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

Natalie Kearney ’s Birth Story

It was 4am on Wednesday, April 25th, just over three weeks before my due date. I awoke to some fluid trickling out when I shifted positions in bed. My heart started racing immediately because I thought to myself, “Could that have been my water breaking?? I hope not because I’m not even 37 weeks yet!” I went to the bathroom to see if the fluid could possibly be urine. It was not, but I still wasn’t sure if it was amniotic fluid. I decided to go back to bed (considering it was 4am!). When shifting positions in bed at 5am it happened again. This time, when I walked to the bathroom, water trickled down my legs and then I knew this was probably it! I woke up Kelly – “Um, honey, I think my water broke…could you go downstairs and get that test strip Suzanne gave us?” He shot out of bed and returned with the test strip. I dipped it in the fluid and our hearts raced as we watched the strip quickly turn dark navy blue – an indication that it was indeed amniotic fluid – oh my goodness this was it!!

We couldn’t believe what was happening – we knew that our baby would be here within 24 hours! We got so excited, yet slightly anxious at the same time. We finished packing our things for the hospital. Kelly got all our stuff ready for labor – Bradley book, snacks, water bottles, etc. I showered and called my midwife Suzanne. She asked me questions about how I was feeling and about the baby’s movements. I told her I felt mildly crampy – no contractions yet – and the baby was moving just fine. I asked her if I could go into work for a couple of hours to wrap things up (this baby was unexpectedly early and my maternity leave was not quite ready!). She said yes I could go into work for a little bit, but she wanted to meet me at my house in a few hours to listen to the baby. I went into work (although my co-workers “couldn’t believe I wasn’t already at the hospital!!”) and returned home at about 11am. Kelly returned home from work at this point too. Suzanne listened to the baby and the heart rate sounded great. Baby was doing well so she left us to stay home and labor.

We started by walking around the neighborhood to help bring on contractions and move the baby down in the pelvis. We went back inside and Kelly made me some lunch – he made sure I was eating and staying well hydrated. I sat on my birth ball and did some exercises to help soften and thin the cervix. My contractions were starting to pick up, but were still pretty mild. They were lasting only about 30 seconds and were very manageable. I called my chiropractor and told her my water broke and I needed some natural labor induction. Even though it was her day off, she wanted to meet me at her office to do some acupressure to help the labor progress. So Kelly and I drove up to her office in rush hour traffic, and a rainstorm (what a funny memory!), and she worked me up. I remember having contractions in the car and in her office. We went home and continued to labor. Contractions were getting stronger. Suzanne came back over to the house at 7:30 pm to do my first vaginal exam. My water had been broken for almost 16 hours at this point. She said she was hoping I was at a 5 or a 6. However, she checked me and I had only dilated 2 cms!!! What??? We were all very disappointed. All that “work” and only 2 cms.

Suzanne said this labor was not progressing very well and it needed to speed up due to the fact that my water had been broken for quite some time. She said we have a couple of options if things didn’t progress soon. Of course we were very opposed to both options – we wanted the labor to progress naturally and didn’t want any chemical induction. I asked how long she would give us to try and progress the labor on our own; she said we had until midnight. So something in us became very determined and we spent the next 4 hours completely focused on working with my body to bring us our baby. We used all of the natural labor induction techniques we had learned about in class. Things miraculously started to really pick up and soon I was in quite a bit of pain, working through each contraction one by one. But I knew the pain was a good thing because it meant the labor was progressing and we were closer to having our baby. Soon I was pretty delirious to what was going on around me because I was so focused on my labor. My contractions were very intense, lasting much longer, and getting much closer together. After awhile, they were so intense that I told Kelly I needed to lay down in our bed. I would actually fall asleep in between contractions to rest. Kelly was so amazing and by my side every second of the labor getting me through it. He was my brain because I no longer had one!!

Kelly could tell things were getting close by my demeanor (watch for those emotional signposts!) and he went downstairs to get Suzanne. It was now 11:30 pm and she decided to do another vaginal check. 8 cms!!! We were almost there!! Suzanne asked me if I wanted to get in the shower or bathtub, and I grunted in what Summer refers to as ‘cavewoman voice,’ “Hospital!” To the hospital we went. This was one of the worst parts – I was in transition in the car! Not fun! Contractions were one on top of the other and I could not get comfortable in the cramped car. We got to the hospital around midnight. I got out of the car and Suzanne asked me if I wanted to walk or get in a wheelchair. I knew sitting down would be uncomfortable (I learned that one in the car ride!) so I said I would walk. After about three steps, I quickly changed my mind and grunted, “Wheelchair!” I was wheeled up to L&D, moaning loudly and trying to get through each contraction. It seemed like a break from reality because of the place your mind takes you when you’re focusing that much! Contractions were like surging waves that seemed to spread all over my body. Once in the delivery room, I was hooked up to the monitor and an IV was put in (after 3 failed attempts of the hep-lock from 3 different nurses – I have really bad veins…can you imagine the annoyance of this when you’re about to push out a baby??) After all the hospital initial protocol stuff, I was still really progressing. All of a sudden my body started to push on its own during my next contraction… “I gotta puuuuushhh!!” Suzanne did one last check and said I was complete – 10 cms and ready to go!

Now the hard part was beginning. For me, pushing was very difficult. I was on my hands and knees and doing squats to help the process, but it was still so hard. I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. Most women experience self-doubt during transition, but I definitely experienced it during the pushing stage. I felt like I could not get this baby out. But apparently I could because Kelly and Suzanne kept telling me – there’s the baby – a full head of hair – you’re doing it!! After about 45 minutes of pushing with contractions, the baby began to crown. Ring of fire!!!!! Kelly told me to breathe and wait to stretch it out – which was so hard because I just wanted it over. Then Suzanne gave me the OK to push so I pushed with all my might and the head was on its way out. Suzanne told Kelly to get on his gloves – here comes the baby! I pushed out the shoulders with the next contraction and the burning went away. Kelly was holding the baby and said with tons of tears that it was a girl!!! Natalie Jane was born at 1:51 am. The nurses helped me to turn around and sit on the bed so I could hold my daughter. Natalie was placed on my chest and started nursing right away. She was so beautiful and more perfect than I could have ever dreamed! Kelly cut the cord after it stopped pulsating. My placenta came out very quickly – about 5 minutes later with a little push. Kelly went out to the waiting room to tell his parents we had a little girl – such a blessing!

Natalie’s birth was such an incredible experience and it was exactly what we had hoped for. We were absolutely elated. Natalie was weighed and measured – 6 pounds, 6 ounces, and 18 inches long. I asked Kelly for my “Bradley Cocktail” – a cold bottle of orange juice! I sipped it as Kelly and I sat holding our wonderful new daughter – and oh did it taste good!