A new BBC mom graciously shared her birth story with us! Here’s Hannah’s story, in her own words:
In the weeks leading up to Max’s arrival I had been seeing an acupuncturist at Tigerlily Holistic, and at 40 weeks and 2 days they did an “induction treatment,” which is meant to really get things moving and open things up. The next morning at 7:15am my water broke! There was some light green meconium in the water, but Linda the midwife reassured me that it was light enough that it was safe to continue with the birth center birth. By 8:30am I was having contractions about every 6 minutes lasting 30 seconds. They felt like cramps, and I could still walk and talk through them. Then 20 minutes later they were feeling stronger, coming every 5 minutes.
By the time my husband arrived home at 9:30am the contractions were 4 minutes apart lasting 50 seconds. I spent some time laboring on a birth ball, and then lying in bed while listening to a hypnobirthing script I had practiced with while pregnant. The contractions were VERY strong at this point, I could no longer talk through them, but I was able to relax fully and deeply in between each one.
Next, around 12pm, I got in the shower and the contractions were coming so fast and strong I couldn’t talk at all! Markus announced they were about 2 minutes apart but I didn’t really hear him, I was too busy throwing up and breathing. I knew this was a sign that the baby was coming soon, but I wasn’t really thinking at this point just trying to keep breathing through each wave. We called Lily; it was definitely time to go. The birthing center was almost an hour away but I managed to get comfortable by kneeling on the floor and shoving my face and shoulders between two big pillows and pushing my back and butt against the back of the front seat. It felt good to push against something and riding with the bumps in the road helped distract me from the contractions that felt like they were on top of each other.
We got to the birth center around 1:30pm and I made it to ring the bell at the stoop just before I had to drop down to the ground for another contraction. Lily the midwife arrived at that moment, and we went inside. It was cool and empty, and as soon as I went into the bathroom and sat on the toilet I felt a big wonderful push sensation! It felt intense but was a relief after the contractions. Lily checked me out and I was 10 cm dilated- the baby was coming! Our doula Bonnie and the assistant Kathryn arrived and Markus parked the car and came back just in time to head back to the room with us. Looking back, I am so thankful that we didn’t have to go through triage, or deal with being hooked up to an IV or a monitor at this point. Instead, everyone followed my lead as I pushed kneeling by the bed, then I was offered a birthing ball. Lily began to fill the tub as I had asked, and the sound of running water was so nice. Markus and Bonnie alternated holding my hand with each push and putting a cold wash cloth on my neck which all felt amazing. The room was quiet except for the water running, my moans with each contraction, and the encouraging words of Bonnie, Markus, Lily, and Kathryn.
The pushing itself felt strong but wonderful, to be honest, and I was almost disappointed when each wave subsided. I heard Lily say she could see the baby’s head, and we all moved to a birth stool- I couldn’t imagine making it into the tub and I was feeling good where we were. Bonnie held a mirror under me so I could watch our progress, which I didn’t think I would want but it was awesome to have. The baby’s head was coming, two steps forward with each push and one step back with each rest, and Lily reassured me I was stretching nicely. When she announced the baby’s head would come with the next push I didn’t believe her. But out it came, along with one hand pressed against his face!! Lily calmly slipped the cord over his neck and I fell back against Markus to rest. I heard Lilly say our baby would be born with the next push. I still didn’t believe her, but sure enough his body slid right out at around 2:40pm.
In a quick fluid motion Lily lifted our baby to my chest and I said “It’s a boy!” We didn’t know the gender until that moment. Lily and Linda and Kathryn massaged my uterus and gave me a quick shot of Pitocin to help stop some extra blood flow and helped me rub our son down to get him breathing nicely. They moved me, Markus, and our baby to the bed as a unit and I sang to our baby while they helped deliver the placenta and stitched a small tear. They covered the lamp with some fabric so the light was nice and dim, and left us to cuddle and eat delivery sushi. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude, relief, and joy. Remembering Max’s birth I couldn’t and still cannot believe how lucky we are.
Our first minutes and hours with our son were spent in a magic bubble of calm, quiet, and safety. Words cannot express how grateful we are for the exceptional care we received and continue to be receiving from the Brooklyn Birthing Center.
Thank you for providing our community with an intervention-free, out of hospital option for our babies to be born into!