Gabriel's birth story

I have wanted to share Gabriel's birth story for quite some time. And now on the eve of his first birthday, I figured it was about time I shared it!

For starters, I had a great pregnancy. Aside from the first trimester nausea and the low-blood pressure (dizzy spells) it was very uneventful, and I am so grateful for that! I know that I am one of those annoying people that loves being pregnant, haha! I always knew that I wanted to have a natural med-free birth. I have a large number of mommas including my own mom that had their children naturally. They truly served as an inspiration for me to attempt to have our first baby naturally without any interventions. I also knew it was the right choice for me because I am the type of person that takes very little pain medication. In the past I had some major reactions to pain medication as well. And when I thought about the options for birth, I realized that I did not want that to happen at one of the most important events of my life. My reasoning was not that C-sections are a ploy from hospitals to gain more money (but I understand the argument) or that epidurals hurt the baby (simply not true) I just knew that this was the right choice for me and how I wanted to bring our baby into the world. I also knew that the outcomes of natural labor are much more favorable. I wanted to feel what was going on with my body. I wanted to walk after the birth and having a catheter did not sound comfortable at all.

Being married to a soon-to-be physician brought about some fun challenges and discussions since I wanted to have a med-free birth with no interventions. And the irony is that my husband is on his way to become an anesthesiologist!  However, my husband's main concern was that both our baby and I were alive and well before, during and after the birth. He wanted to make sure that, even if I was not able to deliver Gabriel completely naturally, I knew I was a great mother and not a failure. He also wanted me to know that when something goes wrong during a birth, it goes wrong fast, and he wanted us to be as close to the top care available in the area. Even with those concerns he was extremely supportive of my decision and was all for it! We then opted and decided to deliver at one of the top Children's Hospitals in the country, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and Froedtert. We are so fortunate to have such an amazing crew of physicians and nurses so close to our home!  

With that decision made, I shared my plans with my OB. She was so excited for me and told me how it was so do-able. She also delivered both of her girls med-free. She shared the same concerns and comments as my husband--the main outcome being the safety of both baby and me! After our first appointment, I was mentally prepared for the process. I began to read and research ways to labor naturally. I started pre-natal yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, some hypnobabies videos, eating dates and drinking red-raspberry leaf tea at about 37 weeks. I used a birthing ball daily and had several exercises with that as well. Because I wanted to have a med-free birth, I wanted to ensure that I labored naturally and without any induction methods such as pitocin.  

On Monday, April 15th, I started experiencing light contractions. I was working full-time and I decided to call in that day because I thought this was the real deal, and I wanted to labor as much at home as possible. We called my sister and told her that it was happening and she started driving down. The contractions at first were regular and consistent. When my sister made it, they continued, then stopped and continued again. It was very late that night when they stopped completely. Of course, I was somewhat disappointed because I thought it was happening that night. But baby boy had other plans! 

I got some rest that night and the next day I started walking to try and kick-start my contractions. And kick-start they did! We went to Costco and walked some more and by that time they were back in full-swing. When we got back home, I called my mom and she said that I needed to take a very hot bath and that would put me into labor. I wasn't going to argue with my mom (mother of 9) and I started the hot bath. Sure enough, my contractions increased in intensity. I decided to get out and lay on the bed. I called my sister and husband over and told them to start to time them. During a very intense contraction we all of a sudden heard a loud POP! It was my water that broke! We all laughed and I confirmed it was my water, and then I began to cry. At that moment I knew I was about to meet our baby boy in about 24 hrs! 

We called my lovely in-laws and told them I was in active labor and they started heading our way. 

At that time we knew we wanted to labor as much as possible at home, and we started walking around the neighborhood. But at this time my contractions really sped up and they lasted around 90 seconds each. They were very intense. We decided that we would go to the Birthing Center. When we got there they had to confirm that my water broke for timing and infection purposes. It was confirmed and I was checked for how far I was dilated and I was only 1 cm! I was discouraged for about a second, but then started to get the show on the road! The team knew that I wanted to labor naturally but because my water broke, they did not want to risk infection for both Gabriel and I. So they told me that if I did not progress on my own by 4 am (which was about 10 hrs or so) then I would have to begin a pitocin drip to get the contractions going. That was the push I needed to begin more walking and birthing ball exercises. 

Thankfully I began to progress on my own right away! I trusted my body and my baby. The first 5 cm truly felt the longest. They were intense but manageable. I had my play list, husband, sister, in-laws and amazing nurse by my side! I had a lot of hot packs on my back as well because I was having some intense back labor. But the hot packs were amazing! I even slept through 5cm- 7cm. But once I hit the 8 cm mark it was truly when the real labor started for me. The contractions were so intense, and the pressure began to increase. Little man wanted out! My tummy was moving in so many directions and I needed so much strength to not push when all that my body wanted to do was push our baby out! But I could not quite yet because I was still at 8 cm. And I could not risk tearing my cervix. That was the hardest part of labor for me. The urge to push was so incredibly powerful that every part of my being had to hold back the urge to not push. 

At that point, my OB was being paged so that she could be present. I really wanted her to be there, but I was glad that I was still in very capable hands with her colleagues from the OB office. Her colleague was so kind and he kept saying, "Don't fight the nausea; it is completely natural." That made me laugh! But it was so nice to hear him say it. The last cm happened rather quickly in comparison to the first 7. I began to transition at around 9 cm. I began to moan & sweat with chills, and I was in a sort of trance. Then suddenly I said I HAVE TO PUSH! I was checked and boom I was completely thinned out and dilated to 10 cm. I could finally push. 

I began to push, and I was just exhausted. It had been roughly 13-14 hours since my water broke and the intensity of the contractions was exhausting. At one point, I just couldn't push any longer but Gabriel was already crowning, and I was almost there. Pushing was also not painful for me. At another point, I looked over at my sister and she began to pray for me! It was very sweet and thoughtful! Finally, my OB showed up and I was so happy to see her. After journeying through 40 weeks of my pregnancy, it was so great to have her deliver Gabriel. She looked at me and told me I was almost there. She asked for some lubricant and told me she would start a gentle perineal massage and that once she did to push with all of my strength. At that moment I pushed .... and Gabriel quickly slipped out! I saw his little body, and along with the nurse I put him on my belly! 

At that point, I was crying and laughing, and the room was full of joy! I looked over at my nurse and she was crying too! It was such a joyous occasion! He began nursing right away and I was reminded of what an amazingly miraculous event just occurred. I was able to have my med-free birth, and both Gabriel and I were alive and well. I could not have done it without the support of my sister, nurses, mother and father in law but especially my loving husband Benjamín. Their support was invaluable. 

Our baby boy was born April 17, 2013 at 8:05 am weighing 7 lbs 3 oz and measuring 21 in. I didn't know my heart could expand in such a away to love someone so much! This year has been filled with so much learning, sleepless nights, laughter and love. We are so honored to be your parents, Gabriel. 

I love you Gabrielito- Happy Birthday!

Thank you for reading and sharing in our experience!



  1. awww beautiful to re-read his birth story! You did great momma!
    This past year has gone by WAY too fast!

    1. Thanks for reading hun! I could not agree more! It is hard to believe our babies are one -well almost for G haha :)

  2. Beautiful story Keila, I also gave birth to my first two boys with no meds. But in reality I did not even have time Isaac (1st one) came within 2 hrs. It was so ridiculous how short labor was, funny part is my dad did not even have time to leave the hospital room all he could do was look out the window. LOL..Noemi Turcios

  3. That is too funny Noemi! And thanks so much :)