Joy shares her Philadelphia childbirth story with Philly Baby Bump:
Where did you give birth?
Hahnemann University Hospital – I work with the people who delivered my baby.
What thoughts went through your head as you progressed through labor?
I was not dilated at all when my water broke so I had a very long labor (25 hours). I was planning on a natural birth and had a fantastic doula and a very supportive husband who massaged my back throughout labor.
My contractions were long and intense and they were also right on top of each other. No breaks at all and not a lot of progress.10 hours into labor, I was only 5 cm dilated with non-stop contractions!
I really was so determined to deliver without an epidural but my labor progressed so slowly. I did all the breathing and had my wonderful husband providing constant counter pressure to help with the pain. When I had to make the decision to get the epidural I was so exhausted that I was in tears. But in the end it was the best decision I could make for myself.
How long did you push?
I only pushed for 40 minutes. My epidural had completely worn off before I started to push and by then I was determined to get her out. My last push was so hard that the baby was airborne! My doctor had to catch her.
What was your overwhelming feeling after your baby was delivered?
She came out and was put immediately on my chest. I was in awe. This tiny grey wet screaming baby just came from me and I couldn’t believe what I had just done. I cried and so did my husband. It was pure magic!
What are some things that would have made your experience better?
My doctor allowing me to walk, move around more during labor.
Throughout my entire pregnancy my baby was not cooperative with monitors. She moved away from them all the time and she was the same way during labor. Because of that my doctors wanted me to labor on my back in bed. I couldn’t do it. It was the worst possible position for me and made everything that much worse.
Because I work with my doctors, I bargained for an hour out of bed and an hour on the monitor in bed. Back and forth. I feel like I might have been able to get through the last of my labor naturally if I could have moved more. Laboring in bed on your back is the worst!
What are some MUST HAVES that pregnant women should pack in their hospital bag?
Your own comfy clothes so you are not stuck in the hospital gown. Showering and putting on my own clothes made me feel human again!
Thank you Joy for sharing your birth story!