Mother with COVID mask on holding newborn

Cameron’s birth story: We were almost certainly based on first pregnancy and my maternal history that our baby girl, Michelle, would be at least one week late and probably long labor. During my weekly appointments with Dr. Jamshidi at GWMFA, we opted not to do a pelvic exam since I was feeling great and didn’t have any real pelvic sensation. Michelle’s fluids and stats looked great on ultrasound, so we took it week by week on whether we would induce, and this put me at ease.

During pregnancy, I kept my regular yoga practice but made major modifications for pregnancy safety and room for changing my pregnant body. I’ve been teaching yoga for 6 years so I felt comfortable modifying it in my regular class. I also added 2-5 mile walks daily as part of the routine, combined with the recommended squats.  Ursula recommends up to 250 squats a day, so I worked towards that goal, reaching up to up to 150 by 39 weeks.

On October 4th, 6 days before the due date I woke up to cramping from 2 am to 5 am which then stopped.  It happened again on the morning of the 5th. This was exciting but I also realized, I better finalize my last tasks for work! I emailed Ursula and we thought this stage could last as long as a week, so let’s monitor. Over the course of the day, my cramps persisted with consistent pink mucous discharge. I went to a neighbor’s house for a distraction and tried to keep up with closing our work tasks.

Erik made us a healthy dinner and when I got up after eating around 7 pm, and immediately the sensation was different. Were these contractions? Ursula recommend the TENS machine and spinning babies to serif this was the real thing.  I found the supine position was not sustainable for me, but I kept increasing the level of the TENS and has Erik put pressure on my hips. At this point contractions were strong but only  30 seconds long, which made me think they weren’t full contractions.

Around 11 pm my bag of waters burst, no doubt about it. Felt like a water balloon exploded! We called the hospital and they gave us 6 hours before we needed to head in, we opted to wait and called Ursula. She gave me more coping strategies including making low noises and staying away from the high pitch. Contracts got longer and stronger.

By 2 am things really ramped up. The pain was intense and I was on all fours on the bathroom floor, the only thing I could do. My body started trying to push involuntarily. Ursula advised us to get to the hospital and prepared to meet us there as soon as possible.

Erik was a smooth driver to GW, thank goodness; I was on all fours in the back seat, rocking back and forth. Contractions were probably 2 minutes apart.

The team at GW quickly checked me. I was so shocked to hear I was at 10cm, complete, but we had to wait for a negative COVID test for Ursula to arrive. Our nurse, Laura let me hold onto her to work through contractions while they checked Michelle’s heartbeat. The Resident doctor asked about the birth plan and graciously offered an epidural. I opted in and they quickly had the anesthesiologist meet us in room 10. He worked quickly in between contractions.  We kept FaceTimeing with Ursula as she helped me to rest and regroup as the epidural kicked in.

I was super nervous about pushing and Ursula was cleared to come in just in time to coach me and Erik for pushing. When it was time to push we had so many positive medical professionals in the room; Doctors midwife, and nurse Laura. Ursula and Erik held a leg and we pushed for 20 minutes.  Suddenly Michelle was here! The team put her on my chest and Erik cut the chord. So much gratitude for this experience and to have Ursula there with us was priceless.

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