First Unmedicated Hospital Birth Story
Elise and her husband took The Bradley Method birth class to prepare for what turned out to be a marathon birth, 45.5 hours. After being sent home once from the hospital, Elise was finally admitted after 26 hours of labor needing some fluids and rest. Elise finally delivered her firstborn he next day on all fours unmedicated with her midwife, the NICU team, her husband, her birth photographer, and her mom all in the room. She found out she delivered a boy, Shepherd, just moments before having to hand him over to the NICU team for meconium.
Second Unmedicated Hospital Birth Story
Much like her first birth, Elise felt regular contractions early in the morning a day after her due date. She and her husband were determined to make her labor go faster than her previous birth by walking labor out and pumping frequently. Unfortunately, prodromal labor set in just like the previous birth and Elise was only 5cm after 27 hours of labor. After walking around the midwifery clinic twice, Elise went and checked into the hospital with her husband and mom. Her birth photographer showed up within the hour. Although laboring was almost identical to her first baby, the pushing phase was completely different. Elise progressed to 10cm within 3 hours but experienced shoulder dystocia as she started to push. Finally after 32.5 hours of labor, Elise’s baby was born and she found out she had another boy, Judah, before again having to pass him off to NICU for meconium.
Third Birth—Home Waterbirth Story
Although meconium was a real factor with the third baby, Elise was hoping for a quicker labor and no meconium. Contractions started in the early morning from nursing her 2nd son and they never stopped. Elise labored all day going to the chiropractor, resting, walking, and bouncing on the ball, but this labor was looking just as long as the previous two. She crawled into bed early that night trying to rest as much as possible but still needing to get up every 10-12 minutes to manage each contraction. The next morning she finally called her midwife, doula, and birth photographer to come over to her house. Her contractions felt so much more intense than her previous births with counter pressure or positions barely alleviating any pain. Elise sat at 7-8cm dilated for almost 4 hours but finally stretched to 10cm with consented help from her midwife. Elise moved to the birth pool and pushed her surprise baby girl out in 7 minutes. Thus, River was born in the water with no meconium after 31 hours of labor.
Elise Hurst Bio
Elise has 2 fiery sons and one spoiled daughter and lives in Lubbock, Texas with her husband, Josh. Elise is a speech-language pathologist by trade but has been a professional birth photographer for 2 years now with Elise Hurst Photography. In addition, Elise just recently founded and launched The Photo Regimen to inspire everyday parents and professional photographers to document their families more often in a creative way. You can connect with her on Instagram at either @elisehurstphotography or @elisehurst.
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
The Business of Being Born
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
Mindful Birthing by Nancy Bardacke
Why Not Home documentary
Birth Becomes Her