it helped, I think it might have because at that point, things started to open up.

It does help. And that's what I used in my mind mentally. In my whole first Blaber, which was three hours from beginning to end. The moment I even wasn't sure. The reason is that when you picture this opening flower, the conscious mind is laughing at it like this is so silly, that I'm in labor. And I think picturing a flower opening up is going to help me here. That's what your conscious mind is saying. That's only five or so percent of your brain of your mind. The whole rest of your mind is seeing soft, open, gentle, easy, just this opening, opening opening. So your physiology is responding to opening. Right? I mean, if you're on a massage table, getting a really nice massage, and the professional does a little experiment with you and says I want you to think of the last time you had a really bad argument with someone or a really stressful day at work or you were stuck in traffic when you had to get somewhere you're not going to get a lot out of that massage. Your muscles are going to tense. We we we respect this mind body connection everywhere else but in labor somehow we think it's not going to apply, but it does.

Yeah, and at that point, the contractions really started to pick up. I started feeling a lot of pressure. Back labor did start to set in again, which was kind of a bummer, but it's probably, you know, maybe something to do with my scoliosis.

It can happen in a precipitous birth that can happen if the baby is post here. There are various reasons for back labor. It's not always the least comfortable type of labor anyway. It's it's sometimes manageable. But anyway, go ahead.

Yeah, so they did that my husband and doula were applying hip compressions which which helped but not completely at that point. And then I got into the tub to labor they had a tub available to use for laboring, but definitely not for delivery, which they made that very clear. My husband got in the tub with me and sat behind me and applied hip compressions. And pretty much as soon as I sat into the top, my contractions like skyrocketed, and the intensity was was pretty high. And I didn't have much recovery in between. And I did reach the point in which my HypnoBirthing cores warned me about was you might feel like you want to jump out of a window. And if that's the case, you're getting close.

Oh, wait, they actually said that in your HypnoBirthing. Class? That's a no, no, no, you wouldn't hear that in  Cynthia's class.

You would never want to hear that in the HypnoBirthing. Like, no one should talk to you like that. Because didn't that thought come to you and labor jump out a window?

Yeah, it was the feeling like Can I can I keep going tight.

The way we describe it is I'm sorry to interrupt. But I, you know, this is getting out there. And I want to make sure we're also finding information that we need to refine. It's an it's an understood phenomenon. I'm sure even Trisha knows it. Well, being a professional who studied this from the textbook side of things. That it's an it's a normal common phenomenon for the mother to experience her desire to stop, to leave, to take a break, or to take medication to change her birth plan. That's a normal phenomenon for her to have conviction that she can't do it anymore.

It's typically the marker of transition. That's when you know that you're in that space. And sometimes that can take a long time. And sometimes that can be moments before birth. So always a positive. From a provider's perspective, it's always a positive, you're like, yes, you're there.

There are probably other ways to describe that phenomenon. I never, I've never would think of it that way personally.

Yeah, that's a good point. And I think in the moment, too, it's like I knew that analogy. But you kind of question is that that really that moment, you know, so in the moment, I wasn't sure. I just felt like, Can I really keep going? But now looking back on it? Oh, yeah. It was the obvious marker that things were getting close to the end. So that's, yeah, I think it's nature's way of alerting people around the laboring woman when back in the day, we didn't do vaginal exams, or we didn't have technology to assess where a woman was, or is in labor. It's nature's way of alerting the people around her baby's coming. You know, get get ready, get her into a safe space, get things prepared for baby to come. So it's a signal, an important one. So yeah, once that kind of picked up, I suddenly had a massive surge and felt pop sensation, which now assuming was my water breaking, and I immediately started to push. And I was obviously I was not supposed to push in the tub. And my doula asked, you know, are you pushing and I honestly, I don't know what I'm doing. It's just happening. And I hear the nurse running and she's like, You got to get out. Get out of the tub. You're pushing Reedsville that's gone. These policies, Moto Trisha is rolling her eyes, I had to put a word to it. It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous. Dragging a woman she's in mid birth, the moment of birth, and they're pulling her out of a tub from what is actually statistically a safer, more comfortable, more thriving. I mean, listen to our episode with Barbara Harper from waterbirth International and episode 100. And like everyone in the world would want to have a water birth after listening to the data on it. Go ahead. Sorry.

No, and this was one of the hardest parts of the whole experience was getting out of the top everything in my body was telling me hey, do not You're staying here and I had to like forcefully put one foot in front of the other. So yeah, I agree that part was not fun.

Well, we always say if when every cell in your body is telling you to follow one particular course of action or to avoid one particular course of action, listen to it.

Of course policy would not allow you to write, but yeah, there oops, babies like oops baby just came out on the water and I didn't know if that was where this was going. But they actually had you drag yourself out of there.

I dragged myself out Yeah, I finally got out of the tub and just kind of stood next to the bed is this as far as I could get at that point? They the midwife came rushing in and she actually got she asked if she could check me again. And she got down on her knees and was trying to check me from above. But she really couldn't get a good gauge of how dilated I was. So why was she

checking you you're pushing the baby out what's going on?

They like to confirm that you're fully dilated before you get out of there. Remembering Charlie's the chart needs the info the chart the charts just gonna have to not know a thing or two. Good luck. Okay, keep going.

Yeah, she she obviously couldn't get a good gauge on it because that was not an easy way to check someone. So basically, she's like, if you feel like pushing like, let's do it. I'm like, Well, I think I already am. So we're good. So I did. I got into the hospital bed and I kneeled on, I kneeled on the bed with my arms draping over the top of the bad and that's how I pushed my baby out. Again, the pushing sensations just kept coming over me, probably every contraction I was pushing about three times, and I was doing physically nothing It just it was the most surreal feeling because my body was completely working on its own, in comparison to the first birth where I could not feel a thing of what I was doing. This was just purely natural. And so I felt, you know, my baby moving through the canal, which was amazing. And eventually his head came out, and then at that point, they kind of all started cheering, like, push, push, and so I got maybe a little nervous, like something wrong. So I added my own push at that point. And then his shoulders came out, my midwife said, okay, you know, bend down and grab your baby. So I reached between my legs, and I helped pull my baby through, which was amazing, and pulled him up to my chest, and then I did feel a snap. And his umbilical cord had snapped. So there was, you know, kind of a little bit of blood and stuff, but I called it out right away, and the midwife kind of ran over to the other side, me clamped it off, and it was all fine. And they helped turn me on my back and my baby went on my chest, and we stayed like that for at least an hour, probably more. He laughed straightaway, which was, you know, 100% different from my daughter, and my endorphins were just completely soaring. I was on an adrenaline rush for probably like six to seven hours, seven hours, I could not sleep but I just felt so good. It was, you know, night and day difference of how I felt physically and mentally from my first birth. That was my son was born.

Thank you for joining us at the Down To Birth Show. You can reach us @downtobirthshow on Instagram or email us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com. All of Cynthia’s classes and Trisha’s breastfeeding services are offered live online, serving women and couples everywhere. Please remember this information is made available to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is in no way a substitute for medical advice. For our full disclaimer visit downtobirthshow.com/disclaimer. Thanks for tuning in, and as always, hear everyone and listen to yourself.

I think it was all mentally I mean while I felt the physical sensations of the second one you knew and obviously you learn this in HypnoBirthing but everything you feel is like a good feeling. You know it's getting you closer to your baby so it didn't feel like pain, right? It didn't feel scary. The first time around when you've got needles poked into you and things like the that felt scary to me.


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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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