I gave birth to my 4th child at The Birth Center after having 3 unmedicated hospital births. Here is the story…

My water broke around 5am on the Wednesday the 19th while I was asleep. I was in that half asleep/half awake part of sleep and almost thought I was dreaming. And it wasn’t a big gush, it was more of like I sprung a leak (it felt like bubbles, very odd). So I called the midwife and they said to just come down and get checked out. We got to the Birth Center around 7:30am. Katie did a non stress test and baby was fine, I was 2 cm dilated and contractions were intermittent and not super painful. My mom met us there so we went out to breakfast at IHOP and then walked the Concord Mall. We returned to the Birth Center around 12:30.

I tried to rest but at this point I was starting to freak out about not having consistent contractions yet so I couldn’t sleep. The contractions began to pick up in intensity and frequency a little before 3, although they were still as much as 8 minutes apart. The baby was posterior (as was my 3rd baby) so i had a ton of back labor, including pain in my lower back in between contractions.

Around 4pm I started to lose it, so we called Katie and Katie (Madden). I was starting to feel pressure in my butt and I was shaking so I knew something was happening since this had happened in all my other labors. I continued to labor through transition and started pushing around 5:20 and our daughter Mairead was born at 5:28pm. I only pushed twice, and Katie noted that the only reason it even took 8 minutes was the 4 minutes in between the two contractions. My contractions never came less than 3 minutes apart, which I don’t remember from my other labors (I recall them coming on top of each other at the end). My mom incorrectly stated it was a boy (to be fair she had a bad angle but it was still funny and we still tease her). Katie caught Mairead and gave her to me and she didn’t leave me for the next 2+ hrs. They did all the assessment at the bedside (she wasn’t weighed until much later). She nursed for nearly 90 minutes.
Total active labor: 2 hrs, 44 minutes. Total pushing: 8 minutes. I was able to deliver her while on my hands and knees and as a result had no stitches. (I think that is pretty awesome for my 4th child.) My only regret is that I didn’t find the Birth Center sooner. While I was able to successfully give birth 3 times in a hospital without medication, the experiences do not even compare. It was so nice to be “normal” and supported by the staff and midwife as opposed to continually having to be asked to be left alone and decline all the suggested interventions. I will treasure the memory of Mairead’s birth and can’t say enough positive things about the experience.