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1st birth: Landon Dec 27 2007
41+1 weeks- Hospital
Contractions started around 1am, arrived at hospital around 4am, got the epidural as soon as possible after throwing up and really struggling with the pain in triage (panicking, really) at 4 cm. Then we really just hung out in our room waiting for dilation. Once i got to 9.5 cm, they told me to do a couple practice-pushes, then left me for an hour to finish dilation. I pushed for 2.5 hours, then they realized baby was sunny side up. So I was sent to get a c section, but sat in the “prep room” for an hour waiting for the cesarean, when my doctor finally showed up and flipped baby and I was able to push baby out in half an hour. He was born in the prep room, at 9lbs even.
2nd birth: Hudson May 6 2011
40+3 weeks – Hospital
Woke up at 4am to contractions, calmly walked around the house working through them until my husband got up for work and told him he wasn’t going to work and to call his mom for our oldest, and then headed to the hospital. Arrived at the hospital around 7:30 am. Contractions were 2 min apart, lasting 1 min and I received the epidural. Again, just hung out waiting for dilation with my mom and husband. Reached 10cm and I wasn’t pushing “well” so I asked them to turn off the epidural so I could feel what I was doing. After an hour of pushing, baby was born! He came out 11lbs 12oz. By far my easiest, least eventful birth! (just like him! easy going boy)
3rd birth: Ashton March 11 2014
41weeks- Hospital: Induction
Morning of the 41 week mark, I was called in for induction. Arrive at the hospital around 1:30pm, I was 2cm dilated so they simply broke my waters. Broke my water around 2pm, sent us walking for 2 hours. at 4pm I wasn’t contracting regularly, so they said they were going to start pitocin in 15 min, by the time they came back to they room to start the pit, I was contracting and 5.5cm, so they left the pit. I worked on the birth ball for a while, then headed to the tub and hit transition hard in the tub with puking and ask for gas. Gas made me panic and I begggggggged for the epidural. They asked to check me (knowing I was almost there) but I refused. they brought the epidural and I was secretly pushing while they put it in. as soon as he left the room, i told them, “ I’m pushing!!” and they checked and baby was right there. but I begged to let the epidural start up, and then 20 mins later he was born. 4 hours of labor and he was out at 9lbs 12oz.
4th birth: Winifred Dec 10 2017
40+6 weeks- Home
Woke up at 6am to 5 intense back to back contractions, for some reason, I didn’t believe I was really in labour, and let my husband go to work still (at our barn, 30 sec from our house) waited to see if they were consistent (and real) then finally my doula talked me into calling the midwife and they sent one out right away (not my midwife, unfortunately). Midwives arrived around 8:30 (I was 5cm), followed by my doula, photographer and finally my husband. My doula and husband set up the pool while I did my makeup with my photographer. Once the pool was ready, contractions were starting to get more intense so I went in the pool. once I got in the pool, I never came back out. I was never checked after the initial check, and she was born 1.5 hours after I went in the birthing pool. She was born at 9lbs 9oz. These are very brief and quick descriptions, there are much more juicy details to them all for the podcast!
Nicole Vandenberg Bio
Nicole, mom of 4, welcomed each pregnancy as a new learning opportunity. By pregnancy #4, and after supporting her sister-in-law through her home births, she was a complete birth junkie and realized birth was her calling, she decided to go forward with her doula certification and chose to have the home birth she had always dreamed of. Nicole had four wonderful, uncomplicated, easy pregnancies, resulting in three hospital births with her 3 boys, two with epidurals, and one unmedicated induction. And recently welcomed her first baby girl at home with a beautiful, empowering water birth, with the help of her amazing birth team. Connect with her on Instagram @nicole_ellaine.
The Birth Hour
Doing it at home
Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth (mainly the birth stories)
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
The Business of Being Born (movie + episodes)
Why Not Home
The Beginning of Life on Netflix