OK, this may seem a bit out of context, and it is. Recently, I wrote up a birth/breastfeeding/parenting paper that was a history of my 3 kids. Since my middle girlie is turning 6 tomorrow, I thought I would cut and paste part of her story in here! Some of it may be waaaaaay TMI (rectal pain, anyone?) and some of it mentions things from the previous labor/birth, so it’s not perfect, but still, I wanted to share!
This pregnancy went very smoothly, and I was determined that THIS time would be my natural birth. So I took out some books from the La Leche League library, including the Dr. Sears “The Birth Book” which I must have read from cover to cover about 20 times! I wanted so much to really experience her birth (for this one, we found the sex of the baby).
I had switched OB/GYN providers to a group closer, and out of the city. It was a pretty typical, smooth pregnancy. My due date was March 13th, and as it approached I made it very clear I was NOT going to have my membranes stripped! So March 13th came and went… And the antsyness started. (The doctors’, not mine!)
I went along with non-stress tests and ultrasounds after the due date; I didn’t want any reason to worry myself or the doctors, but you could tell they were antsy. I had an appointment and I remember them saying that if she wasn’t born by the next Friday the 24th they would schedule me for induction Monday. (I remember thinking “Sure, go ahead, I ain’t showin’ up!!!!)
So, Thursday night my husband kissed me good night (at this point I could only sleep on the couch, stupid back) and joked around saying “Now remember, I agreed to teach the workshop in the morning, you have to wait to go into labor until after lunch” (oh, you can sooo see where I’m going with this, can’t you?) and I laid down. I fidgeted a bit and then – Oooo. Wha? Was that? Hmmm…. I glanced at my watch: 10:00. I’d keep an eye on that…
When he came back to check on me before going to bed around 11:30, I mentioned I’d been having some very strong Braxton-Hicks… every 10 minutes since 10:00. He laughed; we had always said that Friday would be her due date, since he was pushed into teaching the class by a fellow teacher who was a Mom: “Oh, come on, it’s her 2nd, she would NEVER go that late!!!”
I slept fairly well throughout the night, but was definitely woken up by contractions. While I was never particular about the time, I noticed the minute digit was always a 9, 0, or 1, so they were pretty regular. When my husband came to kiss me goodbye that morning, I warned him to take a cell phone (we rarely use them) because I at least wanted to give him updates. He laughed and said “You are so going to have this baby today” and left around 6:20.
At 6:30 Elizabeth woke up and came for a snuggle and a nurse. By then, I had to go to the bathroom, so we nursed through a song I sang, then I got up and went to the bathroom. I just was sitting down when –
Wow! I had been too out of it to fully appreciate my water breaking with Elizabeth. I was pretty impressed with the force it could break with, as well as the volume! I cleaned up the fluid and tried to get back to the living room, but it felt like a few gallons came out every time I moved! Finally, I shoved a bath towel between my legs and waddled out.
Called my husband. (He laughed.) Called the hospital. (They said come right away, I said I still had to get my babysitter in from out of town.) Then I called my mom. I realized that I really hadn’t had any contractions since my water broke. I told her not to hurry, just drive safe, and continued with my morning, caring for Elizabeth until my husband could get home. I was so excited… Here it was! FINALLY, I would get my natural birth I had hoped for and dreamed about! (Well, that’s what I had thought…)
I stayed contraction-less until about 7:30. And then… WHOA! They came with a vengeance. I had been marveling how “nice” regular, non-back labor contractions were… until they decided to not mess around. And I would have 2 and sometimes even 3 piggybacked! It was so sudden and intense! I was trying to eat to have energy, but I just wanted to vomit. To top it off, I was having horrible rectal pain, of all things. I truly would not have been surprised to find somebody had shoved a sword up my rectum, it was that sharp and intense. (Boy, you get to read all sorts of fun things, don’t you?!)
I started crying and begged my husband to call my mom because I wanted to go the hospital RIGHT NOW! Thankfully, she hadn’t heeded my advice and wasn’t far away, but it felt like an eternity. As soon as she came I got in the van (in the front seat, buckled up, nope, I hadn’t learned) and we started driving. All the while, contractions were 2 and 3 together.
Into the hospital, into the wheelchair (didn’t learn that one either) and up we went. The only word I can think of to share is INTENSE. It was so very intense! In the room, in the bed, monitors… Oh I swear, the angle they lay you at is the most uncomfortable EVER! I did NOT want to be laying back! They offered the tub and – remembering with Elizabeth – I said no; I tried to hold off to be on my birth ball.
They checked me and I was “only” 5-6 centimeters… The nurse commented that ‘if it was that bad now, and I was only ½ way done, I may want to think about getting something’… I agreed to Nubain, so they gave me some.
Um, wow. I’ve never done drugs, and… wow. That was quite an experience. The world turned sepia. To sum it up, Joe asked me if the pain was better. I replied “No… It still hurts like hell… but… I just don’t care….”
Soon, of course, it wore off… and seemed 10 times worse. There just so happened to be an anesthesiologist standing by… so, epidural time. I was so sad, I hadn’t wanted this, but at the time, there didn’t seem to be an option. Of course, maybe had I been able to get out of bed… but hindsight is 20/20. (Looking back, having more knowledge, I bet those last 4-5 centimeters would have flown had I been able to go with my body’s flow.)
ANYway we got the epidural, and it worked better then with Elizabeth, although I was still a bit crampy on the side. My husband and I sat around, watching the contraction machine (“See honey! They’re 2 and 3 together!!!”) and marveling at the overhead light thingy. (We have a picture, I swear it looked like something out of a Sci Fi movie…) It was very uneventful. Time to push.
I had a better idea of how to push this time, but it still took some getting used to. I don’t remember how long I pushed, but I remember the push after the head was out, the doctor said “Reach down! Reach down!!” Startled, I did as I started to push. “Pull her up! Comeoncomeon, pull her out!!” The doctor remembered that in my birth plan, I had wanted to be able to pull her out and onto me! I was in such shock (heck, I had forgotten!) that she had to help me with it! And there she was, my second daughter! After she was laying on me with blankets, I asked, “It was a girl, right?!?!” and nobody had checked! I reached under, groped a bit, and confirmed it!
After the birth I thanked the doctor for remembering that part, and letting me pull her out and onto me. She said “I know you were sad about getting the epidural, but I figured you could at least have that”. I am so very grateful to this day! (Funny, she’s the one who drove my birth classmate to a home birth… ANYway…)
So, there you have it! Her story is actually the shortest of the 3. Again, it’s literally taken from the middle of 24 page paper, so pardon the randomness. If you actually read through the whole thing, thanks!!