- 8 years ago
- Wedding: April 2010
I was due on June 19th and had been getting increasingly uncomfortable as the days approached. There just didn’t seem to be more room for the baby, and I thought s/he would burst out Alien style. I had trouble sleeping — no position was comfortable, and my hips were really painful from having to be on either side all night. I even resorted to “sleeping” in the rocker/recliner we bought for the baby’s room.
When June 20th came around, I felt a bit “off” during the morning. Like I didn’t want to walk or do very much. My stomach kept getting tighter, and it felt like I had one giant Braxton Hicks contraction all day. I met a friend for coffee that afternoon, and I felt something similar to a BH, but a little more painful. Painful enough to stop our conversation for a moment. Then that was that. The rest of the afternoon was pretty normal, but my stomach was still a bit tight.
Fast forward to bedtime around 10:30-11 or so. I went to bed and tried to get comfortable and fall asleep. Hmm. That was kinda painful. A tightening similar to what I had earlier while with my friend. It went away after about a minute or so, so I didn’t think much of it. Woke up again with the same kind of pain. That was maybe about 20 minutes later. Repeat. Finally decided to mention to my husband that something may or may not be happening. It wasn’t until I went to the bathroom and (TMI alert) I saw my mucus plug and bloody show (EEEW) that I decided it must be real labor. I called our doula to give her the heads up and ask if she thought it could be real labor. She said it could be and that also it could still be days before I was in labor, even if I did see my mucus plug and bloody show. She suggested I take a warm bath, have a glass of wine, and get some sleep. Um. No. Just wasn’t going to happen.
So, my husband broke out the handy dandy iPhone app with the contraction timer and started timing the contractions. And I did try and rest as much as possible between them. Over the next 6 hours they rapidly progressed from maybe 20 min. apart to 15 to 9 to 6 to 5 min. My husband was fantastic during this whole process. I’d announce that I could feel another contraction coming on, and he was right there rubbing my back, giving me ice, and doing whatever I needed to feel better. In the meantime, I kept our doula updated and ask for advice about what to do to manage the pain. She suggested all sorts of tried and true methods for getting through the contractions, so I tried them in rotation. She didn’t seem too concerned that anything would happen soon. I’ll never forget how crazy it was to sit on an exercise ball in the shower! The shower was supposed to help us tell if it was true labor, and if it was true, the contractions would speed up. Well, they went to 3 min. apart!
Once we realized the contractions were 3 min. apart regularly, I really felt I couldn’t wait to go to the hospital any longer. Our doula had been planning to meet us at the house, but we called back to say, nevermind and go to the hospital.
Oh, the car ride. That was one of the worst rides ever. Luckily we only live about 15 min. from the hospital, so I probably had 5-8 contractions on the way. I almost asked my husband to run all of the lights — after all, we had the King of all excuses if we got pulled over. He was amazingly calm under these conditions. Since the contractions were so bad in the car, even though I had wanted a medication-free birth, I was going to pull into the parking lot and ask for an epidural asap.
We pulled into the night hours entrance around 5:15 a.m., went in as quickly as possible, and filled in a tiny bit of paperwork while I also worked through a couple more contractions in the hall. So grateful that I had pre-registered for the hospital, so the paperwork was at a minimum. I had to ask the staff to wait through another contraction before escorting me to a labor and delivery room. They checked me as soon as possible, and SURPRISE!, I was already 8 cm dilated! I had known I was 1-2 cm and 80% effaced as of the previous Fri., but I would have never guessed I labored to 8 cm at home. I was absolutely stunned. I gave the staff my birth plan, and it was up to me to tell them if I wanted an epidural. It didn’t make sense to me to have one since I was already so far along. My doula showed up just in time — drove 80 mph to get there from an hour away! She broke out every trick possible — was there with ice, aromatherapy, cold compresses, words of encouragement and general awesomeness. So glad we hired her.
So, I labored for another hour and eventually hit 9.5 cm. Then the greatest urge to push washed over me. I couldn’t stop it, even though everyone in the room was shouting at me not to push. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
Thankfully, I hit 10 cm pretty quickly after that. And then my “favorite” part started. I started pushing from the basic bed position and then to get me progressing more, my doula suggested we switch positions and let gravity work in our favor, so I tried squatting with a bar, sitting on the edge of the bed, kneeling on the bed with my head at the top of the bed. And as many people before me have mentioned, pushing the right way should feel like you are taking the biggest poop of your life.
They thought my water broke at this time, but then the pushing went on for about 45 min. when my body played a cool trick: HUGE fluid geyser explosion in the room. The baby had shifted positions enough to release a giant amount of fluid into the air — it landed everywhere, and the look on everyone’s faces was priceless. My doula said she had never seen anything like it, and she’s attended over 350 births!
OK, back to it. I was so tired at this point. This was by far the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. I kept myself as focused as possible and breathed through the pain. Some contractions were more painful than others, and when I felt a particularly painful one, it was perfect to use it for pushing. I pushed about 3 times per contraction, and my support team of husband, doula, and nurses was fantastic. So encouraging, and I felt like Super Woman.
Just when I thought I just couldn’t keep going on, I got some encouragement. My husband now reminds me daily of this because it was so funny at the time: Apparently, during one of the last pushes, I shouted “Ring of FIRE!” Now I totally understand what people are talking about. Oh, the burning! BUT, the best part is that I got this far, which meant the baby was coming out ASAP. The Dr. told me to stop pushing after the head so he could clear the baby’s nose and mouth. I can’t believe I was able to stop, but I did.
Next thing I knew, the baby’s body was out, and the Dr held up our brand new baby boy! My husband got to shout “It’s a boy!” and we all started bawling. Team Green is now Team Blue, and we couldn’t be happier. My husband cut the cord, and the Dr. stitched up a minor tear while I held our baby on my chest while he got cleaned up.
It’s my pleasure to introduce you to my sweet baby boy Colin Murray.
Born June 21, 2012 at 8:08 a.m.
7 lbs., 3 oz. and 21 inches long