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Sunny Side Up: A positively posterior birth story

Stephanie had experienced a relatively fast and furious labor with big brother Cash. We anticipated another with Baby #2… here is her birth story from my perspective. (If you want to compare her story to mine, see her blog post!)


On Monday, 12/17/12, Stephanie texted me around 2am just to give me a “heads up” she was having contractions every 6-7 minutes, but they were not strong and she was going to rest. By 4:15am she texted again, saying she was getting “warm and shaky” with them– I recommended she call Nurture OB to check in, it was probably time to think about heading into the hospital. Soon after she let me know she had just talked w/ Andrea Campaigne and they were headed in as soon as Grandma got there.


I met them at North Austin Medical Center at 5am. They were in triage, Stephanie standing over the chair, breathing calmly through her contractions. Matt was gently rubbing her back. She said they were not awful, and she felt like she was handling them ok. She was a little worried they had come in “too early” and I assured her she looked very “labory” to me.


The nurse did an exam, and announced Stephanie was already 7cm dilated and 100% effaced! We were definitely not heading home. We took a long walk to room 16 and got settled. Stephanie kept remarking how much calmer this felt than last time. She really liked standing leaning over something best, and the nurses completely worked around her preferences.


We listened to the baby for a while… all looked good. The nurse set up Stephanie’s IV and drew her lab work. Matt was doing some quick texting to notify folks they were busy getting a baby here and would not be showing up to work today! We kept the room dim and quiet. Stephanie was doing really well– beginning to vocalize a bit to work through the contractions.


By 6:50am, Andrea suggested breaking Stephanie’s water if she was ready to “get this thing going”. Her contractions were strong- but probably not the transition kind yet, and still a little spaced apart. We talked about the pros/cons- how it might change labor and Stephanie decided to “go for it”. When Andrea did the exam, she said “You’re 9cm”. Stephanie was delighted to hear it- almost chatty! “Are you lying to me?” Andrea assured her no lies– she was almost there already!


Stephanie decided to stay in bed and rest– she was moaning softly with the contractions, almost sleeping. She started getting a little more pressure within 10 minutes and Andrea got her “baby catching gear” on… anticipating a potentially quick delivery. Stephanie kept saying “this one is so different”… we kept the room quiet/dim and were patient, waiting for her to feel like pushing.


By 7:35am, Andrea suggested that we do a little pushing to see if we could go ahead and move things along– Stephanie didn’t feel a strong urge but cooperated. We tried for about 20 minutes when Andrea checked again- there was still a slight lip of cervix left. She suggested getting up and laboring down a bit more and waiting for a stronger urge to push.


I tried to get Stephanie to sit on the toilet, but that didn’t feel good (that’s my trick to get babies down) so we labored in the bathroom, leaning over the sink, for about 30 minutes. She was feeling a little deflated- “Why did we go from pushing back to laboring?” I told her it was probably because the baby needed a little more time and space to get into the right position. We did some lunges in the bathroom, trying to make space. Soon she started getting a little “grunty” with the contractions, so I asked her to move back to the bed, just in case things moved fast. (We still anticipated a potentially quick birth!)



We got Stephanie comfortable leaning over the bed, and within minutes, she was clearly grunting through the contractions– her body instinctively pushing. We asked her to get back in bed for a delivery- she asked- “Are you sure it’s time?” I told her she was already pushing– we just needed to add to it and the baby would be here.


Stephanie didn’t like the idea of hands and knees, so we got in a traditional position for pushing. Stephanie requested assistance and guidance- it was hard to really hold her breath and push hard, she naturally liked to release the air as she was pushing… which would have worked ok if the baby was coming down fast. But at this point, Andrea and I suspected this baby was in a funky position and was giving mama trouble. Stephanie started doubting- was this baby every going to come? She just wanted to be DONE! She even asked Andrea to just get the baby out– and we all reassured her she was doing just fine.


After about 30 minutes of pushing, Andrea confirmed what we had suspected- the baby was facing up, not down. That’s why it was so much work pushing. Stephanie was definitely moving the baby down though, so we kept encouraging her. It was really hard work– “What happened to two pushes and the baby is out?”


Stephanie worked hard another 20 or so minutes– she was making great progress and the room started getting filled with lots of excitement. Andrea was encouraging “yes, yes, yes!” and finally we called in a baby nurse for delivery. All of us had been saying “She” and “Her” most of the labor– we kept thinking we would be welcoming Georgia. Well, as the baby came out, Andrea announced, “This is NOT a Georgia”… it was a boy! It was 9:31am on 12/17/12. And that boy came out completely OP- face up. Little George Cormac was here!


Mac was placed onto mom’s chest skin to skin where she welcomed him with joy! Matt was right there– saying hello to his second son! Cash had a little brother! Stephanie was so relieved it was all over and her little man was finally here. Welcome to the world, Mac!