Amanda. second time mom.
Working Through Back Labor: Margo's Birth Story
Amanda is a mother at our birth center in Charlotte, NC. Here is her story of Margo’s Birth, our 80th baby born in the Charlotte center, on the 8th of September:
Margo’s birth was my second natural birth.
I was using hypnobabies home study course throughout my pregnancy. The affirmations were so reassuring and the hypnosis tracks relaxed me immensely. I was religious in my preparation, listening to the tracks every day and practicing my hypnosis techniques, truly trusting they would help me achieve a less painful birth.
With my first born, I woke up to very obvious active labor contractions in the middle of the night, so in the last week of this pregnancy I was waiting for the same obvious sign that I was going to have a baby. Instead, around 4pm on the evening before the birth I started having lower back pain. It wasn’t very strong and it didn’t seem time-able, maybe every 20-30 minutes. My husband and I went out to dinner and the bookstore and put my son to bed. The pain wasn’t really letting up or getting stronger though so we laid down and tried to sleep early just in case, not thinking things would pick up.
Around 11pm however, the back pain was getting stronger and I’d have to have my husband push on my back each time it would come. I started to time what I was now calling contractions and realized they were about 4 minutes apart, but only 40 seconds long. Because they weren’t very long, I wasn’t trusting that my body was in labor! The contractions also felt so different from the first time, so I tried to continue working through them on my own.
Around 1am though, my whole body started to shake. My legs were uncontrollably shaking and the pain in my back was very intense. I decided it was time to get to the birth center. I called my doula and we headed over at 2am. We met another mother in the parking lot, both of us pumping our fists in solidarity. We were both going to have babies!!
When the midwives checked me I was 6.5cm! In the next hour I dilated all the way to 10. I was NOT prepared for the intensity of the back pain, even though it happened fast. I put on my hypnobabies tracks and tried to relax like I’d been training to do, but the pain in my back took all of my attention. The water was my favorite place to be, but it also didn’t give as much relief as I was hoping for and I would cry after each contraction just knowing another one was on the way. My amazing Baby+Company midwife kept reminding me to let the pain go and take my breaks.
Finally I knew my body wanted to push. While I liked the water to labor, I wanted to stand for the birth. This really helped me during my first birth and my body naturally wanted to do this again. I got out of the tub and wrapped my arms around my husband’s neck and pushed! Four massive pushes brought my daughter into the world, sunny side up!
After my first birth I had a flood of amazing feelings: empowerment, awe, strength. After this birth I was still processing the back pain for the next few hours. It was hard to see how beautiful the birth was while still reeling from the unexpected pain. Now that I’ve had sleep though and I’m able to look at some photographs my doula captured I can see how absolutely gorgeous the process was and I’m so proud that I was able to do it with the help of such a supportive team.
An hour later we heard the sounds of the other mother bringing her son into the world. While nursing my little girl, I smiled knowing we had both conquered birth.