Hi girls! Sorry I didnt pop in here earlier in my pregnancy. I saw the thread that jen posted here about my birth the other day and was touched with the response! I figured I might as well include my whole story for those who are interested. I wrote this up the day that he was born, but it took me a few days before I had time to actually edit it, add pics, and publish it out. This is the finished product and it is part of my heart:
I included every aspect of it that I'll want to remember later but might forget, so it wound up being really long. I included the prestory though, so for those who aren't too into the "how I got there", then just skip right down to the active labor portion.
For those who only want to know "how it all went down", I'll write up a quick recap. I don't like this version at all though because it doesnt do the experience justice in any way. Bleh. Oh well, here's the quick version though:
I was at a 4 and nearly fully effaced on Thursday at my midwife appt (38.5 weeks gestation). After being up all night on saturday night with intense braxton hicks cx, I was getting pretty annoyed that nothing was kicking into full gear. I tried to get labor going on Sunday, because I could feel that the time was growing close for the baby to come. Using all of the classic "induce labor" techniques, I actually was able to work into some decently strong contractions that held consistently at 4 minutes apart for 4 hours or so. Once I stopped bouncing on my birthing ball and doing what I could to get them going, however, they started to fizzle out. We went to the hospital at 9pm anyway and met with my midwife. By the time we got there though, my cx were nearly gone and I was pretty sure I just wanted to go home. She told me I was about the same as I had been at my appt on thursday, so I definitely wanted to just go home at that point. I walked around for a half hour and gained a cm, but I still wasnt feeling like I was in active labor so I opted to go home instead of staying there and having my water broken or something that would commit to getting the labor in progress. I went home and had another sleepless, uncomfortable night of strong and annoying braxton hicks.
With about 4 hours of sleep over two days time, I decided to lay really low all day monday. I didnt want to do anything that would bring about false labor. If labor came, then I wanted to know it was the real deal. I really wanted to conserve my energy the best I could.
That evening at 9, I started to feel the burn and pull of dull active labor cx. I let them take their course for 2 hours, then at 11 I decided that we needed to figure out what was going on. I took a bath in hopes to calm the cx and maybe get some sleep, but they persisted. At 11:30, my cx went from "dull pain" to "high intense I'm going to stab someone to distract myself pain". It was crazy how quickly it all changed. I called my midwife and got to the hospital at midnight.
I was in triage for 40 minutes which was horrible and I hated it. I hate being monitored, strapped to a table and being poked at. Laying on the table was making my crazy bad cx SO much worse and i was starting to lose it. I wanted to get to my birthing room, i wanted to be with my midwife... but triage is all part of a hospital birth so I stuck it out however long I had to.
I was freaking out at this point because I was only at a 5 when I checked in and my water hadn't broken. The cx were so bad though! I thought to myself "if this is the beginning of labor and it hurt THIS bad, then there was no way I can make it for hours on end without an epidural". I was starting to lose my faith in myself. I was only at a 5, so I knew that I'd be able to get an epidural if I asked for one. I knew that I could handle the pain for longer though, so I decided to hold out until I was settled in my birthing room and didnt have anything left of myself to give. Little did I know though, that I was actually at the END of labor, experiencing the hardest contractions that come just before the baby is born.
After finally being released from triage, I got to the birthing room and jumped right in the birthing tub. This was at about 1am. I was able to gain my composure there and recommit to my natural childbirth plan. I started all of my birthing techniques like breathing deep, only allowing myself to omit low, deep moans during each contraction, forcing my body to relax and ride each contraction through, and envisioning each contraction being like a wave in the ocean that I have to withstand as they bring my baby closer to me. My cx were only 30 seconds apart at this time and they lasted about a minute each.
At 1:45am, I actually felt a huge gush of swishy water come out from me. I could only assume that my water had broken, but it was hard to tell that when you're already sitting in a jetted jacuzzi tub. I told my midwife and she checked me and I was at a 7 and my water had indeed broken. Within 2 more contractions, I called out in a weird monotone voice that lasted the length of the contraction "I FEEEEEEEEEEEL INCLIIIIIIIIIIIINED TO PUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSH".
I caught my midwife off guard because it was so soon, but she had me jump right out of the tub and I knelt beside the bed like I was going to pray.
Here I am working through them:
The cx were back to back and crazy intense now. I wasn't sure how to go about it, but I regained and refocused my composure and started to push just a bit. Within moments, my body took over and pushed out the head. The sensation caused me to yell out the word "BAAAAAAAAAAAAAABYYYYYYY" during the push. The pressure released, but instantly started up again as I realized I had to push the shoulders out still. Here's a pic Sam took of me just before I started my last push:
The cx took hold and I pushed with all my might. I screamed "MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP!!!!" and bam! Little Simon slipped right out of me and into my midwife's arms, all 8 lbs, 9 oz, and 20.5 inches of him. Here I am as I realized what had just happened:
Then I shouted out to Sam, "I did it! How about that!!! I did it!!! We're done, he's here!"
I felt like a million dollars, I just hopped up onto the bed with the baby following in tow and sat down to receive him. It was absolutely amazing. He got a 9 and a 10 on his apgars and was healthy as could be. He nursed right away and everything was truly perfect. I only needed a little stitch for a superficial tear that I havent noticed since, and other than that I haven't had any need for recovery. My body just bounced right back and I rode that endorphin high for days. Three cheers for natural childbirth! I'm so grateful that my labor was under conditions and circumstances that enabled me to keep my goal. I seriously couldn't be happier with my experience and I'm already looking forward to my next (though that's a few years out).