We love sharing birth stories here at cord. We're thrilled to share Erica's story with today. Not only is she an active member of our Cord Mama facebook group, but she also hired Monet to photograph her birth. Yay for birth photography!
Erica worked with the CNMs Jolene Hamann and Megan Dickey at Colorado Springs OB/GYN. She was supported by Candace McCollett and Zoe West.
This is a beautiful, inspiring story...and we're so grateful that Erica sent it to us!
Immediately after my daughter Teegen's birth in 2013, I knew I wanted a different experience with our next birth. Even before we found out we were expecting again, my husband and I began our search for the “perfect” birth team.
On a Thursday morning (8/20/15) at 38w6d, I woke up at 7:20am and knew that my body was "up to something." At 7:34am the first contraction hit and they continued at about 12 minutes apart for a few hours. By 11:30am contractions were 8 minutes apart, by 3:00pm they were 7 minutes apart and increasing in pain and intensity, and by 4:00pm they were just under 6 minutes apart. Throughout it all, Teegen stayed by my side and helped through the contractions by saying "It's ok, Mommy" and rubbing my lower back. I decided to get in the shower around 9pm to try to alleviate some pain. If anything, it intensified. By 10pm, my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. I had Travis put Teegen to bed and told him to get some sleep. I sensed our baby would be here by the morning, but knew the hardest part would be in the wee hours of the morning. I needed a rested husband!
Around 1am, I had a very painful contraction that woke Travis up. By this point, contractions were 1-2 minutes apart and very intense. We called Travis's mom to come stay with Teegen (as much as I wanted her to be at the birth, I felt bad waking her up). We also called our doula and our photographer to come over. I think it was at this point that it finally hit me- our baby was on his way!
Everyone arrived around 2:30am. I labored in our living room, both on the birth ball and on our couch. I remember crying quite a bit at one point, both because things were intense and because I knew this was happening quickly and I wouldn't get to say good night to Teegen before heading to the hospital. I also realized she probably wasn't going to be at the birth, which was hard for me to accept because I really wanted her to be there. I took a few minutes to grieve that fact and then pulled myself together.
Around 3:30 or 4:00am I threw up a few times and shortly after, began to feel "pushy". Everyone immediately jumped up and said it was time to go to the hospital. I don't think I've ever seen people move so fast! I was laughing and joking that if I got to the hospital and everything stopped or I was only a few cm dilated, we were coming back home.
We arrived at 4:55am to find out I was 8cm and fully effaced with a bulging bag of water. The triage nurse asked about doing a hep-lock, which I kindly said I would like to decline. I went into a trance-like state, but remember going between the bed, the toilet, and the shower in an attempt to find something that felt right during contractions. My body started pushing during these contractions and I couldn't stop it. All of a sudden I felt a pop and a gush- my water finally broke while sitting on the toilet! I went back to the bed at that point and squatted through a few contractions.
For some reason I thought I wanted to be on my back and stayed that way for a little bit and began pushing. I then switched to my right side and felt like progress was being made (I could feel his head finally!), but I still didn't feel like this was "right". I switched to all fours and within a few pushes he was out!
Tyler Kruze was born on 8/21/15 at 9:09am- 25.5 total hours of labor (just a bit shorter than Teegen’s 27 hour labor).
I don't really remember, but Travis said I reached down, grabbed him, and pulled him through and up to my chest. The best part is that no one bothered us. Everyone kind of backed off and just let us enjoy him. I'm not sure how long that lasted, but it was wonderful. After a bit, I turned around and relaxed on the bed. I kept forgetting he was still attached to the placenta, so I was careful not to pull too hard or move too quickly. Our midwife waited for the cord to stop pulsing before cutting it, which is exactly what we wanted. We spent at least an hour just bonding with our new little boy on the bed while everyone else sat back or helped clean up. No one messed with him. No one rushed over to suction him, no one ran to get towels to clean him off, and no one pushed weighing/measuring him.
At that point, everyone left and the nurse said to call if we needed anything. It was great to be able to bond with our new little baby without other people intruding! When we felt ready, we texted to tell people he arrived. Teegen came to meet him shortly after. She was definitely a little timid and unsure of him at first.
Overall, I really couldn't have asked for anything more. Tyler's birth is exactly what I wanted it to be. I wanted a completely natural, intervention-free birth and that's exactly what we had. I felt supported throughout my entire pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and felt comfortable with my body and trusted that everything was happening as intended. I laughed, joked, screamed, and cried, but all in the support of our wonderful birth team. I am truly blessed to have had this experience and am so grateful for the amazing team we had present at the birth.