Please give a brief description of yourself, and what number baby/birth you’re sharing with us.
I’m Kelly and I’m sharing the birth of my first child, Cora. I finished law school in december 2004 (U of Minnesota alum). I registered for the bar in July 2005. End of april 2005, my husband and I found out we were pregnant. It was a surprise. I took the bar in July, spending plenty of time in the rest room, trying not to vomit from morning sickness. In october 05, I got my bar results. I failed. In November 05, my husband and I bought a new house, in a new town, an hour from my OB and the hospital.
What was your due date, and what was your baby’s birth date?
My due date was December 29th, at first. They did a 12 week ultrasound, and changed the due date to January 29th b/c the baby looked 8 weeks gestation. Cora was born January 16th.
What was your baby’s name, weight and length?
Cora Emily, 7lbs 8oz, 22 inches.Please give a brief synopsis of your birth.
My water broke at home at 4:30 in the morning. We arrived at the hospital at 5:30. I had 5 minute spaced contractions, they were not painful. They continued for most of the morning. I walked to help progress. It didn’t. They started pitocin after lunch time. The first few pitocin contractions were pretty painful and layered two peak contractions. They gave me Stadol on request. By 6:30 pm-ish, I started pushing. In ten or so pushes, my eldest was born. perfectly healthy, pink and leggy.
What did you do to prepare for your labor and birth? Did it help?
I read almost every book that I could get about being pregnant. I spoke with my relatives who had children about their experiences. I left the labor and delivery sections for last. We took a class offered through the hospital about labor and delivery. I tried to stay in shape. I talked to my husband about what I would like to have happen during birth, especially regarding pain. Reading helped me keep calm and learn all the variations. The class made me feel familiar with the choices I would be asked during birth, and was a great experience for my husband who thought I was the only crazy person on the planet. I don’t know whether staying in shape helped. My husband did a good job of honoring what I had requested.
What did you like about your birth experience, if anything?
I had a great labor and delivery nurse. I liked the intimacy of having my husband there and nobody else, and NO CAMERAS. I don’t really like pictures of myself. They used a mirror so I could “see” what was happening. The feeling of Cora on my chest for the first time. Watching them clean her, and then putting her to breast was awesome.
What did you not like about your birth experience, if anything?
I don’t like Stadol. It made me sleep between contractions, and memories of her birth are fuzzy as all get out. I hated the on staff OB who showed up at birth.
What surprised you about your contractions/labor?
Natural contractions were uncomfortable, but didn’t hurt much, the pitocin ones were ten times worse. Even with Stadol the pain of the pushing part was still there.
In reflection, would you do anything differently, either before the birth, during or after?
I would have resisted the pitocin until there was no other option. I would have napped during the morning.
What do you remember the most about your birth?
That living breathing creature child that was mine all mine, and now could move comfortably without standing on my ribs. The overall awe of my husband at the site of his first daughter.
How was your birth experience different from what you imagined it to be?
I didn’t have any imaging for the first birth, really. I thought perhaps I could move around more.
What were your immediate emotions about yourself and or your birth experience after the birth?
I really felt empowered. And so joyful.
How would you describe your recovery?
Slow. I felt so weak, this 7lb baby was hard to hold to my chest to nurse. My muscles were so sore.
How has your perspective of your birth experience changed in the last 6 years since the first week of having Cora?
I learned a lot about pitocin.
Did you learn anything about yourself through this experience?
Not really sure.
If you could recommend a certain type of childbirth experience, based on your own experiences, what would you recommend to other women and why?
Relax and enjoy the experience (maybe embody would be better than enjoy). I got way too excited and anxious with Cora’s birth, and that adrenalin can work against you.
Any further thoughts, comments or advice you would like to share?
Regardless of how the birth works out, the goal is a happy healthy baby.
- Lisa’s Hospital Birth w/IV Pain Management (thebirthinterviewproject.com)
- The Birth Interview Project | Emily’s Medically Indicated Induction w/out Epidural (thebirthinterviewproject.com)
- Danielle’s Hospital Birth (thebirthinterviewproject.com)