Community Birth Story: Dixon Murphy Erickson

Community Birth Story: Dixon Murphy Erickson


As told by Echo:

When I first found out my blood pressure was high I wasn’t worried. I figured it was a fluke. The same thing had happened once in Maddox’s pregnancy as well, but was shown to be an issue with the cuff. So I headed over to the Birthing Inn and settled in for a Non Stress Test. Once laying down, my pressure fine and I was sent on my merry way. Little did I know I would have to continue the NST’s, 24 hr urines and bedrest until I birthed. At this point, my diagnosis was pregnancy induced hypertension. But soon I was officially diagnosed with pre eclampsia. To say the least, I was scared. As a doula I knew enough about pre eclampsia to know that I had to take things seriously. When the midwife asked me to go on bedrest, I obliged, knowing that laying down dropped my blood pressure dramatically, therefore dropped my risk of stroking or having a seizure. I thought that I’d be induced right away, but the midwives were gentle and caring. They encouraged me and set up a plan that would include inducing at 39 weeks. This was prior to the tests showing I was spilling protein. I received a call on Wednesday, Oct 23rd. I was to be induced, again, for the fourth time, on Thursday. I wasn’t happy. I was overwhelmed. Scared that my blood pressure would spike during labor. Afraid I’d be tethered to a bed. Afraid of letting down my clients and friends. Afraid of side effects. Of the pain of pitocin. I wanted to be excited. It was there that I realized I had made my birth an idol. I was so obsessed with having a 100 percent natural birth that I wasn’t letting myself get excited about the baby! I knew I had to change that, and quickly. I prayed. I drew. I painted. I worked through letting to of my obsession with natural birth.

I showed up at the Birthing Inn at around 8 o’clock on the 24th. They settled me in, read my birth plan, and the midwife, Courtney came in. We chatted about how I wanted to proceed. At that point I was around two centimeters dilated. I knew that I didn’t want Cervadil, a hormonal cervical dilator. We talked about my options. I decided, for me, a Cook’s catheter (a catheter that is filled with water, with two balls on each side. One ball goes in the cervix then is filled, the other sits inside the vagina. This physically dilated the cervix without chance of hyper stimulation) was the first step. Courtney suggested I also have a low dose of pitocin. At first this was not what I wanted. I had wanted to avoid Pitocin at all costs. However, the more I thought about it, the more I was scared that without it I may be in labor much longer, giving my body more of a chance of developing dangerously high blood pressure, which could then lead to even more interventions. We decided very low Pitocin would be the best bet. We started everything around 9 am

At first all I felt was awkward. Having fluid filled balls in your vagina isn’t exactly the most amazing feeling. There was a lot of pressure. It was hard to walk. I found a nice spot on the birth ball, though. I rolled my hips and kept entertained by constantly updating my Facebook status. Yep, I totally live Facebooked my early labor.



Jump over to Echo’s blog to finish the rest of her story:


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