Water Breaking at the Fire House – Birth Story

To begin, I didn’t have the money for hypnobabies and wound up using the book about hypnobirthing with the CD. My husband was gone a lot, and really did not participate in this preparation. I think a formal course or home-study course would have been preferable, but you do the best that you can.

My water broke on Thursday upstairs at the headquarters of my fire department. I was sitting down and felt like I was leaking, but was confused as I didn’t have to go to the bathroom. When I stood up, I gushed and wound up crossing my legs. When I asked for help because my water just broke, I got  lot of blank looks. I asked for a towel and the rookie got me two paper towels. The paramedic was trying to convince me to get EMS to come, but I told them it was not an emergency and I wanted my husband to get me. My last birth was about 19 hours and I wanted to hold off going to the hospital. I waddled to the women’s restroom with my legs crossed and was kept company by an assortment of dispatchers, fire department secretaries, and hr ladies (I didn’t want to be alone) while the guys fetched things and made phone calls. At this point the guys were panicked because all the ambulances were out, LOL.

Anyway, I had a strong menstrual like feeling anytime I moved and water would gush. I felt like things might move along pretty quickly once I moved and allowed the water to flow, and since it was Nashville rush hour, I changed tactics. I told my Dh to meet me at the hospital, ad my friend drove me to the hospital in her police car.

The nurse midwife called me back while we were en route, and at this point the menstrual like feelings were about 8 minutes apart. It wasn’t painful, and seemed much better than the menstrual cramps I normally have. She tried to talk me into going home. I live about 45 min to an hour away, and in rush hour it is anyone’s guess, and I told her I wanted to be checked out just in case. I noted the time on the clock as i was having a pressure wave while talking to her, and the next one was less than five minutes apart. Kristin got me to the hospital in record time.

The check in desk was somewhat skeptical, but the triage nurse began to take me seriously when I stuck the two beach towels in the sink. Pressure waves rapidly progressed in triage from 5 min. apart to about 3 1/2. My Chief’s wife was working but either had to leave and come back or could only stay for four more hours. I seemed so comfortable she couldn’t believe I was close yet. I told her I would let the midwife check me and to please stay and make a decision then.

The midwife was skeptical as well, but I turned out to be 6cm dilated and 90% effaced with the baby extremely low. (This was the only cervix check during my entire pregnancy).

I had hoped to labor in the only birth tub, but it was broken. In my birth plan, I had said that students were ok as long as they read my birth plan and didn’t do anything for learning that did not need to be done. This turned out to be a huge blessing, because in addition to Marie (my Chief’s wife), I had another supportive woman who stayed with me throughout and suggested different tactics as they were needed. My husband would not have been cool about Doula, as he felt it was taking away his job (plus no money available), but he viewed these ladies as medical professionals. The vast majority of my birth plan was honored.

Once in the room, I felt horribly warm. As soon as I ate an ice pop I threw up… My experience from my daughter’s birth was very similar, I think this is just what I do and not a failure on hypnobirthing.

Begin BOP.

Things got intense fairly quickly. One of the women in the room was using the pain words, and wouldn’t you know, I started to hurt. But at this point things were incredibly intense and progressing quickly with little time between waves. I was having a lot of trouble regaining control between them as I didn’t feel like there was enough time to use the visualization techniques. Oddly enough, I began to have back labor. One of my favorite things I picked up from hypnobirthing was the numbing glove technique. I had almost forgotten it, but as soon as my husband put his hand on my back gently, I felt instant relief… I let myself imagine that instead of the glove on my hand it was on his. Moving around helped a lot, and allowed me to concentrate on the waves as individuals rather than on them as a whole. At this point I wanted nitrous oxide, it is something Vanderbilt is experimenting with. They acted like it was a huge deal and that I needed an IV, and
someone special to administer it… which I felt was fairly silly as I have personally given it in the field and didn’t feel like it was anybig deal.

They were wheeling in the bottle about the time I moved to the bed. I was crouching against the back on the bed, and was feeling incredibly relaxed as I finally had a bit of a break and I could use the bed to totally go limp against.

I realized they were telling him to leave and that the rolling sound was that of the bassinet being moved into place.

At this point they later said that they thought they could see the baby crowning as I squatted.

Previously, I had torn badly with my daughter and the midwife tried to talk me into laying in a more traditional birthing position so she could help prevent damage. I hated this position as I felt like I really needed to give my legs something productive to do like squatting, and they began to cramp. I felt like I lost control at this point… I can remember telling everyone to shush when they were telling me to push. I found that it was easier for me to wait till the top of the wave and then push when my body was overwhelmed with the need to, it didn’t really hurt then as much and was just going along with what was happening without me (if that makes any sense???).

Baby was born fairly rapidly, just a brief pause for the cord wrapped a around the neck.


He was instantly placed on my abdomen, they waited two minutes before cutting the cord, and allowed us to bond for a long time before weighing and doing other things in the room. He was very alert, had an Apgar of 9, and was trying to lift his head to look around on my stomache (they were pretty impressed with this). It was at least four hours before he was taken to the nursery briefly.

Overall, I think I did get some benefits- the four and a half hours from water breaking to birth seemed like only 45 minutes, and for most of the birth I was very comfortable.

I loved the nurse midwives and would totally encourage anyone not happy with an OB, but wanting a hospital birth to consider this option. Vanderbilt is typically thought of as the place to go for difficult births, which left me very hesitant as I was afraid of interventions. But they seem to respect the desires of the nurse practioner patients, and really made the birth experience 100% better than my previous. No IV ecetera. The recovery has been remarkedly easy compared to my previous and there really is a runner’s high afterwards

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