I started counting contractions the night before around 10:00pm. I had not had to do this with my first two because I induced at 39 weeks so counting contractions were pretty foreign to me. I downloaded a contraction counter app and started timing them. I did not want to be that person that went to the hospital too soon. I counted for about an hour and the app started to tell me to get ready to head to the hospital. It kept saying, “…if this is not your first baby, you may be better off going to the hospital right now.” I ignored that message three times that night and just went to bed. Around 4:00am the next morning my contraction woke me up so I started timing them again. At 5:06am, I got the message again, “…go to the hospital”. So, I decided to get up and take a shower. I got ready and then did virtual learning with my 5-year-old until 1:30pm. The app told me 6 more times that it was time to go, but again, I did not want to go too early; I wanted to labor as long as I could at home limiting out time suck in the hospital. Around 12:30 pm, I decided to call my mother-in-law and let her know she should probably start heading our way (she is about an hour and ten minutes away from us and was coming to stay with the girls). I let my husband know so he could go ahead and get the car loaded. My MIL got to our house around 2:30pm and we headed to the hospital around 3:00pm. The whole way there I was worried I was “crying wolf” and that they were going to send us home. (It’s 1,000% ok to go and get sent home, btw!! Do what makes YOU comfortable.)
We got to the hospital around 3:30pm. They took our temperature at the door and then sent us back to Labor and Delivery where they checked us in and took us to triage to find out if we would be staying. This is when we let our nurse know that we had all tested positive for COVID a week before. She didn’t seem concerned and let us know that she would be retesting me anyways (they did not retest Connally). They checked me and I was 4cm, so we were STAYING! She said I will likely have a baby before midnight, wahoo!! I was so relieved that it wasn’t a false alarm and we were not getting sent home! She did the COVID test and let us know that if the results come back positive, we will not be allowed to leave our room the entire stay… Connally jokingly asked if he should go get our bags from the car before the test results came back. She laughed and said, “yeah, that would be a good idea.” Through the excitement of knowing we were having the baby I started unpacking and started up the diffuser, completely forgetting that we were still in the tiny triage room.
It took about an hour to get the results back, but sure enough, I was still positive. The nurse was still very comfortable with us and calm about it which kept me from getting too worried. She walked in and said, “you have it smelling really great in here but now we need to move to your actual room.” She moved us to our room and I got everything unpacked, again… I re-started the diffuser, put Ylang Ylang on the bottom of my feet and settled in. I had been texting with my cousin, who from DAY 1 said I would be having this baby on Friday the 13th… Then it hit me, THE NEXT DAY was Friday the 13th!! I told all the nurses and my midwife; I will NOT be having this baby on Friday the 13th in the year of 2020. It was not going to happen. I was determined we were going to have this baby that night. So, the midwife said it would be a good idea to break my water and get things going. At 5:33pm I was 5cm and my midwife came in and broke my water. After that, we just hung out. I filled out the birth certificate paperwork and Connally ordered me a smoothie from Smoothie King and dinner from Cheesecake Factory. No one ever came back in to check on us. Since I was trying to go all natural, I was not hooked up to anything and did not have an IV so there was no reason for them to check in. They did come in maybe once or twice to check the baby’s heart rate but that was it. They just said to let them know if things started to change.
4 PHOTOS SIDE BY SIDE WAITING FOR BABY TO COME
Around 8:30pm the contractions really started getting intense and I started doubting that I could do it all natural. I called the nurse to see if a midwife could come check me and if I had not progressed much, I was going to probably ask for IV pain meds. The nurse asked if I could wait a few minutes, my midwife was delivering a baby, but as soon as she finished, she would be coming to my room. I agreed and said I could wait. I looked at this as a sign that I was not meant to give up just yet. About 10 minutes later I looked at Connally and said, I can’t do this, get someone in here… Before he could even make it to the door I yelled, “this baby is coming NOW get someone in here!!” At that exact moment, our midwife was walking out of the other delivery and running to my room (I was screaming at this point). Y’all, if you hear a momma screaming, she is probably going all natural, DO NOT JUDGE HER.
I was still sitting up, Indian style on the bed and was very unsure of how they were going to get me to lay down. I was in so much pain I didn’t want them to move me. But obviously, I could not deliver a baby sitting up, Indian style in a bed. Somehow, they got me down and just at that moment, Wesley was born. Y’all, everything escalated SOO fast. I went from being fine and handling the contractions like a champ, to screaming for a solid 5 minutes. I can remember thinking, “please stop screaming, why are you screaming so loud.” But I couldn’t stop. It was like I blacked out and all I could do was scream. The unbearable pain was such a short amount of time… I say all that not to scare you if you want to go natural, I hope this help you go into it knowing it’s not easy, but the hard part goes quick! I would 1,000% go all natural again if we were to have another baby. It was the most empowering thing I have ever experienced!
2 PHOTOS WHEN WESLEY WAS HANDED TO ME FOR THE FIRST TIME
Wesley Lynne DuBose was born at 8:47pm and was perfect. Weighing 7lbs 3oz and 21 inches long (How do we make such long babies!?). I took one look into her eyes and forgot everything I had just gone through; she was here and we were so in love! At this very same moment I was hit with all the emotions of knowing this was one of those last moments. The last time I would ever deliver a baby… The last time I would look into the eyes and hold a brand-new baby. Something COVID robbed me from, being able to smell my last baby. There is just something so special about the smell of a newborn baby. It’s my favorite.
Because of me being COVID positive, Wesley was never removed from our room and they did all her testing right there with us, which I loved; Thanks, COVID.
3 PHOTOS OF WESLEY
One of the good parts about having COVID in the hospital, we were not bothered very much. It also helped not having an IV or epidural. Once I felt good enough to get up I could, without assistance. They came in our room maybe once a night; which was great! That was one thing that I hated the first two times, I felt like nurses were in and out of our room all night, we never really got to sleep. This time, we slept great! It was nice. Since she was born at night, we ended up staying two nights (rather than getting home around 11:00pm the next night).
I could not have asked for a more perfect, all-natural experience! Some factors that I feel played a huge part in our experience was:
1. I knew we had chosen a hospital that fell in line with my birth plan. You want to make sure you do your research and ask all the questions before you choose your hospital. I had a birth plan typed out and ready if I felt it was needed to share, but because this hospital was everything I wanted, I never had to share my plan. They supported essential oil usage and diffusing in the room. They did delayed cord clamping. They immediately put the baby on my chest for skin to skin (even before cleaning her and weighing her). They always asked me or Connally before doing anything to me or the baby. They had the lowest c-section rate in the state and they supported natural birth 110%. Also, they were so supportive of breastfeeding, I never saw a bottle of formula. With my first two deliveries there was formula in the room from the beginning and it was always encouraged to use; I hated that. I feel like that immediately discourages the mom from feeling like she could provide what her baby needs.
2. Make sure you choose a practice you are fully comfortable with. I loved EVERYONE in the medical practice that I didn’t care who was at the hospital to deliver. That was huge for me. I was so worried about my doctor not being available when I went into labor with my first two kids, which was a big reason I wanted to be induced with them. I wanted to know MY doctor was going to be the one delivering my baby. This time, there were 5 midwives and 3 doctors that could have delivered my baby and I was totally fine with that. All that to say, make sure you LOVE everyone in your practice so you don’t have to worry about who will be delivering.
3. I have never been one to stress or worry about delivery, with any of my kids. I have always told myself, God made women to do this, there is no reason to fear. I do think that helped my deliveries go so smoothly and quick. So whatever you have to do to not stress, DO THAT! Stress can make labor and delivery so much harder and longer. Your body was made to have babies! You got this!!
Although I missed out on being able to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of smelling essential oils during my labor and delivery (thanks COVID), I took full advantage of topical use and I did still diffuse, which the nurses loved! I probably took over 30 oils, 12-15 different rollers and about 4 different room sprays. I was ready for anything! HA! Because Wesley came so fast, I did not have to use very many. The ones I felt I benefited from the most were:
1. Ylang Ylang on the bottom of my feet. This was a form of natural induction and man did it work… Well, I guess I can’t prove that it worked other than without it, I really do not feel I would have progressed as quickly as I did. This was my third baby, so I am pretty confident this oil played a big role.
2. My “Milky Mama” roller. I used this on the tops of my boobs and into my armpits to help my milk supply come in. Again, can’t say my milk supply was all due to this roller, there were many different factors that could have helped (not stressing about it, going natural, this being my third baby) but my first two were definitely not this easy. I didn’t have to supplement AT ALL this time and my supply was fully in before we even left the hospital. At Wesley’s 2-week appointment she had grown an entire inch and was 8lbs 4.5oz!! WHAT?! I was so proud of myself!! She had dropped to 6lbs 13oz in the hospital so she had gained over a pound and a ½ in two weeks! I truly believe that roller did this!
3. Frankincense and Valor. These are two of favorite oils. They are grounding, uplifting, provide so much emotion support (even without my smell), and support my body soo soo much! I love these oils!!
4. My Deep Relief roller and “speedy delivery” massage oil. These too helped my back pain tremendously! I had a lot of back labor and probably would not have made it without these.
5. My afterbirth roller for my tummy. This helped stop the bleeding and the afterbirth contractions.
6. Lastly, I loved having oils for Wesley! We rolled Frankincense across her forehead, rolled Valor down her spin to support proper alignment and used Myrrh for umbilical cord healing and protection.
If you are reading this because you are considering an all-natural birth, You are a Rockstar and I am so excited for you!! Congratulations! Do what makes you most comfortable. Do not worry about how your best friend delivered or what people tell you is the “best”. Your stress plays a very significant role in how smooth your delivery goes so if an epidural make you feel most comfortable get it! I got it with my first two and don’t regret it one bit! If you don’t want anyone “extra” in the room, let you husband tell them no. If your doctor or midwife doesn’t agree with your feelings, find one that does. No matter how your birth goes, always remember… Healthy mama and baby are all that matter <3 Birth plans goes out with window the moment one of you become compromised, so make sure you keep an open mind and don’t worry too much, you were made for this!