- 9 years ago
Hi all. Just thought I’d share, since I always liked reading these when I was pregnant.
I had prepared to have a natural (non-medicated) birth. Took classes emphasizing pain management, etc. About two days before my due date I had some spotty brown bleeding and the day before my due date I lost my mucus plug. (Eww – hate that word!) I went into labor on my due date (how convenient!) at about 9:00pm. I wasn’t entirely sure it was labor because I had had some pretty intense Braxton-Hicks contractions in the month previous. But these felt more regular and I just felt different somehow. (I know that’s not THE most helpful description, sorry!) I was able to sleep through the night, although I was tossing and turning. I woke up and the contractions continued, and slowly got more intense. Around 11:00am they were starting to get pretty painful and I started timing them with my husband. (He had a stopwatch and a notebook where he kept track of the intervals and length of the contractions.) They were about 8 or 9 minutes apart, so I didn’t go the hospital at that point — I wanted to go into the hospital when they were about five minutes apart. My husband and I sat around watching The Wire (it was a good distraction!), pausing it whenever I had a contraction. At this point things were getting pretty intense. I tried to breathe through them, but the pain was pretty bad.
At some point I started to feel fluid leaking. I know this is going to sound weird, but I didn’t realize it was my water breaking — I just thought labor was making it hard for me to control my bladder. I guess I had heard a lot of stories where a woman’s water broke and fluid just gushed out, and since I wasn’t experiencing that I didn’t realize it was my water breaking.
The contractions got more intense, and had been about 5 minutes apart for an hour, so we decided to leave for the hospital. The contractions I had while in the car were pretty excruciating. I couldn’t talk or do anything while they came. We got there and headed up to the maternity ward. The nurse measured me and I was 5 centimeters dilated, which surprised me since I didn’t realize I was that far along. At this point I was getting really overwhelmed by pain. Mentally I just felt like my nerves were fraying — I was getting teary and my entire body was shaking even between contractions. So, I decided to go ahead and get the epidural. I had to wait another hour to get hydrated with an IV, so by the point I actually got the epidural I was 8 centimeters dilated. And what a difference! I went from weeping and shaking and awful pain to literally dozing!
About an hour later it was time to push. In my hospital a nurse took one leg and my husband took the other while I pushed and the doctor watched in order to “catch” the baby. My doctor thought it would take at least an hour, but after twenty minutes my daughter was born! Pushing wasn’t painful at all — I just felt pressure. It was hard work, kind of like doing intense circuit training at the gym, but again, not painful.
Holding my daughter as she got her very first look at the world was amazing. It’s a moment I’ll never forget. (I’m tearing up thinking about it!) All in all I was really pleased with my birth experience. My doctor and husband were both amazing. And my little girl was perfectly healthy. Even though I got the epidural, I think I had a very successful birth experience.
I’ll post my recovery and post-birth story soon — these were perhaps the biggest surprises for me.