Elodie’s Birth Story - Katrina Nicholson

Hello! My name is Katrina Nicholson and this is my birth story for my first and only child thus far Elodie Marie. I am a registered nurse and work in post op care. Some of the reasons I chose midwifery care is because my mom used midwives for both me and my brother and also because I am a nurse and did not want a hospital birth as long as I remained low risk-I've spent too many years in the hospital as a nurse and really wanted to feel like I was a partner in my healthcare.

Thankfully within a few weeks of finding out I was pregnant I found an amazing local midwifery group. They provided the best care for me-answered any question I had, gave nutritional guidance and did an amazing job in everything.

I had a really good pregnancy overall and really only started feeling "done with it" at about 37 weeks. My feet were starting to swell and I just was ready to meet my baby! I knew that with many first pregnancies/births babies come late but I just had a feeling our little girl would be right on time. About 2 days before her delivery I started looking up acupressure I could do to induce labor. I found a few videos and did what they said but didn't expect much. The day before my daughter was born March 11, 2017 I started getting a little bit of pink discharge/leakage (I had not had any kind of bleeding throughout the pregnancy so I knew something was going on).I thought that maybe my water was leaking so I left a voicemail with the midwife on call. My husband and I then went to walk at the mall for a few hours and I was having very light contractions at this point-about 20-30 minutes apart. After we finished walking I called my mom to let her know I thought that the time would be coming soon for delivery-my parents live 6 hours away and I really wanted my mom to be there for the delivery. My parents got all their things together and headed out that Saturday late morning.

At about 5 PM I spoke with the midwife and she had me come in to check if it was actually my water that was leaking or not. It turned out that my water had not broken yet but that I was already dilated to about 3 cm and was about 80% effaced and at station 0. My contractions were still light-lasting about a minute each still 20 minutes apart or so. So I went home to rest and the midwife said to keep her informed because baby would likely come tomorrow.

I labored through the night and things started picking up at about 6 AM March 12, 2017. I started contracting stronger and vocalizing more to wake my husband up! I had a yoga ball in our bedroom and during the contraction I would get on all fours and roll the ball under me-this helped a lot just for me to not focus on the pain. At 8 AM I called the midwife to let her know my contractions were about 5 minutes apart at this point. I think I sounded too calm on the phone because she said to call her in about an hour if it picked up more. So at about 9:30 AM I had my husband call because my contractions were so strong at this point. She had us meet us at the birth center and we got there about 10 AM. The midwife assistant quickly got the water going in the birth tub and I quickly got into the water for her to check me.  I was then 7 cm dilated, 100% effaced and at a +2 station. The car ride there was horrendous-apparently because I was in transition in the car! I don't think any of us thought I would be that close to pushing being a first time mom but as soon as they got me all settled in and were leaving the room to get things prepared I felt ready to push. I labored in the birth tub about an hour and a half. My midwife made sure that I pushed slow and steady to avoid tearing.

At about 11:30 AM the water was getting cool in the tub and I decided I wanted to labor in the bed. I pushed another 30 minutes or so in the bed and my daughter was born at 12:07 PM. She was so chubby and healthy at 8 lbs 12 oz and 21 3/4 inch. She had very little molding of her head thankfully and was just beautiful! I had a very minor vaginal tear and the midwife believed that it would heal without stitches but was willing to stitch if I wanted her to. I decided to opt out of stitching and healed well- at 9 weeks postpartum I did have the nurse practitioner who works with them cut off a little extra granulation tissue but other than that I healed perfectly.

Our major hurdles came after the birth in having my daughter breastfeed. The midwife, assistant, and student/doula noticed she was having a hard time latching so they had one of the other midwives who specializes in craniosacral therapy for tongue tied newborns come in to assess her for tongue tie. My daughter ended up having a lip and posterior tongue tie that we had fixed at 8 days and breastfeeding was much better from there.

I honestly could not have imagined a more amazing birth for myself and daughter. I meditated on the verse "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" Philippians 4:13 and this is where my inner strength came from. I pray my second birth can be just as amazing!