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Our Birth Story

Jan 06, 2019


I am amazed by how much time I spend each day with either one or both hands occupied. In a way, I probably needed this much time to pass in order to get this story out without tears. Although the birth in and of itself wasn’t as difficult as I’d imagined it to be, the recovery was a different story…if you’ve been following my instagram stories you likely have an idea of what we’ve been through.


I really liked this quote from Gentle Birth…this story has a positive ending but it is quite a rocky tale so if you prefer to keep your pregnancy blinders on and focus on your own journey, read no further. However, if you choose to read this post, I promise I will be honest without being bleak.

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Baby Peachey did not come on time.

In fact, he was quite tardy. Tardy to the point we had to forcibly evict him from my womb. The date was set for December 12th (10 days post due date), which quite frankly I was relieved for. 41 weeks and 3 days of pregnancy is more than enough pregnancy in my humble opinion. The eviction plan was simple, come in the night before have a prostaglandin gel inserted to ripen the cervix and come back in the next morning to start the pitocin to get labour going. By the end of the day I’d have my baby. Fun fact, December 12th is my husband’s birthday so we were pretty excited to know ahead of time Baby John would grace us with his presence on this day.

I had mixed feelings about being induced.

Early on I was pretty resentful. I was disappointed labour wasn’t going to happen on its own. For some reason that felt like a failure. Totally irrational I know, but an emotion I experienced nonetheless. That was early on aka 40 weeks. Another week later of restless nights, and really intense pelvic girdle pain later….I was ready to have this baby. We pushed the induction as far as our doctor was comfortable with, 10 days post due date. Once the date was set, it was the strangest feeling…as though we had an appointment in our calendar to have our baby….like what is that about? It’s one thing to be wandering around waiting for labour to start spontaneously but it’s a whole other ball game to be counting down the minutes until it starts. Let’s just say it’s pretty hard to think about anything else.

Ok so it’s the night before our induction and the doctor inserts the gel.

The doc says I may experience some cramping overnight and it’s even possible labour could start but most likely he’ll see us at 7:30 the next morning. I don’t know WHAT formula he used because that shit works but that’s skipping ahead….after the gel is inserted we stick around for a non stress test double checking baby’s movements and heart rate…it’s all good so we head home. This is around 8pm. We grab a pizza and I have literally one sip of booze…the first sip in 9 months….to calm my nerves. Frig that tasted good. Didn’t calm my nerves though. We stay up til midnight, both too excited/anxious to sleep. Pretty strange feeling knowing it’s your last night before becoming parents. Finally I fall asleep. Exactly one hour later I wake up, which is a new record for shortest bout of sleep for me even at 41 weeks pregnant. I have an intense amount of radiating pain down my right hip, like sciatica on steroids. I can’t sleep, I definitely can’t lay on my side. So I get up. I grab my foam roller and go to town on my glutes, quads, and hams. Hell, even a little QL release. Nothing works. Time for a bath.

I hop in the bath around 1:30am, I turn the lights off, I light a candle, I put my Gentle Birth audio track on. Full court press trying to get relaxed AF. Hip pain dies down, win! Strange things start happening in my abdomen. Considering my uterus is the size of my abdomen at this point it’s probably safe to say these were the cramps the doctor warned me about. Well…shit. If these were “cramps” there was NO WAY IN HELL I was going to tolerate labour. The “cramps” came on like a f*ckin tidal wave. There was no pleasant build up or gradual increase in intensity. My first “cramp” lasted 55 seconds. That’s a long damn time. Oh and then it faded away….for 20 seconds before another minute long cramp came on. So you’re me, sitting in your bubble bath trying to “breathe through” the “surges” like waves crashing on the shore meanwhile you can’t help but wonder what the hell an actual contraction feels like given the intensity of these cramps. Well it’s 3am now and the bath isn’t quite cutting it. You think hell, I should probably grab a quick shower before I stay in the hospital for a few days. Cool idea until I tried standing up. Immediately I plummeted back down. The “surges” came on like wildfire. The intensity was one thing, it felt like my insides were in a vice grip, but the lack of rest was what got me. At most I had a 2 min break in between. More likely it was 20-30s before the next minute long surge. Standing up out of the tub brought on an intense pressure in my pelvic floor…good lord I needed to sit on the toilet. That was the only place I could stand to be….


A) because this aint no cramping and,

B) because baby hadn’t moved very much and he’s a pretty active little dude.

So I called our doula, “hey doula, I am pretty concerned about the intensity of these ‘cramps’….should I go to the hospital? Baby J hasn’t moved very much”…..our doula tells me the intensity of the cramps can be pretty high but if I a concerned at all definitely head in. I decide to make one more call from the toilet….Labour and Delivery at the hospital. They tell me the same thing. Alrighty then, time to head in. Now if I can just make it back upstairs to wake up Mike, who until this point has been slumbering peacefully completely unawares of the imminent arrival of our child.

I stagger upstairs enjoying 3 more surges on my way up that have me crawling on my hands and knees. I climb back onto the porcelain god and plop myself down while I call out to Mike. “Babe?” …..rumbling and a groggy “Yeah?”…..”We gotta go. It’s time to go. Let’s go.”……”Yup ok I’m on it”….Mike proceeds to fly around the house grabbing the bags and carseat. I proceed to stay exactly where I am unable to move through the surges. “It’s time to go babe”, he says. “Yep awesome, I just can’t move so that’s a problem”. No time for messing about, Mike encourages me to get down two flights of stairs and almost to the car. I am stopping every 30s to have a minute long ‘cramp’. The thought of getting into his Honda Civic and driving 15min to the hospital is enough to make me want to puke. I don’t though.

We fly to the hospital as I call my parents bawling my eyes out in pain barely surviving in the 20 second rest periods my body has allowed me. My parents jump in their car and start making their way down. We get to the hospital, I demand to walk in. No wheelchair for me. I have three contractions from the parking lot to the front door. Mike gets a wheelchair. We skirt up to L&D and what do you know? There is a shiny looking toilet in my room so I make a mad dash to get on it. Wow the pressure is intense now. Feels like my under carriage is going to fall out from underneath me. The nurse tells me I’m in luck, my doctor is already here delivering another baby so no need to wait! She asks to check my cervix which apparently she can’t do while I labour on the toilet….so I fling myself onto the bed and grunt and groan and moan while she checks…..”you’re 7cm hun”….I whip my head around to look at Mike….his jaw is on the floor. “Shouldn’t be too much longer now”…..”So I’m in labour?” I ask, “These aren’t just cramps?”. “No hun, you are having this baby soon would you like an epidural?”. The moment of truth. Part of me wants to soldier on but then the next contraction comes and that part of me dies an immediate death. I ask the nurse how much longer this could possibly go on for…she says be prepared for another few hours…. HA! Bring on the epidural I said.

Let me tell you….

That epidural was the closest thing to magic I have experienced in my adult life. The pain disappeared. Suddenly I could speak again, I call my Mom tell her I’m 7cm. She is disappointed because I will likely have the baby before she can even get there. The nurse wants our insurance forms…they are still in the car. Mike makes a dash for the car while I hang with our doula. The OB comes in and explains we will be using a vacuum to extract the baby….I don’t understand since now that I am pain free I feel that I could hang out all damn day. She says let’s check you again. I am 9cm….and my water breaks on examination. It’s time to push. our doula calls Mike to raise his awareness as to the immediacy of our baby’s arrival. He runs from the elevator back to our room. 11min later I am holding our son. WHAT. ELEVEN MINUTES of pushing. Baby Peachey flies out in record time. From start to finish we are less than 6 hours between the onset of ‘cramps’ and the holding of baby John…..he arrived 1 hour before our scheduled induction….everyone congratulations me and warns me my second baby may be born in the car if we don’t come fast enough. I can’t believe it’s all over….and he’s here.

Now that may sound like a wonderful way to go about things, “rip the bandaid” style labour…

But having things happen that fast really makes you feel out of control. There were decisions being made to use a vacuum and to perform an episiotomy that I wasn’t privy to. There were concerns over his heart rate that weren’t explained to me. I was encouraged to use Valsavla pushing when I really wanted to do “mother-led pushing”. But there wasn’t time for explanations, for informed decisions, there was just….he’s coming and let’s get him out NOW. It was not the Gentle Birth I was hoping for. I didn’t get to use any of the labour techniques I had practiced, hell I barely got to interact with our doula who I was SO excited to have there with us. Even though we were only at the hospital for 2 hours before baby was born she provided us a ton of support and encouragement. Especially when it was clear they were using interventions I didn’t want. She was a rock for my husband so he could be an anchor for me. And we spent a few glorious hours with her after the birth playing around with breastfeeding and generally debriefing until my parents arrived.

You can say it doesn’t matter whatever happens as long as you have a healthy baby in your arms at the end but it’s important to feel like an active participant in your labour and delivery. That is not always the case. Birth preferences get tossed out the window and what happens happens. That was the case for me. I actually felt a bit silly for preparing so much for a birth that was so short but in the end I am very proud of my ability to labour at home through the intensity of those contractions to the point that I was nearly fully dilated upon arrival to the hospital! I think using the Gentle Birth app and working on my mindset played a huge role. Mike could not believe I didn’t wake him up through any of it. Again, I thought it was cramps! It was a massive relief to find out that was actual labour I was experiencing.

Since this post has taken me three and a half weeks to write because my hands are fully of baby most days I will stop it here or I may never get the chance to finish it. I hope you enjoyed our story, it was a wild one! Interestingly, the trauma of birth was nothing compared to what I would face over the next 10 days with an ecoli infection….but that is a story of another day.



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