Birth Story! Oliver Van Loon McDonald

DAY 1:

My water broke on Monday, April 9, 2018 at 3 AM. I was laying in bed wondering what position our baby boy was in. I rubbed and palpated my belly to see if I could figure it out. When I got out of bed, I felt a gush of fluid and went running to the toilet saying “oh no, oh no, oh no“! So early in the morning, I decided to let my husband sleep and I went to the living room. I grabbed a puppy pad and sat down on it on the couch. I began a group text to the ladies in my life that would be attending the birth to give them a heads up and I called my dad since he’s the only person I know that’s actually awake at that time of day! Contractions started slowly about 15 minutes later. Contractions continued to be “mild”, as my midwives explained, throughout Monday. My mom, husband and I had a Netflix marathon while trying to encourage active labor with walking and using the birthing ball. I tried resting, which is nearly impossible with even “mild” contractions, and managed about three decent hours. I found my contractions were easier to tolerate standing, but I noticed contractions were stronger and came faster when I laid on my side so I tried to do that to encourage active labor.


DAY 2:

Tuesday morning progressed similarly to Monday however by Tuesday afternoon my contractions were close enough to be considered active labor and two of the midwives begin their trek to my house. I must’ve gotten stage fright upon their arrival because my contractions slowed back down. The midwives took a nap that night and I worked again to get back to active labor with my mom and husband timing my contractions.


DAY 3:

Sometime early Wednesday morning we again achieved active labor and the third midwife was called. They said I could FINALLY get in the bathtub because baby should be arriving soon. My husband and I were so excited to hear this and reported to our family and friends. Our photographers and my mom arrived. Periodically my dad and sister stopped by for progress updates and moral support. I labored in the bathtub all of Wednesday morning and dilated to about a 9.8. The midwives and I worked to manually move a stubborn cervical lip out of the way of babies descend. I pushed for hours in several different positions, in and out of the bath, but baby couldn’t get past the cervical lip. My dad, sister and doctor (probably along with half the city) were getting nervous and anxious but I was still smiley and with my humor! To ease tension, I spoke with my midwives about the plan and we decided to transport to the hospital. The drive to Fremont (my decision) on Wednesday about 7 pm was uncomfortable and bumpy, but unfortunately not bumpy enough to have a baby! I found my most comfortable position was when I wedged my giant belly between the front and back seat, turned backwards and kneeled on the floor, if you can imagine that! Upon arrival at the hospital, we were greeted by my Aunt Dawn and a group of OB nurses who put me in a wheelchair and ran me and my entourage through the hospital to a delivery room expecting baby to fall out immediately. Dr. Herta came in the room and examined me, coming to the same conclusions and diagnoses as my midwives; we have to get the cervical lip out of the way and then baby should fall out with a few good pushes! Dr. Herta and my midwives suggested (and ultimately had to convince me) that I should have an epidural so they could administer Pitocin while I nap to help give me strength to accomplish delivery. My sister helped me through the epidural and when they asked me if I could feel the contractions or my legs I giggled with delight of having relief! My  husband and I got a solid 4 hour nap while my family and midwives waited and napped in the waiting room.


DAY 4:

The Pitocin level was where the doctor wanted it and the nurse, Emily, told me we were ready to have a baby explaining the cervical lip is no longer an obstacle. I invite my mom and sister to join my husband and I for the birth of our baby! I again push for hours in every position imaginable, even the unflattering ones! Dr. Herta checked me at one point and discovered the cervical lip came back so we manually worked to move it out of the way, again. When we achieved that, the next obstacle uncovered was that our sweet baby was descending face up. I did everything I could before finally deciding to have our baby by cesarean. The staff prepped me for surgery and with just my husband and I in the delivery room, we finally met our baby boy, Oliver VanLoon McDonald, on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 6:32 AM.