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Unveiling Strength: A Client's Journey to the Unmedicated Birth of Her Dreams.

Welcome to my blog!

As a doula, there is nothing more rewarding than witnessing a mother achieve the birth experience she has dreamed of. It is my honor to support and guide families through the transformative journey of childbirth, providing the care and encouragement they need.

Today, I invite you to step into that sacred space with me as I share the inspiring story of one of my clients, whose beautiful, unmedicated birth was a testament to her strength, preparation, and unwavering determination. This is her story, in her own words:

Arthur Reed Lambrecht’s Birth Story by Sierra Abigail Lambrecht

Date: Thursday, May 23, 2024

Time: 6:28am

Weight: 7 pounds, 7.9 ounces

Length: 20 inches

05/19/2024 Sunday night we were over at Jake’s parent’s house doing smores on their patio. I started noticing that I was having contractions every 10 minutes. They were consistent for an hour or two so we went home to prepare for if labor was going to intensify. I took a bath to relax and distract myself. The contractions stalled out so we went to bed.

05/20/2024 Monday morning I started having contractions ranging in intensity coming every two to five minutes apart so we made the decision to go into triage to get an idea of where I was. When we texted Ashley, she thought that baby was sunny side up and that was why labor was stalling. I was 5cm dilated, and 90% effaced. She did a membrane sweep when she checked me, and told us to go for a walk for an hour and see if things progressed at all. We called Ashley during our walk and she suggested doing some lunges to try and turn baby to engage him to get labor more active. When we came back and got checked again, I was at the same place. The nurse that we had was eager to get us admitted and to get things moving. Jake and I made the decision to go home and continue to wait it out since the contractions were manageable and inconsistent with the timing. I did the MILES circuit twice but things remained the same.

05/21/2024 Tuesday. I was continuing to have contractions every 2-5 minutes apart. At this point, I was starting to get discouraged. I did all the things to prepare and encourage labor. I drank the red raspberry leaf tea, collected colostrum, remained active, sidestepped the stairs, bounced/rotated my hips on the exercise ball, exaggerated side lying, inverted open knees to chest position, curb walked. Nothing seemed to get labor going. I was receiving texts from work asking me if I was starting maternity leave which added onto my stress of getting things going. We made the decision to go back to triage to see if they could give us any answers of why things weren’t progressing. The first nurse that we had was busy. She was in and out of the room, I didn’t feel like we were being heard. She checked me, I was at the same place as yesterday. She suggested for us to go for a walk then come back and we would then make a decision. As we were leaving, the nurses shifts were changing. This gave us hope that this next nurse would help us. After our walk, things had settled down. She hooked me and baby up to the monitor and told us that she wanted to track my contractions for 30 minutes to get a clear idea of the situation. This was the first green flag for us on the way to figuring out what was going on. When she came back, she labeled it as an inconsistent labor pattern, meaning I had a contraction that lasted 3 minutes and the next contraction was 2 minutes apart. Since I was 38+6 they couldn’t admit me to induce labor but there was no hiding that baby was trying to come. We told her how we thought that baby was sunny side up because of all the symptoms that I was having. She nodded her head and agreed that that could be valid. We felt stuck. The nurse made the recommendation for us since I had an appointment with Dr. Rolofson tomorrow that if things don’t change dramatically, that we talk with her about options at my 39 week appointment. We went home, I felt a lot more at peace about it. I knew that Dr. Rolofson would help us make a plan whether for induction or if she had any other ideas to get things moving.

05/22/2024 Wednesday morning, I did the MILES circuit in the morning and did my best to rest and relax. My appointment wasn't until 2:50 so it was hard to just sit and wait until then. When we met with Dr. Rolofson, we gave her the update of the last 72 hours. She told us that we could schedule an elective induction for Friday if there was availability, but if there wasn't, I would have to wait until next Wednesday. But she did say that she could give me a membrane sweep when she checked my dilation, I agreed. I was still 5cm dilated, and 70% effaced. This membrane sweep felt a lot more intense so it gave me hope that if something were to happen that this would do it. Dr. Rolofson called us on the way home and said that they had overbooked labor and delivery so unless we went into labor naturally, we would have to wait a week to get induced. We went home and went to bed as usual. I felt some cramping but nothing consistent or increasing in intensity so I went to bed.

05/23/2024 Thursday. I woke up at 1am with cramping. Since they were similar to how they have been the past three days so I tried to ignore them. I got up to go use the bathroom at 1:30 and had uncontrollable loose bowel movements and the bloody show. This was the first sign to me that I was in labor. We had learned in our birth prep class that most women have diarrhea in early labor in order to clear out space for the baby. I tried going back to bed and laying down, but I got right back up and to the toilet. I couldn’t get off the toilet for too long because my stomach was so upset. When I stood up to wash my hands, the contractions didn't back down, they were strong. I practiced taking deep breaths as the contractions came and went. I woke Jake up at 2:40 to give him a warning that I was in labor and that he needed to wake up and get things ready in case things progressed. Jake called Ashley at 2:45 so that she could wake up and head on over to our house. While we waited for Ashley to come over, I went in the shower. Swaying and breathing low helped manage the contractions. The water helped me disassociate and relax. Ashley got to our house at 3:30. She sat on the floor of our bathroom and was tracking the length of my contractions and how far apart they were. Contractions were coming every 1.5 minutes and she suggested that we go to the hospital. I got out of the shower, put on my frida underwear, grey sweatpants, a nursing bra, and my Mrs. Lambrecht sweatshirt. By the time that I had come downstairs, Jake had everything in the car and we were ready to go. We put down a towel underneath me just in case my water broke during the drive. We left the house at 4:00 am. Ashley drove separately and followed behind us. There was no traffic! Jake tried making jokes with me but the contractions were so intense, I didn’t want to talk. I closed my eyes and focused on my breath.

We got to the hospital at 4:30. Jake pulled up by the emergency entrance to make sure that was where we needed to go. He ran inside and told them I was in labor. I got out of the car and waited for him to come back. He helped me inside then went back out to go park the car. I held onto a chair and swayed back and forth. Ashley came in and walked with me up to triage. Jake caught up to us as we were checking in. He took over the check in process/paperwork and nurse Amanda took us back to go get checked out. I didn’t want to lay down so I held onto the bed and swayed back and forth. She asked if she could check my cervix, I told her I wanted to wait until after my contraction ended. When my contraction was over, I got on the bed and she checked me. I was at an 8! Nurse Amanda asked if I wanted an IV, I declined because I knew I wasn't going to be able to stay still. It was going to heighten my anxiety and stress. Amanda then contacted labor and delivery and Dr.

Rolofson to let them know that we were headed to labor and delivery and that she needed to head in. Jake walked into the triage room right as we were getting ready to move. I changed into a green hospital gown, put on a large pad to catch the bleeding. Amanda told the lady at the check in desk that she was going with us. This was incredibly relieving to me. She cared and made sure that I was taken care of. As we walked, blood dripped down from my legs onto the carpet. Amanda fixed the pad in the middle of the hallway and we continued on.

When we got to the room, Jake put our things on the window seat, Ashley put her things on the two chairs by the bathroom. I labored by the bedside, swaying, taking deep low breaths, blowing raspberries, grunting deep. Ashley sprung into action! She did hip squeezes during contractions. Jake held my hand. It was so reassuring to look at Jake and connect with him during breaks between contractions. I found the pockets of peace and rest between the surges. Amanda asked us questions, Jake and Ashley helped answer them when I was unable. Ashley gave Amanda our birth plan. Jake offered me water in between contractions as well to keep me hydrated. There was a girl who was screaming really loud and high pitched. I made the joke in between contractions something like “Really? Good timing!” I did my best to stay in the zone, ignore it, and stay centered in the quiet and calm. I was achieving my goal of not losing myself during labor.

Dr. Rolofson came in about 20 minutes later to check in. She asked if I wanted my water broken. I declined for two reasons. I knew that it was coming close due to how dilated I was and how intense my contractions were getting. I trust my body and didn't want to disrupt the process that was occurring. I continued to labor standing up, swaying and focusing on my breath. I admitted that I was scared about how much more intense things were going to get once my water breaks. Saying it aloud validated my fear to myself. I was able to get right back into the zone. As I looked back behind me, I saw Dr. Rolofson standing against the wall. She was hands off and watching it all. This was unexpected but yet another relief! It was comforting to know that she was right there and wasn’t going to grace in at the last minute to deliver my baby.

They suggested that we change positions, Ashley suggested that I go use the bathroom before things progressed and I got too comfortable. I sat on the toilet and felt pressure to push. I pushed twice without telling anyone, trusting my instincts, and my water broke!!!! There was a huge relief! It was like a water balloon popping!! My eyes got huge and my jaw dropped! It was so relieving that I thought I had pushed him into the toilet!!! It was the craziest, most unexpected, surreal experience! I got up from the toilet and told them that I felt the urge to push. Dr. Rolofson checked me and I was complete! I pushed as I felt like I needed to. I rested as I wanted to rest. There was no pressure to push a certain way or in a certain position. It felt natural. I felt in control in a situation where I would normally feel scared and anxious of the unknown.

I rotated my knees in and as I pushed and envisioned him moving down lower during each contraction. I kept repeating “I can do this” to myself. I knew that there was a mental shift coming to wanting to tell myself that “I can't” or “That it’s too much.” I refused to let that scare me or create stress/anxiety of the future. I focused on the sensations going on within my body. Telling myself, “I was made for this. I got this.” This position felt difficult for me to push effectively, I didn't know how much progress I was making. There was too much going on inside my head. I rolled onto my right side. One of the nurses that had come in to help approached me, grabbed my leg and pushed it up with some force. I told her no. I wanted to relax and ease into pushing rather than straining. This empowered me. I was so proud of myself for advocating for my birth space.

I looked down and I could see his head starting to crown. Dr. Rolofson showed me that he had hair!! This gave me motivation and more purpose in pushing. I knew that I was close to getting to meeting my baby. I told myself to surrender and sink into the bed between pushes. As the pushes and stretching became more intense, I focused on my breath. I breathed down into my hips and envisioned my body opening to welcome my baby into the world. Jake, Ashley, and Amanda were cheering me on. I was so close. It was crazy to me that even though the contractions were so close together and strong, I was able to talk and make comments here and there. There was so much positivity and encouragement in the room. I felt like superwoman. I could do this my way. I didn't have to sacrifice myself in the laboring process. The calm and quiet gave me the strength and confidence to rest between the surges.

The ring of fire came and the comfort between surges became minimal. The sensation became intense. The only way for it to be over was to face it head on. There was an inner fire that lit within me to get this baby out. I took that fire and used it to fuel my pushes. I felt so powerful. When he came out, there was immediate relief! He was placed on my chest. I looked down and couldn't believe I had done it! Completely unmedicated with no interventions. I actually did it! We waited until the cord stopped pulsating and Dr. Rolofson cut the cord. I held my baby boy as I delivered the placenta and Dr. Rolofson repaired my internal tear. She suspected that it was either an elbow or knee that made me tear near my cervix. We noticed some red marking on his arm/hand so that's what we suspected. I kept looking down at my baby to get me through the uncomfortable. He cried for what felt like a long time. He was announcing and celebrating that he was finally here in my arms. It was surreal that he was earthside. He was healthy and perfect!

We were able to do the breast crawl with him during the first hour and delay the newborn exam. It was amazing to see him wiggle, kick, and scoot to find my nipple. I was hands off to allow his instincts to guide him. It was so cool to watch him figure it out! He made his way over to my right breast and touched it in his hands before trying to latch. He attempted sucking a couple times.

Due to the extent of my tear, I was bleeding more than the typical vaginal delivery blood loss so we made the decision to do postpartum pitocin through an IV. I felt comfortable with this because it had less risk factors than during labor. My swelling ended up being a lot, they were worried that I was headed towards a hematoma or hemorrhage. Since Dr. Rolofson went home to switch care of her baby with her husband, Dr. Kawano came in and checked on it. She suggested that we start a foley catheter due to the extent of my swelling. I felt relieved that we were proactive and had done the postpartum pitocin! The nurse made the comment that it might feel like a baseball is between my legs. It definitely felt like

that for the first few days postpartum! The swelling went down after about a week, ice packs, witch hazel pads, and the peri bottle were must haves in helping it heal!!

Labor and delivery was not as bad as I had imagined. I knew it was going to be painful, but knowing that the discomfort was temporary was a game changer. I went into birth not knowing how intense the pain was going to be. Once I learned

how dilated I was at the hospital, I knew that I could do it all unmedicated. I was determined. I am incredibly proud of myself. My mindset and supportive birth team made all the difference. The medical professionals, Ashley, and Jake worked so seamlessly together. I achieved my birth mission statement! Everything had worked out so smoothly and calmly. I felt comfortable speaking up for myself to advocate for the things that I had wanted, and didn’t want. I felt empowered as I made those decisions. I never felt fear because of the atmosphere we had created. I felt so supported and uplifted throughout the entire process. My birth was so positive and empowering! I am so proud of my body and its capability to birth a baby with minimal interventions! I had achieved my dream birth that I had prayed and prepared for!!



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