- 5 years ago
- Wedding: August 2010
Sorry this is super long.
Late at night on Saturday, June 30th I noticed that I was starting to lose my mucus plug as the discharge had increased and small amounts of red blood were present. Knowing that the “bloody show” can be a signal of the onset of labor I became very excited and anxious, but my DH was able to calm me down and convince me to not worry about it and get some sleep. I figured that he’s right and labor could be hours to days to weeks away. Throughout the night the bloody show continued with each trip to the bathroom and I started having menstrual-like cramps.
On Sunday (July 1st) morning I woke up feeling a bit off, still crampy and losing more of the plug. We decided to lay low that morning and catch up on some errands/things around the house just in case today was the day.
Around 10 am I called our doula, to let her know about the mucus plug and give her a heads up on my progress. Unfortunately, she had another client call earlier that morning because her water just broke and she let us know she would have to find a backup doula for us.
We returned from the store and I did some baking to kill some time. Around 11am I noticed that the cramps were no longer continuous and there were some breaks present. I called the doula again to let her know that the cramps were starting to become more like contractions. In the meantime she had found us a backup doula and planned to come by the house so that Dave and I could meet the backup before labor really started up.
Around 1pm I noticed that the bloody show, which had been red all night and then faded to a brown color, had reappeared red again. Alarmed due to the change in color I gave the doctor’s office a call. They were not concerned about the change in color, but were alarmed when I said that I hadn’t felt the baby move in a while (even though I rarely felt baby movement during the middle of the day during my pregnancy). They suggested that we head to the hospital so that we can check on the baby and make sure everything is ok.
Dave and I arrived at the hospital at 1:30pm and were brought to the triage room in labor and delivery. There they hooked me up to the fetal monitor and watched the baby’s heartbeat and contractions for about 30 minutes. The on-call doctor came in to check my cervix and said that I was 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced. Great news to me that these small contractions were actually making a difference! The doctor said that the baby is doing fine and we were free to go home, though she expected to see us back sometime in the middle of the night.
On the way home from the hospital the contractions increased intensity to the point where I could still talk through them but I was becoming very uncomfortable. About an hour (~3pm) after we got home we called the backup doula and asked her to come to the house. She arrived and she and DH started helping me work through the contractions.
We continued to time the contractions and soon they were around 2:30min apart and lasting ~50 seconds each. I was very uncomfortable at this point and was dreading a trip back in the car to return to the hospital, even though I knew it was inevitable. We called the doctor’s office again and were told that we should head back to the hospital soon.
The ride was hard. I was very uncomfortable during each contraction. DH managed to keep an ultra-calm demeanor and get us to the hospital safely. Upon arrival we were sent back into the triage room and hooked back up to the fetal monitor. This time it was much harder to lay on the bed as the contractions were getting more and more intense. This time my cervix was 100% effaced and 5 cm dilated, woohoo!
Around 6:30 we were transferred to Labor and Delivery Room No. 1, which has an unbelievable view of the city skyline and a big Jacuzzi tub. I wasn’t particularly focused on the view, but I was told afterwards that it was really superb. Our original doula was still feeling bad about not making it so she had called in a second back-up doula to come help out with the birth.
The next few hours are a bit of a blur to me now. My team of 2 doulas’ and DH were fabulous and moved me between the tub, birth ball, and shower. At least one person also had the hands on me helping with the intense hip pain and a second was massaging my back, feet, hands etc. The pain was very intense and I felt as though there was no break between contractions. I was under the impression that between contractions the pain would stop, but for me it didn’t. I could still feel pressure in my back and hips. At one point the labor was so intense that I was sure I must be in transition but I didn’t want to jinx it so I kept the feeling to myself.
Throughout labor I was pretty vocal and continually chanted phrases like “why?”, ‘it hurts”, “I don’t think I can do this” and “oh no”. Luckily my team was right there with me the whole time with positive reinforcement about how “you are doing this” and “you’re strong”. They were amazing. Starting around 8pm, I started to feel the urge to push. I moved to the toilet and tried to pass a bowel movement, but I wasn’t having much luck. It felt like it wouldn’t end. So we moved back to the ball, then into the shower on a stool. While in the shower the urge to push become much stronger and overwhelming. I could feel the baby coming down. The doulas and nurse kept telling me not to push, so my mantra became “don’t push”. It was hard. At some point, around 8:15 or 8:30, I felt a pop, which we guessed was my water breaking but since I was in the shower there was no way to tell. The urge was overwhelming and I couldn’t stop it. I overhead the L/D nurse tell the doula that if I was really ready to push then I would be making deeper, more guttural sounds. So I started making deeper, more guttural sounds every time I felt the urge –and it did the trick – they believed me!
They transferred me onto the bed so that the nurse could check my cervix. The nurse took a quick look and immediately jumped up to page the doctor. I was told that I was 10 cm and the baby was on her way out. The nurse ran out to the hall to grab the doctor. Soon the doctor was by my side and said we can do this one of two ways- (1) you can push this baby out quickly or (2) we can wait a bit longer and see what happens. I told her I clearly preferred No. 1 – let’s push this baby out. So I got into position and pushed. The doulas and the nurse told me how to push (chin down, no noise) and DH stood by my side cheering me on. After 2 pushes, the Dr said she could see the head – push harder. So I pushed harder. After about 2 more pushes her head popped out and then 1 more her whole body followed. It was an amazing feeling and so quick. After all this time she was here. Laurel was born at 9:08 pm at 7 lbs 7 oz and 21 inches long.
Unfortunately, there was meconium in the amniotic fluid and the doctor was scared that Laurel may have aspirated some so the umbilical cord was immediately clamped and Laurel was moved to the warmer and tended to by a team of pediatricians. DH went over to the warmer the greet her. After they suction her nose and throat she was brought over to me to say a quick hello and then she was shuttled off to the nursery to get check out. DH went with laurel and the doula’s stayed with me while I pushed out the placenta.
Delivering the placenta was quick and easy. Following the placenta, the nurses and doctor started firmly “pressing” or punching my abdomen to help the uterus start contracting and slow down the bleeding. The bleeding continued more than expected and the doctor gave me a shot of Pitocin in the leg and some suppositories in the rectum to help slow down the bleeding and help the uterus contract. The doctor continued to stitch me up, since I had a second degree tear that she described as “rugged”.
DHand Laurel returned from the nursery once I was all stitched up. Despite being in meconium, the doctors thought she didn’t aspirate much and should be ok. We gave her the chance to start nursing, though she didn’t take to it right away. Our doula’s left at this point so that the three of us could have our first moments of family time. After about 30 minutes the nurses came back and we walked over to the postpartum unit. It was somewhat surreal walking the hospital. I was so impressed with my body. I made it through delivery without any pain meds and now 2 hours later I’m walking down the hospital hall with my new baby.
And here she is!