Hi everyone. Just a warning that if you read past this note that you are about to read about a childbirth. There will be words about body parts. So, you may want to skip this post.
So, here we go. Wednesday evening (April 2nd) I was feeling just plain tired of being pregnant. So much so that I wrote a letter to my unborn child. As I was only 38.5 weeks pregnant, I assumed it was an effort in futility. None of my other children have been born until I was at least 39weeks and some-odd days along. So, as a last-ditch effort, we decided to do that thing that married people do sometimes. We'd heard it could help. It certainly helped get us into this situation.
At any rate, we had a late start at our efforts (I feel so dirty) and therefore didn't "wrap things up" until about 12:30am. I immediately noticed some bloody show. Good sign. I told Matt and he ignored me. He went to bed. I was super excited, however. By the time Matt was asleep, I was already having some wimpy contractions. I stayed up and read a book. The contractions weren't really getting harder, but I did notice that they were fairly consistent. I also noticed that they didn't really hurt that much like I remembered contractions hurt. Mostly it just felt like a backache. Whatever. Keep reading my book.
Around 1:30am I got bored of reading and decided to waste some time at the computer. Fortunately, both Amber and Becky were online and were kind enough to chat with me. I really wasn't 100% sure if it was labor or not, because while the contractions were mildly annoying, they didn't really hurt all that much. Finally, I decided to time them. They were coming between 3 and 5 minutes apart. But they didn't hurt! Well, they didn't HURT! I guess I just kept thinking that I needed to wait to go to the hospital until they HURT!! If you know Miles's birth story, then you know that would probably be a bad move (1.5 hour labor, barely born at the hospital).
Around 2:30am, I figured I should probably tell Matt. Make him get up. I went upstairs and made an effort at getting him up. He rolled over and mumbled. He wasn't real pleased. I still wasn't in a great deal of pain, but I was worried about how fast labor was going to progress. I figured I was fine for a while longer. I went back downstairs and tried to play some Websudoku.
When I realized that it was taking me WAY too long to finish a board due to my need to stop and concentrate through my contractions, I figured it might really be time to start getting ready to go. And unlike last time, I already had my hospital bag packed. Phew! So, around 3:30am, I finally went up and woke Matt up. I told him I was calling our wonderful friend to come over and stay at our house with the kids. After I called, I calmly and rationally gathered my bags. I managed to get Matt out of bed. We left for the hospital around 3:45am. The hospital is about 2 miles away. We arrived at the hospital around 3:50am. Yes, I know. Very eventful.
Keep in mind that at this point, I'm still not sure that I'm in labor. I'm terrified that they're gonna send me home. Still not having horrific contractions. Just a lot of aching back. I'm fairly certain that the nice people in the Emergency Room thought that I couldn't possibly have been in labor, because I was so calm and polite. Laughing, making jokes, etc. They sent me on up to Labor & Delivery, but I'm sure they thought I'd be going home.
They showed me to a room and checked me. 4am. 3cm. WHAT?! Only 3 centimeters?! I was sure this was going to be my longest labor yet. How rude! So, I laid there for the 20 requisite minutes while they monitored the baby. As soon as that was over, it was time to get up. They told me they'd be back to check on me at 6am. I was not about to have my labor stall out from laying on the bed! So, Matt and I took a lap around the Delivery wing. My contractions were still coming every 2-4 or so minutes. So, we'd walk about 30 steps and stop for me to have a contraction. We got back to our room and Matt begged for mercy. He was exhausted. I was merciful. I told him to go lay down and I'd walk by myself.
So, from 4:45a until about 5:45a, I took some nice slow laps. Pausing to concentrate and breathe. I think this is a good place to point out that I am NOT CRUNCHY. I don't hypnobirth, cloth diaper, co-sleep, etc. But I had already decided that it wasn't worth my time to get an epidural considering that I likely wouldn't be in labor that long. So, during this time of walking and contractions, I was doing a lot of very CRUNCHY visualizing. Imagining my cervix opening and just breathing into my contractions. Letting them do their job, instead of fighting them like I'm guessing I had before. Around 5:45a, I returned to my room, because these contractions were really starting to hurt. I had Matt get up and give me a blessing. It was really so very special.
I went to the bathroom to pee and noticed quite a bit more bright red blood. It was then that I knew we were having a baby. For the next 5-10 contractions (15 minutes), I squatted my the side of my bed. I was still having a ton of pain in my back (um, hello! BACK LABOR!) and so I had Matt put counter pressure on my sacrum. That helped so much. I called the nurses desk and asked them to have someone come in NOW to check me. I continued squatting and moaning quietly through my contractions. More visualizations. Finally around 6:15a, someone came and got me hooked back up to the monitors. I can't even express how much more painful the contractions were once I got in that bed. Another hour of that and I'd have been begging for an epidural. Finally, someone came and checked me. Ta da! 7 cms. The nurse said, "Oh, I bet you'll be wanting something for the pain." To which I totally surprised myself and said, "Um, no, I think I'm good!"
All of a sudden, everyone was in a whirl. You see, I hadn't even been admitted yet. No IV. Nothing. They were shoving paperwork at Matt and asking me questions about previous deliveries and who knows what else. They moved us to a delivery room and fortunately, my midwife was already at the hospital delivering another patient. Yay! It was decided that because I was going to go natural, I didn't need an IV. Music to my ears! I hate needles!!! They got me set up in the delivery room, broke my water and checked me again. 9+ cms. Just a tiny cervical lip. We waited through about three contractions (I say waited. THEY waited. I huffed and puffed and probably screamed a little). But in between contractions, it was the most amazing calm. I felt awesome. I was SO happy. I was laughing and chatting with the nurses and they commented that they'd never seen a woman so relaxed and happy while at 9 centimeters. I really was. We were about to finally meet our baby! I got a little choked up... and then I had another contraction!
When the cervical lip was gone, I was ready to start pushing... and boy was I ready! Get that kid out of me! Here is where I admit to vulgarity. I believe I pushed through 2 contractions before his head came out (turning while he came out... stinking posterior baby!). And I will say that the pain of the contractions is NOTHING to the pain of the kid actually coming out... it hurts. ALOT. Here's the thing though, my brain remembers that it hurt alot, but my body can't. Just 7 weeks later. How is that possible? Anyway, one nice push for his head, one nice push for his body and VOILA! Baby! No tearing, no episiotomy. I couldn't have been more thrilled. 6:43am - Just about 4 hours of what I consider to be labor (I count from 2:30a.)
Lucas latched on right away and nursed for a good hour. Finally, they took him to the nursery to give him a bath.
I absolutely loved my birth experience this time. I felt like I was the one in control. I loved that I was able to walk around and enjoy my contractions that way. I loved that I used visualization and positive self-talk. I LOVED squatting by my bed during those contractions. It felt SO good. I was so pleased that I didn't have to have an IV, or any interventions. I've been eternally lucky with all 4 of my children with no episiotomy or tearing. My recovery was excellent. Now. Onto the neverending joy of a lifetime of Kegels.
I've posted this before, but I'm doing it again because it fits.
Welcome Lucas! We love you!