I don’t know about you, but I love hearing other women’s birth stories. I think there is something inside us as mommas that makes us enjoy the opportunity to hear other women’s experiences and rejoice in the miracle of new life.
So here is Miss Maggie’s birth story as seen through her momma’s eyes.
I was 39 weeks, 6 days and had been having contractions off and on for the past several days, just like I had with Nora. Lots of pre-labor that was getting my body ready, but nothing significant. On the morning of May 8, I had my 40-week check-up. I was 4cm dilated and 80 percent effaced, and my midwife asked me if I would like to have my membranes stripped. I didn’t do this with Nora, but at this point I was ready to have this baby so I readily agreed.
I left the doctor’s office, and we dropped Nora off at her friend’s house since we thought for sure this would be it. Then, we realized that my contractions were coming much strong and closer together (Yay!). I then realized that I was hungry and hadn’t eaten breakfast yet…not good laboring when you are hungry! So we headed down to Henry’s Diner on Church Street in Burlington and grabbed some delicious breakfast.
It was at this point that I noticed how close together my contractions were getting (3-4 minutes apart). I should add that my labor with Nora was only 11 hours, so everyone was a bit concerned with how fast this labor might go. So, we headed home, did some last minute prep, called Francesca, our doula, and we were on our way to the hospital. We got there around 1pm.
My desire was to have a water birth, so I received that room at the UVM Medical Center. Boy, was the tub nice! My contractions began to intensify pretty quickly, and being able to labor in the tub really helped me relax so I could labor effectively.
Let me also say at this point that our labor and delivery nurse was AMAZING! She asked all the right questions, listened to my wishes and immediately put me at ease. Between Francesca, my midwife, and my hubby, I had an absolutely amazing team of people around me! I sucked on some popsicles, joked with everyone around me, and relaxed in the tub until the contractions really started to pick up. This was around 2:30pm or so. They were really intense and at this point the joking was pretty much done.
I breathed through the contractions, had Francesca giving me a massage with essential oils and everyone around me eagerly anticipating the arrival of baby Maggie.
It was around 3pm when I started to feel the need to push. I started to do some pushing in the tub since I intended to do a water birth, but I found that it was difficult for me to really get behind the pushes in the tub. At this point my midwife said that I needed to try and go to the bathroom because I was full of stool. Just what you want to hear as you are trying to push your baby out!
So I headed to the toilet and attempted to empty myself. It was at this point that I felt the “ring of fire” as we women like to call it. I yelled that it was burning and that got everyone’s attention! All of a sudden I’m being lifted off the toilet by Francesca and everyone is asking me what I would like to do…get back in the tub, lay on the table?
At this point I could barely move, so what did I decide? I’ll just birth standing up, leaning against the bed. I have to say at this point that my midwife Diane did not flinch. She started getting everyone ready, instructing how the baby would come and what everyone needed to do.
All I had to do was push. I must say that it was amazing. Here I am standing and pushing and, all of a sudden, there she is. They lift her up to me still attached, and I’m looking into the most beautiful little face. I stand there holding her while they let the cord blood drain (I did a delayed cord clamping), and I immediately noticed how small she was compared to Nora. Nora was 9 lbs, 2 oz. when she was born and Maggie weighed in at only 6 lbs, 4 oz.! After almost six hours of labor, it was all over by 3:53pm.
I got onto the bed and they let me hold Maggie for as long as I wanted. I had a small tear so they stitched me up and I delivered my placenta with no issues (last time I had to have it manually extracted). I held Maggie for a long time and she was able to start nursing. They then finally took her to cut the cord, weigh her, etc.
Honestly, I find giving birth to be such an adrenaline rush and so empowering. Yes, it’s painful, but I love feeling so in tune with my body and being able to overcome the pain knowing what the end result will be.
Overall, I had an amazing birth experience. Everyone at the UVM Medical Center was wonderful and I felt so cared for during my stay. Everyone on staff listened to my wishes and supported my family beautifully during the birthing and recovery process.
Learn more about Obstetrics and Midwifery at the UVM Medical Center or learn about an approach to pregnancy and childbirth that helps expectant moms feel more comfortable with their caregiver with the UVM Medical Center’s Maternity Match.
Nissa Sutphen is the co-founder of BVT Moms Blog. She is a wife to Robin and stay at home momma to her daughters Nora and Maggie. She loves traveling and exploring, being outdoors, reading a good book, writing, crafts and DIY, and spending time with family and friends. She loves all things Vermont and is proud to call Burlington home.