Candace Ott
It has been forever and a day since my last post, but I wanted to share my birth story while it's still fresh in my head.  Forewarning, this will be long, so here it goes!

Ever since my last labor experience with my first daughter, I've prayed to start this one naturally, and avoid being induced.  I recently got into using doTERRA essential oils for self-care, and started using Clary Sage essential oil on my tummy and certain reflex points daily once I hit 38 weeks gestation (when you're considered full-term).  I hoped to use my mood oils as well during the labor.

Sunday, Nov. 17th, I went on a good walk up the foothills with my mom to try and get contractions going.  I started having mild contractions that evening, but they eventually subsided for me to go to sleep.

Monday, Nov. 18th, when I woke up, I noticed I was having mild contractions about every half hour.  I didn't think anything of them, since I was certain they were false labor.  That afternoon, my mom came over and we walked around my neighborhood.  I noticed a good deal of lower pelvic pressure when I got contractions (like Hailee's head being pressed down), and after the walk they were coming every 20-25 minutes and were uncomfortable.  By 7PM however, they stopped and so I decided to take a shower and go to bed.

I hopped in the shower at 8PM and immediately, I had 3 strong contractions in the span of 15 minutes.  It was as if the relaxation of the water triggered them.  I got ready for bed, and started to diffuse my Clary Sage oil in the room, along with a mood grounding oil blend called "Balance".  Once I was lying down, the contractions were coming every 20 minutes.  This time though, I could not lay down through them. I had to stand up and lean on the bed to get through the discomfort.  The pain was dull, but not too bad.  This went on from 9PM to 12AM, and in that time frame, I noticed they went from every 20 minutes to 15 minutes, then finally 10 min. apart.  

I hopped in the tub knowing that if they were real, the warm water would boost them along.  Usually a warm bath will stop false labor.  Well, once I was in the tub they were coming every 6-9 minutes, and were getting painful.  Somewhere in that time frame, it clicked that I was in real labor!  I had to breathe through them, concentrate on relaxing my body (it's true they hurt more when you're tense), and I couldn't talk.  Finally by 2:00AM, we decided to call my mom.

Once she arrived to stay with my oldest daughter, my husband and I packed the car and drove to the hospital.  The contractions in the car felt worse.  Sitting and laying down just were not comfortable.  When we arrived, they put us in triage where they monitored my contractions for about an hour.  They were about 7 minutes apart, and when the nurse checked me, I was 100% effaced and 5cm dilated, and they could feel the water bag bulging.  So I was definitely in active labor.

They took us to our delivery room, and by this time, the contractions were painful and causing me to shake (even though I wasn't cold).  I was open to laboring naturally longer, but the anesthesiologist was getting ready to go into a surgery, and so I decided to get the epidural then since it was already 4AM, I was exhausted from no sleep, and didn't know how long he would be.

The epidural was a breeze.  They give you a local numbing shot first, and then the actual epidural feels like back pressure.  The anesthesiologist I had was wonderful!  He was very attentive to how I was feeling, and was very quick.  Once I was all set up, I was feeling anxious at this point, and so I applied the Balance oil blend on my chest.  The calming effects of the oil were amazing, I recall enjoying the aroma of the oil, and feeling very relaxed mentally. By this point it was almost 5AM, so my husband unfolded the chair next to my bed (they fold out into a bed), and we both got comfortable and rested.

For the next couple hours, we both rested and savored the time before our daughter would arrive.  I remember listening to her steady heartbeat on the monitor, watching the sun rise from our window (we were on the 3rd floor), and feeling very excited!  I was also so happy that I got to start naturally, and experience laboring at home.  By 6:30AM they broke my water and said I was 7cm dilated.

At 7:40AM they said I was 7-8cm dilated, and from there, the delivery was almost a blur!  No sooner did they leave the room, that I felt pressure to use the bathroom, and within the next minute I felt the urgent need to push!  The sensations were intense, I suddenly felt everything!  The discomfort was sudden, and it felt like my body was pushing without me doing anything.  We pushed the nurse call button, but no one answered.  I told my husband that the baby was coming now, and so he ran out of the room to get someone.  In a couple minutes, everyone was bustling in the room and my body had jumped to 10cm, and Hailee's head was right there!  

They told me not to push for a minute so they could get everything ready, but it felt as if my body was on autopilot, and I couldn't do anything about it.  The need to push was greater than anything I've experienced.  When I finally started pushing, I could feel everything again.  I'll spare the details and just say that the "ring of fire" is a pretty accurate statement to describe the feeling of a baby's head crowning.  I cried some with the pain, but in just 5 strong pushes, Hailee's head popped out and the relief was my second wind!  From there I pushed as hard as I could.

The nurses told me "open your eyes mama!" and when I did, I could see Hailee's little head and body emerge up in the nurses hands!  I wasn't sure if I was going to cry, and as they placed her on my chest, I lost track of every sensation from there.  Everything had gone so smooth, I was almost in shock!

Hailee was born Tuesday, November 19th at 8:02AM.  She weighed 6 lbs. 3 oz. and was 19.75 inches long.  Shortly after her birth, my husband got to anoint the crown of her head with doTERRA frankincense essential oil. 

After our bonding hour, and first successful breastfeeding, we were taken to our recovery room.  The effects of the epidural didn't last, and I could stand and walk pretty quickly, use the bathroom, and take a shower.  I have been amazed at how much better I felt with this delivery. I felt ready to leave the hospital that day!  

Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better, smoother, more enjoyable labor and delivery!  And most of all, I'm thankful for another beautiful healthy baby girl!

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