Ep 217: Kristine’s Birth Story – An Unmedicated Hospital Birth with Premature Rupture of Membranes

Powered by RedCircle

Kristine had a very positive birth experience. In her words, her pregnancy “wasn’t easy but it wasn’t hard.” It’s good to remember that even though birth is unpredictable, it’s possible to have the experience you want. Kristine hoped for an unmedicated hospital birth and that’s what she got.

A birth plan doesn’t come with any guarantees but if you don’t have one it can make getting what you want a lot harder. Multiple people along the way asked Kristine for her plan and that’s great but a lot of birthing people don’t have that experience. You need to show up prepared to advocate for yourself and preferably with a birth partner who can help support your wishes.

In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

  • Which uncommon pregnancy symptoms Kristine experienced
  • Why she recommends everyone do pelvic floor PT
  • Why she chose to hire a doula and how she felt that helped on her journey
  • What made her 39 week appointment a bad experience
  • How she handled her pain without medication
  • How quickly she progressed from 5-10cm
  • Why she wishes she had booked an outpatient lactation consultant earlier

Links Mentioned in the Episode


Subscribe and Review 

Have you subscribed to the podcast yet? If you haven't, you definitely need to! I don't want you to miss a thing and I have so much amazing content for you, mama to be! You can subscribe in Apple Podcasts by clicking here or in Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts.

And if you loved this episode, I would absolutely love it if you'd take a few moments to leave me an honest review on Apple Podcasts. The reviews help other pregnant mamas to find my podcast and I just really love to check them out. Click here to head over to the reviews, select "Ratings and Reviews" and "Write a Review" and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast was, or what you found most helpful.

Come Join Me On Instagram

I want this podcast to be more than a one sided conversation. Join me on Instagram where we can connect outside of the show! Through my posts, videos, and stories, you'll get even more helpful tips to ensure you have a beautiful pregnancy and birth. You can find me on Instagram @drnicolerankins. I'll see you there!

Share with Friends


In this episode of the podcast, we have a beautiful unmedicated hospital birth story with Christine. Welcome to the All About pregnancy and birth po. I'm Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins, a board certified OBGYN, who's been in practice for nearly 15 years. I've had the privilege of helping over 1000 babies into this world, and I'm here to help you be calm, confident, and empowered to have a beautiful pregnancy and birth. Quick note, this podcast is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Check out the full disclaimer at drnicolerankins.com/disclaimer. Now, let's get to it.

Hello there. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. This is episode number 217. Whether you are a new listener or returning listener, I'm so grateful that you're spending some of your time with me today. Today's episode, we have Christine. Christine lives in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Nathan, daughter Vera and German short-haired pointer Orzo. She's a full-time stay-at-home mom, and also works as a preconception, prenatal, and postpartum registered dietician. She provides one-on-one nutrition counseling to empower birthing people about nourishing their bodies for themselves, their babies, and generations to come. So Christine had prom, which is premature rupture of membranes. That means your water breaks before labor starts, and then after that, her labor and birth actually was just less than 10 hours. She was planning for an unmedicated hospital birth, and that's exactly what she got. When she was admitted, things went pretty quickly.

Her inten, her contractions intensified pretty quickly after her water broke, and she got to five centimeters over what was several hours, and then five to 10 centimeters, which is completely dilated in just two hours. She pushed for 45 minutes, tried lots of different positions, actually found that delivering on her back ended up being the best. She also did not have her regular doctor there, and that caused some anxiety around her birth. But in the end, a healthy baby was born, and you're going to hear all the details of Christine's story today. And she really wanted to share her story to encourage other women who are wanting to have an unmedicated hospital birth, that it is definitely possible, and it can be a very positive experience and environment Being in the hospital should not and does not have to provoke negative feelings, is what Christine said.

So I'm super excited to share her story with you today. Now, before we get into the episode, I know that one of the things that's really crucial for having a great hospital birth ex experience is childbirth education. So I would like to invite you to check out my childbirth education class, the birth preparation course. The birth preparation course is my signature online childbirth education class that gets you calm, confident, and empowered to have a beautiful birth, particularly in the hospital. I have lots of information and resources in the course, specifically geared towards unmedicated birth, a special bonus lesson, pictures, a guide, all of that good, great stuff, detailed descriptions of pain management techniques and options. So check it out, dr nicole rankins.com/enroll. Thousands of other women have, and I'd love to see you there too. All right, let's get into the birth story episode with Christine. Thank you so much, Christine, for agreeing to come onto the podcast. I am excited to have you share your story today.

Well, thank you for having me. I'm excited as well.

Yes. So tell us a bit about yourself and your family and maybe your work, because I think your work probably influenced your pregnancy too.

Yes, absolutely. So I am married, my husband, my daughter now 15 months old, and I live in Charleston, South Carolina. And well, at time of birth, we had two German short hair pointers. Our old one has passed since, but I had to include him in the story. So Charlie will be in there. And so I'm very fortunate to be full-time stay-at-home mom. But then also I partly work as a registered dietician, so I kind of have a little side gig as a dietician, and I focus on women who are trying to conceive are pregnant, currently pregnant, and then recently postpartum. So yeah, so definitely influenced my pregnancy and kind of things that I did before, during, and after. Yeah, but helpful for sure.

Yeah, for sure, for sure, for sure. So in order to understand what happens during the birth, I think we always have to understand what happens during the pregnancy. So let's start off with what was your pregnancy? What was your prenatal care?

Yeah, so starting with the baseline of pregnancy is hard,

But relatively speaking, I wouldn't necessarily call my pregnancy easy, but I wouldn't say it was hard, if that makes sense. Yeah. I had every symptom. Okay. I think you could have all of them. Always all of 'em. Things that I didn't even know were a symptom beforehand. Right, right. You know, always think of fatigue and nausea and heartburn up kind of thing. But carpal tunnel, I had no idea. And itchiness, I was third trimester. I was super itchy to the point where my husband was like, I think you need to ask labs or something. Right. Because it can be a science. Is it liver or gall bladders? I forget. Okay. Yeah. So thankfully it was all fine. It was like no big issue. Gotcha. Just itchy. But a friend had told me about eczema cream, so that actually helped a lot. Okay. Because I was using lotions and oils beforehand, but nothing was helping, just cutting it. But that helped. So yeah, I mean, all the symptoms, but everything was manageable. Nausea.

Nausea. I was going to say nausea, vomiting.

I definitely had nausea until 16 weeks, but I really didn't vomit much. Okay. Thankfully. So that was good. The one scare we had was at 16 weeks at my OB appointment, the OB heard a decline and then a pause on the heart rate, and she heard it on the Doppler, and she heard it on the ultrasound. So she was like, this may be nothing right, but let's refer you to mfm. Okay. Get you checked out. So that was at 16 weeks. And then they got me in the early following week at 17. And the or MFM doctor, he was like, if I didn't know what you were coming in for, I would've thought this was just an early anatomy scan. So everything looked good. It was just kind of a definitely anxiety provoking.

Sure. Absolutely. Absolutely.

But thankfully it was okay. I mean, he did want me to come back at 25 weeks when the heart was developed and do a fetal echo. Okay. That turned out good. Okay. He, but there's, some of the measurements are slightly small for gestational age, so let's have you come back one more time. Okay. So I went back at 29 weeks mfm, but everything was good and they discharged me. Okay. Just a little extra. Yeah.

That's still quite a few weeks though, of a little bit of anx or maybe a lot of, bit of anxiety worrying that is this going to be something that happens? I mean, that's like what, eight, 10 weeks of concern. So yeah,

I would say at least after the first one, most of my anxieties were mitigate. That really helped. Gotcha. But those first several days was, yeah. Yeah. It was rough. Yeah.

Yeah. And you said you saw an ob. Did you see the same ob or was it different obs in a practice? How did it work for

You? Yeah, so I think there were seven. Okay. Obs in the practice. So I mostly, I already had already been seeing one for gynecology care, and I really liked her. So she was like my main. Okay. But then you had the option of seeing the other physicians if you wanted to? Which I did. I wanted to meet everyone beforehand. Right. Cause you never know who's going to deliver. Sure. So, yeah, throughout my pregnancy, I saw, I think almost all of 'em. Okay. At least once. Okay. Okay. So I got to meet everyone.

And how do you feel about the care you received?

Good. Yeah. I thought, I felt like I would go in with questions for the most part. And so if I had questions, they would answer. I liked the practice a lot, and I'd heard really good things previously about Okay. Friends that had delivered there too.

Okay. Okay. Good. So you overall great experience, it sounds like. Yes. Okay. All right. And what are some things that you wanted for your birth?

So I wanted an unmedicated birth. So I was going in, I was pretty set on unmedicated birth. Obviously, never know what's going to happen. Sure. I listened to a lot of podcasts with medicated births, but I also listened to a few stories that were inductions. Right. Or C-sections, because you just never know. Right.

What podcast did you listen to?

Well, obviously yours, so yours was so helpful. Just all the medical information. But then also the birth stories are so helpful to hear a wide range of what could happen. Right. And just like that again, that you just never know. Right. But that also listen to evidence-based birth. Yeah. Birth naturally. Oh, I

Haven't heard of that one.

I think that's someone with two sisters and they talk about, they have birth stories, but then they talk about their birth and stuff.

Okay. I'll have to look that one up. Okay.

And then, I mean, I listened to a bunch, I can't even remember all of them, but there was another one with a doula that I listened to, the birth store. Oh, I dunno.

No, that's ok. I just like to share people. Yeah. If people are like, I'm a podcast junk junkie, so it's like if I hear one, I want to hear all of 'em. So I like to share other options for folks besides mine. So yeah. That's cool. So you definitely knew you wanted a medicated birth. You listened to podcasts. What else did you do to prepare?

To prepare and more of, what did I not do?

Oh, okay. Let's go ahead. I didn't get into it all of that.

So I actually starting even before we were trying to conceive, okay. I was listening to podcasts, I was reading books. I changed my diet because I'm a dietician. So I had been a vegetarian slash presbyterian for 20 years. And a year before we tried to, were going to start, I started eating meat again. Cause I knew that that was going to be really important. Yeah.

Really. That's interesting. What made you come, I mean, all of it, red meat, poured all of it, or just,

Yeah. You do dipped my toes in here as I was kind of getting back into it. But yeah, now I eat all of it. But just because really, I mean, you can, being a vegetarian or pescatarian, it's just going to be a lot more, you're going to have to be really, really intentional about making sure that you're getting all your nutrients that you need, making sure you're taking your vitamins, the things that you do need to supplement. Right. So I started eating it again and Right.

Do you feel like it affected your at all?

There was one time that I was definitely a little GI upset, but honestly, no. Otherwise, like I said, I just kind of took it slow as I was starting to eat meat again. And no, I felt good.

Right, right. Okay. That's interesting. I can't say that I've ever heard anybody do that. That's an interesting perspective. And obviously you've the information because you're a dietician and you felt good and feel good about the decision. Yeah, absolutely.


Yeah. Okay.

So, and I started cutting back on caffeine cause I'm a coffee lover, so I was like, ok, I got to cut back on that. But then once we got pregnant, continued to read more books, listen to podcasts, continued exercising. I was already doing that, but probably did more yoga and stretching and than I was doing for previously. Right. Did meditation I, and, okay, let's see. I did some massages. Okay. Definitely nice. If you can

Do that. Yes, yes, yes. A

Nice little treat. Yes. But helps your muscles like relax, you'll be able to stretch. Right, right. And get baby in the right position. Went to chiropractic care and third trimester.

Okay. Did you find that helpful?

So I did it alongside what I was going to say, pelvic floor pt. So I definitely, for sure, that was helpful. Okay. Chiropractic care? I don't know. I couldn't necessarily tell you yes or no. Sure, sure, sure. But the pelvic floor PT was absolutely helpful. Okay. I would say I would recommend that to anyone. Gotcha.

Did your insurance cover this or did you have to pay out pocket?

I paid out of pocket, but I had already known a PT around the area, and so I would just went to her. Gotcha. So I didn't check beforehand, which I probably should have. And I tried to submit the claims afterwards, but Okay. But there are multiple around the area, so maybe if I would've checked with somebody else, that would've been covered. And I didn't go until I was starting to have pelvic pain and low back pain and even a little bit of urinary issues. And realistically, I probably should have gone sooner, just more preventative. So I went to them through third trimester and then also checked back in postpartum.

Okay. Yeah. Okay. And then did do, how were you planning to manage pain if you, is it one, if it wasn't going to be with medication?

Yes. So breathing was going to be a huge thing I knew, and I was trying to do meditation, so kind of help with that. But I mean, I was mostly focusing on breathing. I did get a doula, so I hadn't got there yet. So I'd hired a doula, so was going to hope. I was hoping that would help. She could do some maneuvers. Yes. And yes. Yes. But yeah, I mean, I was just going to be focusing on breathing and water, not water birth, but was hoping I could be right in the tub here at home, which didn't end up happening. But

Did you take any childbirth education classes at all? So

Not specifically childbirth education. I did so much research on my own reading books and podcasts that I felt like knowledge wise for that I was prepared. Gotcha. There's a center here, the Newborn Center of Charleston, they have a breastfeeding class and an infant care class. So I took those and then my doula would come. She did a couple prenatal visits, so she'd come over. She had some books and, but any things I feel like I already knew. Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha. Because I'd already done so much research on my own.

And I was just going to ask about your doula and whether or not, at what point did you hire her and what was the relationship or how were things during the prenatal period? What did she do to help?

I knew pretty early that I wanted a doula because I wanted to unmedicated. And I just felt like having another, first of all, having a woman there to help me. Nose birds has been through birds, and obviously all the things that they can help with. Sure. But I think I heard her maybe second trimester, and she would do a couple prenatal visits, just check in, see if I needed any information, kind of talk about things, the plan, and then how things were going to go. And the one that I hired wasn't actually the one that was there because, which I knew there was a chance she was leaving for vacation the day before my due date. And so I knew it was a chance, but I was like, okay, my mom went early on, two out of three of her birth, maybe I'll go early. It'll Okay. But didn't happen that way. So wasn't her. Right. But I still had a doula there.

Okay. Okay. All right. And then, so you wanted, in medicated birth, you were all in for that. Are there any other things that you wanted for your birth?

I mean, the aftercare, I wanted skin to skin right away. All the, I wanted baby to be on my chest to try and really enjoy that golden hour. But I mean, for the birth itself, I just didn't want a lot going on. I didn't want a lot of in and out a lot checks it. While I was at the hospital. I did want dim lights if possible, the hospital that I was going to had showers and baths. So I had requested that one. I think all of them did. But I was like, I had that on my birth plan that I wanted one with at least a shower or a bath. Gotcha, gotcha. And no coached pushing. I didn't want that. I wanted to be able to try pushing in any position if I wanted. Cause that was one thing I really did not know. What position am I going to want to push in? I don't know him until I'm going to be there. Right.


So that was one thing.

Okay. Okay. Good. And you said you had a birth plan. Did you talk about your birth plan with your doctors during your prenatal visit? Or did you bring it to the hospital?

I did. I talked to my primary, the doctor that I've been seeing. And because she actually had, from the very beginning, I told her, Hey, I do want to do antibiotic birth. How do you think that's going to go in this hospital? And she was like, oh, yeah. She's like, you could do it if that's like, what you're going to set your mind to go for it and you can do it. She's like, but she was in the caveat, but be prepared to be flexible. And I was like, okay. Yeah, sure. And then at one point she had asked if I'd had kind of a birth plan, and she's like, all right, well bring it to your next visit and we'll go over it. So we did, which was really helpful because there was some things, because I was like, well, I don't want Pitocin.

I don't want any of these medications, ideally. And but she was like, okay, sometimes we use medication if you're not progressing, we don't necessarily have to go full throttle and get beyond on the whole time. And she just kind of explained, okay, these are some interventions that sometimes we use, and this is why we use them. Not necessarily all black or white. So it was helpful to talk to her about it. And she was very, I mean, obviously she was open to me doing unmedicated. Sure. But she just wanted me to understand why things happen.

Yeah. Yeah. That's really important because that's not a conversation that you want to have in the middle of labor while you're trying to deal with contractions. So you had a better idea going into it, what to expect. All right. So let's get into what was your labor and birth?

Okay. So I'm going to actually start with 39 weeks, because that kind of plays into my delivery. So at 39 weeks, I went it, I got a phone call and my primary OB wasn't going to be able to do my check that day. They were like, Hey, you can reschedule it for later in the week, or you can go in with this other doctor. And I was like, I need to set it for the same time. I just need to come in. So I went in, my check had been, I was one centimeter dilated, 80 or 90% of face, and I think negative one station. And it was pretty much the same as the week before. But when she did my check, I was like, oh my, that hurt way more than last week. And then she did my fundal height, and she was like, your fundal height's off, we need to go to an ultrasound now.

Your fluid might be low. We might need to induce today. And that. And I was like, whoa, deeper. Okay. Okay. Right. All right. We're going to get an ultrasound. Thankfully, I mean, my fluid was fine. It was on the low side of normal. And then afterwards, the OB was like, okay, well, your fluid was okay, but we're getting you, or another ultrasound and a stress text stress test for next Monday your 40 week, and we need to get your induction scheduled now it needs to be for 40 and a couple days. And I was like, whoa. Right. And she's like, but I stripped, I kind of stripped your membrane, so we might not make it there. And I was like, whoa. First of all, what do you mean? I don't really know what that means.

Either you did or you didn't like what

Is right. But I was just in shock because I was like, well, I didn't consent to that. I didn't talk about that. And it was just, the discussion was just so blunt and abrasive to how I was used to my, because my fundal height had been off a month prior, and it was like, oh, it's probably just the way your uterus is sitting, but we just need to get a ultrasound check to make sure this is just extra precaution. Totally. Two different demeanors. So I was left that, and I was just like, okay, well, and I was like, well, if you're going to kind of strip, I wish she would've just stripped him.

But anyway, so 39 weeks comes and goes, 40 weeks, it's a Monday. I go to my appointment with my primary, and my check was, and I had asked her, I was like, I want you to straight up my membranes right today. Okay. Because I don't want to be induced. And my check was, she's like, well, you're one and a half centimeters. She's like, I can't really put that in. So I'll say two, but Right. She's like, you're 90% of face and negative. So I was essentially the same. And I was like, defeat. I just was distraught. I was like, I don't want to be induced. I started crying in the office. Oh. I was like, I don't want to be induced. I just want to go into labor. Naturally don't. She was so sweet. And she was like, tell me why you don't want to be induced.

Are you scared? What's going on? And I was terrified of a C-section. Okay. I knew, okay, if that had to happen to keep me and baby safe, it had to happen. But literally terrified me. Okay. I know some people are totally okay with it. Sure. I was just think about it, and I'm like, it would just, right, right. Yeah. So I'm telling her all this, and she's like, okay, well, stripped. I had asked her too, so she had stripped my membranes, and she's like, she talked about the options. She was like, how about we have you come in on Thursday? They had my induction scheduled for Friday. I'll strip your membranes again. We'll check and see where you're at. You won't need cervidil because you're already a face. Maybe we'll just use a little bit of Pitocin to get things started. Or maybe there was another medication that she said that she was like, maybe we could just use that instead of Pitocin, but I don't remember. Oh,

Cy attack maybe,

Or, I don't think it was Cy. I dunno. Anyway, okay. And so she was like reassuring, like, but again, you might not even make it there. You might go into labor tonight or tomorrow or, and so I'm like, okay. So I call my husband, I tell him, what's up? He's already off work because I'm 40 weeks that day, my due date. And he's like, okay, well, okay, why don't you come home? It was our younger dog, orzo birthday that day. And so he is like, let's go out to eat and we'll get some French dips. We'll bring Orzo along and stuff. Alright, so go home. And by the time I got home, he's like, why don't we take a nap? We should rest first. And I'm like, ok. So by the time we wake up from our nap, I'm like, okay, traffic's going to be terrible. We're not going to the brewery. We wanted to get to get these French dips. I'm like, it's the last time I can go to prenatal yoga. I was like, I'm going to go tonight. And then when we come back, we'll go get our French dip. On my way to yoga, my water broke. At first it was like, did my water just break? And then 20 seconds later, I was like, oh, yeah, was a gush. There's

Fluid. It's coming all out of my body, and I have no control

Over it. Yes. It was my water broke. So I called up the studio. I was like, Hey, my water just broke. I'm actually not coming. I turn around, I go home, and my husband's like, what did you decide not to go to yoga? Or you ready to go eat? And I was like, no, my water just broke. Right. I was like, he's like, are you sure? And I was like, yes, I'm positive. So he's like, ok, we got to go to the hospital. I'm like, no, no, no, no.

We got to take care of the dogs. I got to get something to eat. I got to shower. Yes. We got to finish getting our backs. No. So I, he's like, well, have you called the ob? And I was like, no. I was like, ok, I'll call him. And so I called triage and they're like, oh, the OB will call you back. And I was like, okay, who's on call? It was my third, the doctor I had at 39 week check. And I was like, I hung up. I started crying for 20 seconds. And I was like, okay, Christine, get it together. You got a baby. You don't have time for this.

Okay. You're like, let me gather myself here because

Yes. So, and by the time 7:00 AM it's going to be shift change. I'm not going to have this baby forever. I'm like, I'm first time mom, it's going to be a while. So I call, or she calls me back and she's like, oh, are you having any contractions? I'm like, no, I don't think so. Just some Braxton. Cause I've been having those since 30 weeks. And my husband's like, Christine, your water broke. Those are contractions now. And I'm like, oh, ok. I guess so. And so she's like, okay, well just monitor things for a couple hours and call me back. And I'm like, okay. I like that answer. Because my husband's trying to get us to leave and go to the hospital. I'm like, no. And so I do some sidestep stairs. I'm bouncing on the ball every time I have a contraction, which they're so mild at this point. My dogs are barking, and they're like my old boy, Charlie's sitting at my feet and the other dog's going crazy. But I'm like, they're just so intuitive, not even breathing through this. How do you know? I'm having

Contractions? And they know something's going on

Crazy. But then they start to pick up the contractions due, but they're so erratic. I'm having one every seven minutes, and then it's every two minutes, and then it's four minutes, and then it's back to 45 seconds. It, they're all over the place. Right.

Oh, did you call your doula at

All? Oh, I, yeah. I had been texting her and Gotcha. Telling her What's up? And she's like, okay, keep me updated. Well, she was the one that was start timing them. Okay. Because I was like, eh, they're, and she's like, okay, go ahead and start timing. So I time them and I was sending them to her. And then, so finally my husband's like, we, we've got to get going. They're all over the place. And I'm like, well, okay, I'll shower. And then we call the ob and she's like, all right, well, your water's already broken, so just come over. And we started heading over, I think around seven 30. So we had to go through the er, but she was like, you're not going to have to go into the er. Right. Because your water's already broken. We're going to admit you. So I was like, okay.

Okay. So then by the time we get to the hospital picking up, they're like every three to four minutes consistently at this point. And I'm having to breathe through them. So I get checked or get into the hospital. The first thing the nurse asked, do you have a birth plan? Right. Oh. And I was like, yes, thank you. Oh, I do. My husband got it. And my nurse was amazing. She was so good. She checked me and I was three centimeters, so I was, but I kind of knew I'm not going to be super far along. My water just broke. I just got checked earlier today. Right,

Right. And you were probably, I just don't want to be one. Right.

Some progress.


So yeah, we kind of get settled in. My husband let the doula know, Hey, my wife wants you to go ahead and come down. So that was like eight 30 or something pm So they definitely picked up in pain. And I'm in the, well, they did monitor, I guess, at first. And then I'm in the shower. I use that for my pain management. Pretty much the whole time I was in the shower almost, unless I was getting the monitoring, I was pretty much in the shower with the hot water on my back. I had bad back labor. So that really helped with the water. And they

Were taking you off of the monitor for you to go in the shower.

So actually, that was one thing that I had requested was the inner minute monitor. Good. So yeah, my husband thought it was so funny. They give you the gown, and I have the gown on, and they have the thing around my belly. They're doing the contractions. And I was like, I had the head of the bed up, and I was kind of facing it, leaning against it, because that was just what, I didn't want to be on my back. That was terrible. And I was so distracted by the gown, and I was like, can I just take this off? I was like, I'm in the shower. And she's like, girl, you don't have to wear anything if you don't want, whip it off. And my husband thought that was so hilarious that I was just walking around for hours. And I'm like, I'm having a baby. Yes. What's it matter? Yes, yes,


Yes. Love it. So yeah, I don't know how often they were doing the monitoring, but whatever the typical is, I think. And then, so around eight 30, I was three centimeters. And then they checked me at 1130, and the doctor had come in. Okay, this was the doctor that did the check now. And I was five centimeters. But I was kind of bummed about that because I was like, whew, I'm struggling. This is hard. I was like, I'm having to breathe through it. This is bad back pain. Right? I was like, I'm using the shower. And I was like, I don't know. Can I do this? I mean, my doula and the nurse were like, you're doing great. Right? Can't already doing it. They're like, don't look at it as if you're only halfway. Right. They're like, you're already, at that point, I think I was maybe a hundred percent a phased or something.

And maybe, I guess it must have been that check that I was at zero station. So I was, things besides dilation were happening. And they're like, you're doing great. Just keep going. And my deal was, take it one contraction at a time. You got to release your shoulders, you got to release some of that tension. Right? I'm like, all right. And I just got in the zone. Okay. I was just, from then on, I just feel mean. It was hard. But I was just so focused. And shortly after that check, I had told my doula, I was like, I'm feeling like a lot of pressure. And she was, I was like, this, I'm feeling different. And she's like, I was like, should I get checked again? And she's, I mean, we can ask if you want to get checked, but it's only been an hour, and you were five centimeters and you were a little discouraged at five centimeters. So I don't want you to get more discouraged. And I'm like, okay. Yeah, you're right. You're right. Ok. So I just was breathing through it. I'm like, visualizing flowers blooming. My stomachs is opening, baby's going to come soon. Right. The doula and my husband were taking turns doing hip squeezes and back prep, counter pressure. And intermittently, I'm having to go get the checks, or not the cervical checks, the


And then at one point, the nurse comes in and she's like, the doctor's going to come in a few minutes because we need to check you. Your contractions are on top of each other. And I was like, oh, okay. All right. That's fine. And from the time it took me to get from the bathroom to the bed, I had three contractions, it seemed, it took me forever to get there. Cause because yeah, I'm dying in the middle. But no, no. I mean, I was, okay. And so then the doctor checks me and she's like, if you want, you're ready to push. And I was like, what? And this was at one 30. So from 11:30 PM to 1:30 AM I went from five to 10. I see. Okay. So it went, that part is,


It went quickly. I mean, didn't it? But all in all, it went quickly. And some people were, when I heard unmedicated stories talk about the transition period, they're like, oh, it's your demeanor changes and it's an outof body experience, and you're not with it. And I felt the opposite. I was so focused. I was so in tune with my body at that point. I remember my husband trying to distract me. He's like, Hey, look at our dogs. Cause we had our camera on our dogs so we could watch them look at Orzo. He's so nervous. He's looking out the window for us. And I'm like, I'm focused. Don't. Right. If you're not going to squeeze my back, I don't want to hear it. Right. But yeah, so I went from five to 10 in two hours. And so then she was like, yeah, if you're ready to push, you can push whenever you want. And so I tried a few different positions. I did sideline, I did kind of the same position I was doing while I was getting the checks where I was facing the inclined head of the bed, if that makes sense.

So, okay. It might be hard for people to know it. I know exactly what she's talking about, because I can see the labor bed, I can see it in my head in the labor room. But you're like, you were just kind of facing the head of the bed and you can sit the bed up and sort of lean over

It. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. So tried that and then tried sideline the opposite, sideline again. And I felt like this baby's got to be progressing out. We didn't know if it was a girl or boy. Oh, okay. Okay. The baby's got to be coming. I was, and I kept asking. I was like, is the baby crowning? And they're like, no, no. And I'm like, oh, I have a few choice words every time. And

The doctor though, v's like, right, okay, Christine, if you want me to check how you're doing while you're pushing, I need you to get on the back on your back so I can see what's going on. And I'm like, I don't want to get on my back. I don't want to get on my back. And she's like, if you want me to help you, you've got to do that. And she's like, otherwise, you can keep pushing how you want. It's up to you. And my husband's like, Christine, just do what she says. I'm like, okay, we'll do that. And she's we'll offered a hot heating pad to put underneath my low back. And I was like, okay, let's do that. So then we did that, and she's like, okay. She told me she thought it would be best if I continued to push on my back where she could see how things were going.

So I was like, all right. So I pushed, and then eventually baby's head started coming out and they were push, push, keep pushing, keep pushing. At that point, they were like, you need to get this baby out, because I didn't know at the time, but the cord was wrapped around the neck, and which was, she got it out unwound super quick. But my husband was, I think baby was kind of desat a little bit at the very end, and that's why they were like, you okay? At this point you got to just keep pushing. So I didn't really get a break between the head and the

Shoulders. It all just

Came. But baby came out and she was like,

How long did you push?

It was only 45 minutes. Okay, nice. So not too bad. Yeah,

Yeah. Yeah.

So I don't know, it's labor was such a time warp. It seemed like a long time, but at the same time, it didn't seem like any time at all. I dunno. Yeah. It's probably hard to explain if you haven't been through it, but yeah, I'm sure all of those people that have know what I'm talking about.

Exactly. Exactly. So baby comes out

And she's like, look down. And she holds, and I saw that it was a girl, which I thought it was a girl, but we didn't know. Yeah. So I was like, ok. We were all excited. And my husband saw then, and yeah, and they got baby right on my chest. Okay. Did the delayed cord, camp D, delayed cord clamping. And yeah, baby was healthy and awesome. All was good.

Awesome. Awesome. I love it. Love it, love it. So sounds like that doctor ended up being okay then in the end, or was it that you just didn't have that much time with her, or a combination of both?

No, she was, she's a good doctor. It was just that my husband said because he liked her, he was like, no, she was straight to the point. She got out a healthy baby, which was what her job is. And I was like, no. Absolutely. It was just, he's like, you want somebody warm and fuzzy that's going to give you a hug. And that was just not her personality. Gotcha. So, no, she was a good doctor. I didn't have the best 39 week experience. Gotcha, gotcha. With her. But she got the baby out, and baby was healthy. Okay. All was well.

Okay. I mean, well, you got the baby out because you did the work, so she just made sure nothing crazy happened. Yeah. But you got the work, you got the baby out. Yes. So then did you have to get any stitches or anything?

No, I did not tear at you. So not tearing. And when I went to pelvic floor pt, we not only worked on back pain and all that, but we did pushing prep and we did the perennial massages. I started that I think 34 weeks. And then we talked through using your breath while pushing, not bearing down, that sort of thing. So yeah, thankfully no tearing. And so yeah, definitely made recovery pretty good.

Nice. And then I forgot to ask, do you feel like as you were pushing during the crowning D, do you remember ring of fire or increase in intensity or anything like that?

I mean, in increase in intensity? Yeah, for sure. But not the ring of fire. Okay. Actually, so the doctor at one point, she was like, I asked if she could inject lidocaine into my vagina. And so I guess technically not completely unmedicated. And I was like, oh, I don't know about that. I was, and my husband was like, she's worried about you tearing really badly, and she's going to have to put lidocaine in there for you to stitch up anyway. So she was like, he was just, it's fine. The local lidocaine is fine. And I was like, okay, okay. That's fine. So maybe that's why I didn't feel the ring of fire, but definitely an increase in intensity. Oh, for sure.

Sure. That's interesting to that she asked do lidocaine even beforehand. I have never done that before.

I remember her explaining some things, but I don't remember what she Sure.

Yeah. I mean, yeah, you were in your zone. You were focused in the moment. Okay. Okay. Interesting. All right. So everything went well afterwards. How long did you stay in the hospital? How was your postpartum

Course? So I delivered at 2:29 AM so we had to stay a little bit longer than 24 hours. So we, I don't know, 36 or whatever. So really one full night. But yeah, I mean, my recovery was really good. Like I said, I didn't tear, so I walked to the postpartum Okay. Unit, and was walking around the unit. Like I said, my labor nurse was amazing. She even came, she got off shift the next night. She came and check on me. She was so sweet. But anyway, but yeah, latching was tricky as far as

Breastfeeding. I was going to ask about breastfeeding.

So it was definitely tricky. The nurses and the lactation consultants had to come help me. I feel like the first, or while I was in the hospital, I don't know that I got her to latch on my own. And my husband was so worried. He's, I don't think we can take her home. She's not going to be able to eat anything. But we figured it out. It was definitely a struggle. And that was one thing. I should have booked a outpatient lactation consultant sooner. I ended because my breasts and nipples were so sore postpartum. And so when she's nursing, I was just thinking, okay, well, this is, my body's just getting used to things. This is different. I just need to toughen up. It'll eventually get better. And so at one point, it's in the middle of the night and I'm nursing and my nipple starts bleeding. I'm like, okay, well, that's not normal. So at that moment, I literally booked a lactation consultant appointment, and they were so helpful. So I would say the first month of breastfeeding was the hardest. But the lactation consultants were super helpful. That helped the tips and the tricks and, and now I'm still breastfeeding, and she's 15 months. Ok. Nice. Yeah.

Nice. Love it. Love it, love it. So looking back, is there anything, one thing in particular, or a couple things in particular that you found were really helpful for you? Or was it just the combination of the things, the combination of having the doula and the pelvic PT ahead of time and educating yourself? Was it all just all kind of came together? What do you think?

Yeah, I think it was the combination of everything for sure. I mean, my husband was like, you're over preparing. And I'm like, no, I'm not. Like, right. And going into labor, I was ready. I was excited. I was ready. But yeah, I definitely think it was a combination knowing that I need to be breathing, doing all the low moaning, the horse lips, all the things. Right. But I would say if you're looking into one thing, I would recommend pelvic floor pt for sure. Okay.

Okay. All right. So yeah, we just don't utilize that enough at all. At all. So I, I know the answer to this question, but how do you feel about your birth experience?

Oh, so good. Yeah. Yeah. It was super positive. Yeah, it was such a good experience. Sometimes when you listen, I was listening to some of the unmedicated, either podcasts or books, and I did feel like there's a little bit of a negative connotation on hospital births, the unmedicated birthing world, kind of

Who's on the hospital, and they're like, oh, once you get there, you're going to stop progressing. The lights are so bright and everyone's going to want to check you. There's just a lot of negatives. But I felt very comfortable and good about being in the hospital. Obviously, I had an amazing nurse. She did dim the lights. I was able to do the intermittent monitoring. I didn't have to be hooked up to an iv. I was able to use the shower. Obviously, I had the doula, right? So I had a good hospital unmedicated birth experience, which I was a little bit nervous beforehand, just because you hear kind of some negative things. Sure. Absolutely. So I would say if somebody's wanting to do that, it's totally possible.

Yeah, for sure. You just have to do you did and prepare.


So maybe you answered this already, but just to wrap it up, what is the one your favorite piece of advice that you would give to somebody who's getting ready to have a baby now?

I would say don't wait until there's something wrong to get support for me, for pellet floor PT or lactation consultant. It's okay to seek out health providers or support, even if there's not an issue. Yes. It realistically, you should be doing that beforehand. Yes. Right? Yes. So yeah, so don't wait until there's a problem. Do something for your, this is for you. This is for your children. Do it ahead of time. Yeah.

Yeah. Love that. Love that. So where can people find you? I don't know if you do virtual for any of your dietician things that you do on the side. I do. Yeah. So where can people connect with you?

Yeah. I actually only do virtual as far as nutrition counseling. Yeah. Yeah. So my business Instagram is christine lagree dot rd, or just my website is www.christinelag.com.

Okay. Awesome. Perfect. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for coming on to share your story. I think it's really important to share positive experiences of hospital birth. And so I appreciate you coming on today.

Oh, absolutely. Well, thank you for sharing everybody's stories and for all the education that you provide. Oh, thank you. Super helpful. Thank

You. Thank you.

Thank you.

Oh, what a beautiful, beautiful birth story. That was. I so appreciate Christine coming on to share her positive hospital unmedicated birth experience. Now, after every time I have a guest on, I do something called Dr. Nicole's notes, which are my top takeaways from the conversation. And here are my Dr. Nicole's notes from my conversation with Christine. Number one, I've said this before. I'm going to say it again. I say it a lot. Birth is unpredictable. That's the only predictable thing about birth. That is that it is unpredictable, and you must remain flexible with the process. That is the key to riding the waves of the unpredictability, being flexible with birth. It is so important. Now, the next point is that even though you're flexible with birth, some people interpret that to mean you just go in. You just go with the flow. You listen to what the doctors tell you, blah, blah, blah, uhuh.

That's not what I'm talking about. You still need to make a birth plan or birth preferences would be more accurate things that you want for your birth. So you still need to be prepared for your birth, and you want to make that birth plan or birth preferences early, and you want to talk about it with your doctor. That's what Christine did. And I cannot overstate how important that is to do that during your prenatal visits. Because when you do it during your prenatal visits, you have a sense, well, before you go into the hospital, whether or not the things that you want for your birth or your preferences will be supported. And if they won't be, then you have time to plan accordingly. Those are things that I talk about inside of the birth preparation course, inside of my live birth plan class, which is actually coming up in August, actually, is how to make that birth plan and how to discuss it.

Because if you show up at the hospital with this birth plan and you haven't discussed it ahead of time and you don't know whether or not they're going to support it, you could be in for a lot of disappointment and not get the things that you want for your birth. So you need to discuss it ahead of time. I teach you all of that. So check out my website, dr nicole rankins.com, and check out the birth plan class that's coming up live or the entire full birth preparation course. And I'll add that I think this is especially important when you're having an unmedicated birth. And so much of that is about mindset, and you don't want to have that unnecessary stress of worrying about whether or not your birth plan is going to be supported. You want to take that stress off of you. And this is for everybody really.

But I think especially for a medicated birth, you want to take that stress off of you before you get to the hospital. So discuss your birth plan ahead of time. Be prepared ahead of time. Okay. Now, I got to make a comment about the stripping the membranes that happened without her consent, where the doctor was like, well, I kind of stripped your membranes. That is unequivocally unacceptable. All right. That is so inappropriate. We live in this or exist in this culture of medicine where doctors are in an environment where it is completely acceptable to put your fingers in someone's vagina without asking and do a procedure that's potentially painful and potentially uncomfortable.

I'm struggling to find the words. It's awful. It's embarrassing that we exist in that system where that really seems normal. It's very much so become normalized, that type of culture. So a doctor should never ship your membranes without consent. They really shouldn't even check your cervix without your consent, without asking, do anything without your consent. But especially anything that's invasive as going inside of someone's body. Sometimes people's water gets broken without their consent, oh, I'm just going to break your water. So that is not acceptable. Absolutely unequivocally not acceptable. A couple more things when your water breaks and your contractions haven't started. Now, I cannot give specific medical advice, but I can say that in general, when I was in practice, if your water breaks and your contractions haven't started, it's perfectly fine to wait at home. As long as the fluid is clear and you're feeling the baby move, you can wait at home for a period of a few hours, several hours.

I used to say, six hours before you go to the hospital. Of course, that depends on if you have any issues or concerns with your pregnancy or things like that. So you need to check with your own healthcare provider, but you don't have to rush to the hospital just because your water breaks. You can wait for labor to start. It's going to start for most people within 12 hours, 18 hours or so. I'm not saying you wait that long before you go to the hospital. Like I said, I used to say six hours to check in. Some practices will say more, but just check. See how your midwife or doctor approaches what to do when your water breaks, because you don't necessarily have to go to the hospital right away. And then the final thing that I'll say is that the right support just makes all the difference.

And I wish you didn't have to work so hard to line up the right support within the US maternity system. I wish that that support was just automatic and was just there, but it ain't. So you really need to do the things ahead of time to find the support that you need. That's going to include maybe having a doula, a good doula who you interview and make sure it's a good fit for you. That's going to include having a good labor nurse. And if you're not happy with your nurse, then asking for another nurse. It's going to include looking and making sure you can be at a hospital that supports evidence-based practices, okay? Where you can know that you're in an environment that's going to be supportive for you. It's going to be things like maybe lining up a pelvic physical therapist so you have that support for you as well.

Because our system, especially in the postpartum period, is not going to support you either. So the right support can make all of the difference. And it actually doesn't have to be overwhelming. It doesn't have to be where you spend hours and hours and days and days doing all the things, but be intentional about making sure that you have that support system lined up because it can really make such a huge, huge difference both in your pregnancy care, your birth, and your postpartum experience too. And those are all things, of course, I'm here to help you with, whether it's through my podcast, what you're listening to now, of course, through my social media. Instagram, of course, is my favorite platform. That's Dr. Nicole Rankins or the Resources, resources on my website. Check those out to dr nicole rankins.com. All right. So there you have it. Do me a solid share.

This podcast with the friends sharing is caring. I'm on a mission to reach and serve as many pregnant folks as possible, especially in us. So if you find this useful, please share it with a friend. Help the show to grow and subscribe to the podcast wherever you're listening to me right now. Leave me a review or shoot me a DM on Instagram. I'm at Dr. Nicole Rankins. Let me know what you think about the show. So that's it for this episode. Do come on back next week and remember that you deserve a beautiful pregnancy and birth.