My Story: Trisha Phillips

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My Story: I gave birth to a healthy baby girl January 31st 2015. However, her birth was a complete 180 of what I wanted. I was due January 27th. About halfway through, i decided that I would like to do a non-medicated birth. I did my research and talked to my doctor, who agreed that with birth, the less interventions the better. I also wanted to be a bad ass and say, "Look what i can do, i gave birth without pain meds!" 

I arranged a doula for when the time came, and drank red raspberry leaf tea like a mad woman. When I hit my due date, my doctor started discussing inducing me the following week using cervadil. Now, I had previously done my research and knew that with induction, there would most likely be a cascade of interventions that would ultimately lead to a c-section. 

Knowing that we had an expiration date looming, I walked and walked and walked those following days, and spent most of my time bouncing on a yoga ball. 


All day January 29th, I started having back pains that would radiate to the front. In the back of my mind, I knew I was in early labor, but I was surprisingly calm. I went to bed that night, and my doula texted me to see how i was doing. I said that I think I'm in labor, so she came to check me out and agreed I was in early labor. She told me to get some sleep and call her when I thought I needed some help. 

Well, of course I was getting excited and couldn't sleep because my back was bothering me so much. When I couldn't lay down anymore through a contraction I decided to call her at 6 am. She helped me through the pains and I let Dave, my fiancee, sleep for a little while longer. She kept asking me to let her know when I thought it was time to go to the hospital, and I decided about 10 am that it was time. Even though the drive from my house to the hospital is less than 3 minutes, contractions in the car are awful! We were admitted and when I was checked, I was only dilated to a 1. 

That was a low-blow for me. 

So we went back to the house and labored for another 4 hours, then came to get re-evaluated and I was at a 4. I was so happy i could stay!


My nurses were phenomenal. They knew and respected that I wanted a natural birth. Looking back now, it seemed as if time was crawling, but then going fast at the same time. I would get in the tub and get on all fours through a contraction, and if I was out of the tub during one I would have to stand and walk. I HAD to be moving during a contraction. At about 10pm I opted to have my water broken, which is the strangest feeling in the world! Dave wanted to watch it happen, and was so surprised how fast it came, he literally jumped back 5 feet. 

I had back labor literally the whole time, so I wanted to get fentanyl to take the edge off, which didn't help at all. At about 2 am I was at a 10 and fully effaced. They said that I could try to start pushing if I wanted to, even though i never got the urge to push. I opted to push, thinking that she would be born sooner. 

That was my first hiccup.


After 2 hours of pushing, she still wouldn't move past 0 station. The doctor suggested pitocin since my contractions weren't strong enough to push her out. (I was still only getting them every 2 minutes) I agreed, but only if i could have an epidural before since i knew pitocin contractions hurt a lot more. When they attempted the epidural, my heart rate shot up to the 200's, so they had to give me an intrathecal instead when my heart rate returned to normal. Now since i was immobile I had to have a cath put in. The poor nurses took a half hour to put it in since i was so swelled up from pushing. Then the baby's heart rate dropped to the low 100's, and in that moment i thought for sure i would have to get an emergency c-section. In the meantime, Dave was sleeping away. When her heart rate went back to normal, the started doing the pitocin. Of course, that's when my intrathecal wore off. After just 10 minutes of the pitocin, my daughter's heart rate started going up. It was then that the mention of a c-section started coming up. 


About this time, i was in labor for 30 hours, and awake for 2 days. The doctor came in and said he would give me 5 more pushes, and if baby still didn't move at all after them, we would have to do a c-section. To be honest, i barely tried pushing those pushes, simply because i was exhausted and just wanted to be done. Well, not surprisingly she didn't move, so Dave got woken up to everyone putting surgical gowns on. Meanwhile, i'm writhing in pain because no one turned the pitocin off. 


In the OR Dave was right next to me, and cried when they made the first incision. I made a point not to look at the lights in case i could see the reflection in them. About 10 minutes in we heard our baby girls gurgled cry and that brought me to tears. They showed her to me twice, and she had a full head of hair that was literally 3 inches long. When they brought her up to the OB floor, Dave went with her. As i laid there on the OR table, thoughts started creeping up, like what if something happens to me or they leave something during the surgery? Well everything turned out alright and i was able to go back to my room right after.


When i got back up to the room, my daughter needed supplemental oxygen because there was fluid in her lungs. Her poor little face was marred by this little oxygen tube in her nose that she constantly tried to take off. Then it was time to name her. For the longest time, i really wanted Nora for a girl. Looking at our new daughter though, she didn't really look like a Nora. Dave suggested Claire, and i loved it. We were able to do skin to skin right away, and she breastfed successfully. She had no jaundice, passed her hearing exam, and was weaned off of the oxygen the next day. We went home 3 days after first checking in.


Claire Marie was born 7:41 am and weighed 7 pounds 7 oz. Looking back now, there is obviously some things i would have done differently. As it turns out, Claire was sunny-side up, so that was mainly the cause of her not coming out. I don't blame the doctor, becasue we didn't know if the cord was wrapped around somewhere or not. She just couldn't get a good position. I also wish that i would have done different positions more, like squatting or leaning into the contractions. I still have not given up hope for my natural birth, however. For my next child i would like to attempt a VBAC, but the closest hospital that does them is an hour and a half away. Guess I'll have to enjoy laboring in the car!

Trisha Phillips | Minnesota | Mama to Claire - 8 months


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