I finally have a free minute or two to share our birth story :). As you all know, I have been planning a natural childbirth since before I was pregnant. To help accomplish this, we hired a doula, went to childbirth classes, read and studied a lot, and developed a birth plan to communicate our wishes. Obviously, we don’t always have complete control over labor and delivery, but I wanted to be as prepared as possible since I knew that would help me get through the intensity and pain of labor.
So here’s the story of the birth of our beautiful son:
On Monday, I woke up and worked from home. I was still having consistent contractions, but they weren’t strong. As instructed by the doctor the night before, I called our OB’s office and made an appointment for Tuesday to discuss induction. As the day progressed, I started to
a little more crampy and uncomfortable, but nothing terribly painful — basically like annoying menstrual cramps. I also felt like I had to use the bathroom all day — I would literally go pee, and 5-10 minutes later, I would have to go. I was actually getting worried that I was coming down with a UTI. When hubby got home from work around 6:30, I was beginning to feel a little more uncomfortable, but wanted to stay at home as long as possible before heading to the hospital, so hubby went out to grab dinner (cooked sushi = yummy!). When he got home with the food, we ate, but I didn’t have a big appetite, so I ate what I could then took a shower. The discomfort in my lower abdomen started to increase, so I alerted hubby and called our doctor and doula. Since my contractions were regular and close together, the doctor asked us to come in. Hubby packed the car, and we made the quick trip to L&D.
We arrived to hospital around 9:30 and were checked into the observation section of L&D. The nurse set up the monitor to check my contractions and keep watch on Baby W. Our doula arrived 15-20 minutes later. My contractions were definitely uncomfortable, but when the doctor checked me, I was still 2-3 cms dilated and 100% effaced. She recommended that we walk around L&D for a couple of hours to see if that would get things to progress, so we walked for a little over an hour. Again, my contractions were getting stronger and the annoying discomfort continued to progress. I literally stopped to use the bathroom every 15-20 minutes to try to relieve the pressure on my bladder; nothing really helped. After walking for an hour plus, I wanted to go back to the observation room for a quick break — I was having trouble walking through contractions, so wanted to save my energy if I needed it for delivery.
When we got back to the observation room, I again went to the bathroom and noticed that I was bleeding a little bit. This definitely freaked me out a little bit, so I asked to have the monitor back on to check the baby. Our doula continued to assure us that light bleeding at this stage is normal, which definitely made me feel better. While we waited for the nurse to come hook up the monitors, we walked the hallway outside of my observation room. Walking helped when I wasn’t contracting, but during the contractions, I was only able to lean on the wall or hubby. After 20-30 minutes the nurse said she was ready to hook up the monitor. Immediately, we heard the heartbeat, and I was relieved that our little guy was doing just fine. At that point, the doctor came to check me again, and I had only progressed a small amount — I was now 3-4 cms dilated — so she asked us to continue walking and she’d be back in an hour or so to check my progress.
Since I was hooked to the machine, I couldn’t walk, so I leaned over the ball while hubby massaged my back and my doula rubbed ice on my face. The contractions were very strong and very close together, so I had very little rest between each one. The pressure in my lower abdomen continued to increase and I kept trying to use the bathroom since it felt like if I just used the bathroom, I would relieve some of the pressure. Unfortunately, when I went to the bathroom, basically nothing happened, so the pain continued. As the intensity increased, I did my best to focus on the music playing as well as practice our breathing. The back massage helped to distract me from the pain my lower abdomen, so I asked hubby to massage as hard as he could. I am not really sure how long this went on — I didn’t want to focus on time since I felt like it would just make it worse. At this point, it was clear something was going on, so my doula went to find the nurse for an update on when the doctor would come check me. I remember the nurse coming into the room and me begging her to admit me so I could take a cold shower or get into the bath. In my mind, it was obvious that I wasn’t going home, so they should just let me go back to the L&D section.
The nurse left to find the doctor and we continued to get through each contraction using massage and swaying. Finally, the pressure built up to a very significant pain. I was getting worried that I wasn’t going to get through it since I wasn’t sure how much longer and how much more intense the pain was going to get. Suddenly, I felt like a pop and then a huge gush of liquid — my water broke, and, although it was pretty gross, the awful pressure was much better. From there, things progressed very quickly. The nurse rushed in with the doctor and they checked me — I was now more than 7 cms dilated, and they needed to get me admitted immediately. The nurse came in to put in my IV, but the doctor wanted me moved immediately, so the next thing I knew was I was in a wheelchair and hubby was running me into a delivery room. The room was barely set up, so everything left me in the wheelchair to get the room ready — blinds closed, monitors hooked up, etc — and suddenly I had the urge to push. It was truly amazing — my body just knew what to do. It didn’t necessary hurt, but it was very intense. I did my best to just let my body do what it knew how to do — after all, women have been doing this forever :).
After a few minutes (or what seemed like a few minutes), I moved into the delivery bed, the nurse put in my IV, and hubby and our doula turned on music, turned the air down to it’s lowest setting, and made me as comfortable as possible. I continued to have the urge to push, and continued to follow this urge. Our nurse came in, checked me, and I was fully dilated and ready to bring our little boy into the world. It was exhilarating to hear this. Within a few minutes, my doctor came into the room, and very calmly sat at the end of the bed to work with me through labor. My doctor was great — she emanates calm, which made the whole experience less stressful. I basically pushed when I felt the urge — every 2 minutes or so, I think. Everyone was very supportive — again, I just focused on hubby’s voice and our breathing and did my best to let my body do the rest. We tried a few different positions — first laying back and next, we moved to squatting. Squatting was great because I could feel him moving down, so I knew that it was working, which was very motivating. Once he got down further, I laid back on the bed and hubby and our nurse helped me to lift my legs and curl around my abdomen to push him out. Our doula continued to give me water and ice as well as encourage me to keep going. Our doctor gave me very specific advice, which helped me know exactly what to do. First, she asked me to keep pushing when I felt a burning sensation — that sensation was Baby W’s head, and the more I pushed when I felt that, the sooner he’d be in the world. Second, she put her fingers in the birth canal and told me to direct my pushing into her fingers — it was so helpful to have this as a guide. It also encouraged me that I was doing something right, which made me work harder.
It was truly amazing. At this point, I didn’t really feel the pain. I knew we were close to meeting our little boy, and that’s the only thing that mattered. As we neared the end, I heard my hubby say that he saw the head and then the dr told me to reach down and feel the top of his head! We were so close and feeling him beginning to crown was the extra push I needed to get through the last few pushes. I pushed 3 or 4 more times, and the head was out and very quickly the rest of his body emerged. I heard him crying as we waited to cut his cord. After 90 seconds or so, the doctor clamped his cord, and they put Baby W on my chest covered with blankets. Since it was so cold in the room, they had to take him from me for a few minutes to put him in a warming unit. I could still see him and hubby never left his side. After he warmed up a bit, the nurse brought him back to me, put him on my chest, and covered us in warm blankets. Within a few minutes, he was nursing — still on of his favorite activities!
Our little boy entered the world at 4:28am weighing in at 9 pounds, 6 ounces and almost 22 inches. His birth day was the most amazing day of my life — I am definitely stronger that I ever knew, and know this strength will translate into being a great mommy! My hubby was the best support person imaginable — I would have never gotten through it without him :). He is an amazing father, and I know the bond between him and his little boy will continue to grow stronger every single day. We are very blessed and beyond thrilled for this new chapter of our life to begin.
Baby dust to all!
As the pain increased, we waited for our doctor to come back and check me. The L&D ward was very busy — the triage nurse was bouncing between rooms and our doctor was delivering another baby. My discomfort was heightened by the fact that I was very hot. All I wanted to do was get in a cold shower or the birthing tub, but since I hadn’t been officially admitted, I couldn’t use either.