Sunday, March 11 through Wednesday, March 14
Every night I was woken up with contractions. Enough to wake me up and enough to keep me up for at least an hour, but they never went anywhere and luckily my Hypbirth CDs helped me get back to sleep. Only problem was that it led to a very cranky mommy and the co-irker that normally just annoys me was on my last nerve. I talked to my boss and we agreed that I would start maternity leave on March 15th after my normal work from home day on the 14th. I figured I would have at least a week or more of these contractions because I had 3 weeks of them with L. I left the office on Tuesday with the promise that I would see everyone on Thursday at our annual March Madness Party (somehow my boss has ended up with an entire staff of sports fans and he is the biggest sports fan of all, so we all look forward to this party).
Sue, my midwife (my favorite and the one who caught L) knew that I was DONE with being pregnant and that I was getting frustrated and exhausted by the contractions that I was having. She also knew my history of the same contractions with L and offered me a “sweep and stretch” at my appointment. I was very disappointed when I left the appointment because it seemed that the sweep and stretch actually STOPPED the contractions that I was having. I decided to go to bed shortly after L at because I was exhausted and I figured tonight wasn’t going to be the night. At I was woken up by some stronger contractions that were coming every 7-8 minutes and that I couldn’t sleep through and really had to concentrate on relaxation in order to get through. Those lasted until about and I moved myself to our guest room.
I had another bout of contractions that were stronger, but 7-8 minutes apart again from until and I spent most of that time in the bathroom. I was devastated when I woke up at that morning to find that I wasn’t in labor. I thought for sure that the night before was the real thing. After crying to B and then fighting with him about being frustrated with my body and his insistence that I take L to daycare, I got up and started my day. I guess I looked like hell because even L's daycare provider asked if I was ok. I spent my first day of maternity leave sanding compound in the bathroom (which was still mid-renovation), cleaning the house and complaining to anyone who would listen. I also was having sporadic contractions through out the day, but was refusing to time them because I just assumed they weren’t the real thing. I went back and forth on whether to head to the City to attend our annual March Madness party (something I was REALLY looking forward to), but decided that I would hang around the house since some of the contractions were only bearable by leaning over my birthing ball. At about I called my doula, Melissa, to let her know what was going on and ask for suggestions on how do deal with pain in my pubic bone. Apparently the baby had dropped and my pubic bone felt like it was on fire. I called my mom and sister to complain again and to my surprise they BOTH decided that it was time to head to NY. I didn’t want anyone at the house because I didn’t want to be watched and feel even more frustrated that I wasn’t really in labor. Eventually, my mom and dad called and said they were going to come to
Fast forward to – B had cleaned the house up for my parents after the doula got there and I was antsy and watching the clock. I just wanted to make it until my parents arrived. As soon as they got there, we packed up our stuff and headed to the hospital. Contractions in the car on the way over were manageable until I realized B tried a “different” way to the hospital and didn’t know exactly where he was. I was pissed then and at one point yelled at him to just pull over until the one long contraction I was having subsided. We got to the hospital and checked in at around .
At this point I lose track of time. I honestly thought that we were at the hospital for about an hour before the baby was born, but it was closer to three. By what I have been able to piece together this is what happened…
to almost – incompetent nurse checks us in, midwife is waiting and checks me and I am 3-4, which she stretches to 4 for me (Gee thanks! I was not happy with that and told her no more of that stretching crap). I want in the tub, but they insist on giving me antibiotics first for my mitral valve prolapse. Incompetant nurse tells me I can’t be in the tub while they are doing thing, but midwife comes in within minutes and asks why I am not in the water already. At that, I quickly strip between contractions and jump in the water – I am seriously in heaven now!!
– I labor in the tub loving life. Move around a bit and find a comfortable position to labor in. B sets up the Ipod for me with the Hypbirth CDs and I labor while listening to that. I guess while I am zoned out there, there is some talk between the midwife, doula and B about breaking my water (doula and B know this is NOT something I want). The contractions weren’t being picked up on the monitor when I was going through the check in process, so the midwife is concerned that I am stalling like I did with L. I am eventually given the option to either walk or have my water broken and I opt for walking. I get out of the tub, B and the doula help dress me and off we go for a lap around the maternity ward. This is a little after .– The walk was on one hand easy and then the other hand miserable. I got half way around the floor walking with only 2 or 3 contractions and we are talking to the doula about the fact that B and I both think they are going to send us home to labor at home. Doula said something about the fact that we have our room and we aren’t giving it up (hospital had been very full the last few days). It didn’t make sense to me at the time, but I guess there was never a question on if we were staying or not, even though B and I were worried about it. On the walk back to my room, I had one contraction that lasted for what seemed like 5 minutes. In reality it was 3 contractions the piggy backed and I was well aware of each one. At this point I looked at B and said – honey, I don’t think I can do this. He didn’t really respond to me and we continued our walk back to the room. B was encouraging me to do a second lap around the floor, but I said hell no. I needed to poo and I didn’t think I was dialated enough that it was a pushing urge. I went into the bathroom and all of a sudden the midwife and doula appeared at the door and asked what I was doing. I said I needed to poop and they made me stop and come get check! That is another time I was pissed off at everyone. I just wanted to be left alone to poo. I knew I wasn’t dialated enough. Well, turns out I was 8cm. They let me poo, and drew fresh water for the tub. I got back in the tub at about 5 of .
– I was only in the tub briefly when I started reflexively pushing. I didn’t really know what was going on because I knew I was only 8cm seconds ago. When the midwife heard me grunting though they made me get back out of the tub and get on the bed. I wanted to complain because I wanted to give birth in the tub, but I was just so tired and I knew they were wrong that I was ready to push. Here is when things really snowballed – I got out, got dried off, made it over to the bed, had 2 contractions laying on my side, my water broke, meconium in the water, couldn’t find the baby’s heart rate, all of a sudden found it and it was really low and not coming back up, B gets my attention and says “Honey, you need to get this baby out NOW.” That is all I needed to hear and I snapped out of my “I don’t want to push, it hurts” to all business. A few pushed later my midwife tells me that she needs me to push the baby out REALLY SLOWLY and to just do some grunt pushes. I feel the baby’s head come out and the instant relief that it brought and I remember saying please let B tell me what it is…. Shoulders came out next and then it was over and nothing hurt anymore. B announced It’s a BOY and I responded “It is??”.
Turns out – Reed had his cord wrapped around his neck, hence the small pushes and with him dropping through the birth canal so quickly his cord had gotten compressed. His heartrate was low 100s (was 150 during the rest of my labor but 90-110 during the final few minutes), but he was out so quickly that even his apgar scores were 8 and 9. B was a little worried and I guess immediately pulled the midwife aside to verify that Reed would be ok. Reed was breathing rapidly, but as soon as he had some skin to skin contact with me his breathing regulated, he latched on and was a happy little guy.
Ultimately, I am thrilled that I had the unmedicated experience that I wanted. I know it isn’t for everyone, but it is for me and I really couldn’t have asked for a better delivery. Even B who didn’t want the doula says he is forever grateful for her presence and knowledge. I would also recommend the Hypbirth program to anyone, even if you plan on getting the epidural. It helps during those early stages of labor so much and really did make my experience so much quicker this time around.