*A Beautiful Birth* ~Birth #7~
Meet the DelGrosso Family
Callie DelGrosso emailed me after the birth of her firstborn, Clara, at a birthing center in Portland OR. She follows NaturalChildbirthEdu on FB. She emailed me her beautiful birth story plus many personal pictures of this life changing event in their lives! Her birth was exactly the beautiful experience that I hope for all my friends & family! Please enjoy this birth story as much as I did & THANK YOU Callie for sharing this with us.
*At 34 weeks–a few weeks after our Bradley class had ended–we decided to change our care from the hospital midwife to a birthing center. After soaking in all the knowledge from the class and doing a little more research, we decided it was the best decision for us and our baby and we couldn’t have been more excited. It was and continues to be a great experience.*
…..I loved being pregnant—all 39 ½ weeks of it! And up until the morning that I went into labor, I was convinced that our sweet Clara would be a June baby. With my due date being May 28th, it being my first pregnancy, and a history of late babies in my family, I was sure that I would go at least 1 week past my due date. And I was completely happy with it. I was still very comfortable, and although I was super excited to meet her, I was prepared to wait a little bit longer enjoying every kick and roll.
…..On May 25th (3 days before my actual due date), I woke up at 6:30am to my water breaking. After calling my midwife, Kori, and confirming that no real contractions had started yet, we decided I should eat something, try and sleep/rest, and just wait for my body to go into labor. She would call soon to check up. In hindsight, I’m so thankful for the opportunity to give birth at a birthing center. The hospitals here in Portland require that you give birth no later than 24 hours after your water breaking in most cases. I really believe that not having any pressure to make my body hurry up and start labor really helped me relax and allowed me to go into labor sooner.
…..At 7:30am I started having some mild contractions so we decided to pack our bags and get things ready around the house. Brandon was really tired, from not sleeping well that night, and went back to sleep for a couple of hours. At about 9:30am the contractions started getting closer together so I decided to start timing them. They were maybe 5-7 min apart and still not super intense so I continued to rest on the couch and watch tv. At about that same time Kori called and I told her my contractions had started and where they were at. She said she would send one of my other midwives, Tarra, to our house between 11 and 12 to check in on me and Clara.
…..At 10:30am I woke Brandon up to let him know that Tarra would be here soon and that my contractions were getting closer together. By 11 my contractions had gotten to 45 seconds-60 seconds long and under 4 minutes apart. Tarra arrived at 12 and stayed for the next two hours with us, checking mine and Clara’s vitals during and in between contractions. ( No cervical checks were done since my water had broken and were able to let me labor as long as possible because of that.) She basically just hung out with us and helped pass the time to see how fast I was progressing. During those two hours, my contractions went from barely painful to really having to concentrate when they came. She had mentioned to Brandon as she was leaving that if my contractions continued in this pattern that we should consider making our way to the birthing center around 3 or 4. Kori’s and our desire was that we labor at home as long as possible, but we also didn’t want to wait too long since labor seemed to be happening pretty fast.
…..As soon as Tarra left at 2pm I was in intense pain (looking back now probably going into transition) and told Brandon that we needed to go now. He called Kori and told her that I was in a lot of pain and wanted to know if we should come in yet. She asked to listen in on a contraction. After hearing how I was dealing with the pain (aka moaning! ) she told Brandon that I sounded like I was ready and to make our way in. Brandon was awesome in this whole process so far, using all the coaching techniques that he had learned. He was super calm and that really helped a lot. He helped me to the car and in our short 10 minute drive to the birthing center I had 4 or 5 contractions and those might have been the hardest since I was on my back in the car.
…..At 2:45pm we arrived at Alma and were taken to our birthing room. The whole atmosphere was so serene and peaceful. They had the birthing tub filled and ready and the lights dimmed. I immediately got in the tub. It was the only thing that sounded good at that moment and after laboring in there for a while, I had no desire to get out. At about 3pm my mom arrived from flying in from Denver, Colorado and about that same time I started feeling the urge to push. I told Kori how I was feeling and she said that my body knew what it was doing and that I should try and push. I pushed for an hour in the tub, changing positions and completely relaxing in the water in between. Brandon, the midwives, and my mom were awesome during the entire thing. Everyone was so encouraging and just let me do what my body was telling me to do. Brandon suggested different positions and kept a cold washcloth on my head. He was literally my strength when I was feeling too weak to push anymore. And when I was at the point where I didn’t feel I could push through another contraction, they were there telling me that I was doing great and that I could.
…..At that point, Kori decided to check my cervix for a lip. I did have a little bit of a lip left so I tried squatting during the next few contractions. That did the trick and after 30 more minutes of pushing Clara was born at 4:36pm (9 hours of labor total). This was such a special moment! I had so many emotions running through me: accomplishment, joy, gratefulness, and excitement just to name a few. I was finally looking into my baby’s eyes for the first time. After wondering what she would look like for 9 months, I could finally see for myself and she was even more beautiful than I had imagined.
…..She was immediately place on my chest in the tub and we waited for the placenta to be born. After birthing the placenta and cutting the cord, Clara, Brandon, and I walked over to the bed and spent the next hour getting to know each other. I was feeling awesome and Clara was so alert so our time was spent sitting on the bed talking about the whole experience and staring at her. It was so great to have my mom there as a support and encouragement and to share in the whole process with me. After an hour the midwives came back in and checked her and me over. She was perfect and healthy weighing in at 6lbs 6oz and measuring 19 inches long. I had a tiny tear in my labia that required one stitch so that was taken care of while Clara had her newborn testing done next to me one the bed. We spent that night and the next at the birthing center just resting and enjoying our new baby girl.
…..At her 3 day check up, she was down to 5lbs 14 oz but was back up to her birth weight by the next week! She has been a great eater and sleeper from the start and today at her 2 week check up weighed 7lbs even She is a complete joy and we have had so much fun sharing our birth story with everyone. We are so grateful for the knowledge gained in our Bradley Class and are now firm advocates of birthing naturally. It was such a joyous experience and I cannot wait to do it again.
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