- 2 years ago
- Wedding: October 2011
After dinner on July 18th I started feeling crampy and had a little bleeding. I’d had a cervical check at my 39 week appointment the day before, though, so I thought it could still be from that. I went to bed about midnight and was able to sleep until about 3:30 am, when the contractions woke me up. I got up and had a snack, took and bath, and watched a movie on my yoga ball. By 7 am I was getting uncomfortable and woke my husband up. Even though the contractiosn were between 3 and 6 minutes apart I still wasn’t sure I was really in labor because I had SO MANY Braxton Hicks and false labor contractions. My husband made us a quick breakfast and we made the 45 min drive to the birth center. I called the birth centeron our way in and told them “I think I’m in labor.” We arrived at the birth center about 9:30 and by then I was breathing and making low noises through the contractions. The midwife checked me (there were two on call) and I was at 4 cm dilation, 5 during a contraction. Yay!! I labored outside, leaning on a picnic table for a while. I was hot and it felt nice to be outside. When I was feeling more pain we went inside and I got into the tub. I used some of the hypnobirth things we’d learned like focusing on the feel of a cool washcloth, my husband’s voice, and music on Pandora. I stayed in the tub several hours, and when they checked me again I was about 7 cm. I got out of the tub to pee and then switched to the shower on a birth ball. Moving was hard and painful and I threw up a few times into the sink, which was actually no big deal. My husband brought me my toothbrush and I felt better afterwards. I was in transition by then and it was pretty rough- lots more pressure down low that was painful. I kept the shower sprayer right above my crotch and that helped a lot. The midwives checked me and I was 9 cm, just a tiny lip of cervix to go. I was SO STOKED!!! It was about 3 pm by then and I thought we’d have our baby soon. The midwives asked if I felt the need to push but I didn’t yet. I hung out in the shower for a while and then on my hands and knees on the bed, moving my hips and leaning on the headboard. My husband or the midwives squeezed my hips for me, which helped A LOT. After a while they checked me again and I was still at 9cm- WTF!!?! I was pretty discouraged and also getting tired. I drank some juice and got back in the shower for pain relief. The midwives told me to try some pushes to see if I could get past that little lip of cervix. I started pushing at about 5 pm and tried pushing in the shower while holding onto my husband, then on the bed on my side, then on a birth stool. I couldn’t help but poop- it was gross and I said, “Sorry, babe” to my husband because he hates poop. We were actually able to laugh about it a tiny bit. I pushed and pushed but it didn’t help. By then I was SO discouraged. It was then the midwives listened to the baby on the Doppler and the heartrate was low. It was about 7pm and the senior midwife said it was time to go to the hospital- they wanted continual monitoring for the baby and they thought Pitocin would help me. I was pretty out of it by then. They threw some clothes on me and I got in the midwife’s car for the 4 minute ride to the hospital. My husband followed in our car. The car ride was rough, I hated sitting down but it was over in a few minutes. We got there and I kneeled on a gurney/trolley thing as they wheeled me into Labor and Delivery. I had the mother of all contractions and pushed so hard and made a crazy loud labor noise right as we went down the hall. My husband said it was like a movie and some small part of me thought it was hilarious, like, what the fuck is happening? I got onto the hospital bed, got the fetal monitor on and the baby was doing just fine. I started pushing for real now, I couldn’t stop if I’d wanted to and they could see the baby’s head. Everyone was cheering me on and the midwives were telling me “we can see the head!” and I was like, “I don’t care if you can see the head, I want to see the WHOLE BODY.” My husband said he has never seen me so determined and I pushed as hard as I could with the contractions for the next hour and a half. It was such hard work, I think I used every muscle in my body and I popped a blood vessel in my eye. The nurse and my husband helped me hold my legs because I was so tired by then. Finally at 8:20 pm, after pushing for 3.5 hours, I did my last huge pushes. I felt myself tear but I didn’t care. It hurt so fucking bad but it was over so quickly and then I felt the little body slide out- best feeling ever! My husband caught the baby and brought it to my chest, facedown. The nurse toweled it off and everyone was like, “what is it?” My husband turned the baby over and everyone said, “It’s a boy!” and we said, “It’s Miles!” The placenta came out and the midwife stiched me up (I got a second degree tear but the recovery hasn’t been bad at all) and I snuggled our son. It turns out the cord was wrapped around his neck and also again around his shoulders- that is why he took so long to descend and why my pushes weren’t very effective for so long. His APGAR was 8 and 9 though, so no worries there. The midwife also said my uterus wasn’t helping me push much (damn you, uterus!) and that if I hadn’t been so strong (I worked out like crazy while pregnant) I probably wouldn’t have been able to push him out, since I really had to use my core and pelvic muscles. That made me feel a lot better because I’d felt so discouraged, like, why isn’t it working??? Why won’t the baby come??? I stayed in the hospital overnight and we went home the next day. I am a little bummed I didn’t get to deliver at the birth center as planned but I did have an unmedicated birth like I’d hoped for so I’m really happy and proud about that. I’m also grateful the midwives made a conservative judgement call for the baby’s safety- I really trust them and their expertise. Even though it was so much harder than I thought it would be I wouldn’t change things- overall it was such a positive experience for both me and my husband. He says he’s so glad I “made him” take the hypnobirth (he called it ‘hippybirth’ haha) and the regular birth classes and he loved the birth center experience. We are so in love with our little son and as a couple we feel closer than ever. Thanks for reading my story! And here’s a pic of little Miles, our best guy.