Fair Warning: This is NOT A Baking Post! It’s Danielle’s Delivery Story.

by Becki D on June 17, 2010

My new baby girl was born on Tuesday at 6:34am.  This is all about how she got here.

Introducing:  Danielle Nichole D!

Even if you won’t admit it, I know you’re interested in hearing all about Dani’s delivery. Really, who can say they’re not fascinated with the miracle that is a new person entering this world??

We had Lauren at the Family Birth Place at Sacred Heart in Sandestin, and even though it’s an hour’s drive from where we live, we decided that we were going to do everything we could to make sure that Danielle was born there, too. And it worked!

Dr Petrac delivered Lauren, and when I was informed that she had left Sacred Heart with almost no warning to return to the military, I almost decided to find an OB in our town and hope for the best at the hospital there. However, I went ahead and kept my appointment with Dr. Graham, and I am so glad that I did and that I chose to stay with her and the Birth Place!

My first impression of Dr. Graham was that she was so much more personable and friendly than Dr Petrac – Dr. P suited me just fine, but I could see how she might not have been everyone’s cup of tea. Anyway, Dr Graham continued to strike me as the “warm and fuzzy” version of Dr Petrac over the course of my regular prenatal checkups. I wondered how her pleasant demeanor would translate in the delivery room, but as it turns out, I had no need to worry:

The woman who arrived to deliver Danielle was NOT warm and fuzzy. She had come to kick butt and chew bubble gum, and she was all out of bubble gum. She was a drill sargeant/warrior. She was Dr. Graham: Delivery Master. She was awesome.

But let’s back up a bit! I was admitted to the labor ward in active labor around 10pm on the 14th. As with Lauren, I chose again to go without an epidural (even after having given birth once before, epidurals scare me more than labor pain) so I was outfitted with my IV-ready lines and allowed to use whatever alternative methods I wished. Sacred Heart offers many – again, I tell you they are awesome.

I have heard so many birth stories from my friends and family members about the nursing staff being rude to them, not taking them seriously and making them feel like they were incompetent – all of which made their labor experiences way more difficult than already necessary.  None of those women gave birth at a Sacred Heart facility, and certainly none of those stories have come from the Birth Place. My own experience with both of my deliveries? I LOVE labor and delivery nurses.  At least the ones they keep in Sacred Heart.  Both times I was surrounded by supportive, understanding, competent nurses who not only went out of their way to make everything as pleasant for me as they possibly could, but they also did everything they could to honor my birth plan wishes and never pressured me to change my mind or expectations.  Those nurses really made a huge difference in my birth experience with both my girls, and I am so grateful for them!!  There will definitely be some baked goods heading out to Sacred Heart as soon as I am up to it.

That said, let’s get back to Danielle’s labor and delivery.  With Lauren, I had major back pain.  It was killer.  Thank God, the back pain was much less with Danielle….strangely, my glutes, hips and thighs ached and cramped this time.  I was able to manage the pain on my own using an exercise ball, a rocking chair, a hot shower and the oh-so-amazing spa-style bathtub until about 4am. When they checked me at that time, I was only dilated to about 6cm and I was getting really worn out, so I opted for a half dose of Nubaine so I could try to rest between contractions for a while. That worked very well, and I had some half-awake conversations with Danielle telling her that she could go ahead and come down now, she just needed to make my water break so we could get her out of there. I also talked to my Mom, and told her how much I missed her and wished she would be there to meet her new granddaughter. She told me she was proud of me. Make of that what you will.

I rested in the bed for about an hour, then the meds had worn off enough that I was really feeling the intensifying contractions again so I got up and used the rocking chair and walked a little more. Then things started getting really intense and the nurse confirmed that we were moving right along – 8-9cm. So I got back in bed and requested the other half dose of Nubaine. The nurse had barely gotten that administered and gone back out when I told Dave to let her know it was TIME. She came back, set up a bar so I could pull up and sort of squat in the bed and my water finally broke and I was ready to PUSH. I told them they better get the Doctor there NOW, and they did. In the meantime, I will say that I did a much better job of breathing through the urge to push, and didn’t completely give in to the pain and let my body totally take over like I did with Lauren. But it was hard, and got harder by the second.

Basically, Dr. Graham showed up at the usual-for-delivery-docs last minute and recognized that I was about to completely lose control of myself, so she did what needed to be done. She told me to straighten up and fly right, that I had chosen to go without an epidural and now I was going to see it through to the end and I could either listen to her and deliver my baby in 3 minutes with no stitches, or I could continue on like a wild animal and push for an hour and rip myself wide open. Yikes. She kind of ticked me off, but she definitely had my attention.

Instead of focusing on oblivion and letting my body take over, I focused completely on what Dr. Graham was telling me – to control myself, when to push, when not to push, to grab my legs and pull myself into the contractions. It seemed counterintuitive at the time, but you know what? In about 3 minutes, I delivered Danielle – a perfect baby girl at 7lbs, 3oz and 19.5″ long.  I had no tearing and required no stitches. Instead of the weird purple color that Lauren was when she came out, Danielle was very pink, wiggly and LOUD. And later that same day, I was able to use the bathroom – completely – WITH NO PAIN. Unlike with Lauren, I am not hobbling around lugging a newborn and a donut to sit on. Aside from general fatigue, I am feeling really healthy this time around.

1) God has been amazingly good to me and my family. Thank you all for your prayers!

2) Dr. Graham, Sacred Heart and the Family Birth Place all = the best of the best.

3) If I can go without an epidural, anyone can. Which isn’t to say that going without is the “right” choice – you know your body, yourself and your needs. I’m just saying that if you’re thinking about going without and are afraid – you CAN do it!

Love you all!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Adrienne June 17, 2010 at 10:41 pm

I can’t believe that doctor said that to you. She is brave, I will give her that! 🙂 Congratulations again!


Erica June 18, 2010 at 7:07 am

Congratulations Becki! She is just beautiful! I am so glad you had such a positive birth experience. That just makes everything better and gets you started on the right foot. I can’t wait to see her in a couple of months.


stephanie June 18, 2010 at 10:42 pm

congraaaaaaaaaaaaaats!!! danielle is such a beautiful babe 🙂 so excited for your family.


DeborahB June 20, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Aw, congrats! She is a beautiful baby. And you rock with no epidural! Enjoy her.


Michelle Uhlfelder June 21, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Such a great delivery story!!! I love Dr. G too- she delivered Henry and ROCKED! I pushed him out in 15 minutes with her help. Seriously, I’m allllll about Dr. G. Girl- you are BRAVE with no epi. With Henry, my epi wore off for about 45 minutes and I thought I was going to die. I take off my hat to you! What an amazing little girl and blessing!!!!


katie o. June 28, 2010 at 2:20 am

oh congratulations becki d!!!what an absolutely beautiful little angel she is!


Brooke July 7, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Look at those flexed piggies! Congratulations!


Swistle July 20, 2010 at 6:27 pm

“and she was all out of bubble gum”—HA HA HA!


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