I’m always amazed at the raw strength women posses.
Ali worked so hard to bring her baby girl into this world. She pushed for THREE HOURS.
When she thought she couldn’t do it anymore, her incredible support team was right there by her side to tell her how amazing she is, that she can do it, and reminding her that she’d meet her baby girl soon.
They were right!
You can read Ali’s birth story in her own words below.
Ali’s Birth Story
First time mom
Legacy Mt Hood Family Birth Center in Gresham, OR
Madelyn was born on a cool summer afternoon weighing 7lbs 12oz and 20″ long.
My labor was induced. When I felt my first major contraction, I said to myself “this is it, this is what contractions and labor feel like”. Leading up to my induction I thought I was having contractions (turns out they were Braxton Hicks). Once I starting having contractions after getting pitocin, I had a whole different view on them. They were strong and painful. They say you’ll know when to come into the hospital when you can no longer talk or walk threw them, this was definitely that feeling.
I went into the hospital at 0630, started my medication by 0840 and my Dr broke my water at 0940. I felt good – like I was progressing quickly. I was ready to push at 1400, but that was the start of a long three hours of pushing. Every push was worth it in the end!
I was so excited. Every time my nurse would check me and say what I’m progress was all I could think to myself is “this is it, finally get to meet our little girl” the feeling was indescribable and so overwhelming – in a good way! I couldn’t wait to start pushing to get to the final point of holding the sweetest blessing. I tried and stay as calm as possible, take deep breaths and enjoy all the little things that was happening around me.
Originally just my boyfriend and I were supposed to be in the room, but I ended up letting my older sister stay too. My boyfriend was the biggest help, I was so surprised how well he did helping me through it all. He made everything so much better. I feel like he worked just as hard as I did, he really helped me get my body in the position it needed to be in. Without him I don’t think would have been able to get my body in the right position to get the proper pushing in.
Every word my boyfriend said to me during these moments was so reassuring that I was going to make it through. My sister also was an amazing help, whenever Brian needed a break she was right there with me. They both worked together as a team and encouraged me every step of the way. After only wanting me and Brian in the room, I sure am thankful I had both of them cheering me on and helping out.
A low point for me was when the nurse said I had been pushing for two hours, I felt defeated and I wanted to cry. I knew I had to continue to do what I was doing but you always hear people who pop babies out within an hour, I felt like I was never going to get to that point.
The high points of my birth were my support team and my nurses. Brian and my sister were the most supportive people I’ve ever had in my life, both of them working together to help me is something i will never forget. My nurse was absolutely amazing from checking in that morning through my whole birth I’m so thankful she was able to be there from beginning to end. My Dr and the other nurses who helped at the end after the baby were born I’m especially thankful for, my Dr was so attentive through the whole process and did an amazing job when she was unable to find where my cervical laceration was, she stayed calm and professional and her and her team worked amazing together to find and stop the bleed.
Pushing was insane, I never knew that I would be pushing for so long. I went in thinking pushing was the easy part, thinking I’d have my girl in my arms within the hour of pushing. That hour lasted a lot longer than planned. Once the baby was out my Dr noticed I was bleeding a lot more than normal. She quickly delivered my placenta to find I had a cervical laceration. The bleed was heavy and very hard for my Dr to find, I ended up losing 1560cc of blood (normal vaginal delivery should less than 500cc).
I honestly for the first couple of minutes had no idea I was bleeding out, I was enjoying our sweet girl on my chest and Brian by my side. Once my nurse started to palpate my cervix and cause horrible pain is when I noticed something was wrong. I noticed about five more nurses in the room everyone running around to help out and my Dr covered in my blood. I can vaguely hear my Dr say “I can’t find the bleed”. I was in worse pain then pushing out the baby, they restarted my epidural and literally continued to search for the bleed. I started to throw up and felt light headed. The Dr worked so hard and so fast in this emergency which allowed me to be treated in the room continuing to hold our baby girl on my chest and enjoy the moments with her which helped ease my pain.
When I first saw her, I can’t even remember what I said. My feelings were unexplainable, having her placed on my chest I couldn’t believe this was it, the moment we had been waiting for the last 9 months! I was in awe that Brian and I created such a perfect little girl. Holding her for the first time I had a feeling that nothing else mattered in the world. The world was completely stopped with just Brian, Madelyn and I. I thought, “I can’t believe I just did that, I can’t believe that precious baby girl came out of me, I DID IT!”
I asked Brian how he felt when she was born and he said, “I had a heightened sense of awareness. I could hear everyone around me at once, it was insane”. I noticed the look on his face and I remember him saying, “I love you so much, you did it, she’s here”.
My birth experience was totally different than I imagined from an extremely long pushing time to nurses running into my room to help my Dr with my laceration. I never expected to have so many nurses rush in the room for me after labor.
The best part about my birth was the moment I was handed Madelyn, finally being able to hold her in my arms and the relief of what I was working for since 0840 that morning.
Honestly everything about my birth experience was amazing even with my complications I would do it all over again just to hold this sweet baby girl in my arms.
I learned how strong I am and what my body can truly handle. I never looked forward to giving birth but after that I would relive that day over in a heartbeat.
Natalie Broders is a birth photographer, birth filmmaker and birth doula located in Portland, Oregon. She lives on a farm with her husband and 2 kids. They raise chickens and love to garden. Natalie loves babywearing, cloth diapering and is passionate about her work as an advocate for birthing people. She had one of her babies at a birth center and her second baby was born at home, in water.