angela's calm, natural hospital birth

angela is an amazing example to me of what natural birth can be like in a hospital. her husband is in medical school and has a very busy work schedule. because of that, it was a possibility that he would miss their 4th baby's birth. even with that as a worry, angela managed to have a beautiful, calm birth in the hospital - AND, her husband made it just in time!!

when i asked angela if i could share her story on my blog, she wrote this back to me and i wanted to post it - THIS is why i have my blog. THIS is what keeps me going when i hear all the negative voices telling me what i am doing is not important and that nobody is listening.

"In all honesty, I have to admit that you've been a great role model to me. I've had 2 deliveries with an epidural and 2 natural- I definitely prefer a quick, natural delivery if it's going to be fast. :) I hope all my future deliveries will be this way- especially after having such a great experience with my 2nd & especially 4th. Anyway, I really felt calm and in control during this last delivery & although there are many different reasons, I can tell you that reading your blog & seeing your opinions was one of the reasons. I loved what you said about looking at labor as a spiritual experience, I feel the same way, and looking at your blog was a good reminder for me on days when I started to feel anxious. In fact, when I talked to Kristie about her upcoming labor & delivery in June, I recommended her to look at your blog and read about the delivery- sometimes people like to make a big deal about the pain & negative parts of the labor and often times you come away from hearing people's stories feeling nervous and scared. Your blog is a great one to help you to look forward to the birth, knowing it will be painful, but also knowing that you can do it and have the help of Heavenly Father throughout the experience. I want to tell you how much I've appreciated that from you. And I would be flattered to have my story on your site and hopefully help influence people to feel the same way."

thank you for your kind words, angela! now, here is her beautiful birth story.

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After spending a lot of time thinking about it, I had decided that the absolute perfect day to have a baby would be Thursday night- it would give me the most time with Jeff home, and my mom wouldn't miss any time with the baby. My sister had flown in the Tuesday before, and we spent Thursday playing at the park, running errands, and playing with kids. That night, Lacey and I stayed up talking for a while after getting the kids in bed, then finally got ready for bed at 11:30pm. I had felt a little disappointed that nothing had happened, but felt at peace that everything would be fine.

At 11:44pm I had a long, pretty painful contraction, 8 minutes later I had another minute long contraction, again 8 minutes later I had another. At this point, I knew that I should call Jeff. I was finally able to get a hold of him at 12:10am and told him that he needed to drive down. He said he was on his way and would be here in about 1.5 hours. I was wondering at this point whether I should just wait until he got home to go to the hospital. The contractions were all about a minute long and they were painful, but they were still about 8 minutes apart and I was getting through them fine as I went about doing things to get ready. After thinking about it, I decided to call my friend Kristen and just have her take me to the hospital anyway and meet Jeff there. I called her at 12:20am and told her to give me about 15-20 minutes to finish getting everything together.

At this point I woke up Lacey and told her that I was going to go to the hospital, it was funny because she sat up, looked at me, said, "okay" and laid back down to sleep. A few minutes later she woke up again, much more alert because she realized what I had just told her. Kristen got to our apartment about 12:45am and Lacey helped me with my things outside. Kristen and I had a good trip to the hospital. The contractions were a little closer at this point, but still about 5 minutes apart and I still felt totally calm, talking between the contractions and joking with Kristen. It was nice that it was late because there wasn't any traffic. We got to the hospital about 1:10am and Kristen dropped me off at the ER while she went to park the car. 

I walked in and they got me wheeled up to the triage/waiting area where I got dressed in a hospital gown and started to fill out what seemed like a ridiculous amount of paperwork. The nurses came in and put on some monitors and asked me some questions. They seemed pretty calm and not in a big hurry. I guess I didn't give them a reason to be though, I was just talking and acting really calm. When they asked me to give them my pain on a scale of 1-10, I told them probably an 8 so I guess I didn't give them a reason to be too excited. A nurse told me later that I was just so calm that they figured I wasn't too far along.

A little later, Kristen got up to the room to wait with me- it was nice to have her there to talk to. In fact, she was the one who probably got them moving a little faster. I started to feel a little pressure during the contractions, which were still a few minutes apart at this point and joked with her that she might be the one to deliver the baby. Obviously the contractions were painful, but I was still feeling pretty good and relaxed at this point though and wasn't feeling overly worried. I even thought at that point that I probably wouldn't be having an epidural because I didn't need or want one. I was just a little annoyed that after 30 minutes they still hadn't checked me though. The nurses told me that all the doctors were in a c-section at the moment, then they left and I was just supposed to wait.

Finally a med student came in and Kristen told her that she better check me right then because I had had some fast deliveries in the past. The med student finally checked me. She said, "Uh... you're a 9-10 right now." It was amazing how that finally got everyone really moving! They immediately got people in there and started moving me down to the delivery room where I switched beds and was trying not to push while they got everything ready. It's amazing how fast people move at that point! It was just at that moment that Jeff came running through the door- right in the nick of time! (He told me later he had been driving over 100mph to get there in time, I wasn't too happy about that!) Kristen, who had been right with me the whole time, stepped out and Jeff took his place by my side. At the next contraction I pushed and Emily was born!
She was born at 1:48am, just 2 hours from the time that the labor had started, and with only 38 minutes at the hospital. In my mind, it's been the best delivery of all. I've had 2.5 hour deliveries with no epidurals, but this one was my favorite. I felt calm and in control of the pain, I didn't even want an epidural or medication- I was just ready to have the baby.

When Emily was born, they put her up on my tummy and as always, it was such an amazing experience to finally hold our sweet little baby for the first time. Even right from the start she had such a sweet temperament, she cried a little when she was born, but then she was just content to be held close against my skin. The nurses were rubbing and trying to make her upset, she'd cry a little, but then just be sweet and content once again. They let me hold her for a little while, I love being able to smell their sweet newborn smell and kiss their sweet little faces. Then they took her to get her all cleaned up. The nurses kept commenting on what a perfect little round head she had and how nice and pink she was- she sure didn't take too long getting here, so she looked pretty good. After she was all cleaned up and just laying there, she was so sweet, not crying at all, just looking around and taking everything in. She weighed 7 pounds 1 ounce and was 19 inches long. It's fun to think that Emily is our 4th baby, and our 4th child to be born here in the same city.

Jeff and I were able to decide on the name right then and there- Emily Ruth fit her so perfectly and we knew she was our little Emily. She was so alert, just looking around and listening to our voices. Such a sweet, beautiful, angel baby right from the start. She has the most hair of any of our babies and a darling hairline, dark perfect little eyebrows that look like they're painted on, long little eyelashes, and long thin fingers, feet, and toes. We think she's a good mix, but with her own unique look. I was able to feed her, and we were able to hold her for about an hour before they came to take her to the nursery for everything. Then they took me to my room. At this point it was about 4 in the morning, we ended up just giving our parents a brief call, but we waited until later in the morning to call the rest of the family. Jeff stayed with me for a little while longer, and then headed home so that he could get some sleep.

Jeff, Lacey and Matthew came to visit in the morning for a while. Then everyone came back that evening to visit again, and they also moved me into a different, big, spacious, nice room-apparently the employees get special treatment. It was fun to see all the boys and introduce them to their new little sister. They were all so excited and had fun holding her. They stayed for a good couple hours before leaving.

I know I could have stayed in the hospital until Sunday, but I really felt great and I knew that Jeff had to leave again Sunday night for the whole week, and I wanted to have as much time with him as possible, so Emily and I went home on Saturday- the first day of Spring and an absolutely gorgeous, warm sunny day. It was a beautiful day, and so fun to bring our sweet little baby home. I still can't help but just feel so grateful for how perfectly everything worked out. I know there were many prayers and thoughts on our behalf before the delivery, and I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers and has blessed us incredibly.

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congratulations angela! thanks for sharing - you are an inspiration to many!

do YOU have a natural birth story you'd like to share? send it my way (kamille[dot]larsen[at]gmail[dot]com) and you too can inspire other women through your experiences!