- Young Slushie
- 3 years ago
- Wedding: May 2011
I am primarily a lurker, but this board was essential to me throughout my pregnancy. I especially loved reading all of the birth stories, so I thought I would add mine, in case it helps anyone out! As a preface, I didn’t drink any teas or use any supplements to try and jumpstart labor. Really, it all started out fairly slow…
37 weeks – 1 cm, 50% effaced
38 weeks – 1 cm, 50% effaced
39 weeks – 1.5 cm, 60% effaced
At the 39 week (and 3 days) check-up (a Monday), we made our next appointment for September 3 (I would be 40 weeks, 3 days). The doctor told us that – given the way I was progressing – he would likely see us at that next appointment.
For the rest of the week, I spent my days in the jaws of the nesting instinct – although I didn’t realize it, as it didn’t manifest itself in the usual way. Instead of manically cleaning, organizing, and folding baby clothes, I obsessively organized all of my digital pictures in iPhoto. I bounced on the ball and adjusted dates, tagged faces, and deleted questionable pics from college.
My parents arrived on Friday, August 30th.
Saturday, August 31ist – my due date – came and went without fanfare. I got a pedicure with my mom. I fielded many text messages inquiring about the status of the baby, and my response was always the same: “Still cooking!” I ate the hottest wings they had at BWW. I sobbed that night, and my husband reassured me that I would not be pregnant forever.
On Sunday, I noticed my BH contractions had picked up. They were still painless, but I was taking any progress as a good sign. I kept up my routine of strength training, walking, and bouncing on the ball. And, I geared up for another week of pregnancy.
Then…Labor Day, Sept 2
My mom picked up my husbabd and I at 10:30 AM, and we headed to City Park. We walked around the trails for 4 miles (longer than we planned, due to a frantic search for Hub’s lost – then found – phone).The BH contractions kept up during our time in City Park, then into the afternoon and evening. Given that I had trouble keeping food down throughout the day, we ate plain turkey sandwiches for dinner. Soon after eating, I lost my mucus plug. IAfter that, my contractions picked up – I laid on the couch, and Jesse timed them. They were incredibly mild, with no particular pattern, but they were definitely noticeable. We started getting excited (my husband even jumped up to make tea, thinking we’d head to the hospital ASAP, then dumped the tea when he realized we probably had a ways to go), and we texted our parents to keep their phones nearby during the night.
Jesse and I went to bed, but I couldn’t sleep more than an hour. I kept waking up with the contractions – they made my belly feel incredibly tight and gave me a very mild period-cramp-like pain. At 1:30ish AM, my stomach was audibly growling with hunger, so I moved to get out of bed and make some toast. Mid-maneuver, I felt (and heard) a POP. Seconds later, a rush of water shot down my leg. I leapt out of bed and raced to the bathroom, hovering over the toilet and trying not to make a huge mess on the floor. When the waterworks subsided, I tiptoed back to the bedroom, but Jesse was awake. “My water just broke!”, I said. “Do I have time for a quick shower?”, he said. I assured him that we had time to get everything ready.
At 2:45ish AM, we scored the first parking spot in the hospital garage and made our way inside. En route, I had to stop and breathe through a contraction, and Jesse offered his hand as a stress ball. We checked in (and I breathed through another contraction at Patient Registration), then made our way to Labor and Delivery. I was 3 cm dilated.
My doctor happened to be at the hospital for another delivery, so he checked in on me after a while. My contractions were becoming painful by this time, and the Doctor verified that I was 4 cm dilated. He advised moving around, getting in a hot shower, and walking around to help process the contractions and move the baby down.
My husband was a great walking partner. He let me lean on him and sway during contractions, and he applied pressure to my back. Once walking became too difficult, I got in the shower, hoping to take advantage of the hot water massage. The joke was on me – there was no water pressure! I did my best to fling the trickle of water up and down my back, but the contractions were so painful that the water did nothing but irritate me. By this point, I was shaking from the pain, so Jesse helped me redress then called the nurse.
The nurse came and explained my pain management options, but the Doctor again encouraged me to try to walk around some more. Heeding his advice, I did my best, but soon the pain overtook my rationality and presence. It felt like hot knives were being stabbed into my pelvis, and I had no relief between the contractions – every time one finished, my little boy would squirm around, sending fresh waves of pain through my core, and then another contraction would immediately begin.
They put me back on the monitors, and the Doctor confirmed that my contractions were long (nearly 2 min) and coming at a rapid pace. I wondered how I was progressing, but didn’t ask for a cervical check, as I couldn’t stomach the thought of laying on the bed during a contraction.
Eventually, I reached a point of absolute agony, and turned within. I didn’t let anyone touch me, and if they tried, I barked angrily in response. I pled with with my family to get a nurse and tell them I needed an epidural. My husband jumped, and the nurses told us I needed 2 bags of fluid first. They hooked up my IV, and I was left to cope with the pain again. At this point, I reached an almost a catatonic state, perched on the edge of a chair. I wasn’t moving, I wasn’t groaning. My mom asked my husband if they had given me pain medicine while she was out of the room, I was so quiet and still. He said “no”, I just wasn’t moving. My family members were beside themselves with how to help me, and I know they felt so powerless in the room. I was in my own head, and I don’t know what I was thinking about at the time. I did get up to throw up a couple of times, otherwise, I was permanently crippled in the chair and in a dark place.
Two hours later, the anesthesiologist arrived and kicked out everyone in the room. I was exhausted by this point. Again, I must have blacked out during the procedure (clearly, any pain from the needle was rendered non-existent by the pain in my abdomen.) I know I processed a contraction or two, and I remember shouting “It’s not working!” But soon the epidural truly kicked in, and I felt like a new woman. I even smiled! I’ll never forget the look of relief on my mom and husband’s faces, then the look of shock when the nurse said I was 9 cm dilated. The pain, the nausea, it all now made sense – I almost completed my labor med-free, and was in the bowels of transition when my pain was at it’s worst. At this point it was a little before 10 AM, and we figured we’d have a baby by noon.
Unfortunately, the epidural stalled my labor dramatically. It took another six hours to reach 10 cm and move my baby down into position. Eventually, around 4 PM, the urge to push came over me with ferocity. Pressure was building in my back and abdomen, and I felt the contractions ramping back up. Of course, my doctor had just begun delivery in the room next door! I waited another 1.5 hours on the table, squirming in pain.
When the doc finally arrived, things started happening quickly. Three nurses and my husband grabbed my legs, and we spent the next hour and a half pushing. All of those pre-natal workouts paid off! My husband was my champion, adjusting my oxygen mask, pushing my leg back, and chanting that I could do it. In the end, after three of the biggest pushes of my life, Robin Jacob shot into the world at 9 lb, 3 oz. RJ cried, I cried, my husband and mom cried, even the student nurse cried.
We were able to cuddle with our little one for awhile – it took at least half an hour for the doc to stitch me up. At that point, I was truly grateful for the epidural (which I had been regretting during that six hour delay.) And it is true what they say – the pain of the whole day is now a distant memory, when I snuggle my big beast of a little boy. 🙂