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  • Cindi Denbow

Labor and Birth Story of Emory

Thursday April 3, 2014 - I went about my normal work day and had my 36 week prenatal appointment with Cindi, my awesome midwife, everything went well – she told me I was far enough along that should anything happen (such as my water breaking like with my first child) I would not risk out of home birth, we listened to baby’s heart and he sounded great, I even had a couple contractions on the table that she commented were “really nice contractions.” Afterward, I went and had my chiropractic adjustment. That evening I went home and was in the mindset of enjoying my last day or two of work (expecting to finish with Friday and sub for a coworker on Monday – ha! Baby had different plans!), and anxious for my mom to fly out on Monday.

Friday April 4, 2014 – I woke up at 2 AM feeling a strong pressure/contraction, got up to use the restroom, came back to bed, but couldn’t get comfortable again. Drifted back off to sleep, only to wake up again at 3 AM and repeat the process, and again at 4:30 AM. At 4:30, I decided there was no way I could go back to sleep, but never thought/imagined I might be in labor. I figured it was late pregnancy insomnia. I went to the office and looked at photos of rainbows on the computer and chatted with a friend who happened to be awake in California till about 5:50 AM. I figured at that point I’d just go try to catch a nap before having to be up for work. I went to lie down in bed, but that lasted 10 minutes.

6 AM - I had more intense pressure, went to the restroom and as I peed, it felt like there was more force behind the pee than usual which was my first sign that something has changed. My husband had been getting ready to go to work (scheduled to fly) and was ready to walk out the door when I told him to wait. I stood and walked by my mirror when I remembered that if it was my water that broke, there would be fluid leakage while I stood still and contracted my muscles as if to stop a pee – and sure enough, as I stood still, fluid leaked onto the floor. My husband was not going to be flying that day, baby was coming! I had my husband, Brandon, make his phone calls while I made mine: first to my mom to tell her she needed to change her flight, then to Cindi to let her know my water had broke and discuss the next steps, and finally to my boss to let her know I would not be making it to work that day. My mom wasn’t super thrilled since this was the second time I’d had my water break on its own and she wasn’t here to help me (she was supposed to be my child care for Damian). Cindi and I agreed since my GBS status was unknown at the time, I would receive IV antibiotics just in case, and we would talk again later that morning to determine my progression/how I was feeling.

I went about my morning, showered, ate a hearty breakfast, then we took Damian to school with his Big Brother books. By that time, it was 8:45 AM, and my coworkers all had heard the news, and several of them asked why I was out of the house with my water broke – uhh hello! Trying to keep busy and nothing was being inserted into my vagina, so low risk of infection not to mention getting antibiotics later…and walking is good for labor! (Laughing!)

9:00/9:30 - After we dropped big brother at school, Brandon and I went to Wal-Mart to pick up some last minute essentials, food, etc. I ended up using the restroom there and found I was losing my mucous plug! As we walked around getting everything, it was getting more difficult to walk through the contractions without concentrating on breathing, and they were 15-20 minutes apart.

10:30 AM – We got home from Wal-Mart, I got to setting up the bed for the birth only getting through one layer of bedding with a shower curtain liner underneath, while listening to one of my two new Linkin Park CDs.

11 AM - Cindi called to check on me. She had to be at the office to see a postpartum mom, and told me to call her whenever we needed her since contractions were regular/progressing and I seemed to be coping well. I decided to try and eat some lunch and rest since I didn’t know how long I’d be in labor, and I wanted to ensure I wouldn’t put myself in a position of having to transfer for exhaustion if labor ended up being really long. I went out to the living room and tried eating a bowl of chicken noodle soup only to deal with contractions that wouldn’t let me get through more than one bite at a time, and even then, I couldn’t chew through them. I soon abandoned the idea of eating and instead focused on staying hydrated and working through my contractions.

1:20 PM – I decided it was time to call Cindi and have her head our way and get antibiotics started since contractions were picking up and it was difficult to do anything but stay on the couch where I’d been laboring for the past hour, or in the bathroom where I alternated emptying my bladder and laboring on the toilet (and I felt better being in the bathroom in case I needed to vomit as I was becoming nauseated between contractions). She said she was leaving and heading our way, so I went back to laboring and my husband worked on getting the pool blown up and filled.

2:something PM – I was laboring on the toilet in the bathroom when Cindi arrives. I recall being very vocal through contractions while keeping my tone as low as possible like we learned in our childbirth education classes. Once I’m through the contraction I made my way to the living room. Things get fuzzy from here on out, and time pretty much ran together. Cindi took vitals and listened to baby (he was doing great, which was a relief to hear!), and worked on getting my IV antibiotics started (only took three pokes thanks to my veins rolling away from her) and I went back to laboring. I continued to labor both on the couch (facing the back and rocking/swiveling/rolling my hips) and in the bathroom - Cindi brought her stools into the bathroom, had me put my feet on them, and hold up my belly through the contractions. This helped ease some of the discomfort, but eventually I made my way back to the living room where I ended up staying. At one point, she asked why I kept going to the bathroom, and my answer was along the lines of “in case I need to throw up, I feel better being in the bathroom” but I can’t quite remember.

I know at some point Christina arrived, and Jessica, but I have no idea of what time it was. All this time, Brandon was alternating heating water/filling the pool and coming to hold my hand and help me through contractions. He says whenever he touched me or did something I didn’t like I shook my head and made a grunting/growling noise…I can’t quite recall.  I do vaguely recall asking if the water was ready…apparently I asked more than once…it finally was as ready as it would be around 4. By this time I was sitting on the couch working through contractions, and somewhat sleeping between them and Cindi asked if I felt any pressure in my bottom, which I was starting to, indicating I’d be pushing anytime in the near future, so I got into the pool (and man the feeling of the water was amazing!).

4:15 PM - It felt like not long after getting into the pool I really felt the urge to push - it felt like I really needed to have a BM, with tons of pressure, and I had no control over the urges, so I went with it. I would push for what felt like several minutes then as the contraction and urge would decrease, I rested against the side of the pool and drink water offered to me (I think by Christina, since she was usually sitting in front of me and held my hands through all my pushes). I don’t remember how many times I pushed, I just remember working with my body to get baby down a little at a time, and breathing through the pushes to try to ensure I’d stretch slowly as his head made its way out. Cindi advised doing a one-legged kneel as I pushed, so I started with my right leg up for several pushes, then she had me switch legs. Cindi was there guiding me and doing what she does best, and everyone kept me going telling me I was doing great, yet it seemed like it was just me and my body, everything and everyone (except Christina) faded into the background until baby was finally born.

4:54 PM – After several pushes with my left knee up in the half-kneel, baby’s head is finally out, and oh how good it felt to have that hard little head finally out. Cindi and the birth assistants had me turn over to push the rest of baby out, and while I knew Brandon was in the pool with me for the pushing, I was now facing him. I leaned against the back of the pool and pushed with all my might with the next contraction, and baby was born in the water, caught by his daddy.

It was 4:55 PM when baby’s body exited mine and he was brought up out of the water and placed in my arms with assistance from Cindi and Brandon. We soon discovered the knot in his cord, which surprised everyone. I just couldn’t believe I had my HBAC and water birth! I was so happy and in awe of everything that had just happened, of the sweet baby in my arms I just sat there stroking his head and kissing him until it was time to get out and deliver the placenta, cut the cord, and check my bottom for tears. I had a small tear, so Cindi stitched me up, and eventually we moved to the bedroom so I could shower and we could measure/weigh Emory.

Emory Lynn Deusenberry

April 4, 2014 4:55 PM

6 lbs., 9 oz. 20 ½ inches long

Water Birth/Home Birth After Cesarean

Damian got to meet his baby brother later that night since he was at school the whole time, but got a better meeting the following morning (above photo).

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