You found the hidden text! Did you know... One single drop of a mother's colostrum has nearly 1 million white blood cells in it! True amazing power we hold as human mothers to heal. "Every Drop Counts!" - Summer

Lucas Dylan McLaughlin’s Birth Story

Shortly before midnight on July 20, 2005, I woke up to the sound of an internal “pop” that was followed by a gush of fluid. “Casey, my water just broke!” I exclaimed. I quickly ran into the bathroom as Casey jumped out of bed to check the amniotic fluid. He assured me that it was clear and odorless – both signs that our baby was not in distress. I felt a surge of adrenalin as I realized what this likely meant – our baby would probably be here in less than twenty four hours. This is what we had been preparing for!

After a few minutes, we decided to call Casey and Summer Hill, instructors in the Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth. During my fifteen minute conversation with Summer, I had two contractions and continued leaking amniotic fluid with each contraction. Since I was able to relax and talk through the contractions, we decided that, as long as I felt comfortable, it would be best to do what I normally do at midnight…..sleep.

As I spoke with Summer, I realized that I had most likely been having contractions for a greater part of previous day. They were very, very mild (similar to menstrual cramps) and I was working busily working, so I was able to easily ignore them. They continued throughout the evening but were very irregular and did not cause me much discomfort. I assumed they were more “pre-labor” contractions.

That evening I happened to do two things that I would have done if we suspected I was in labor. I took a bath, which I know relaxed my uterus, as well as the rest of my body. I also walked up and down the stairs in our home, which probably helped to drop the baby and open the pelvis.

So, Casey and I went back to bed. About five minutes later I had another contraction. Casey turned on our bedroom light and jotted down the time it started. This contraction was definitely more intense than what I had felt while talking with Summer, but I was still able to talk and relax through it. At this point, we still thought it would be hours until our baby was born. Casey turned the light off so we could go back to sleep again, and less than five minutes later, I had another contraction. After about fifteen to twenty minutes contractions were less than five minutes apart and lasted for about sixty seconds. We suspected this was not going to stop, and I told Casey to just leave the light on! I felt focused and in tune with the changes that were occurring in my body.

Since we still had two weeks until our baby’s “due” date, our bag for the hospital was only partially packed. In between contractions, Casey ran around the house, gathering last minute items, snacks, toiletries, etc. It was a bit past 1 a.m. now and contractions were 2-4 minutes apart. I was still upstairs at this point, alternating between our bed and the bathroom. Sitting on the toilet during contractions was surprisingly comfortable. I remember talking about that in our Bradley class and wondered how that could be comfortable – but it was!

I yelled or groaned at the beginning of each contraction, and Casey quickly came upstairs to help me relax. Slow, deep breaths during the peak of a contraction were so relaxing and calming. I was feeling so focused and determined that I kept forgetting to tell Casey when a contraction ended! Contractions continued for the next thirty minutes and began double-peaking. Amniotic fluid continued to leak with each contraction. I was in awe of how much fluid there was!

Around 1:30 a.m. I realized that I was going through transition, which probably lasted about 5-10 minutes. “This is crazy, I thought! Is this really happening so quickly? Should we leave now for the hospital? Should we wait?” I felt hot and cold and nauseous. I asked Casey for a bowl in case I needed to throw up. (Thankfully, I did not!) As soon as transition passed and I was able to speak somewhat coherently again, I told Casey that I think we need to leave for the hospital. He was just as surprised as I was. He quickly called the hospital to tell them we were on our way.

The next 20 minutes were a blur for me. I slowly worked my way downstairs, stopping every few minutes during a contraction. I felt intense pelvic pressure that was partially relieved by side-lying and lifting my leg. Casey loaded everything into the car and stacked at least half a dozen towels for me to sit on!

We were off to the hospital around 1:50 a.m. I was a bit nervous about the car ride. I feared it might slow things down, but that fear quickly dissipated when I first felt our baby’s head begin to crown. What!?!?! That’s about all I could think at this point.

During my pregnancy, we often joked about our baby being born in the car. I was beginning to wonder if that might really happen! The car ride ended up being about 15 minutes long, and it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Trying to find a comfortable position during contractions was quite a challenge, but all I could think about was that our baby would be in my arms very soon. Casey pulled up the ER at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

It was now 2:05. He jumped out of the car and ran in. A guard came out with a wheelchair and wheeled me to the check-in window, where a lady greeted me by saying, “Hi, what’s your name? Can you spell that for me?” Hello, I’m about to have a baby and you want me to spell my name!?!? A nurse from labor and delivery came down to the ER, and the three of us – Casey, myself and the nurse – made our way upstairs. Casey quickly told the nurse how labor progressed and that this baby would be born soon. I think she was somewhat skeptical.

She wheeled me in the labor and delivery and several of the nurses looked at me and exclaimed, “Oh my, there’s blood!” We quickly hurried into a room. I sat on the bed in a half- squat position. One of the nurses handed me a gown and asked me to change into it. She said they’d hook me up to the EFM machine. I wanted to tell her that there was no time for that, but I really couldn’t speak. The next thing I remember was grunting and hearing the nurse say, “Don’t push!” as she peeked her head out the door to tell other nurses to come in our room. “I’m not,” I muttered. I don’t recall ever consciously thinking that I needed to push, but I must have on some level because the next moment, our beautiful baby left his warm first home, momma’s womb, and made his entrance into the outside world.

Casey and I were completely dumbfounded. I felt bad that no one caught our baby! Casey wished that he had. The nurse said, “Oh, he peed!” A boy!? It hadn’t even occurred to me to check to see if we had a boy or girl – I did not really care. Yes, indeed, we had ourselves a beautiful baby boy, Lucas Dylan. He came out perfectly pink and had a very strong set of lungs!

The umbilical cord was slightly looped around his neck once, but he was perfect. The nurses were a bit freaked out and unsure what to do next since my doctor had not yet arrived. We held our Lucas for a few minutes before the put him on the warming table. They were afraid he was too cold, I’m pretty sure he was just fine.

My doctor arrived at 2:20 a.m. She walked in the room and with a big smile on her face said, “There’s a baby!” Dr. Murphy really loves babies and wished she had been there for Lucas’ actual birth. I was so happy with how laid back she was. The nurses kept asking, “Should we give her an IV? Pitocin to help deliver the placenta?” Knowing that we wished to avoid as many unnecessary interventions as possible, she told the nurses that I was fine without an IV and that we would wait for the placenta to be delivered naturally. It took about 15 minutes for me to deliver the placenta. I think that was the part I hated the most! All I wanted to do was hold my baby again. I had a second degree tear that my doctor quickly stitched up. I hardly recall that part, though, because I had my baby in my arms again.

Before our baby was born, I wondered how I would feel when I held him/her. I remember sometimes thinking, “What if I feel awkward? What if I feel like I don’t know how to hold the baby? What if it just feels all wrong?” As I held Lucas in my arms and he began to nurse for the first time, his sweet little eyes gazed into mine. His gaze gave me the reassurance that he knew who I was and that everything was okay. Holding him felt so right. I was so overwhelmed with joy and love for this beautiful baby boy.

We could not have asked for a better pregnancy, labor, and birth. Lucas was our first “Bradley baby” and since we found Lucas’ birth to be an incredible and beautiful experience, I hope we have more “Bradley babes” in the future!