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Miss Leah was the first one to join our family after we moved to Winder, GA in 2010. Having been born and raised in Utah and Nevada I had never experienced a humid Georgia summer before. I thought I was going to DIE!! I think I spent the entire last month of pregnancy either sitting on the couch with my feet up or in the pool at the YMCA. during this time I read the book “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” and was 100% inspired to have an all natural birth with this baby.
Leah was due two days before my birthday. At 40 weeks and 1 day I went in for a regular check-up. 4:30 pm when Dr. Pohl checked and pronounced me ~25% effaced and “maybe dilated to one if I stretch it”. Which is a nice way of saying not dilated lol. My husband, Cameron, was working nights at the time, so he was sleeping when contractions started up around 6:30. Around 7:30 I got the other kids put to bed and woke Cameron up to tell him I wasn’t sure yet, so stay in bed, but be prepared to jump if I say jump then hopped in the tub. I knew from experience that a warm bath always calms my contractions down if they aren’t the real deal. Well this bath sped things up!
At around 8:30 I woke Cameron again, told him to call work and grandma and started packing a bag. No I had not packed my bag yet. I never pack my hospital bag in advance. I’m a procrastinator like that lol. Grandma got here, we called the doctor who said med toy there, and headed out arriving at Gwinnett Medical Center around 10:30. It was CROWDED!! It took until 11:30 just to get us back into the observation room, where we were met by a smiling Dr. Pohl. We were in the observation room for about 30 minutes before we were able to get back to a delivery room.
We got into the delivery room around 12am and of course they immediately wanted to start hooking up the IV. For the first time ever I had the guts to say no. One nurse was very pushy and didn’t want to take no for an answer. Luckily the other nurse dreamed of training to be a home birth midwife and was very much on my side. She said lets ask the Doctor. He said let me check her out first. When he got there and checked around 12:30am I was already dilated to a 7.5 and baby was fully engaged. He said no need for an IV. He broke my water and settled in to wait. Yep, my awesome Doctor, knowing how fast my previous labors were, just sat there with me for about 40 minutes and waited for baby to arrive.
At 1:23 am, on my birthday, after 3 pushed Leah entered the world and was immediately placed on my chest. This was the first time that had happened. It was magical! Such a beautiful and powerful moment that I couldn’t believe I had missed out on before. She immediately started breastfeeding like a champ and we were allowed to just snuggle and feed for over an hour. I don’t think I ever had more than 15-20 minutes with my baby before they were whisked of for weight, measurements, bath etc. That time together was priceless.
Overall that was my most beautiful birth experience to date. I felt powerful and in control of my body. Because I didn’t have the IV drugs that I had accepted before I was fully present in the moment and I was able to really completely bond with my baby in those first few moments. I think that resulted in much more stable hormones for the rest of the post partum period. I knew there was no way I would ever let them put any drugs in me ever again! I would definitely recommend Gwinnett Medical Center and Dr. Pohl to any mother looking for a natural hospital birth.
If you’re interested you can read the rest of my birth stories here on the blog as well