- 5 years ago
- Wedding: August 2012
I tried all the wives’ tales I could remember, I bounced on my yoga ball, I walked miles and miles; you name it, I tried it! I had my 41 week appointment with the midwife, and per her suggestion I decided to try castor oil. She told me to mix it with peanut butter or greek yogurt- protein apparently helps keep the intestinal distress to a minimum. I made a smoothie with the yogurt, castor oil, and some strawberries and a banana to help mask the taste. It wasn’t too bad! It wasn’t too great either though.
I did have some intestinal discomfort, and had mild contractions throughout the day. They were not intense, but became a little stronger and more regular as the day progressed. I decided to go to bed around midnight to get my rest since I was pretty sure the next day would FINALLY be THE DAY.
I woke up on Saturday, April 13th, around 3:30am with contractions strong enough that I could no longer sleep through them. They were still very manageable, and I decided to take a shower. The contractions picked up a little more, and I decided to wake my husband and make breakfast around 5:30am. I got a call from the midwife to check on me, and we decided I would labor at home a few more hours and wait to go to the hospital (unless my water broke- which it did not).
We headed to the hospital around 8am, at which point my contractions were about every 2-3 minutes and more intense, but still manageable. I had to vocalize through most of them, but was still using long, slow, deep breaths to handle each wave. We got to the hospital & I called my doulas and a dear friend I also wanted present to support me during the birth process. I checked in, got a room, and began to walk and use the birthing ball. The midwife checked me and unfortunately I was only 1cm dilated. She decided to ‘stay in there’ a moment and check me during a contraction, after which I was magically dilated to 4! This was a really uncomfortable process, as I was not interested in laboring on my back at ALL and had to be reclined during a cervical check. The midwife was gentle and efficient, but it was still really painful.
I continued to use different positions during contractions, such as leaning over the elevated back of the bed, bouncing on the ball, swaying with my husband, squatting, and walking. Around 12:30ish, the midwife suggested we take the birthing ball into the shower and labor in there a while. This was the point my contractions picked up even more intensity. I was being more vocal, I was unable to talk through them at all, and I started humming/grunting/moaning in a lower register. The midwife peeked in and suggested that it was time for another cervical check since I was sounding very different during my contractions.
We headed back to the bed where she said I was a solid 5cm, and wanted to check through a contraction again. Let me tell you- THAT em-effing HURT! It was the first time I whimpered and cried in pain. My husband later told me that it was during this moment he began to get a little panicky, as he was upset to see me in pain. As soon as she was finished checking me, my water broke. I didn’t notice it at all, I felt no pop, no gush, nothing. The next contraction knocked my socks off though! I felt fluid gush out at this point, and the contractions were one after the other with no break. One doula was rubbing my lower back, the other was applying pressure to my hips, my friend was rubbing my feet and calves, and my husband was holding my hand, reciting some of my positive birth affirmations to me. The midwife continued to encourage me and help me vocalize in such a way that I could relax my jaw. I threw up.
At this point, they instructed me to get into the tub. It was about 2pm. I got into the tub and immediately the contractions, while still intense, were manageable again. The doulas continued to massage me, and my husband continued to support and encourage me. I felt like I needed to poop. I knew I was only dilated to 5cm just a few moments ago, so I assumed that I actually had to use the bathroom. When the midwife did a quick check she was surprised to find a head in the birth canal!
I had really hoped to be able to deliver in the tub, unfortunately the hospital doesn’t currently allow it. So, out of the pool with me and into the bed. The midwife instructed me to get on all fours and try a few pushes. The doulas continued to massage and apply counter pressure, and my husband never left my side. The midwife had a squat bar to put on the bed, and I assumed a squatting position for pushing. I was very vocal, trying to make the low “oh” noise but it was getting harder to maintain my long & slow yoga breathing pattern. I pushed. I pushed. I screamed. I pushed. It felt like an eternity. My eyes were closed. I don’t know who was massaging what. I don’t know who was talking to me or what they said. I gave one last BIG PUSH and the next thing I knew I was reaching down and picking up my baby! I leaned back on the bed holding onto a very slippery, very alert baby GIRL! She was wide-eyed with wonder! My husband had tears in his eyes. It was the most beautiful, magical moment of my life so far. It was only 2:34pm. Just a half an hour before, I was only 5cm dilated. I was in shock!
Eleanor Joanne (Ellie) was perfectly content to wait a full 8 days past her due date, but when she was ready, she was ready right now!!!
She was a 9 on the APGAR scale, and weighed 8lbs4oz, and was 21 inches long.