Let me start by saying that honestly, until maybe a week ago, I hadn't been bothered by this pregnancy in the least. Aside from the heartburn, I didn't have any majorly complicated symptoms that grossly changed my life. No extreme fatigue, no swelling, no hyperemesis...I pretty much felt okay. Just bigger. But into the end of week 38, and starting into 39, the heat just hit me all of a sudden. I couldn't go outside, I couldn't walk around...all I could do was lay in front of the air conditioning and try not to die. So by my 39 week appointment, as I dragged myself into the office in a stained tank top and no makeup, I was finished. My doctor asked me how I was feeling, and I explained this to him. So he agreed to strip my membranes. This was Friday...3 days before my due date.
After the procedure Friday, I was continuing with irregular but painful contractions. However, nothing that made me jump up and start packing my bags. I tried everything-I cleaned my horses' stalls, groomed them, walked around with them, cleaned their water troughs..all in a desperate attempt to get things moving. I begged and pleaded for SO to have sex with me (which he eventually did...reluctantly.) I sat on the yoga ball. But still..nothing.
Saturday proceeded the same way. Lots of walking (and sweating), cleaning...anything I thought might get labor going. I was plagued by sporadic contractions. But again-not enough to get my hopes up. Considering the fact that my other two had come a week early, I was quite convinced that this baby had made up her mind to stay in forever. I was dejected.
By Sunday, I had had it. I was contracting anywhere from every 5 to every 20 minutes. I went down to the barn, did my chores, and spent some time chatting with a friend of mine. I told her my due date was Monday, and she said "Oh, I don't think anything will happen by tomorrow!" I agreed, and told her to call me when she came down to the barn the next day. As the night wore on, my contractions got more and more frequent, but not necessarily more painful. By midnight, we were at about 3 minutes apart. We decided to go in, just to be safe. As I made my way to the car, I felt a gush of fluid. Not enough to be running down my legs, but more than the regular pregnancy grossness. I told Pat that I thought my water had broken, and to make sure we had everything we'd need.
We got to the hospital, and after being checked, the nurse informed me that I was still only 3cm dilated, but that my water had in fact broken, so we wouldn't be going anywhere. Part of me was relieved to know for sure that labor had definitely started and that we wouldn't be leaving the hospital without baby in tow. But I was not thrilled with the fact that I would be spending my labor from 3cm on confined in the hospital and its' rules. I was put on constant monitoring, and did my best to move around and ease the pain of each contraction, which were getting more and more frequent. I had Pat applying pressure on my back, and was doing everything I could to stay relaxed.
At my next check, I had progressed to 5cm...I felt like I should be so much farther. For a second, I contemplated why I'd chosen a natural birth in the first place and considered the fact that I still had plenty of time to get an epidural. Pat reminded me that I didn't want that. I agreed, deciding I didn't want to look back on my labor and say I didn't do things the way I wanted to. So I bit the bullet and continued to sway with each contraction. Around 6am, Pat's very best friend and his wife arrived. I'm not sure how long they stayed-I was still oriented, but getting more and more agitated with each contraction. After a few contractions, they left for the waiting area. My doctor arrived shortly after, and informed me that I progressed to 6cm. I was exhausted, and wasn't sure how long I could hold out progressing this slowly. To help things speed up, he broke my water. During the breaking, I had a contraction and remember being so agitated that I couldn't get up. I immediately asked him if it would be okay to get in the shower. He agreed, as long as I promised to come out when I started feeling pressure. I immediately agreed. After about 20 minutes in the shower, the contractions were becoming more and more unbearable. I said it was time to get out of the shower, and sent Pat to find the doctor. When I got back in bed, I was told I'd progressed to 8.5 cm. At this point, I started getting nauseous and ended up throwing up about 4 times. It was primal-I was yelling, and all I can remember is feeling completely out of control of myself. A few minutes later, the doctor came back in and told me I only had a lip remaining. One good contraction later, and I asked him if I could please, please start pushing. He checked me one last time and told me that we were good to push. At that point, an incredible calm came over me. The contractions still hurt, but I felt like I was in control of things again. I moaned with each contraction, and tried to get myself focused on what I needed to do. Twice during the pushing phase, I remember saying "I can't, I need a break."My doctor told me to relax, and take whatever time I needed. So I would feel a contraction, push as much as felt right, and then stop. I did this 3 or 4 times, and then suddenly a contraction came and the overwhelming urge to just keep pushing came over me. I bore down as hard as I could, and at that point, I knew she was coming. I pushed with all my might, and screamed at the top of my lungs. He announced that her head and shoulders were out, and that the cord was wrapped loosely around her neck. I stopped pushing long enough for him to untangle her, and then bore down again. As she came into the world, he immediately laid her on my belly, and I got my first look at her. Everything just felt surreal. That the pregnancy was over, the labor was over, and she was here. Her eyes opened, and I was completely in awe. Everything felt completely peaceful.
After a few minutes, they took her over to be weighed-8lb, 10oz. The nurses were shocked at what a big girl she was! I was still shocked that she was here. I made it through her delivery with no tears, and no epesiotomy. I wholly contribute it to the freedom in pushing. And luck. Definitely luck.
They let us go after 24 hours, and it felt amazing to be home. 48 hours later and me and Keiran were back at the barn giving the horses treats. I feel extremely lucky that our delivery went so well! And that I got the support that I needed to have the delivery I'd wanted.
What an awesome birth story; very nicely written! Congratulations!!!
That's not luck, hard work pays off congrats beautiful story.
Great read, Congratulations to you :)
Congratulations, beautiful! I absolutely adore her name.