The Birth of Madelynn Hollis Morgan

 

Madelynn Hollis Morgan arrived on March 8th at 8:14 PM. I started the HypnoBirthing class in early November when I was about 24 weeks pregnant.  From that time on, I was practicing what I learned in the class. I would sit on my exercise (birth) ball every evening while watching Friends reruns.  I also frequently listened to the birth affirmations and “Rainbow Relaxation” cd.  I will admit that I did not listen to the cd every day and there were even a few weeks where I maybe only listened to it once or twice.  I did, however, keep my favorite affirmation (“My body was made to birth.  It does it easily and well.”) posted on my bathroom mirror so that I could see it and say it out loud every day.  In addition, I bought Steve Halpern’s Effortless Relaxation cd and I would often fall asleep at night listening to it and visualizing my “perfect” birth. 

I had an OB appointment on March 8th.  I was almost 41 weeks pregnant and was a bit anxious.  I wasn’t worried or fearful of birth, and I knew that my providers would start talking interventions if things didn’t happen soon. My appointment went well. But as I suspected, my providers mentioned that if I did not have the baby by Monday, I would need to return to the office for an NST and a BPP.  If I did not have her by the following Friday, we would need to consider induction.  Like I said, I was not fearful of birth at all, but was afraid of being induced.  I knew that it often led to other interventions that I really wanted to avoid.  I asked my provider to check my cervix to see if anything was happening.  I had been having occasional surges but nothing regular or even really noticeable.  To my excitement, I was 4 cm opened and about 80% thinned!  I agreed to let my provider sweep my membranes.  I thought that that was a much more minor intervention than others that could come in the very near future.  When she swept my membranes, she felt a surge and I had some bleeding and was hopeful that I would go into labor within the next few days. 

I continued to have cramping throughout the day, but nothing major or real regular………until about 3:30 PM. I was in a meeting when, what I call a “real surge”, came.  I wouldn’t really call it painful, just uncomfortable, and a strong sense of pressure. (Keep in mind that when we did the fear release exercise in HypnoBirthing class, I said that I wanted my labor sensations/surges to feel like pressure and for my labor to last 6 hours or less.) I decided to wait out the meeting, through which I had a couple more of these “real surges”. I didn’t want to alarm my colleagues and I wasn’t in pain, so I thought that waiting it out was best. I returned to my office and sat at my desk at a little after 4:00 PM. I continued to have “real surges”, and left at about 4:30 PM. During my commute to home I had several more surges 3 or 4 minutes apart.  The pressure was getting more and more intense and I occasionally had to breathe through it. I thought about pulling over a time or two and even calling my husband to meet me and pick me up (thinking it probably wasn’t wise for me to drive while breathing through surges). I think I still was kind of in denial that this was all happening. I thought I would go home, get in my Jacuzzi tub, and it would go away. I called both my husband and my mom to let them know that I was probably in labor and that I was heading home. I made it home (I don’t really remember some of the drive.) and my husband met me. I told him how far apart my surges were coming and that I wanted to go in and get in the tub. I called my provider and she listened as I experienced a few surges. Since I was managing them so well, she encouraged me to relax and eat a bite and call her in about an hour (or sooner if need be). I got my Rainbow Relaxation cd and got into the tub. That is when things really started moving along. Within minutes of my being in the tub, I started having an interesting surge pattern, every minute and a half, I would have a longer surge that started off gradually, peaked, and then went away, but then about 30 seconds after that, I would have a shorter surge that started off very intense, at peak, and then went away as quickly as it came on. Time distortion started kicking in at that point, so I am not real sure how long I stayed in the tub. My husband called my provider back to let her know about this surge pattern.  Because I had not eaten, nor had I had much to drink, she advised me to get out of the tub, eat a bite and drink some water, and see what happened. I got out of the tub and put on some clothes, stopping to kind of sway back on forth and breathe during surges. I attempted to eat but that surge pattern continued on and the short, intense surges were getting more and more intense (still felt like pressure, but more intense). My husband noticed a change in me and he made the decision for us to go to the hospital. He called my provider and my mom to let them know to meet us at the hospital. 

Managing my surges was more difficult in the car. I felt over stimulated by the combination of surges and the motion of the car. When we were about a mile from the hospital, I started feeling a “fullness” and felt the urge to breathe down when the shorter, intense surges came. My husband hurriedly drove to the hospital, parked, and walked me to L&D. (We arrived at exactly 7:00 PM.) I met a nurse that I know well in the hall and told her that I was feeling the urge to push. Nurses started scurrying around in every direction. There was not a triage room ready so they had me change clothes in one room while they readied another. When I got into a triage bed, they hooked me up to the monitor and checked my cervix. I was a little more than 7 cm opened and almost completely thinned. They started my IV (I was GBS positive) as they ran through a gamut of questions (which completely annoyed me as I was working so hard to stay inside myself and relaxed). I am not sure how long I was in triage, they wheeled me on over to my L&D room. I remember waiting for a surge to go away before my husband and my mom helped me climb into my L&D bed. At that point I really felt an urge to push and my nurse checked my cervix to find that I just had a tiny bit of it left. She encouraged me to relax and go with what my body was telling me to do. A few minutes later, my provider arrived. She noticed that I was sort of bearing down (trying to do birth breathing). I was still having the longer then shorter surge pattern and my body was telling me to “push” during the short surges (which actually felt kind of good) and gently nudge with downward breaths during the longer ones (which I continued to follow even though my husband and the nurses were doing the stereotypical “push cheer”). I was focusing so hard on my baby and my body that much of what else that was happening around me at the time is very fuzzy. I do remember the intense burning sensation when my baby was crowning and I think I still had some fear left about tearing because I remember not wanting to push or even do any birth breathing at that time. I asked for a mirror to be able to see my baby crowning which helped me release that fear. At some point my provider suggested that she break my water. I was so inside myself that I vaguely remember just nodding my head. I just wanted it all to be over. I remember my provider saying that there was meconium, and they called for the NICU, which scared me, but also motivated me again to focus on my baby and finish bringing her into the world. My mom said later that she was amazed at how I was confident in my body and allowing it to do its work. Very soon after that, my provider asked my husband to come over to help receive the baby and my mom helped me unfasten my gown so that they could place her on my chest, skin-to-skin. There was such a release of energy when she was born and was placed on my chest. I cried. My mom cried. My provider cried. My husband got teary. Everyone was hugging. It was absolutely amazing. The nurses did need to suction and inspect my baby within a few minutes of birth since there was meconium and since I had only had time to get one GBS treatment, but they returned her to me very quickly and we began nursing right away. She latched on very well almost immediately and took to nursing like a pro. My husband and I were given some time alone with our baby to bond as a new family. We both just sat there holding on to one another and looking into the eyes of our precious baby girl. It was so beautiful; a moment I will never forget.

- Erin Morgan, SC



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Last Updated: August 17, 2012