My Birth Story
By: Brooke Prescott
October 24th 2017 I worked a full 12 hour shift as a Labor and Delivery nurse. My patient that day was so sweet, laboring un-medicated, and still worrying about how I was doing! Before I went home I stopped by my friend Tasha’s house to get a foot and belly massage. As a trained massage therapist she used essential oils and acupressure points to hopefully help induce labor. As she worked her magic I did indeed begin to feel some contractions! As I was driving home I kept thinking, “these aren’t real contractions, I’m just hyper stimulated from all of the wonderful rubbing.” I got home, ate some dinner, and watched some TV. My husband wasn’t home yet as he had decided to go to a concert that night. All the while I am still feeing contractions. At about 11 p.m. I still wasn’t sure this was the real thing so I decided I better try to get some sleep.
About 12:30 a.m. on October 25th I was getting a little more uncomfortable so got out of bed and walked around a little. I laid back down and tried to get a little more sleep (ha!). At about 1:30 I got up to use the restroom, had a come to Jesus contraction on the toilet, and finally came to terms with the fact that I was going to have a baby today! I texted my midwife Kristi, and my friend Megan (who was a midwifery student and planning to deliver my baby) and gave them both an update on what I was experiencing. Megan told me to go ahead and go to the hospital and that she would meet me there. Meanwhile my husband had heard me in the bathroom and was putting his pants and shoes on and getting our 7-year-old Clara dressed and ready to leave.
We had everything packed and ready in the car. “Justin, don’t forget my iPod and the camera, I’m going to go tell Sean and Diana (my brother and his girlfriend who live across the street) that we are heading to the hospital and ask them to take care of Neko (our golden retriever) and the cats while we are gone.” I make it across the street and knock on their door and then proceed to have a really good contraction. Right at that moment my brother opens the door and a look of bewilderment and panic floods his face. After the contraction is over I manage to tell his what’s going on and ask him to look after the animals.
We make it down to St. Luke’s and my husband drops me and my daughter Clara off at the ER entrance. While he parks the car I have another contraction, they have been coming about 4 minutes apart. He gets inside and the wheel me up to L&D triage where we check in at 3:01 a.m. Megan gets there shortly after and I still haven’t heard from Kristi! They check me in triage and I am dilated to a six. “I guess we are going to keep you!” The triage nurse says. Um, no kidding.
After a little monitoring we finally move over to a labor suite. I put on my little nightgown that I plan to labor in for a little while and walk around the room while my awesome husband presses on my hips, holds my hands, and does whatever else I ask him to do. My parents come at some point as does my best friend Rosemary (I had totally forgotten that I had texted all these people on the way to the hospital!). Kristi is also here by then and her other midwifery student Chris and I can just feel so much love and support in this room! Soft ambient lighting, infusing essential oils, and my jams on the iPod make for a calm and peaceful environment.
I decide that I want to get into the Jacuzzi. I kindly ask my father to leave, I know things are only going to progress from here, and he says “Ok” and “I love you, good luck!” before he heads out to the waiting room. I get in the tub and my daughter asks if she can put her feet in. “Sure!” I say. She then says, “I just really want to get in with you.” At this point I am contracting really regularly but my water hasn’t broke yet so I let her get in. About the time she gets in and gets settled I have a mind blowing contraction where I close my eyes and go somewhere else. I feel this painless pop and gush. I look at Megan “did my water just break?” “I did see a gush of fluid.” “Clara, get out of the tub!” I’ve never seen her move so fast! And the look on her face! I tell Megan I don’t think I can do this, she looks at me and says “Yes you can!” in the most supportive yet authoritative way.
At that point I was also done with the tub and decided to get out. I didn’t really want to walk around anymore either. I tried laying on my side with a peanut ball. “Nope, I don’t like this.” So I got into hands and knees and decided it was time for a little nitrous to take the edge off. I don’t feel like it helped with the pain but it did give me something to focus on. It also made me feel like I was standing outside of my body, looking at myself, yet still feeling everything. At one point I looked at Megan and Kristi and said, “I don’t think this is working!” Both of them look at me and say, “Yes it is!” I reply, “No, the nitrous isn’t working, it came apart!” Everyone in the room proceeded to crack up!
This is where everything gets hot and fast. I start making animal noises and my body takes over. I never consciously pushed, it was totally the fetal ejection reflex. Soon they are telling me they can see the head and before long she is out! “Brooke, grab your baby!” says Megan emphatically. She is purple and blue and making little noises and I grab her and snuggle her while still on my knees. The purest sense of joy and elation washes over me and I’m pretty sure I tell everyone in the room that I love them (man that oxytocin!). I somehow manage to flip over so they can check me for repairs (I did have a minor laceration) and I gaze into the eyes of this tiny new person. “Isla, I love you.” At this point I am crying, my daughter Clara is crying, and everyone else in the room is misty eyed.
Isla Rose Prescott was born at 4:58 a.m. on October 25th. She is such a joy and I am so happy with my experience and my birth story. The midwifery school where Megan attends has a tradition. Several decades ago there was a big boom of babies and there were women who would knit hats for the babes. After the boom was over there were still so many hats that they didn’t know what to do with them. So students at Frontier Nursing University each receive one hat and they are to give this hat to either their first “catch” or to one that is special to them. The day after Isla was born when Megan came to visit us she told us this story and gave us a knitted pink hat! We hugged and cried and reminisced over what a great experience it all had been.
I don’t think there was a single thing that I would change about the entire experience! My husband later told me that the song Isla was born to was For Whom the Bell Tolls by Metallica! Maybe we will have ourselves a little metal-head.