One Mom’s Natural Birth Plan Success – A University of Iowa Hospital Birth Story

Tilted uterus birth story, natural birth story success, no intervention, intervention free, birthing tub

Heidi decided to she was ready to meet the world six days before her due date. That just was fine with me because I was ready to be a mom.  I started having random contractions in the morning, but nothing regular or very strong, I wasn’t even sure they were real.  My husband was home luckily and we decided to take a walk after lunch.  I had a fairly straightforward pregnancy, the only abnormality being a condition known as a tilted uterus, causing some back pain and a few additional ultrasounds, but I made it a point to stay active up to the very end.  After the walk everything changed.  My loving husband, who’s a physician, thought we had plenty of time to get to the hospital.  My birth plan was to go all natural and use the tub for pain relief, so we thought laboring at home for a while would be the best plan.  By the time I convinced him “we need to go now” I was having very intense contractions a minute apart and one minute in duration.  It was 3:30 PM only a few hours after I started having consistent contractions.

The drive to the hospital and walk to the labor and delivery unit was brutal.  Picture a very pregnant woman huffing and puffing her way through the hospital, sunglasses on… people parted the way for me like the red sea.  In the triage room I was 6 centimeters and 100% effaced.  They checked me into a room and the first thing I did was get in the tub.  Being submerged felt amazing.  I labored there as long as they would let me. There wasn’t time in between contractions for an epidural or even placing an IV.  They had me get out of the tub every so often to put heart rate monitors on, but I went straight back to my liquid epidural.  My water broke in the tub and I stayed in until I felt the overwhelming urge to push.

I lucked out with an amazing Nurse who coached me through the pain and made suggestions for different laboring positions.  Once out of the tub I was up on all fours on the bed with the head of the bed raised.  I stayed undressed to give birth, because I couldn’t stand the feeling of anything on me at the time.  The Nurse applied counter pressure to my hips which helped tremendously.  When I started crowing they had me switch to my back and semi-squatting position.  I remember them asking if I want​​​​ed to touch the head!  No thank you…  My body pushed my mind aside and took control.  To my amazement pushing became easier when I stopped fighting the pain and let my body take the lead.  I pushed for about 15 minutes.  Heidi’s hand was up by her face otherwise they say I probably wouldn’t have torn, but I ended up with a second degree tear.  The ring of fire was very real, but it was only a fleeting moment before the relief of hearing my little girl cry.  It was 6:46 pm, three hours after we arrived at the hospital.  They placed her directly on my chest and my husband cut the cord.  She was 7 pounds 8 ounces and 19.2 inches long.

My doctor was out of town when I went into labor. The on call attending popped her head in once when I was in the tub, but was actually not in the room when I delivered (the residents and nurses did the heavy lifting).  I had a great team, even if there were a few more people in the delivery room that I expected.  I knew giving birth at a teaching hospital meant others would learn from my experience.  I really appreciated how they let me decided how I wanted my labor to go.  I never felt pressured to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with and was able to have the intervention free, natural birth I wanted.

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