Rosemary’s Birth Story

26 Jun

Today I have for you another one of my students’ birth stories, for your reading pleasure — mostly unedited.

New mama Lizz writes:

I had acupuncture Wednesday afternoon, which my practitioner said would be “more aggressive” as we approached my date. Later that night, dropped a bit of my mucus plug but didn’t think too much of it since it can still be weeks. Having crazy Braxton Hicks though! Around 1:30 AM my back started aching in conjunction and I suspected labor was starting but wasn’t totally sure. Around 2:30 AM told John to start timing and we were already 3 mins apart. They were intense but I could talk through. Called my doula and had her head over. John was packing the last few hospital bag items (I had left a detailed checklist!) as things progressed to be pretty intense and around 2 mins apart. We wanted to avoid rush hour traffic so left right at 6:30 AM for NYU and got there without much delay (though I had to asks the chatty uber driver to stop talking – which I somehow managed to do nicely!).

lizz triageGot to NYU and they were full in triage and labor and delivery so they put is in a TINY consult room which it turns out is where I labored for the duration! (Unexpected to say the least – photo attached after they’d cleaned it up again)

I was 5cm upon arrival, and went back and forth to the shared triage bathroom to labor on the toilet (absolutely the best spot other than the birth ball!) but since it was shared had to leave anytime someone needed to use it. Yes, really. I was making A LOT of noise at that point too, so I am sure I was freaking everyone out but I wasn’t too concerned at the time 🙂

We had requested a nurse who was experienced with natural birth and got the amazing Gina, who worked with John and our doula (Abby) to setup the room to fit all 5 of us (me, John, Abby, Gina, and Dr. Min – who was much more present than I expected!) plus to give me some privacy and variation in position. We kept the lights off almost entirely, intermittent monitoring which wasn’t restrictive since the room was so small anyway. I had been GBS positive, but my water didn’t break until after 6cm so it wasn’t much of a factor (PROM was a big concern of mine going in). I clung to both John and Abby every wave, so there was literally no time or space to use a lot of the props, snacks or distractions we brought. I was able to stay with my breath only because of CONSTANT reminders from Abby and helpful physical presence and loving encouragement from both her and John. Trying not to fight the contractions was SO HARD. Especially since changing positions made everything SO MUCH more intense!!! Don’t think I realized that would happen. I had no sense of time and just took each contraction at a time. I felt that things were moving and that the pain had a purpose, though it was really effing painful.

After Gina had turned the chair in the room into as much of a bed as it could possibly be so I could lay and save some energy I just couldn’t hold back what John described as primal animal noises.

I heard Gina make a call that I was 9cm and very transitional and asking for status on L&D room. They were also prepping an OR for me to push in just in case since I couldn’t do it there (Dr. Min later told me that they literally couldn’t have done any type of intervention in the tiny room so it was actually a safe zone for some of my concerns ironically – and we all agreed later the intimacy was actually kind of special). I was definitely bearing down at that point which was around 2:00 PM, and they were thankfully able to wheel me in place on the makeshift chair bed to the L&D room which was SO BRIGHT with sunlight.

I couldn’t believe how big the room was but also kept my eyes closed almost entirely. They told us that the baby had passed meconium in utero so the pediatrician would have to take her upon arrival. I asked that they keep her in the room which they agreed to do unless there was a major issue.

When I hit 10cm the contractions were still intense but much different so it felt like time slowed down a bit. I asked what was going on. Abby told me that they suspected the baby was posterior and Dr. Min was checking on another patient while we tried a few things. What she did, which I believe was called “shaking the apples” or something was get me chest down on the bed, butt up in the air and then she literally shook my hips with her rebozo. It was the most insane and uncomfortable experience and I yelled the entire time. She was able to back the baby out from her -1 station, turn her somehow, and then when I sat straight up afterwards she went down to -2 and I was able to start pushing.

I tried pushing in a number of positions but was just so tired I did wind up on my side and back mostly. Dr. Min said I was also making the most progress that way and I just had to believe it and that this would be over soon!

I wanted to ask how long I’d been pushing because it felt like forever but I decided I didn’t want to know! Was trying to keep myself in it mentally because my body was just so tired.

It was still just the 5 of us in the room, and they were guiding me where to push. I was able to rest my legs on the bed bar between contractions because putting them down was impossible.

Though I told them I didn’t want to be coached or hold my breath, I could just hear in their voices that it was making the most progress of the options I had tried. John and Abby were holding my legs and head and I was pushing with all my might, just hoping to hear that we were crowning. I could hear excitement build in the room and when they told me to reach down and feel the top of her head I did. I didn’t have my glasses on so couldn’t see in the mirror and just needed to keep focused. Eventually, I felt the BURN, and Dr. Min helping to stretch and hold strategically. More people started coming into the room, and I know this was it. I was just so tired! Every push I was just thinking Rosie Rosie Rosie, and of my mom (Marianna) and Grandma Rose who she’s named after. John started giving me updates since he knew I couldn’t see. Her head was out! What he didn’t tell me (and I’m glad he didn’t) was that her hand was also coming out and the cord was around her neck.

More pushes and finally felt THE ONE and she was OUT!


They had to cut the cord right away because of her neck and to suction for meconium immediately. I saw a blurry blob off to the side and heard her cry, while I basically let go a string of expletives and just couldn’t believe it was over and that she was here and that all of his had happened! I wanted to see her but was actually ok to have a beat to process this all.

lizz and family.jpgThe delivery of placenta was definitely  uncomfortable but better once over. I was lucky to have 1 small first degree tear with a few stitches.

When they finally handed Rosemary to me, John and I just bawled. And couldn’t really talk. The room got very quiet as all the people left and we just settled in. Abby fed me applesauce.

My sister was in the waiting room so she came in to be with us too, and then left to get us FOOD! Ha. So then it was just us with Abby and Gina and we started to recount the details of the day, which was just amazing.

It was really the most incredible experience of our lives…

[Our Birth Matters classes] prepared us for so much of this, and enhanced our confidence going in. [The role of the birth educator] is so important. Thank you!

lizz family photo


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