By Kate Horney
You asked, so here it is…my birth story!
The Friday morning before I went into labor I attended Bikini Boot Camp as usual. Coach Jen gave us a great workout with squats, sprints, and lots of full body exercises with heavy weights. Aside from the crazy pelvic pressure that began the week prior, I felt great. As I said before, making the choice to stay active through my pregnancy was essential to enjoying both my pregnancy and the delivery of our sweet son.
By 7am on Friday I was at work and ready to start the day.
On my lunch break that afternoon, I took a leisurely walk with a friend and she commented on my waddle (by this point, it was intense) saying that it could very well be our last walk together while I was pregnant. (Little did we know, she was right!) Patrick and I had a doctor’s appointment later that afternoon and our midwife checked my cervix, she said I was 2cm dilated – no change from my previous check the week before. Seemed to be another weekend as usual.
Our weekend consisted of enjoying our weekly cheat meal at the local Mexican Restaurant (hello, chips & salsa!) on Friday night, followed by a relaxing Saturday with some delicious homemade gluten free cinnamon rolls (I promise, recipe coming soon) a little shopping, a walk downtown, and me lying on the floor stretching/foam rolling my “old lady hips.”
On Sunday we awoke as usual.
Although I had some cramping, we headed to church and began our day. Sundays are traditionally meal prep and grass mowing days at our house, so Patrick hit the yard and I hit the kitchen. Having quick and easy fat loss friendly options ready to go in the fridge is key for me to stay on top of hunger and cravings, so meal prep is something I continued weekly throughout my entire pregnancy.
By Sunday afternoon I was getting more crampy and decided that a relaxing bath may be my best resort for getting some relief. Here’s when things started getting intense. By 6pm we were texting our doula with other “signs” (I’ll spare you the details) of labor, and within an hour we decided she may need to come over. I labored at home while we timed my contractions and watched them grow closer and closer together. “I can do anything for 60 seconds” became the mantra. I repeated this literally every 2-3 minutes during contractions.
When our doula arrived, we loaded up the car and headed out. Let’s get this party started!
My water broke in the car on the way to the hospital, so at 8:30 pm I had to splish splash my way into the ER. I trailed a puddle of water along the way as they wheeled me up to Labor and Delivery. I actively labored for 6 hours, making use of the birthing ball and my ability to squat and walk, putting gravity on my side. Because I choose not to receive any pain medication or an epidural, I was allowed to freely move around the room and find positions that were most comfortable for me and baby, rather than be confined to the bed. This really helped my labor! We had a wonderful nurse and doctor who supported our natural birth plan and respected my desire to deliver without C-section or any other interventions. I initially had a fever and our baby’s heart rate was a little high, but fortunately I was allowed to continue through labor naturally, as we intended.
My contractions were HARD (anyone who has had a baby knows this is no understatement) and extremely close together.
There were quite a few moments where I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to keep going. I was scared, in pain, and I hated not knowing how much longer everything was going to last. I remember telling our doula and my husband that “I just need a break…I just need a break,” but picturing the end result of holding that sweet baby boy, and knowing that I did everything I could to bring him into the world safely, kept me going. As much as I wanted to just lay down in bed and rest, I knew that keeping active and moving – working through each contraction as it came – was the best way to keep progressing.
At 2:30 am the doctor came in to check on me, and to my surprise, I was already 10 cm dilated! When he said “we’re ready to PUSH!” I felt like it was Christmas! Patrick, our doula, and I looked at each other and smiled what were probably some of the world’s biggest smiles. At this point, the adrenaline kicked up a notch and pain (although still COMPLETELY and TOTALLY there) faded in comparison to my excitement…
LET’S DO THIS! It was time to meet our son!
Staying active through pregnancy enabled me to enter labor with a strong core, pelvic floor, and lower body, which helped TREMENDOUSLY when it came to pushing. Because I didn’t have an epidural, I was able to feel each contraction, work with my body, and was able to concentrate on the best time and best way to push. There was no screaming, just deep breaths in, and long forceful breaths out. One cool thing was that that the doctor said Patrick could help deliver, so at this point, he was gloving up and ready for action.
After just 35 minutes of pushing, at 3:05 am on September 17, 2012 Jackson Rees was delivered by his daddy and welcomed into this world!
At 8lbs 5oz and 21 inches long, he was healthy and alert (and in our opinions, the cutest baby on the planet). We could not be more proud.
There were days in pregnancy when I didn’t feel like getting off the couch, but staying active and eating right while pregnant was worth it.
I truly believe that it made my labor and delivery much easier (and quicker!) and it has played a tremendous role in my post-natal recovery. I needed 4 stitches after delivering, but even as that heals, I’ve been able to keep moving. Just a few hours after Jackson was born, Patrick and I took a 45 minute walk outside of the hospital. Less than one week postpartum I returned to my usual training schedule with very few modifications. I have the energy and stamina to do what needs to be done in order to take care of our new little boy and we are enjoying all of these precious moments as a family. Without making the choice to stay active, I sincerely believe my birth story would be entirely different. I could not have asked for a more enjoyable pregnancy or a more wonderful labor and delivery experience and I am grateful.
It’s not me – just a testament to how AWESOMELY our bodies were designed!
Want to stay active during your pregnancy? Join the BeyondFit Life Club and instantly download the exact same pregnancy safe workouts (modifications provided when necessary) that I did while pregnant!