Ilsa Ginny Schlosser
6 lbs., 9 oz., 19 3/4 inches
Our Birth Story
We had made the decision early on that we wanted to have a more natural birth experience and found Morning Star through friends who had delivered there. We live an hour and forty-five minutes from the birth center but did not feel terribly worried about the distance. We enjoyed getting to know the staff at the birth center and my prenatals were pretty textbook.
At my 32 week appointment a midwife that was covering for Paula told us that she thought the baby was in breech position. We had an ultrasound that day to confirm. Looking back I think the baby was always in breech position because the kicks had consistently been in the same place and the midwives always had a difficult time palpating position due to my muscle tone. I was very upset that day because I knew if the baby didn't turn we were looking at a whole different birth experience than what we had planned.
In the weeks that followed I tried many natural ways to turn the baby (inversions, applying hot and cold pack to my tummy, playing music down low, many Webster techniques with the chiropractor, homeopathic pulsatilla)...but to no avail. Our little one was very cozy where she was and didn't intend on moving. When I was close to 40 weeks and the baby still had not turned, we started discussing options with Paula. Because of the accreditation process for the birth center, we could not deliver a breech baby there. Because the current recommendations from ACOG are to c-section for breech presentation, we did not want to deliver at our local hospital and have an automatic c-section. So Paula asked us to think about whether or not we would like a home birth. She also set us up to meet with one of the few physicians with experience in breech birth in the area. On my due date we consulted with that physician, discussed breech birth and what delivering at the hospital would be like, and had an opportunity to tour the birth center connected to the hospital there.
Over the next few days we agonized over which way to go. I kept reflecting on Paula's words that "babies know how to be born" and "your body is made to birth your baby" and thinking that a home birth would be wonderful. On the other hand, I was overly anxious about the possibility of needing to transfer and the 'what ifs'. ...with this being our first child....the unknown was just too much. In the end, we decided to deliver with the physician at the hospital birth center (about the same distance from us as Morning Star). Our reasons: Paula said she would come to the birth....we felt very comfortable with the physician we met who would deliver the baby...we would be able to attempt a natural vaginal breech delivery...we'd already be where we needed to be if something didn't go as planned... the birth center there offered some of the same care approaches that we were hoping for originally (no IV, able to eat and drink, labor in the tub). I'm thankful for Paula's wisdom in helping us make the birth choice that was right for us. We were finally able to rest in our decision and to prepare for our little one to join us.
We had an appointment on a Thursday (10 days after our due date) and Paula suggested that we try stripping the membranes because it would be good for my body to labor before 42 weeks. About an hour later (5pm), I started having contractions every 10 minutes. Earlier in the day I was having more frequent but sporadically spaced contractions so I was kind of watching the clock with contractions anyways. We were still in the area, having dinner with Kyle's parents. So we sat through dinner and then had to decide whether to drive back to Rochester or stay at Kyle's parents to see what happened. We decided that we had no idea what the timeline would be if this was the beginning of labor so we drove back home.
As the night went on, the contractions remained regularly spaced and were becoming more uncomfortable. Kyle tried to encourage me to lie down and rest. I would doze but was unable to sleep through the contractions. By early morning I was having to breathe and moan through each contraction (coming about 7 min apart at this time). I knew that things could still take awhile but I also knew that I did not want to be in hard labor when we drove the 2 hours to the hospital...so we decided to leave. Kyle called Paula (our midwife) and the hospital to let them know we were leaving. There had been a lot of flooding recently and we had to drive a different route than normal, which took longer. I mostly just kept my eyes closed and took each contraction one by one as we drove.
We arrived at the hospital somewhere around 6:45ish in the morning. After some initial monitoring, I got in the tub for a while. This felt really nice. The nurse eventually asked me to get out for a little more monitoring. With each contraction it helped me to release the pain the most by doing a low moan and having someone put pressure on my lower back. We did this throughout the day. Between Kyle, Paula, and Shayna someone put pressure on my back with every contraction (every 5 minutes for the 13 hours we were there).........bless them!
Throughout the day I had also experimented with different positions, in and out of shower, reading my verses (I had brought a sheet with encouraging verses and phrases to remind me), standing, lying, heat, music. Part of our birth plan was to take some time to pray together before the birth. I'm not sure what time it was, but sometime in the afternoon we took the opportunity to ask everyone to leave and were able to share some time together before the Lord. Hearing Kyle's strong words of intercession for me, our baby, and the doctors was so comforting. I knew God was with us all along and would stay by our side. One funny moment was when they brought in this GIANT birthing ball...I'm not sure what pregnant woman could have gotten onto it but I was not interested. I mostly had my eyes closed during the day. Kyle was a constant-- always there to help put pressure on my back, offer me water and food, smile at me J I really needed him there and didn't want him to leave for very long. The logical side of me knew he needed a few breaks and to eat and rest a bit during the day but..... J
By the late afternoon check, I was fully dilated and told I could start pushing when I felt ready. I didn't really ever feel an uncontrollable urge to push until she was part way out. The record said I pushed for around 4 hours which I couldn't believe looking back...I was so happy to be pushing after the long hours of laboring...I knew I would have my baby before I went to bed that night. I started pushing sitting up and grabbing onto people in front of me for with each contraction. I was getting very tired by this time and was thankful for the rest between each contraction....like a little gift.
After awhile, Paula suggested that I get on hands and knees to help the baby move down further. It was hard to think about switching positions but I knew that I would have to for the delivery anyways. I was a little apprehensive knowing that we were getting nearer. After a few more contractions, I finally worked up the energy to make the move. It turned out to be very effective. I could feel the baby turning inside of me....getting itself into position. I'm not sure how long I pushed like this but at some point the doctor came...I was pushing as hard as I could with each contraction. The baby's cheek and foot would start to come part way out and then back in for a while. It seemed like this went on for a while. It was weird and exciting...when I started to push hard and feel the baby move I all of the sudden knew that I could do this...even though the pain was intense, I wasn't afraid and knew I could do it.
Eventually with one push her body came out...I thought maybe all of her had come out because of course I couldn't see anything. Everyone was amazing...they just kept yelling "come on Beth, come on....you're doing great...your baby is almost here....I can see the baby". On the next push her head came out and they told me she was out and it was over.........I have NEVER felt such relief in my entire life. It didn't seem like very long before I heard her cry and just felt so happy. Kyle told me it was a girl J I was so surprised....I really thought it would be a boy. They helped me roll on my side so I could hold the baby on my stomach (her cord was short so she couldn't come all the way up onto my chest). She just screamed but was just the most precious thing I'd ever seen.
Kyle couldn't quit smiling. The cord was done pulsing pretty quickly and Kyle cut it. Just holding her was so amazing! She was pretty alert for a while and had her eyes open. She didn't eat right away but they said that some babies don't. It took about an hour before the placenta came out. I did end up needing Pitocin and fluid bolus a little later because I became very dizzy. It felt really good to eat (even though the food was gross).
Our little gift from God was finally here.........Ilsa Ginny Schlosser.....born crazy beautiful at 8:15pm September 24th, 2010. .... 6 pounds 9 ounces and 19 ¾ inches long.
Notes of encouragement I used for labor:
"Beth, babies know how to be born."-- Paula
"Beth, you only hear about the bad stories. "-- Trish
'Cast your anxieties on Him...'
'I will never leave you...'
'Is anything too difficult for the Lord...'
'Do not be afraid....'
'Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery...'
'For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love...'
' I am He who will sustain you...'
'I wil strengthen you and help you...'
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified...for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you." -- Deut 31:6
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand." -- Isa 41:10
"Listen to me...you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you. " -- Isa 46:3
He would not call you to something and then not give you what you need!
This is worth it! Your little one is almost here!
Your body is made for this!
The Creator is not a careless mechanic!
Focus on power not pain!
You're going to get huge! There is room for the baby to come out!
God is in control!!!!
"Birth is only as risky as life and death. " -- Paula
Labor pain is purposeful and temporary.