I have decided to share my birth story in remembrance of the amazing day/night he arrived. Like I mentioned in the previous post, I did not have the most enjoyable pregnancy. But, the birth was amazing. It was still painful, believe me. Unfortunately I was not one of the ones who experienced a pain-free birth. But I would do it all over again tomorrow to have my little guy with us! I wish more women got to experience childbirth the way our bodies were designed to handle it without the intervention and scare tactics of doctors.
Oh, and it's very long. Very. Warming - there are also pictures at the end. Nothing graphic, but you'll see some of my skin, so watch out! :) Lots of pictures!
I was due Sunday, June 8th, 2008. It came….and went.
I only went “overdue” 2 days. Labor began Tuesday, June 10th at 3:30 p.m. The day began like usual. I finally hoisted myself out of the mountain of pillows (I think we counted 11 at one point) and got up for the day.
My friend called and said she was coming by to take me to breakfast – yay, the outside world! So she, my husband and I went to breakfast.
When we got back to the house, my friend gave me a little bag with some DVD’s to watch along with some brownies. So of course I scarfed down two brownies immediately. This was probably around 11 a.m. I then had a little bathroom visit soon after breakfast and now looking back my body was definitely preparing for labor!
My husband and I went to a friend’s house to get in the pool for some relief from my heavy belly. Right when we walked in her front door (3:30 p.m.), my first contraction came. I instantly knew it was real. It wasn’t painful…just a mild version of the horrible menstrual cramps I used to have. The Braxton-Hicks I’d been having for months were definitely more uncomfortable. I didn’t say anything though because I don’t want anyone to freak out.
We get in the pool... I know what most of you are thinking. “WHAT? Why aren’t you headed to the hospital immediately?” That’s another blog for another day! I’d prepared myself to know labor is a normal, natural thing that is usually not an emergency.
There were only a few people there – my husband, friend, her daughter and my friend’s parents. I tell my husband quietly that I was having contractions and I needed his watch to time them. They were about 10 minutes apart for an hour. The water was amazing. I’m not sure if it was the water or if my contractions were just that mild. They never hurt. There was definitely a lot of pressure, but not painful at all. We stay at my friend’s house for about an hour and a half. Then I felt the need to empty my bladder, but I didn’t want to do it there. Somehow I just had a feeling that I needed to get home!
I got home and immediately headed to the bathroom and had a lot of mucus plug/bloody show happening. Very exciting and scary! I hop in the shower – contractions are about 8 minutes apart. Get out, decided to lie down – because that’s what I read – lie down and if contractions continue, it’s active (although I already knew it was at this point!)
I got on the couch and WHOA….something happened and my back started to feel as though it were breaking! I guess he turned somehow. It was instantly painful and there was no break between contractions. (Um, hello? Why didn’t I get those minutes in between peaks?)
I leaned over my exercise ball on the bed to take pressure off my back but it didn’t help at all. My husband was trying to time contractions – they were very sporadic. Sometimes 2 minutes apart – sometimes 7. Lasting different times. Although because the pain never stopped, I’m not sure how accurate we were in timing them. I still have the piece of paper from where my husband tried to keep up with my contractions and me!
I then called the birth center and told the midwife that I was definitely in labor, feeling pain and having contractions. She said to continue on my hands and knees and wait until there was a more definite pattern. Oh, and she made sure to demand that I eat! I tried a leftover hamburger but could only eat half. I then totally regretted not eating as soon as I felt that first contraction earlier in the day!
Not 30 minutes went by and I called the midwife back and told her I couldn’t take it any longer. So she said she’d meet me at the center – 40 minute drive. I had to hold onto my husband’s shoulders to get out of the house and into the truck. I can only imagine what we looked like to passing cars! He called our parents and my cousin who was supposed to come take pictures. It was about 8:30 or so at this point, so very short from the time my first contraction started. Sitting down was not pleasant to my back, however, the ride didn’t seem long, surprisingly.
I'm checked and then heard the midwife say, “Oh, we’re definitely having a baby tonight, you’re 7 centimeters dilated!” This was just after 9 p.m. So not quite 6 hours past first contraction. Thank goodness! I could hear my husband breathe a huge sigh of relief!
I go to the wonderfully large queen sized bed and strip off my shirt – I never understood why women always seem to get naked during natural births, but I get it now! I had to lie down on my side; it’s the only thing that helped my back somewhat.
I got a shot of nubaine, although now, looking back, I so wish I would have tried something first – tub, shower, etc. It took the edge off and although it was still very painful, allowed my back to take a break between the contractions.
I think I was there for about an hour when our midwife suggested the tub. She checked me first and I was 9 centimeters, so she wanted to break my water since I was so close and wanted to check for meconium (couldn’t deliver in tub if there was any present).
Into the tub I went and I still remember how wonderful that felt. Instant pain relief! I was full dilated in no time and began to feel the slight urge to push. I started pushing when I felt like it, but didn’t feel quite right. I was checked and still had lip of cervix, so that’s why it didn’t feel right.
I started pushing again soon, but the tub wasn’t feeling great to push because of my back labor. So I got back in bed. I tried to push, but again, not quite right. My wonderful midwife told me to just relax and rest and try to nap. I rested for about an hour! It was so wonderful, I’m sure if I were with an OB in a hospital, they would have forced me to push immediately when I was fully dilated and I would have ended up with a horrible tear or worse!
I began feeling this incredible urge to push and it felt better this time! It was a welcome relief! I could feel a weird pressure in the front of my pelvis while pushing though. It took me several pushes to finally get it right. The best thing our midwife told me was to try to push him up to the ceiling. When I tried it that way, I felt him move so much with each push!!! Very motivating!
I was so exhausted though – due to my lack of food that day (really wish I would have chowed down immediately when I went into labor!) so between each push I would fall back down on the bed. My husband and cousin had to hold each leg back during a push and the midwife knotted a sheet on two ends and she and I each pulled during my contraction. It was so helpful because I was thoroughly exhausted!
After 42 minutes of pushing, my son was born at 2:00 a.m. on June 11. We realized why I had the front pressure/pain during pushing and why I had back labor. He wasn’t quite posterior, but just cocked slightly. His poor little cone head was waay off to the side and back!
I held him for an hour! Then the proud father finally received a chance to hold him. No one took him away, he stayed with us, we made the rules! My little family all got in bed and slept for several hours together. We were so comfy, that we didn’t leave until 5:00 that afternoon! I'd wanted to leave earlier and definitely felt fine, but I was just sleeping so wonderfully there!
Best experience ever!
Oh, and remember my last blog entry about suspected "large" babies? Well, I had a "large" baby of 9 pounds, 4 oz. and believe it or not, my pelvis is still in tact! Not only did I "survive" but I went home the very same day and had a very easy recovery. Thank goodness I was with a care provider that knew that birth was normal and not something to intervene in. The midwives knew not to say ridiculous things like, "Wow, you've got a big one. Hopefully we can get him out." No estimates were ever made. No fear was ever in my mind about a large baby. My labor started and I pushed him out. I knew I could do it. My body was made to birth him!
Happy Birthday to my sweet little boy who is more charming each day and has brought more joy to my life than I could have ever imagined!