To listen to this episode, and more than 350 other birth stories in The Birth Hour archives, join our listener supporter group here!
Preparing for an Unmedicated Birth and Confronting Interventions
Hannah is a first time mom who discovered the birth community during the middle of her pregnancy, and fully embraced it. After lots of research, planning, and self-discovery, she planned for an unmedicated hospital birth with little to no interventions. Hannah had a complication-free pregnancy, and went into labor at 40w3d. Although her contractions were intense and close together, she did not progress dilating and was very discouraged. With the help of her birth team, she then decided to opt for interventions to assist in moving her labor along. She labored in the tub and her water had broken. At this time, she opted to get an epidural. The anesthesiologist had difficulty placing the epidural, and subsequently, had caused a lumbar puncture that affected not only the way the rest of Hannah’s labor would go, but also postpartum.
Hannah’s birth team began to notice baby having late deceleration. Her doctor’s informed her that if baby continued having issues with deceleration they were going to bring her in for a c-section, and began preparing for this possibility. As a last effort they decided to try an amnio-infusion to try to change baby’s position, although this did not normally work for the type of deceleration they were seeing her baby have. Thankfully, it worked, allowing Hannah to avoid the need for a cesarean. Although the epidural did allow Hannah to have a break and rest, it completely stopped working at around 7cm. From there, Hannah and her doula did a lot of breathing work and vocalizing to bring baby down and continue dilating. After pushing for 15 minutes, her baby was born and responded beautifully.
Hannah, however, began to notice an intense headache develop almost immediately after birth. The incorrectly placed epidural caused a spinal headache that lasted over two weeks postpartum, and the only way she was not in pain was when she was laying down. In order to avoid the surgical procedure of an epidural blood patch, Hannah opted to wait it out until her body was able to heal itself. Despite her labor and postpartum time going much differently than expected, Hannah feels confident and empowered by her birth story, and credits that to education, preparation, and an incredible birth team.
Hannah Moody Bio
Hannah is 27 years old and lives in Columbia, South Carolina, with her husband, Brandon, and their three month old daughter, Millicent. She is a an immigration paralegal at a large law firm, a job she switched to during her second trimester. Connect with her on Instagram: @goosebear