Submitted by Juliet Sr. Antelmi
We were given the due date for BelleSky of April 13. She was born April 14, 7.11 lbs. 21 inches@ 9:56 pm. She was our third child. My other two- seven years old girl and four years old boy were delivered by a different doctor at another hospital. We wanted less stress for this pregnancy, I wished to do things more or less according to my comfort level. The medical practice we looked at consisted of two females- a younger obgyn with less then five years experiences and a more senior obgyn with over twenty five years experience. I choose this practice because the senior MD, who is the head of the practice, encourages her clients to birth naturally (if they wish). I was hoping she would be the one to deliver my daughter because she respected and encouraged my desire for natural birth without medication, to nurse on demand, and to room-in with my baby. A week before my daughter’s due date the senior MD told me that she would be going out of town for her mother’s 87th birthday. This was the beginning of my anxiety as the younger obygyn was more “wait and see” and I immediately felt uncomfortable with her nonchalant attitude.
On the morning of the 14th I felt more pressure then usual on my sciatic nerve. I called the younger OBGYN who recommended that I should check in. My husband was with me, just like he was at my other births. After waiting 4 hours for her to arrive at the hospital I was 3 cm dilated. She performed an artificial rupture of membranes around 3 pm. At this time I was feeling pressure to produce a quick birth as I did before with my two older ones. I was grateful for the presence of my husband and a older nurse who had three grown children of her own. This nurse understood my desire for a natural birth, without medication. I knew I wanted to be consciously aware of everything and everyone when possible, to help and allow myself to let go and become vulnerable and make my birth as easy as possible. Because it was the hospital’s procedure to have all the mothers hooked up to an IV and an electronic-fetal monitor, my movement was limited, which was frustrating to say the least! I took a shower an hour or so after my water was broken. It was good to have just my husband with me. After the shower we talked about any-and-everything, almost like I wasn’t expecting a baby. I felt no uncomfortable pain, so every time the nurse would come in to check my progress to report to my doctor, I started to wonder why my daughter was taking so long to be born.
At 7pm the nurse shift changed. My Doctor came in to check me and I was 5cm dilated, she wasn’t pleased with my progress. She left to go home to have her dinner, she lives fifteen minutes away. Before she left, she said it was ok for me to get up and walk around. I was thrilled! She left and I went back into the shower where I did yoga squatting movements and allowed my body to let go. I was starting to feel pain and have stronger contractions. The younger nurse that took over was worried when I told her I was going to take a shower. I stayed in the shower until I knew the contractions were less then ten minutes apart. I went back onto the bed and proceeded to do more yoga poses. The most comfortable one was the semi-child pose with the blanket over my head (this allowed me to continue working with my mental self). When I started to feel the baby descending I asked my husband to call the nurse. I was now fully dilated, but my doctor was nowhere to be found. The head of the department, a male obgyn, was immediately summoned. That doctor was so gentle as he encouraged and guided me to birth my baby. My baby arrived within a few minutes at 9:56 pm with one hand by her head! I was very happy and so was my husband that this doctor was the one to catch my baby. I took my baby and started to nurse she latches on without any problem.
We thank Juliet for sharing the story of her birth as well as photos of nursing her baby at the hospital and at home. Juliet is presently a Doula in Training (DONA) in the New York metro-area and trained in Debra’s childbirth class and doula workshop in the summer of 2013. The baby in the photos accompanied Juliet at both classes. Juliet is also a Reiki Practitioner & Yoga Instructor (gentle yoga). You can email Juliet at reiki1122 AT gmail DOT com.