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Melanie and Zane, shortly after giving birth.
Melanie Kellogg, 31, doesn’t consider herself an athlete. But after laboring for 21 hours and giving birth naturally to her son, Zane Andrew, she has a newfound respect for the endurance of marathon runners.
“I never had a huge pain threshold but I always thought the pain of childbirth was in the mind anyway. If you know yourself and know your body, any woman is capable of giving birth naturally,” said Melanie.
Melanie gave birth to her 7-pound-5-ounce baby boy at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns on Feb. 5, 2012, without an epidural or pain medications. It was very important to her to have a completely natural childbirth experience. She considered a home birth with a midwife but decided that having the baby naturally in a hospital was a good compromise, in case medical intervention was necessary.
“My water broke at home and when I arrived at Sharp Mary Birch, I told the doctor and nurses my birth plan and they were completely accommodating. I was even paired with a nurse who delivered naturally herself. When there was a shift change, I was set up with another nurse who had delivered her own baby with a midwife. My nurses knew exactly what to say, exactly what to do and they were able to coach and support me along the way,” recalled Melanie.
Melanie and Jon with their baby boy, Zane.
Melanie credits her doctor's and nurses’ expertise and support as well as her own preparation for being able to labor for 21 hours. She attended prenatal yoga classes three times a week where she learned breathing techniques, stretches and laboring positions, which all aided in the birth process.
She and her boyfriend, Jon, also attended the Childbirth Preparation series of classes at Sharp Mary Birch. These classes helped prepare the couple for what to expect during labor and taught Jon how to be a good birth coach.
Throughout her labor, Melanie stayed focused on her personal childbirth goals and with the support of her doctor and nurses, she never second guessed her decision to have Zane naturally.
“Many women automatically go for an epidural but I’m so proud of myself for not doing it. The pain was intense but it seems so small when thinking back on the experience,” said Melanie. “My baby is such a reward for all of it.”
For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's pregnancy and childbirth services or to find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego OBGYN or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about pregnancy and childbirth, visit Pregnancy and Childbirth in Adult Health or read the Pregnancy and Childbirth News archive.