Hospital Birth

Kendra’s second birth: A positive labor-induction without an epidural

So, I had pushed my induction date as far as I possibly could. June 10. Eight days past my due date and just 6 days before my mandatory travels began. I kept on giving the baby the benefit of the doubt; I thought for sure if I gave her the maximum time, she would come on her own. I was wrong. As the day drew nearer, I prepared myself for the fact that I would have to be induced – Something that I was hoping to avoid from day one. I came to accept it for what it was. I was at peace with it.

Checking In

And so, at 7am on Monday, June 10, I found my sister Derolene and myself checking into Orem Community Hospital. I was feeling really chill and very excited. They started the pitocin at 7:45 on low, and I began feeling surges at 8:00. They increased it every half hour. It felt like quite a long time that my sister and I were just sitting there, hanging out. We watched some YouTube videos and some Arrested Development and just chatted.

The Doula Arrives

My doula Laurel arrived around 9:00. She brought mango flavored coconut water and I (surprisingly) loved it. The surges weren’t much to brag about but I listened to some relaxation tracks and affirmations, partly because I didn’t know what else to do. I was kinda bored…until around 10:00. By then my surges were 2-3 minutes apart, pitocin was at maximum dose, and I was definitely feeling it.

Counter Pressure

At 11:35, we think my water started leaking. Now is when I really began putting Laurel and Derolene to work. All I wanted to do was kneel. Laurel lowered the bottom half of the bed (had no idea that was possible, did you??) so that I could kneel on the bed and rest my upper body on a stack of pillows on the bed. I just buried my face in that stack of pillows, breathing deep. At about the same time, the pitocin surges were getting so hard that I needed counter pressure. Laurel and Derolene pushing all their weight onto each side of my hips did wonders. Derolene later told me she was worried this would hurt me, but Laurel assured her, “she hasn’t hit us yet, so trust me, it feels good.” Each time I felt a surge coming on, I said, “surge” or “contraction” to alert them it was time to counter. Eventually, talking was not my favorite option so I just waved my hand in the air as my signal and they came to my rescue.

Checking the Cervix

Around 1:30 I was starting to get tired of ALLA THIS. They checked me for the first time. The nurse didn’t say anything, but I remember looking at Laurel’s face. I dared ask her, “do I want to know?” I could see in her eyes she was carefully calculating what to tell me. “You’re progressing. It’s not a 3, and it’s not a 10.” Considering I started out dilated at a 3, I was a tiny bit discouraged. But really, I knew that progress was all we needed. “Dilation could change in a matter of minutes.” I reminded myself. Plus I had no choice but to keep going, and so I did. (My sister recorded the details in a notebook –AWESOME!!!— and at that point I was at a 5).

Transition: Baby is almost here!

Soon I started to feel myself losing control more and more often. I started to think, ‘I don’t know how much longer I can do this’, and was constantly praying, ‘please. please. please let her come soon.’ A little light went off in my brain, because usually when you get to that point of “I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE”, that means you are literally right there. So that gave me some hope. And I was right.

Some awesome things started to happen. Ok, in the moment it was not awesome. I felt horrible. But in hindsight, it was awesome. Especially because I didn’t experience these things with Crue. And why spare you the details? You came for a birth story, didn’t you? I’ll tell you something about birth. It’s a miracle and all and it is amazing, but let’s not sugar coat it, there is nothing pretty about signs of dilation and transition.

1 – The body begins to expel everything in preparation for birth.

What this actually means: I began crapping myself. I felt trapped on the toilet due to diarrhea because, as I told Laurel, “I don’t want to get on the bed and keep crapping myself!”

2 – Then, out the other end. What this actually means: I said, “I’m going to throw up” and magically a barf bag appeared. I just dry heaved a bunch since I hadn’t eaten anything for a while.

Eventually, I felt that I was done with all of that, plus Laurel started saying I should come back out of the bathroom. ‘Okay, okay. fine.’ I thought. Sometimes I think if it was allowed, I could birth a baby sitting on a toilet. That might sound crazy but ask any mom who’s given birth (naturally, I think?) Sitting on the john feels fantastic. When I stood up, Laurel said, “don’t freak out, but I’m just warning you, there’s a lot of blood.” —Enter transition/dilation sign #3. What this actually means:  Well. Like I said, there was a lot of blood. I knew in the back of my head that these were all great signs, but I needed reassurance. I said, “that’s good though, right?” Laurel assured me that yes, in this moment, crapping yourself, dry heaving, and bleeding were all good signs.

Turning off the Pitocin: RELIEF!

When I got back to the bed I asked if they could turn the pitocin down because it was getting ridiculous and clearly I was progressing. They surprised us all by turning it completely off at 2pm. What a relief! I can’t tell you what a difference that made. Within 15 minutes I felt labor become WAY. WAY. WAY. more manageable. So I suppose in the end I did get a glimpse of labor without pitocin. Understatement of the year: I’ll gladly go THAT route next time, if granted.

Breathing Baby Down and Out

Around 3:00 I was kinda blurry but I noticed more nurses coming in and I heard one call on a phone and say, “we’re getting close in room 123.” Which was all encouraging. The monitors were not catching much because of the baby moving around and me moving around. They had to move me from kneeling position to my back in order to place a fetal monitor on the baby’s head. Then I laid on my side while Laurel held one leg up. It was 3:15 when I first started pushing. It was awesome. There was no ‘pushing and counting to 10’ business. No one told me to push, but I knew everything was game at that point. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel the urge to push very often. I just breathed her down (loudly, and at times losing control—- I felt like I sounded like the birthing lady you see in movies. But then I watch the video and it wasn’t that bad. …) Every now and then I thought, ‘I should probably push…” so I did. All of 10 minutes and about 5 pushes later, the doctor said, “one push and you’ll have a baby.” I pushed and BAM- There was her head!

Baby’s Out!

It felt great to have her head out and I kinda felt like chillaxing at that second. I felt “done”. Hakuna Matata! But they told me to push to get the rest of her out, so I was like, “ooookay.” Another push or 2 and there she was! The cord was wrapped around her neck once, and she was quite purple and quiet. Surprisingly, I wasn’t alarmed. The doctor laid her on the bed as he unwrapped the cord and I just began shaking uncontrollably as I stroked her head and said, “oh my sweetie!” I saw her open her mouth and kinda move her head around so I thought she was alright. The doctor suctioned her nose and when she didn’t cry or cough, he was like, “ooooookay…” and quickly had my sister cut the cord and the took her right over to a table where the respiratory guy was and they forced air into her lungs for 20 seconds.

Meeting Baby; The Breast Crawl

Then came her beautiful cry. At which point I began bawling as well. All the emotions from the past 3 months especially all came together at once. I had gone through a lot with her in my belly and we had just done another hard thing together. Finally she was here and the relief was inexplicable. I remember telling Laurel and Derolene “thank you” over and over and then, “I’m so happy” about a billion times. When the baby was stabilized, they brought her over to me for skin to skin. Then one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen happened. I don’t remember Crue doing it and I hadn’t heard about it before, so I had no idea what she was doing, but I guess they kinda placed her on my abdomen, and she literally, I kid you not, began CRAWLING up me. She was so strong. I was so surprised, I said, “baby where are you going?” She was like a ravenous little animal crawling to find food. And that’s totally what she was doing. It dawned on me about the same time that Laurel told me to nurse her. She immediately latched on perfectly. I think it’s some newborn reflex? The “breast crawl” maybe? It was the coolest thing ever!  I was in awe of how perfect she was. I held her and she nursed for an hour! It was crazy. When she was done, they gave her her shot and the eye drops. It was all a miracle. I think it goes without saying, but she is beautiful and we are in love!

Madelyn Kai Lafferty
8 lbs 3 oz
20″ long
Born at 3:24 pm




Koda’s Birth Story

I remember my first pregnancy with Allie (now 5), I was terrified the entire pregnancy. Terrified to give birth. How in the hell am I supposed to push a freaking watermelon out of my hoo ha???

I wanted to go unmedicated with the least amount of medical interventions as possible. But here’s where I went wrong… I was tough right? I mean, I’m an athlete, I’m a badass and can totally take the pain, no problem. I walked in the hospital thinking I was super woman and could do my dam thing without practicing or preparing at all. HA! if only I could warn the 5 year ago Lindsay.

I felt like everything went wrong. I wanted to labor at home (didn’t happen), I wanted to labor in the tub (didn’t happen), I wanted labor to progress naturally on it’s own NO Pitocin (didn’t happen), I did NOT want an epidural (I got one), I wanted to do immediate skin to skin (didn’t happen). Not to mention, I was freaking starving!!!! I was in labor for like 20 hours and wasn’t allowed to eat a dam thing.

True story: as soon as I had Allie, before even asking to hold my baby, I asked for the box of crackers next to my bed.

Let’s just say it wasn’t the best experience. And I always had a lot of guilt because of it. So when I found out I was pregnant this time around, I knew it was going to be different.

This time I was ready to educate myself and prepare for the birth I really wanted. So I was super stoked when a friend of mine told me about hypnobirth and some classes she took here in Salt Lake City called The Curtis Method. I signed up and the hubby and I were all in… and I’m SO glad I did!!!!

1:30 am

It was three days after my due date. They say you go earlier with your second +, yeah right! I woke up around 1:30 am with contractions, these ones felt different than the ones I had earlier that week and I don’t know how but I just knew this was go time. Heck yassss!!!!

I woke the hubby to let him know “hey, we’re having a baby today” lol. He was awesome, he got right up and asked me what I needed and was there to support me if needed.

The plan was to keep myself busy by doing something to help keep my mind off things. So I sat down at my handy dandy sewing machine and worked on orders that needed to go out. My hubby thought I was crazy… “what the heck are you doing? You can’t work while you’re in labor”.

I said, “watch me” lol. It was actually the perfect project. Kept my mind off the contractions and helped pass the time. I finished my open orders, got ’em ready to be shipped and called it a day. Perfect timing because these contractions were starting to get intense.

3:30 am

So around 3:30 am I got in the tub. Heaven freaking sent…. I could barely feel when a contraction was coming, that warm water was magic.

I told the hubby to go get some rest because I’m gunna need him fully energized when things hit the fan. I got out of the tub and laid back down in bed and let the hubby sleep, while I relaxed, for about an hour and a half.

6:30 am

When the contractions started getting harder to get through… I woke the man beast up… “I need ya now babe”. So at around 6:30 am I called my mom and Doula and them know today was the day.

My mom was our designated nanny for Allie. I knew I wanted Allie to be there for the birth so my moms job was to keep an eye on her throughout labor and delivery and take her out of the room in case of an emergency.

Side note: I made sure my mom brought me something to eat on her way to the house, I did NOT want to starve again lol.

11:30 am

I labored at home (thanks to my hubby and doula) for the next few hours. At around 11:30 we decided it was time to head to the hospital, it’s go time! Once we got there (around noon) we signed in at the front desk… the nurses didn’t believe me when I said I’m having a baby soon (they said I was too calm and relaxed) “we’re sure it’ll be while” they said… HA! Little did they know.

12:00 pm

I got a cervical check once we got checked into the hospital… to their surprise I was 6 cm dilated. I hauled in what seemed like a weeks worth of luggage into the room and my doula got everything set up (she was amazing).

I wanted a peaceful, dim lit room that was super quiet so I could focus on ME. So I brought fake candles, an oil diffuser + bath bombs I made with wild orange oils ( I practiced my relaxation tracks with wild orange, so I was sure to bring them) and my gender reveal blankets ready to go (while on family vacation in Amsterdam I bought some awesome fabric, one in pink and one in blue to reveal the sex of the baby in).

Seriously, having a doula was amazing! Even though my husband was my #1 supporter, we wanted a doula there to help take care of things so that Pete could be by my side 100%, and take over for him if he ever needed a break (he totally rocked it though).

And my mom pulled out the snacks… HA yes, I totally had food there. I gave my mom a list of food I thought I’d want while in labor. Now I know they tell you you can’t eat once you get to the hospital. But seriously, labor’s like running a marathon. How in the world do they expect you to deliver a baby without any fuel? It’s the most physically challenging thing you’ll ever do, you need energy to finish the job homie.

Now I’m not saying go eat a hamburger or bean burrito. My mom brought sacks that were easy to digest: yogurt, fruit, nuts, etc. those sorts of things. Food that was enough to keep me going, yet not heavy enough to stay in my tummy for days lol.

12:30 pm

When we checked in I specifically asked for a room with a tub. I knew I wanted to labor as long as I could in there, again, it was magical.

This is when I really zoned out. I dimmed the lights, turned on the candles, used my bath bombs with my oils, put on my headphones, turned on my relaxation tracks and zoned out.

When things would start to get intense, I’d open my eyes and see my hubby and daughter. At one point I looked over and Allie stroked my face and said, “you’re doing amazing mama”, my heart sank (<—insert ugly cry here) and I got my second wind to keep going.

Although, things weren’t so bad. I mean, I was completely relaxed… even smiling and laughing between contractions. I was truly amazed. This was nothing like what I had seen in the movies with women screaming in terror. I was in control.

I’d been on the search for some wireless headphones that would help drown out the outside noise so I could focus. So I was super excited to find THESE headphones from Sudio Sweden just in time. Oh man, these headphones were KEY. Wireless, amazing sound quality (while drowning out the noise) AND they were cute… just an added bonus 🙂

At this point I was dilated at 8 cm.

2:00 pm

I labored in the tub until I felt ready to push. Our hospital isn’t licensed for water births, so you can labor in the tub… but when it comes time to push that baby out, you have to move locations. BOO!

Well I was at an 8 or 9 when I felt time to push. The plan was to move into the room and deliver there. Yeah, we didn’t quite make it lol.

Contractions were pretty major at this point and I couldn’t quite walk through them. So my doula and hubby helped get me out of the tub and I sat on the edge of the tub to help pass another contraction.

My midwife didn’t think I could quite make it to the room yet so she suggested I move to the toilet for the next contraction (slowly moving closer to the room).

Well… I never made it to the room, I was sitting on the toilet and it was time to push. A contraction was coming and I started to push. I could feel tons of pressure and burning… so I knew I needed to slow everything down or I was going to tear (it didn’t feel right).

My midwife confirmed it. She told me to slow down, wait for the next contraction and we’d slowly do little pushes to help get this baby out slowly with the next contraction. I just remember opening my eyes at this point and seeing Allie with the biggest smile on her face, too precious.

2:27 pm

So with the next contraction, my doula lifted my leg, the hubby helped keep me up and we slowly pushed this little babe out. This was the MOST beautiful thing I had ever experienced.

Holding this little babe, looking into his eyes and feeling like a million bucks. It was a BOY and I was incredibly in love!!! I felt like super woman.

I moved to the bed, held my little babe for the next 2 hours, uninterrupted skin to skin and told the hospital staff they could wait to do any checks (that couldn’t be done while he was on my chest) until after my 2 hours of snuggles.

Allie was SO excited to meet her little brother and our family now felt complete.

We had the most magical, beautiful, life changing birth. It went exactly how I pictured it would go. I’m SO glad I did it different this time. That I educated myself this go round. That I practiced and prepared my mind and body in order to do the one thing my body was made to do, give birth. Welcome to the world Koda Daniel White.

I can’t thank my husband Pete, doula Mari, midwife Lindsay + teacher Lauralyn enough for making this one of the most incredible moments of my life. And Shailynn for capturing this moment.

Hypnobirth is amazing!!!!!

[photos and video by ShaiLyn Draper]

Cammie’s First: A Painless Birth in the Hospital

Let’s talk about fears: I had so many when I found out I was expecting my first child. I was afraid of pain, afraid of damage I could cause to my child, and I was afraid of never being the same again. I have always firmly believed that you control your future by controlling your mindset and your emotions. With this in mind we took The Curtis Method hypnobirthing class where I learned techniques to keep my mind and body calm, and how to recognize the waves as pressure, and not pain.

I made a deal with my baby that he could come any time after Thanksgiving, and I promised to never get mad about the footprints on the ceiling that will be inevitable with a monkey for a father! True to our bargain, he decided to come right after the holiday, I went into labor at 1 am the day after Thanksgiving. My hips were hurting so badly that sleeping laying down was not an option, so I chose to sleep on the couch in a recliner. My husband didn’t want to leave me alone, so he slept on the couch next to me.

My waves were strong but not painful. I knew I was in labor because I was using the bathroom every hour or so and I was having bloody show with each visit. At 7 I called my midwife, told her what was going on, and she confirmed that I was, indeed, in labor. At that point I woke my husband and said we were going to need to go to the hospital soon, as my waves were consistently 5 minutes apart and a minute long. I sent my husband to the store for some fruit and yogurt so I wouldn’t go to the hospital with a completely empty stomach. By the time he got back I was having waves 4 minutes apart, and I was ready to leave. We got in the car and drove to the hospital at 9 am. I called my mother to tell her to meet us there and I called and canceled a massage I had scheduled for later that day.

We arrived at the hospital and they checked us in immediately. Although I was still able to talk and joke and laugh, my nurse confirmed I was dilated to a 5 and the waves were very strong. She remarked that I must be very strong to not be bothered by them. This bolstered my confidence a lot. I remember thinking at that point, “OK I can do this.” My Mom arrived, she and my husband did some counter pressure to get me through my waves which were getting significantly stronger.

I asked if I could get into the tub soon (I was planning for a water birth). The nurse explained that they wanted me to labor in the bathroom tub for awhile to decide if I was comfortable with delivering in the water. I got in the tub, and since there wasn’t a lot of room, my husband pulled up a chair and activated the pressure points in my feet with each wave. I put on my earphones and my relaxation tracks and just went inside my head. My mom told me later that she was really shocked at how quiet I was all the way through the birth. I would almost fall asleep between waves. Each wave manifested as pressure and I chose to ride each wave by vocalizing a single note and trying to sustain it as long as possible. By listening to the music I was making, I was able to completely tune out any discomfort I was feeling.

After about an hour my water broke. My midwife checked me again, and confirmed that I was progressing quickly. About 30 minutes later I got the urge to push. No one was there besides my husband to confirm whether I could push, so I held it back. I think that was probably the hardest part of the labor. After holding back for 3 waves, my Mom asked the midwife to check me again, because I didn’t think I could hold back anymore. The midwife confirmed that I was complete and ready to push. Everyone helped me into the birthing pool and I immediately started to push. My husband sat behind me and supported my weight over his arms and held my hands through each wave. My mother and my midwife held my legs and encouraged me through each push.

I was again able to go completely internal, staying completely relaxed between waves, and focusing completely through each push. My husband whispered in my ear “You are so strong, you can do this. Our baby is almost here” The midwife kept telling me how powerful and strong I was. And I did feel powerful! I did feel strong. After 30 minutes I felt my little boy’s head push through, and just one little push later, my perfect little Riley was here!

He arrived at 3:23 pm, after only 14 hours of labor, and only 6 of those active labor. 7 lbs 10 oz, and 20 inches long. I can honestly say that I felt no pain, and I had the birth that I had been envisioning for months. Completely peaceful and joyful.