• Emily Lamb

Kaiden's Birth Story, As Told By His Mom

I met Sandie when she hired me through Sudbury Doula Services' Dream Package. She was planning a beautiful and very natural home birth with her team of midwives and her doula. 

She told her story so beautifully that I thought it would be nice to share her story, in her own words. Here is what Sandie had to say about her experience that didn't go as planned. 

"I want to share Kaiden's birth story and our birth photos. I had planned and wanted a home birth from the beginning and you can see from the pictures that we were all set up and ready to go. I started to have some cramping Thursday night before bed. I told my Doula, Meg Davey from Sudbury Doula Services that I wasn't going to read into it as I had worst before. I was scheduled to have my water broken on Saturday (42 weeks) so figured he was pretty comfy. 

I was woken at 1:53 with my first contraction. The next one came very soon after so I took out my phone and started timing on the app. After the app told me 3 times to go to the hospital, I called my Midwife Sarah, called Meg and woke Eric. Kaiden was definitely coming. Everyone arrived pretty quickly and Meg called Emily Lamb my birth photographer from Lotus & Lamb Photography. The contractions soon turned to intense back labor. We tried many positions to turn him without success and it continued through the night. 

I have two midwives. One is always on call and I had the luck of having their shift change happen while I was in labor so I got to have both of them together for a short time.

My other Midwife, Meredith arrived at 8:30 and we decided to try sterile water injections. OMG that was not fun but I was a trooper and did all 4. They helped for a small amount of time with the back labor.

Meredith checked me and I was only 6 cm. I couldn't believe after all the time that I had barely progressed. We decided to break my water to see if we could move things along. When she did Kaiden dropped down with his spine against mine even more. The pain was intense. I was helped up and Meredith told me there was thick dark meconium and she believed it was best that I go to the hospital so Kaiden could be monitored continuously and the respiratory team would be ready at birth if needed. 

Even though I had wanted a home birth and could choose to stay I decided to go to the hospital. I went into this birth trusting my birth team completely. Meg and I had worked through many of my fears around hospital births and I was prepared to go. Everyone scrambled. Of course I hadn't packed anything except put some stuff in the crib for Kaiden. When we arrived at the hospital the back labor was even worse.

Meredith checked me and I was 8 cm. "Yes! transition", I told myself. Kaiden would be here soon. That was at like 10 am and it just kept going and going. Hours later, Meg was running water over my back in the shower when my body started to push. I had no control over it. The contraction would come and the pushing response would happen. I got out of the shower and Meredith checked again. "You're still 8 cm but now your cervix is swollen, you need to stop pushing" I told her that I couldn't. It was involuntary. She said he still hasn't turned so his head wasn't in the right place to open up the cervix and I would make it worse if I didn't stop. Since I couldn't stop she said the best option would be an epidural to stop the pushing and pitocin to contract the uterus and allow Kaiden to move down. That way I could get some rest. Another fear to face. A needle in the spine. Last time that happened I had nerve damage for 3 years. Let's do it, I said. 

Then one of of the longest waits of my life. Trying to stop the pushing through the contractions. The anesthetist eventually arrived. I didn't feel a thing. She was so good. Pretty soon I had some relief and got to get some rest. Everyone chatted and joked and waited. At around 6 pm Meredith checked me and I was 10 cm.

I could feel his head right there with my fingers. It was time to push. I pushed and pushed and nothing happened. I could see his head come out a bit then back in. The obgyn was called in for an assessment. She gave the okay to keep pushing hoping his head would turn as he was sunny side up again with his forehead facing up presenting the widest part of his head. I asked them to turn down my epidural and turn up the pitocin so that I could get some feeling back and have the fetal eject response kick in. They did. The back labor was so bad again. I pushed until I couldn't push anymore... almost 4 hours. Close to 10 I asked for the OB to come back in and give me some options. It was decided that Kaiden wasn't going to get out without help from forceps. Everything was prepped, Eric and Meg were beside me. We waited for the next contraction. I pushed as hard as I could, I kept my eyes closed because I didn't want to see. The pain was so intense. The contraction stopped and I got to feel his head. The OB said the next contraction would push him out. Where was it? I told them I couldn't wait and I pushed as hard as I could. It felt as if he was never ending. 

Finally he came out, screaming and was put on my chest. The burst of emotion, love, joy, relief as I felt my baby on me was amazing.

He was brought to be checked as I cried and cried in joy.

No more contractions came. My uterus was exhausted. Amazingly, I only needed two stitches internally where the forceps cut me. Yay for my Epi No. Best invention ever. Google it ;) . I could see Eric watching them check Kaiden, tears running down his face. Life was perfect. 9lbs, 8 oz, 23 inches long with a head diameter of 37cm. 

With my uterus not contracting I continued to bleed. Eventually they were able to get it to stop. I didn't have a worry in the world. I had my baby on my chest. Kaiden and I needed to stay in the hospital for a day for monitoring. I was good with that as I couldn't really walk without passing out and I couldn't lift him. Kaiden was perfect and passed all his testing with flying colors. I got to stay another night because of the anemia. I woke up Sunday morning with a cold to boot. Kaidens bruising was getting better. With the long labor, blood loss, drugs and cold my milk has been a bit delayed coming in so I have been doing double duty pumping and he is getting a bit of supplemental formula.. 

Friday was the hardest and best day of my life. Eric and I want to thank the amazing women who were there to support us.

My Doula Meg has been my rock through the entire pregnancy. She has helped me through all my fears, been there to answer all my questions at any time of day. She knew exactly what I needed during labor without me having to ever say (most of the time I couldn't talk, anyway. My breathing kept me centered). She was there to support Eric and help him help me. She has been there to support me now that we are at home too. 

My midwife Meredith was my voice of reason. She has a way of giving me my options that keeps me calm. It's always my choice and I know she would support me with whatever I choose. I trust her experience and knowledge and felt safe the entire time.

My midwife Sarah, though she didn't attend the birth itself was amazing through the night and has helped so much with breastfeeding. She spent an hour on the phone with me in the middle of the night on Tuesday and 2 hours at home with me troubleshooting. Your laugh always makes me smile. Even through the back labor. 

Krista the support midwife was great too. Made me laugh all the time. 

Our OB was astounding. Smiling and calm. Whenever I looked at her she just had this look on her face that everything was going to be okay. 

Emily who not only took these amazing photos but was there as support too. I am so so thankful we were able to get you in the room. These pictures I will treasure forever. 

The nurses were so kind and caring. I couldn't use my arms because they were too weak for the first day and they would come in and latch Kaiden and hold him there for every feeding. 

Thank you ladies for making the day perfect. 

I am in total bliss. If you want to find me, check cloud 9. Our little family is perfect."

If you'd like to know more about the package Sandie chose with doula support and birth photography, click here to see The Dream Package