We are so excited to share with you the birth story of one of our dear clients from earlier this year. Ramya was so dedicated to preparing, both physically and mentally, for her birth and it really paid off in the end! She showed so much strength, dedication, and trust in her body and the process of birth. Ramya and her husband were such a wonderful team and it was an honor to be part of their journey as they welcomed their son into the world! Enjoy their story below:
I and my husband planned almost everything around pregnancy a year before planning to get pregnant! Both of us were very excited since this was going to be our first child. We got a medical examination done a year in advance. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and it was well under control within a few months after starting medication. Both of us were also very keen on being active and fit. After being married for three years and thoroughly enjoying each other's company, we decided it was time to have a baby. We started trying and I was very excited that my menstrual cycle did not start on the day it was supposed to. I was sure that we were pregnant. I took a test at home but the result was negative. For no reason I felt dejected, we had after all only tried for a month! So a week passed by but I still did not get my period. So I and my husband decided to make a trip to the pharmacy at midnight because apparently waiting until the next morning seemed too long!
I took another test to find out that we were indeed pregnant! We were surprised and very happy. Nine months seemed like a long time at the start of pregnancy, the first 14 weeks especially seemed never ending because of nausea but time flew by. We did a lot of research and read a handful of books about pregnancy and child birth. We also attended the classes at our hospital. I was quite scared of childbirth, I have seen my sister have a very difficult postpartum recovery since she had a c-section. I was determined and obsessed to not end up requiring a c-section so I did everything that was under my control to try to avoid it. For me, the fear of childbirth kept reducing as I gathered more information about human anatomy and medical procedures related to pregnancy. Knowing what to expect at every step helped me a great deal to cope with whatever was going on. I also listened to a lot of podcasts which discussed positive birth experiences. One of my favorite is a podcast named birthful.
I think the best thing I did for myself was to stop working and make time for myself. Up until 28 weeks, I managed to run for 2 miles, practice yoga and walked 2 miles back home. After 28 weeks, my lower back started to hurt and I would walk 4 miles and practiced yoga up until labor. I also controlled my diet since I have a family history of diabetes and heart disease. I believe that being able to train my body definitely helped me a great deal during labor. I wanted natural childbirth and I was obsessed over it; my husband's fear was that I was too obsessed over it and it may have been hard for me to recover if I had medicated intervention. I was working hard to accept the fact that there was a very high chance I may need a medical intervention.
Our baby boy was due on 12th April 2017. In my 37th week appointment, I had my first cervical check and I was told I was 0% effaced, 0 cms dilated, the baby was still high in ROA position. On the morning of 31st March (38 weeks and 3 days), I had lost my mucus plug. As all things in pregnancy, I knew that it could be a few hours or few days before labor onsets. I texted Wendy and Kersti to let them know. I continued to have mild cramping through out the day. I never had Braxton Hicks so I and my husband were very sure that these were false contractions. We had a doctor visit at 4 PM and I was told I was now 70% effaced, 4 cms dilated and the baby was at a lower station in LOA position. But our doctor told us it is possible baby might stay in this state for few days. We then went to have an Acai bowl but I felt an urgent need to poop! We decided to stay home for the rest of the evening. I had diarrhea for a few hours. My contractions were still coming and going on and off, we still didn't think we were in labor. At around 8 PM, we realized it might be a good idea to finish off a photoshoot series that we were doing during pregnancy - just in case! So with a couple of friends, in the midst of contractions and painful 15 min car ride we clicked some pictures. My contractions were so strong on our way back that I found people talking around me while I was having a contraction to be annoying. I would be talking but when the contraction started I would concentrate on my breath and everyone would help me by staying quiet. Once the contraction was over, everything was back to normal. I updated Wendy and she suggested a shower, so at 9 PM, I took a relaxing shower and our friends had brought me dinner. I had a carb loaded dinner thinking I may not be able to eat once I hit active labor. Little did I realize I was already in active labor! My body did a wonderful job of keeping itself light, I would have to use the bathroom few mins after eating and I eventually lost appetite. At 10 PM we tried to get some sleep, I found our bed to be uncomfortable so we tried sleeping on the floor. I realized that it was the lying down posture that I didn't like. I found rotating my hips on hands and knees to be the most soothing. I also spent a significant amount of time on the toilet and on my birth ball. I also put on a TENS unit that Wendy had given me at around 11 PM.
A side note on the setup we had - I did not want to control the TENS unit so my husband was in charge of turning it on in the lowest setting when the contraction starts. I would also feel very hot when I had a contraction so he would have to turn on the fan which was across the room. He would then have to turn off the fan which and the TENS unit as soon as the contraction ended. He was running up and down the room doing all this and also hugged me during a contraction. It was more like he wan in labor doing all the work. I then had to remind him we had a remote for the fan!
At midnight, with some hesitation we called Wendy. We didn't want to raise a false alarm since we were unsure how far along I was. She was prompt and agreed to come see us. She came to our place within 30 minutes and had brought a huge bag of tricks (literally!) with her. Up until then my husband was my coach and he was doing a great job, but I didn't know what I wanted and he didn't either. I would ask him to massage me for 1 contraction but for the next I could not stand being touched. The environment in our house immediately changed, Wendy was able to calm me and talk to me. My husband was more than happy to have extra hands to help him. I had asked her to remind me to smile through the contractions and she did just that. I wanted to labor at home for as long as possible and both my husband and Wendy were supportive of that. At around 1.15 AM, my contractions got quite painful and I knew I wouldn't want to labor in car, that is when I decided to go to the hospital. Wendy called the L&D department to let them know we were coming. I had 3 contractions within the 10 min hospital drive. At the hospital, after a cervical check, I was told I was completely dilated and ready to push! We were overwhelmed with joy because I was honestly hoping I would have atleast gotten to 6-7 cms.
I was in a trance, I have no idea who the nurses were. I was on hands and knees, I was asked to flip on my back so they could put in IV but I refused it. My birth plan said I would get a saline lock but I simply wanted to stay on hands and knees and there was no time for anybody to look at the birth plan. At 1.45 AM I announced that I wanted to poop (I was hoping they would take me to the toilet) but they told me it was the baby. My doctor arrived and convinced me to flip around to start pushing, I was comfortable on my back so I stayed there. My water still didn't break so we decided to have the doctor break it for me. Wendy held my hand through out the time and also eased off the horrible leg cramps I was having as I was pushing. At 2.45 AM our son was born! He was tiny! He looked precious! Placenta delivery was about 5 mins after and surprisingly painless. I was holding our boy as the doctor stitched me up since I had a second degree tear. Wendy was with us a couple of hours after our boy was born to help with breastfeeding but he kept popping off.
A few days after, Wendy came by our house to check on me. We still keep in touch and I would be happy to provide additional details, information to any moms-to-be. Wendy and Kersti make a great team and I am very glad they were supporting us during such an important phase of our life.