Christina's Fourth (and Favorite!) Labor and Birth
Christina's Birth Story
A note from the Military Birth Resource Network.
Birth comes in all shapes and sizes. Too often hear the negative side of birth. We don't always know what to expect when moving to a new location, especially if it's overseas. By sharing stories we hope to bring a positive, informed outlook on the military experience when giving birth at duty stations around the world.
At exactly 41 weeks pregnant with my fourth baby, I got to the hospital with contractions every few minutes. I was not in a lot of pain, the contractions were manageable. I was 6cm-yay! I expressed to the staff that I had decided I did not want any Pitocin with this birth, as I had Pitocin with my previous three deliveries. To my surprise, the staff was very supportive. They encouraged me to move around as much as I could while we waited on my provider to come in. My provider was on board with no Pitocin, and we had discussed this during my appointments already. My midwife broke my water. My son was face up, which we did not know ahead of time. I moved around and stood and walked during labor. I felt more pain when I was sitting in the labor bed. My nurse encouraged me to try pretty much every labor position, including a warm labor tub. My son did not turn after much trying. After hours of intense labor, I requested an epidural, even though my goal had been to be medication free. Even then, I felt fully supported. The staff reminded me I was no less strong if I needed the epidural or if I didn't. They said they were there for me, regardless of what I chose. They continued to check baby's heart rate every now and then, and he was doing well. At this point, it was nighttime, and my midwife was there offering awesome labor support. I feel I had the best labor team. From the nurses, to the student nurse, to my midwife, my doula (who had to be out of town on this day but she supported me through texts), and most of all, my husband.
This was my most difficult labor but also my favorite because I felt supported. I feel it was a win because I didn't need Pitocin, and that was one of my main goals. With my first baby, I went with whatever my doctor told me and with each baby, I've spoken up more and more about my desires. I do not think my provider and staff were irritated or bothered that I had some requests and goals during labor. I think the opposite, I think they appreciated my specific direction and they all went with it. It helped them to shape what kind of support they offered instead of guessing what my preferences were. I chose a doula this time, and I'm so glad I did. I wish I had with my first baby. The information and the one on one during my pregnancy with my doula made me feel so empowered going into labor. It also educated my husband on some things that I assumed he already knew, but he didn't. We had our handsome son, Truett, while stationed in Utah at Hill AFB. It was a beautiful day from start to finish (and almost 24 hours!). My husband and I were smitten immediately, as are his three big sisters.