Get cozy, it's birth story time!
Early last month, a family reached out looking for doula support. The mom, Adrianna, was 37 weeks along and had been planning a birth center birth but just learned she had risked out. We clicked immediately, and I was stoked to support her. Then she received great news.... The issue that had risked her out was no longer present, and she was released back to birth center care!
Here is her birth story, in her own words.
"During my pregnancy I read countless birth stories. They were all incredibly encouraging and empowering so I thought I would share mine and hopefully give another mama what so many stories gave me in preparation for this birth: Encouragement, raw truth, and confidence in our bodies.
I had been planning my birth at a center that I really loved and vibed with. Things were going well until about 35 weeks. I had a scan that showed excess fluid (polyhydramnios) and that diagnosis risked me out of the birth center. I cried. And then accepted I had a short amount of time to find a new care team and a hospital to birth at. Well…two ultrasounds in with the new care team my fluid levels were back to normal…so in a long shot I asked the birth center if I could return. After A LOT of back and forth I was finally told at 39 weeks that yes! I can come back to the birth center! I was beyond ecstatic.
No action on my due date, Aug 24th, so we decided to go for a hike. I figured I would get 15-20 min in and have some cramping and be done…nope. I felt so good on the hike I made it all the way to the top: 2.5miles round trip! I was really surprised how good I felt. I definitely think this helped get things moving but it also contributed to my body being tired.
Fast forward to the next morning…light contractions are starting right when I woke up. The birth center is about an hour away so we decide to pack things up and head closer to a hotel for the night so I didn’t have to drive very far once in labor. I got about a 2 hour nap in while everyone got things ready. Contractions were still mild and far apart."
"It’s 9pm August 25th when we finally get to the hotel. I am super jazzed and excited and ready for this baby girl to come…contractions have been pretty erratic and not very intense, so I go for a walk. I find stairs to go up and down to try and see if I could help move things along. As I am walking down the stairs I feel something falling out of my vagina…yes, you read that right. FALLING OUT. I call my midwife. She says to look with a mirror and that it’s likely my water bag bulging a bit. I check. It’s gone. She says I should lay down and rest 😅 I did not. In hindsight it probably would have served me well to have listened to her… but I’m stubborn and I was ready to meet my baby!
I hit the stairs again to see if I would feel the bag fall down and sure enough it comes bouncing out with each step! Not just a little bit either…about 4 inches of my bag is visible outside of my body 🤯 I reached down and could feel it. Like a water balloon chilling between my legs. It will forever be one of the most bizarre and super cool things I have experienced. I took a picture and sent it to my midwife. She had never seen one bulging that much and said I should head to the center (she was thinking I was very dilated if that much came out).
We get to the center around 10:30pm and I’m way too smiley to be in active Iabor, contractions have really slowed and we’re all just in awe of this seemingly impenetrable amniotic sac. I start doing some bounces as I’m telling my doula/photographer, Danielle (best decision ever btw) “I can’t believe this bag is still”…as I’m saying “intact” , the bag pops and makes the loudest noise I have ever heard come from my body! Fluid splashes everywhere! 🥳"
"I felt like my baby should have come within the hour at this point…but she didn’t . Contractions were pretty regular and I was getting through them well in the birthing tub. I told my partner to go ahead and get some rest… it was about 1am and I could tell he was exhausted. I labored with just me and my baby girl until about 2:30am when things starting getting really intense. I woke Ian (my partner) in between a contraction and told him I needed counter pressure IMMEDIATELY. Baby Everleigh was sunny side up and the back Labor was really intense. Danielle and Ian provided counter pressure for almost every contraction after this point…BEST SUPPORT EVER.
Up until this point I had not had a cervical check, so I asked the midwife for one. I think I was at about 4 or 5 cm (memory is a little fuzzy) and I’m guessing this was just past 3am. I did my best to get through the next few hours…it was hard. I tried to open up and breathe through each one. Each one seemed to be more intense than the last. I could feel my gas tank getting low. The more tired I got the more difficult it was to not brace against the contraction. We did a series of positions to try and get baby to turn and hopefully help ease the back labor. Those were some of the hardest contractions. It took a lot of energy and mental determination but I kept breathing, moaning, roaring even, into each one as best as I could."
At 7am and I ask for another cervical check. I need the encouragement. I need to have some sort of gauge on how long I have left. I can feel myself losing mental and physical stamina. I’m at 7cm. Great. I can get there. We’re so close.
The next two hours are a sleepy blur as I start to doze off in between contractions. I’m in and out of the tub, doing whatever I can to try and make the contractions a bit more bearable. I’m starting to feel the urge to push at the end of a couple of them. It’s just after 9am. I ask the midwife for another cervical check. Please. Oh please. Let me be ready to push this baby out. She was reluctant to tell me but I pushed her for the number. 7cm she says. 😐😐 You have to be f***ing kidding me. My filter at this point was gone (very different from my first labor) 2 hours ?? And nothing to show for it?? I’m frustrated and exhausted. I feel like the last 2 hours of hard work have all been for nothing.
The midwife says, “at this point we can have a conversation” …she’s asking if I want to transfer to the hospital and get an epidural and rest. Rest. Oh my god rest. Rest sounds so good right now…I can’t think for very long before another contraction starts. Ian! Danielle! Counterpressure! Hips! Sacrum!
“I need rest” I say. I’m thinking there is no way I can get through another 2 hours of this. Yes. Call the ambulance. Start the transfer. I was on the bed on all fours at this point. I laid down. I was done.
I’m not sure if my little girl could sense I was done, or maybe it was the change in position, or the mental release of thinking I had two more hours of this hard work. But the next two contractions laying down were the most intense ones I had through the whole labor. I felt her move down. I couldn’t bear to go through a third laying on my side…so against my own will, with every part of my body yelling that I didn’t have the energy for this… I got back up on all fours as the ambulance is pulling up outside.
Except... the next thing I hear is:
“Adrianna…I can see her head. You're having this baby right here. You can do this."
Within 15 min and 3-4 more contractions/pushes. Everleigh Quinn Blackmore was born at 9:27am.
"This was my second natural labor and delivery. It was so different. After everything my tokens of advice are:
1.) Rest in early labor as much as possible. Seriously. And listen to your midwife when she tells you to rest!
2.) Your body is capable of more than your brain thinks it is.
3.) Being at the birth center allowed me to have the unmedicated birth I wanted for me and my baby girl. Had I been in a hospital I likely would have gotten the epidural. I’m happy I set myself up for what I wanted. If natural is what you want I would highly suggest an out of hospital setting.
4.) It’s not easy. You can still do it."
There ya have it, folks!
Isn't she as badass? Thank you for sharing your birth story, Adrianna.
A few hours after her birth, she was able to take an herbal bath with her baby, which resulted in some of my favorite images I've taken to date:
Introducing Everleigh to the rest of the family was pretty sweet, too.
Thanks for reading!
If you are a past client, and are interested in sharing your birth story on the blog, shoot me a message!