Kellie Martin talks about Maggie's unmedicated birth

12/03/2007 at 11:05 AM ET

Kellieandmaggie When she discovered she was pregnant, actress Kellie Martin, 32, decided that she’d pursue a natural birth with her daughter Maggie, turning 13-months-old tomorrow.  In Kellie’s mind, if her mom could do it, so could she!  Like many women who set out to deliver without the aid of painkillers, however, Kellie found herself second-guessing the decision as she entered active labor; Thanks to some quick-thinking by her husband and hospital staff Kellie got her wish.   Her birth story, as recently told to the ‘Every Baby Has A Story’ campaign, is below.

I was actually like two weeks late.  And I think I was ready a month before my due date!  The nursery was done, like every little onesie was in its place, the shoes…everything.  And I pretty much got to sit around for a month and a half, waiting for my baby to decide that she was ready to come.  And, of course, she didn’t decide.  I was induced, and I really, really wanted to have her naturally.  No drugs, no nothing, because that’s what my mom did with me so I figured — you know — I’m as tough as my mother!   

We got a couple of hours into the real, good contractions and they broke my water … and once that happened, I said ‘Okay, no, no, no, no…can’t do it.  Can’t do it!  Drugs!  Somebody help me…I have to have drugs.’  And my husband knew how important it was to me to have Maggie naturally so he just kept changing the subject, and my nurse kept changing the subject…She’d be like ‘Ooooh, look!  It’s so beautiful outside!’ And I was like, ‘Seriously, no one is listening to me.’  And by that point I’d really forgotten that I needed the drugs, and it was time to push.

I was only in active labor for like four hours and then started pushing and she was out like that (snaps fingers).  And the cool thing is that I felt amazing afterwards, and Maggie was wide awake, ready to go.  Not that giving birth is an easy experience, but it was just the most amazing thing to be able to (give birth and) feel like ‘Okay, what are we doing now?’  And I’d just had a child!  It was pretty cool.

Kellie and her husband Keith have been married since 1999. 

Marchofdimes_1 Every parent loves to share their birth story, and celebrities are no different.  The March of Dimes recently launched its ‘Every Baby Has A Story’ campaign, where you can also share your own baby story or read some of the 1,175 baby stories that have been posted. ‘Every Baby Has a Story” is a new grassroots and integrated media project celebrating babies, those born healthy as well as those who need help to survive and thrive, launched by the March of Dimes.

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Pam on

That’s what my husband did too! He just kept changing the subject, haha. It did work, even though I was frustrated at the time. I agree with feeling very clear-headed afterwards as well.

Sheri on

I loved my natural birth … but I have to admit there was a point about 11 hours in when I begged for an epidural. My hubby and the nurse knew I wanted a natural delivery, though, so they tricked me. Since I refused to use the bedpan (yelch!) they decided to let me use the bathroom with a nurse attendant, while another nurse talked to my hubby in the other room, and they cooked up a story (which I now find funny, but at the time did not please me one bit). They told me they called the anesthesiologist but he was just sitting down to eat his dinner, so once he finished eating he would drive to the hospital and give me the epidural. An hour and a half later I had by baby in my arms.

Mimi on

I think any woman who goes through labor, naturally or medicated, is one tough cookie! I went 3/4 of the way naturally, at home, and the rest medicated, at the hospital. It took nothing away from the experience, which was absolutely amazing, and I felt wonderful afterwards, and my daughter was awake and alert to greet the many family members who were waiting. I wouldn’t change anything about it.

(My daughter was born on Election Day last year, and I stopped to vote, in labor, on the way to the hospital.)

Lilybett on

Ha Ha! I love that Mimi stopped to vote. That’s great!

I’ve been in a few labour rooms and watched natural and medicated births- they both look pretty painful, uncomfortable, terrifying, etc… but all the mothers were alert and ready to party after the baby was born, even the one who’d been in labour for 40 hours. Hormones are a wonderful thing.

I’ve also seen two epidurals being put in, had to hold the mother so she wouldn’t move… and to be quite frank, I’d be more worried about spinal damage than any injury/damage to the baby. Just as an aside both anaesthetists were incredibly handsome… not sure if that’s an international phenomenon though 🙂

Stef on

Just nobody make the mistake my sister did and go to a hospital that does not provide epidurals and that for childbirth.
For her second child, she was having a lot of difficulty and was in a huge amount of pain. The nurses called for the doctor and when he FINALLY showed up, he’s like, “Yeah, you should have had an epidural but, too late now–baby’s almost out.”

Thus ended my sister child-birthing career. LOL

Dana on

Love that Mimi stopped to vote!

I had one of each– an unwilling natural birth because she came too fast and a very painful medicated birth, mainly because her head was too big and rested on a nerve for over 2 hours. I am glad that I had the epidural on the first one, because even though I was in incredible pain, I didn’t experience the labor contractions during it. I had almost 4 hours of pushing. The second hit full-on contractions about an hour and a half before she was born– with only 5 minutes of pushing. I much preferred the second birth.

crimpe on

Ah, the natural childbirth debate. My water has always broken on it’s own, and my first two children were “natural”. None of my kids had long labors. But screaming pain, and I felt like a frenzied animal after. My third, I opted for the epidural, the anesthesiologist’s name was Dr. Brutus! It was not hard to sit still, it did not hurt, nor did my tattoo provide a problem in the area. I was wide awake and much more mobile and happy after the epi, and my son had a killer apgar score and seemed happy too. I am having a fourth, and you bet I’ll get my epidural. I have nothing to prove!

tracey on

I was all for a natural drug free birth too – but after 3 days of labour at home, I needed a little help and I don’t regret it one bit! I had a low dose epidural for the last 12 hours of labour, which wore off for pushing. Felt fantastic afterwards too!

Whatever works for the woman, works. I think it’s way better to have a positive birth experience than one where you look back on the experience negatively.

Sarah on

Absolutely what the last poster said. We’re all wonderful, strong women. It’s all about having a positive birth experience for you personally and no one else. I had both children with epis and it was fine. But I’d like a third. And I want to try a homebirth and no meds.

Jean on

Two kids with no meds here (one at home) and felt AWESOME after. Packed up my hospital room alone and was ready to go home four hours after the first was born and the second? Showered, napped emailed and posted pictures and then went out to dinner. That night. Wouldn’t trade that for the world. And really, other than the back labor with both it was really tolerable.

Emma on

Jean – you went out to dinner the night your baby was born? Did you take the baby with you?

I just wanted to say how nice it is to read about celebs choosing to have a natural birth (whether medicated or not – I don’t think painkillers makes you a wimp!) Not so long ago it seemed like every celeb baby arrived via C-section, and I’m not saying C-section is always wrong – there are many reasons why a woman might need to have one – I just don’t particularly like the idea of choosing a C-section for convenience or to “get it over and done with” as I heard one woman say!

Sami on

Crimpe- I just had my first baby with a natural childbirth. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again. It’s good to hear that there are other women who feel the same way.

I was out of my mind with pain and mentally I’m still getting over the delivery even though my physical recovery was very quick. I feel like the pain of childbirth interfered with my ability to bond with my baby a bit.

And the worst part is that everyone told me my labor was great… I’m thinking, if that was a great labor there’s no way I could handle a typical one! I don’t like hospitals or needles but I am almost sure I”ll go for the epidural next time.

I am impressed when a celeb decides to have a natural childbirth, especially when they can afford the best medical care and doctors (although they can still have bad things happen a la the Quaid twins).

Rina on

When I was young I gave birth to 2 sons without any drugs. I would never take drugs for birth, because this drugs could damage women’s and baby’s health.