CC's Birth Story - Part Two-- Long

Several weeks before my due date, I had the opportunity to watch Ricki Lake's The Business of Being Born in its entirety. Before I only got to watch it piecemeal on YouTube. After watching there were several topics/people I wanted to know more about: (a) Ina May Gaskins, (b) Maternity morality rates by state, (c) "choices in Childbirth", and (d) what are the basic needs of a woman in labor? As I mentioned in a previous post my coworker purchased Ina May's book for me and I read it in 3 days. Let me tell you it was the single most helpful resource I've had at my disposal to prepare for labor. I'll do a book review one of these days.


So let's get to the point of this post, BC2's, a.k.a. CC, birth story. To summarize my experience in birthing in a birthing center within a hospital versus a traditional hospital setting I have one world -- E M P O W E R I N G. If you can't tell I've been kind of obsessed with labour and delivery since the birth of Lil D and I have been in search of a practitioner and birthing place that would allow me to be me as I birth my babies. Well I've found it. Let me paint a picture for you. I laboured without continuous monitoring, without being restricted to the bed or room, I was allowed hydrotherapy (read: hot shower), I was allowed to move and twist as I wanted to during each rush of a contraction, and my midwife (and student midwife) were there the entire time to monitor me. My final position of choice was on all fours with my butt facing everyone -- I know TMI, but you get that I was free to do me. 

As far as the sequence of events for CC's birth there are a few holes because D, who was my recorder with Lil D, was Papi Doula. He did a fantastic job by the way!! So here is how things went down according to my memory:


  • 710p contractions began for 1 hour -- 5-7 minutes apart
  • 910p checked into hospital via the ER -- I didn't want to wait for transport so I walked myself to the Labor and Delivery floor. Once I reached the floor a nurse intercepted me and said because I was walking I couldn't be ready to give birth. Ummmph . . . As she saw this wasn't the case.
  • 10p no contractions . . . no pain. This was my time to rest and build my strength. I began to chant my affirmations in my head and zoned out to Ledisi, Jill Scott, and Kindred the Family Soul. 


  • 1155p With no progress and 4 cm dilated Rachel, my midwife, asked me what I wanted to do - go home or have my water broken.  I chose to have her break my water manually. I was not going home. Of course this was painless, but I wanted to get the show back on the road.
  • 1211a Long painful contractions began. Every 3-4 minutes for 60-90 seconds each. Went into shower to labour 
  • 1250a Went back to the bed to lie down. Didn't feel comfortable so I got on all fours. Throughout each surge (I needed a word besides contraction, this seemed fitting) D was there with counter pressure, a wonderful rice sock (Shoutout to my neighbor Tasha for two cups of rice. . . thx!), words of encouragement, and a strong grip. Mind you he came home from work at 8 pm, he hadn't eaten since 11 am that morning and he was ON.
  • 130a  Threw up the three slices of pizza I ate before leaving for the hospital. 

 "Vomiting is a common sign of the transition phase, whether or not a woman has been eating throughout early labor.  Some coaches find this hard to handle.  Think of it as a way of “making more room” for the baby. In fact if something was rhythmically squeezing your insides, you would probably throw up too!  And let’s be honest, with a new baby around, you are bound to see a lot more throw up!  Since vomiting, like holding your breath or making a bowel movement, is a vagal response, it inadvertently helps your cervix dilate and hence, is a great sign to a labor & delivery nurse!  The body does awesome things to help the process along!"


  • 145 to 220a Began to have uncontrollable shakes and trembles before each contraction. I thought I was going through a seizure. Rachel mentioned when D questioned her that everything was fine and my body was doing what instinctively it needed to do to get the baby out. At this point I was thinking to myself, "Onida what the fuck is wrong with you, having a baby is fucking nuts". Sorry for the language, but its what I was thinking. Some how between this time and CC arriving I took off the hospital gown. Don't ask me how because I don't remember doing it, but in pictures D took right after I pushed out CC I was booty butt naked. LOL . . . I warned the nurse assigned to me and the midwives that this would probably happen. Needless to say I won't be sharing any of those pictures.
"The hormonal rush a woman experiences during labor, especially natural labor, is overwhelmingly intense.  These hormones will cause all women to being to shake as they approach full dilation.  This shaking, in fact, continues for at least an hour post partum, even after a cesarean section or medicated labor.  Many partners and family members try to pack a woman with blankets to help her out only to find that she insists on not only ripping off the blankets, but sometimes even her clothes!  In reality, it is unlikely that she is cold and if you continue to ask her if she is, she will just start to get irritated with you.  It’s normal to shake, I promise."

  • 225a Rachel did a vaginal exam during a contraction, the monitor was also placed on me to check the baby's heart rate (not strapped to me, the nurse held it in place). I was 8cm at this point, Rachel said I should be able to push through at this point.
"The process of monitoring the fetal heart rate in the presence of contractions is called a contraction stress test, although the test is done exactly the same way as the non-stress test. When interpreting a contraction stress test, two questions must be asked. Is the fetal heart rate reactive? And, how does the heart rate respond to the contractions? A fetus that was fine before labor started may have trouble once contractions begin to occur regularly."

  • 230a Finally felt the urge to push. I began to say, "Daneli is coming out now!" "Come on Daneli!" I was chanting this loudly to get through each surge. 
  • 238a CC began to crown. Then her head emerged. I though I was done and asked if she was out. D said no just her head. I thought, "Damn I can't win." I took a break (like 1 minute) and then felt the urge to bare down and push again this time out came her shoulders. I took another break and then came her entire body. {Note: During this whole pushing process the midwives didn't touch the baby. They just coached me to push. When I was pushing out LilD the doctor pulled her out with each push. HENCE MY SECOND DEGREE TEAR!}.
  • 241a On my hands and knees I pushed my little munchkin completely out!
  • 7 minutes The cord stopped pulsing after 7 minutes and D was able to cut it. 
Unlike Lil D, CC took some time to latch. Once she did, on my right breast, it was intensely painful. Well everything was painful. I felt the afterbirth come out and Rachel's exam of my pelvic floor. With LilD I didn't feel any of this. I did have a superficial, first degree tear. Once CC began to nurse I began having contractions all over again! Rachel mentioned the after pains for baby number two are much more severe than with your first child. Why didn't I read this any where!! I was not prepared.


 All in all I had an amazing birthing experience. I was able to let my body do as it wished without the interferance of man or machine. As I write this I am 4 days postpartum and besides being exhausted I feel great! 


Waiting for Tio Chino to pick Lil D up.



We have to remind her to be gentle, "suave ", as she constantly wants to touch and kiss CC. 

So now we are a family of four. Woo . . . I'm a Mommy of two. 



Home we go . . .