The birth of our daughter was the most amazing moment in my life. The moment I met her in our world is one I will never forget. I wouldn't have chosen anyone other than the midwives at OHSU to share that time with my husband and me. Their warm care, open conversation, calming presence and skill all contributed to me having the water birth I wished for.
Throughout my pregnancy I always thought Avery would come slightly early. So when my due date came and went, I began to get slightly impatient. The midwives were so great about addressing my concerns, but also helping me to realize that this was a very special time. They were all so nice and understanding about my fears of induction. They were also supportive in my choice to see an acupuncturist for cervical ripening and gave me information about acupuncturists in the area.
At 41 weeks and 5 days. I began having regular contractions. I had early labor for about a day and a half. During this time, we frequently spoke to the midwife on call about the contractions and their recommendations. At one point I actually went to the hospital in hopes that it was "finally the time." But unfortunately I was still only two centimeters. They gave me all of my options and were very supportive of me leaving and laboring at home.
Later that evening, my contractions intensified. I began feeling very overwhelmed. We went back to the hospital and I was checked to be now at four centimeters dilated and stationed very low. I was in active labor and I was admitted to the hospital.
From the moment that I stepped through the doors, everyone was very calm and nice. I had brought my birth plan which stated that I wanted a very quiet and dark atmosphere. Everyone did their best to follow this along with my other requests. The midwife stayed with my husband and me for the majority of my labor. She tried all different types of techniques to decrease my discomfort, from positions to massage. She also offered the shower or birth tub but I chose to wait until the end.
Five hours passed, and during a contraction my water broke. I instantly felt a strong urge to push. The midwife checked me and I wasn't quite fully dilated. She had me get into the birth tub and helped me to blow through my contractions. The time finally came to push—and it was such a relief. I found this to be the best part of labor. It felt so natural. There was a time right before I got into the birth tub that I became very scared. I remember my midwife taking my hand and telling me that what I was feeling was very normal, and that she was there for me.
Her words helped me to refocus and get back to pushing. I pushed for about 15 minutes which was very intense, but I knew that I would meet our baby girl soon. Finally I felt a huge release and my husband and our midwife caught our baby girl. I turned over and my husband handed me the most beautifully perfect baby girl. She cried immediately and I held her to my chest. Everyone was very respectful of our time with her. My midwife had me get out of the tub and onto the bed to deliver the placenta. For the next hour or so they allowed us to have time with Avery and nurse before weighing her and getting her vitamin K injection. The team was all very supportive of our time together.
In all honestly I couldn't have asked for better prenatal care, postnatal care, or delivery. The midwives were there every step of the way. Between the love, support and hard work of my husband and trust of our midwife, I was able to have the natural water birth that I wanted. I wouldn't take back a single second or thing about how Avery came into the world.