As you may have guessed, I didn’t write a blog entry on Friday May 10th because… THE BABY WAS BORN! He was born at 6:18am weighing 7 pounds 8 ounces. It was such a wonderful experience and I will never forget seeing him for the first time. Here is my labor story…
I went to the doctor on Monday May 6th for my 39 week checkup. While I was there I asked if my doctor could check for dilation since I had been feeling lots of pressure. I thought to myself that I was at least 1, if not 2 centimeters dilated. After all, its my second pregnancy and I was feeling lots of changes. She checked my cervix (which by the way is very painful) and to my dismay she said I was closed… I was so disappointed but I had to keep in mind that with my son I was zero centimeters at my checkup and the next day I went into labor. So I went home feeling discouraged but I tried to keep my mind off everything by staying busy.
The next day I woke up around 8 in the morning with some contractions. I was so excited that this could be it. A few hours later I had my “bloody show” (I know, I know, TMI. But this is a labor story…) I contacted the parents just to give them a heads up that I was having contractions and that I had the bloody show. I also called my doctor to see if I needed to be checked. They wanted me to come be monitored to make sure the baby was handling the contractions well. I went in and had a non stress test. The baby was doing great and when checked found out I was 1 centimeter dilated. Yay, I thought! Progress! I went home and kept track of the contractions. They were pretty inconsistent but painful. Around 5 that night the contractions stopped! I was so disappointed! My best friend came over to cheer me up. We did silly things to try and get contractions started again. We danced the Macarena, we took silly belly pictures, we laughed a lot and we told the baby to come out! It was lots of fun.
The next day, Wednesday May 8th I woke up at 8:30am with more contractions. They were pretty intense. I timed them all day and they were consistently 8-10 minutes apart. I decided to go get checked again to make sure the baby was doing well. When I was checked I was 3 centimeters dilated. More exciting news. I went home and continued to time them. My husband and I went for a walk, I walked up and down my stairs and I bounced on my birth ball. To my shock the contractions stopped again around 6pm. I was so frustrated and tired! I went to bed and then the contractions started again. I woke up once an hour with a contraction all night.
The next day was Thursday May 9th. I woke up and started getting ready for my doula class. The contractions were so random and far apart so I decided to go to class. I told the parents that the contractions were inconsistent again so they wanted me to go get checked just to make sure the baby was still handling the contractions. We made an appointment at 4pm to be seen, and they wanted to come for reassurance. It was great seeing them, it had been so long since we had seen each other. They were so anxious and worried. After all, At that point I had been in early labor pretty much since Tuesday. My doctor monitored the baby who was doing great, and checked me. I was almost 4 centimeters dilated. At that point my contractions were picking up again. We left the doctor and my husband and I went to pick up our son. On the way to pick him up the contractions were getting closer together and so much more painful. When we got home I was having a really hard time, especially since I was in the car having contractions. They were painful enough that I had to really work through them. My son was not very happy seeing his mommy in pain. I tried to put on a brave face for him, but the pain was too much. My husband put him to bed while I worked through contractions. When he was done he sat with me and helped me through. I kept in contact with my doula who gave us over the phone advice until it was time for her to come. At that point it was about 9pm and the contractions were 6-8 minutes apart and unbearable. About an hour later I called my doula to tell her that I couldn’t handle the pain anymore, it was too intense. I told her that I thought it was time for me to go to the hospital to get checked and possibly get an epidural. My plan was to try natural, but MAN those were some powerful contractions. She said she would come and help me through the contractions until it was time to go to the hospital. I called my mom and told her it was time for her to come be at the house to watch my son. Also, my best friend was on her way. I started to get nauseous and the contractions jumped to 3-4 minutes apart very quickly. Within 20 minutes my doula and mom arrived at the house. She helped me through some contractions while we prepped to go to the hospital. I told the parents I was on my way to the hospital but wasn’t sure how much longer it would be.
We got to the hospital and I was taken to labor and delivery. They hooked me up to the monitor to make sure the baby was doing well. I had to lay in the bed for 20 minutes which was torture. The contractions at that point were 2 minutes apart and SO painful that I said I wanted an epidural right away. The anesthesiologist came in and I quickly told him my concern that the epidural might not work because of my previous experience. He was really nice and said he would be extra cautious. I was terrified once he started because I had to sit perfectly still in a very uncomfortable position while having extremely intense contractions 2 minutes apart. Before he even started I had to jump off the bed because the contraction was so powerful. So I sat there with my doula to my left, my best friend to my right and my husband right in front of me. They were my saving grace. They comforted me and kept me strong. After two attempts to put the catheter into my spine it was over. I was able to lay back and finish through my contractions. It took about 15 minutes to get the pain relief that I needed, but it came! I was thrilled that the epidural worked! My doctor came in and checked me. I was 6 centimeters dilated. Now, I want to take a moment here to say, HELL YA! I may not have accomplished natural childbirth, but I got to 6 centimeters with no pain relief. I am impressed with myself and I feel proud!
At this point it was May 10th, probably around 1am. The parents arrived at the hospital. It felt so good to see them. This was it, no turning back. We were having a baby one way or another! My doctor broke my water and we waited… But then to my horror… I started to feel contractions again. My doula sat with me as I struggled to get through. My water was broken and the contraction pain was tremendous. I didn’t think it could get any worse but I was wrong. They called the anesthesiologist back in. He brought with him a needle. I prayed that whatever he was putting in the catheter would take the pain away! It was the worse 30 minutes of the whole labor. My doula was amazing though. She got me through it! My husband was also completely wonderful and supportive. My best friends presence in the room was so comforting. Once he put the medicine in, about 15 minutes went by and the pain was gone again. Thank GOD! At that point my doctor decided to check me again. It had been about an hour since my last check. I was 9 centimeters dilated!! I was thrilled! I thought it was going to take a lot longer. They then encouraged me to rest because pushing was the next part. I slept on and off for what seemed like 2 hours. After I slept my doula and I talked about school since I’m training to be a doula. My husband slept in the waiting room for an hour and my best friend slept in the chair in my room. The doctor came in at about 6am and checked me. She said the head was right there, it was time to push. My husband stood on one side of me and the nurse on the other. They each held my legs so I could push. I could move my legs but couldn’t hold them up. I couldn’t feel the contractions so they told me when to push. Fifteen minutes of pushing later and he was born. I watched him slip out and up. He had so much hair! I ended up asking if they would put him on my stomach. I rubbed his back and held his hand and talked to him. He cried and cried! My doctor asked if I wanted the parents to come in the room or if they should take the bay to them. The original plan was the baby was going to be taken to them in a separate room. But in that moment I knew what needed to be done. I wanted to see them meet their baby for the first time. I wanted to experience that. So we had them come in. It was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced, besides giving birth to my son. The parents came into the room and I was holding their son on my stomach. His mom started crying tears of joy, and love, and relief. She put her hands on his back and cried. I started to cry, my husband started to cry, my best friend started to cry. It was such a magical moment. She hugged me and thanked me. The nurse handed her the baby and she cried so hard. It was so emotional, and amazing. I was so happy!
That is my labor story. It was four days of on and off labor (mainly on) and 15 minutes of pushing. I really can’t complain. It was a great experience. In the end, it was everything that I wanted it to be and more! I helped two beautiful people start a family.
My next entry I want to share with you the rest of the story. My hospital stay and the recovery process. To be continued…
Me on our walk during labor
Me sitting on my birth ball in between contractions.
My contraction timer! This thing was awesome!