Born March 2, 2008
We were so happy to have found Boulder Nurse Midwives during our pregnancy. We were hoping for a natural birth for our first baby, and we knew that we were going to need some serious support if this wish had a chance of succeeding! When we met Merrilynn and Chris, experienced their laid back and conscientious care during prenatal visits, and found out that they'd be with us throughout the entire labor (v.s. OB's who sometimes just show up for delivery), we felt like we'd hit the jackpot.
My labor began at 2:30 a.m. on the day before my due date. I woke up and just knew that these contractions were different. They lasted the rest of the night and all throughout the next day, about 10-13 minutes apart the whole time. During this time, the contractions were painful while they were happening, but I could still continue doing things like resting, watching movies, going for walks (to encourage things along), even getting groceries so that the house would be stocked up when we got home. (Note to husbands: do not bother with detailed price comparisons on syrup when your wife is in early labor). :) Around 6 p.m., the contractions finally started to get closer together and we called Merrilynn to let her know that we were actually sure we were in labor. Things started getting hairy around 8 p.m. and I was really needing Eric (my husband's) support to get through the contractions. It was about this time that I felt like I really had to get into the 'zone' and shut out the outside stimuli so that I could focus on letting my body do its thing.
I wanted to stay home as long as possible, so we took our time getting all of our things organized. By around 11:30 p.m., I started getting worried about how I would handle the strong contractions in the car, so we decided that it was time to head in to the hospital. We arrived around midnight and Merrilynn was there almost right away. She was a calming force throughout the entire birth. Just her presence made it impossible for me to get hysterical, even though I wanted to at some points. My contractions were coming with almost no breaks from midnight onward, and I went through transition on the birthing ball, though I didn't know it at the time. After the transition period, I felt like I really needed to try something else, so we got in the tub. The tub really felt a lot better for me, and after an hour or so (I'm not really sure how long it was), I felt a lot of pressure and was feeling pretty overwhelmed. At that point, Merrilynn checked me for the first time and said that I was 10 cm dilated. I shouted 'whoo hoo' so loud that I'm sure the whole floor heard! The pushing part was intense. For some reason, I expected it to be easier to get through pushing than the whole dilation process. I won't lie, at this point, I really understood why epidurals were invented. Nonetheless, after about 35 minutes of pushing our baby was born.
We didn't find out the sex ahead of time, so it was really awesome to have the baby on my chest and for my husband and I to discover that we'd had a baby GIRL! We named her Lilah Beatrix, and she was alert and amazing from the first moment. I credit her health ('pink as a raspberry' according to the pediatrician), ease in breastfeeding, and my pretty swift recovery to a natural pregnancy and delivery. it's not the easiest route, but I would definately choose it again.
Thank you Merrilynn for everything you did to bring our baby girl into the world in a peaceful and natural way. If only all women had this option!!!