I have sat on this for far too long considering I love asking others for their own birth story. So here goes ours:
I loved being pregnant but most mamas might agree that as your due date approaches, naturally, you can’t help but get excited and anticipate meeting your fully baked babe. As for encouraging labor to start, I wasn’t willing to try castor oil unless she was past the due date but I did try a lot of things that seemed more natural to me. It’s not unnatural to walk, drink tea or eat copious amounts of pineapple right?
I knew that she would come when she was ready so with my doctor’s reassurance that it wouldn’t work unless my body and the babe were ready for it, I had my membrane stripped twice. Once at 38 weeks and once right before 39 weeks. Now I haven’t personally tested the theory enough to say it works, just the one time, but it was about 12 hours after the second stripping that my water broke.
I am very lucky. I can’t say my labor was easy, (I doubt anyone would label their labor as easy,) but I can imagine that it could be, and is, a lot worse for others.
But, back to the story: it was around 11pm that Andrew and I had finally gotten in bed and I felt a small gush like you might if you were on your period. Knowing it couldn’t possibly be the case I took off to the bathroom and sat on the toilet where my water emptied. I remember calling Andrew, while shaking due to excitement and nerves, and asking him if he had heard “that”. I had read that when your water breaks it is different than urinating because you can’t control it, but I genuinely felt like I was able to stop it. -I hadn’t even made a mess.
We called the doctor and explained what happened and she said it seemed like my water broke and I should probably head over the the hospital. I had always planned to labor at home as long as possible. This was to ensure I was in my element and so that we wouldn’t be in the hospital any longer than we had to be. I know I had been 3 cm dilated that morning but I had no contractions so I still wasn’t convinced.
I was concerned that we were going to drive the 30 minutes to the hospital and I was going to get sent home because I had just lost bladder control (which has never happened to me). So while my mom and Andrew frantically packed up the car I did the natural thing and curled my hair (LOL) to prolong the “at home” part as long as I could. We shortly thereafter hopped in the car and I told Andrew, “Hopefully the entire labor is this easy”
At the hospital, we walked to five different locked doors before finally entering through the ER where we told the security guard I MIGHT be in labor. At Labor and Delivery we filled out the necessary paperwork and got to a room where they told me to get changed. I asked if they wanted to check me first to see if I was even in labor or if I was just some crazy person who just peed her pants and was making a big to-do out of it.
As soon as I put on the gown and sat on the bed I felt another gush. I leaned over and, though I couldn’t see it due to the belly, Andrew and the nurse laughed because what must have been left of my amniotic fluid had just emptied onto the bed. While the nurse hooked me up to the monitors I remember saying I wanted to hold off on any pain meds as long as possible. That was when the first real contraction hit and I amended my statement to “Oh my God, unless that’s a contraction….” After it went away I laughed at how intense it was.
Contractions began to come on longer and stronger, as they do. I was making my poor mother and Andrew put pressure on different parts of my body every couple minutes as I suffered through them (their poor wrists). I had the most intense pain in my right inner thigh, oddly. They both kept telling me to breath and finally I burst out “Stop telling me to breathe! I have my own rhythm to breathe at.” I remember laughing in between each one and apologizing profusely to everyone who came in the room for being so crazy.
Worth mentioning: I had brought everything to the hospital that is recommended, foam roller, essential oils, yoga mat, the works, and never actually got any of it out of the car.
I have, for the longest time, had a MAJOR needle phobia. Even really thinking about it makes me tear up, or did before having a baby. Before pregnancy I’d take Valium every time I had to get a shot and I would still bring my mom to every appointment and wail like a baby… I know, don’t judge me. When I got my blood drawn during pregnancy I’d have to be held down as I would insist that: I’ll come back another day just please let’s not do this today! After being done I’d be in this weird state of simultaneously crying, laughing and apologizing because I KNOW it’s completely irrational. Bah!
I was convinced through my pregnancy that I would avoid having an epidural because,
a. I knew I could do it on my own and
b. Needles, obviously
.. but these contraction things were starting to get so bad that I was getting nauseated. I guess I have never had pain THAT bad because it was something I hadn’t experienced before. At around 4 am I asked the nurse when she expected transition to occur and she told me her guess was 3pm. 3 PM?! I was already exhausted because it was way past my bedtime and instead of sleeping I was now going through the worst pain of my life, but 11 more hours of this? No way I could handle that. I just made a decision. No more pain.
As terrified as I was of the epidural if I was going to get one, might as well not have to experience another bloody contraction. AMIRITE? I held so still it’s a miracle I wasn’t already on some hospital grade sedative. I was tearing up that I let myself down and didn’t do what I had intended. As soon as it kicked in however, I got enough relief that I took a twenty minute nap and now have a newfound opinion on epidurals. Andrew keeps saying, he was looking at the chart and my contractions were coming in so quickly and immensely he was amazed that I was sleeping through them. He knew it couldn’t be much longer.
Sure enough, the nap only lasted twenty minutes because the nurse came in and said it was time to push. Hm if I had known that maybe I wouldn’t have gotten that epidural. Then again, I was also laughing and joking with everyone in the room as I was pushing so I am sure that would have been a different scenario without the pain relief.
“I see a head full of hair” The nurse had said,
“Red??” Andrew asked hopefully, but alas no, he could see it for himself. It’s a surprise they couldn’t see one of her chubby cheeks first 😉
They asked if I wanted a mirror and I said yes of course. I love seeing that stuff.
The way people talk about it I always thought there was two ends to the bed: The head side, and the baby side. This is wrong, by the time you are curled up in a ball pushing out the baby if you’re in the room you’re in the thick of it. In the past I was a private person, but as they say, all of that truly goes out the window as soon as there is a baby involved.
Eloise Wesley our cooperative happy little baby was born 6:57 am March 3rd 2017 measuring 20.5″ 8lbs 6oz. Apparently this is a “big” baby because they kept taking her blood sugar. I just kept asking everyone to PLEASE stop calling my little baby BIG. Oh well I guess a tall daddy equals a tall baby.