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Birth Stories...My first born Julianna's Birth Story

 Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I love reading birth stories. Birth is such an amazing gift from God and I am always amazed by the whole process. I read many natural birth stories when pregnant with Julianna and it was such an encouragement. Hopefully, this will be an encouragement to  you. The reason it is so long is because it was my longest labor at 40 hours, but it really wasn't as bad as that sounds, just very gradual. And the Ambien that they recommended I take to get sleep in between, I would never do it again! I only took half a dose but I woke up so confused and walking into walls. Ah well, you learn as you go. I thank the Lord for my sweet Julianna Rose who is such a blessing to our family.

This was written by one of the two doulas that helped me through the birth, Robin Rennells.

Dear Julianna,

As one of your mom’s birth doulas, (labor support people) I had the privilege of being present for you birth. The following is the story of your birth as seen through my eyes.

Your mom called me at 5:37 on the morning of October 25, 2006. She had been having mild contractions for about an hour. I encouraged her to rest. She called again at 7:20 and said they were now four to five minutes apart and she was having some bleeding. She said for me to meet them at the hospital.

When I arrived at UNC at 9:15, she was in triage with Susan, one of the midwives. Susan checked her cervix and determined that it was a loose one centimeter dilated, 80-90% effaced, and your head was at negative one station. Susan recommended activity with rest in between to get labor moving. We left the hospital about 9:30 a.m. and went to the local mall to walk around. Your grandmother went with us. We all had lunch together at Bear Rock Café. Your mom really enjoyed the salad she had!

The contractions did not intensify in frequency or strength, so I headed back to Raleigh. Your parents walked around Chapel Hill for a while before returning home as well.

I talked to your mom a few times that day. She was unable to sleep, probably because she was so excited about meeting you! She called me again that night at midnight and said things had picked up. I met her back in triage at UNC with the midwife again.

Susan checked her and this time she was two centimeters dilated, 100% effaced, and at plus one station. This was definite progress, but not enough to warrant admitting your mom to the hospital. She said we could walk around or go home. We walked the halls and stairs of the hospital until about 3:00 a.m. We checked in with Susan again. She recommended that your mom take some Ambien in order to sleep. (She had been up for almost twenty four hours and still had a long road ahead of her.)

She went home and got about three hours of sleep. The next call I received was at 11:45 a.m. She said the contractions had intensified and they were headed back to the hospital. I went to pick up my doula partner, Lara, and we headed back to UNC. We arrived about 12:45. This time, there was great progress. Your mom’s cervix was now seven centimeters dilated! The midwife on call, Jane, said for her to get moving to keep labor progressing.

The nurse, Holly, started a Hep lock and we turned on some lively Christian music your dad had brought. Your mom was so happy and relaxed. Even though she was now in active labor, she smiled and said, “Whatever you guys, I’m so excited!”

She walked some in the hall, sat on the birth ball, and moved around the room. About 1:20 she thought her water was breaking.

Your grandparents came in to see her. Your granddad gave her a big hug and got tears in his eyes. Your mom said, “You’re getting all emotional on me!” and he said, “Come on now, you’re my daughter.” They left to return to the waiting room shortly thereafter.

We talked your mom through the contractions, offering lots of encouragement. A few times she said, “I feel so spoiled, you guys are so great!”

At 2:15 she was perched on all fours in the bed, leaning on the birth ball. Your dad put a rolled up warm blanket on her back and she said “That feels so great.” She got up to go to the bath room and said “The contractions are stronger on the toilet, but that’s good, right?” Your dad stayed close by her, gently stroking her arm during contractions. She began to take on the hazy look of a woman deep in labor. At 2:45 she said, “This is perfect. I couldn’t ask for it to be any better.”

At 2: 58, Jane, the midwife, recommended that they break the remaining water. Your mom was a bit nervous about this, but wanted to continue to progress so she could meet you. At 3:10 she broke the water and there was only a tiny amount of cervix remaining, as she was nine centimeters dilated. Your mom sat up in the bed in a tailor position while your dad read to her from her scripture journal. He gave her Altoids whenever she asked for them, (which was frequently.)

At 3:12 Lara went out to the waiting room to update your grandparents and to bring back some coffee. Your mom reported lots more pressure. Lara and I did a maneuver called the double hip squeeze and applied counter pressure to both of her hips during contractions. We used Lemon Basil cream to rub her hips.

Jane then explained the process of “laboring down.” (This is what women do when they are fully dilated, but not yet having a real urge to push.) She breathed beautifully through the contractions and stayed very calm and peaceful. Never once did she complain. None of the nurses could believe she was not medicated in any way and that she was coping so well. Jane said it was a testament to good labor support. I told them all it was a testament to God because your mom had been praying about your birth for months and months. She and your dad have amazing faith and belief!

At 4:46, she began to push. She used the Rebozo that was tied to the squat bar. At 4: 58 they catheterized her bladder. At that time, Deb O’Connell came on as the new midwife.

We could see tiny bits of your hair as your mom continued to push. Your dad said, “Julianna's having a good hair day!” Then he said this was the best birth he had ever seen.

Your mom pushed with such strength and determination. Deb said, “You are pushing like you have already had a baby!” We suggested that she change positions so we removed the squat bar and she pushed with us helping her hold her legs. We wiped her face with cool clothes and everyone in the room cheered for her and encouraged her. At 7:33, you were born! As soon as your head came out, your dad helped deliver the rest of you and placed you on your moms’ chest. He said, “It’s Julianna! It’s Julianna!” You were crying robustly and were a beautiful pink color. Your mom was ecstatically happy. One of the nurses in the room said, “Oh, I love my job!”

Your dad cut the cord at 7: 36. Lara went to tell your grandparents. They were so happy! The midwife said, “I feel privileged to be here –what a gorgeous birth!”

Shortly thereafter, we helped your mom latch you on to her breast. You took to it very well after about only a minute. We were all so proud of you! Your parents were overwhelmingly joyful to finally meet you.

You have chosen wonderful parents. They love each other very much. They also love Jesus and they will teach you to know and love him too. May your life be full of His abundant blessings and love.

Robin Rennells and Lara Statile


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