On September 20, 2011 I went into my Doctor's appointment and it was the first time that I was getting checked for dilation and effacement. The Doctor checked and told me that I was farther along than most first time Moms. I was 1.5 centimeters dilated and 70% effaced. I was super excited to hear progress and I called my Mom and Weston's Mom and they both told me that the baby was probably going to come early. I was still trying to get ready for the baby so I felt a little nervous and I am pretty sure I was in the nesting phase from the time Weston and I got into Logan at the end of August all the way until the day she was born. During that next week I felt a few contractions here and there and I was excited that things were moving along (even though it was slowly).
On September 27th I went in and I was 3 centimeters dilated and 80% percent effaced. Usually first time Moms labor pretty much all at once and then after that,their body knows more what is going on and labors over a period of time. Well my body was doing it more slowly like a second time Mom. I just kept jokingly saying, “My body is a natural when it comes to being a Mother.”
The next week on October 4th, I went into the Doctor's office and I hadn't felt any contractions that I had noticed so I was thinking things were going to be the same. The Doctor checked me and I asked, “is it still the same as last week?” He said, “no, actually you are 4.5 centimeters dilated. Lets get you upstairs and deliver you.”
I said, “No! Are you joking?”
He replied, “No, you are most likely in early labor and are going to deliver tonight.”
I then said, “ I would like to do most of my laboring at home.”
He answered, “Well it's your labor, I will most likely see you tonight.”
I left and texted everyone in my family. I was so excited! I then drove to Weston's class and told him. My Mom called and told me that she was coming up. (And I did not end up going into labor that night).
On Tuesday October 11, 2011, I had this crazy burst of energy that I hadn't felt for a while. I made 5 dinners and put them in the freezer, I vacuumed out the car, cleaned our apartment, and I walked a mile or more to walk with Weston home from class. I felt really good and I couldn't sleep the next night because of how much energy I had inside of me.
On Wednesday October 12, 2011 I went into my Doctor's appointment. I had been dilating 1.5 centimeters per week for the past few weeks and so I was hoping to be dilated to a 6 or something crazy like that. Right when I got there, the nurse checked my blood pressure like always and it was kind of on the high side which made me disappointed and then the doctor checked me he said that I was still the same as last week: 4.5 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. Since my due date was in a couple of days, my Doctor talked to me about getting induced and the risk of still births (which really wasn't a high percentage at all) when the baby goes over 41 weeks. I have noticed that Doctor's focus a lot on risks and they use fear against their patients because so many people sew these days and they are just trying to watch their back. In all honesty, I don't blame them. I wish that our society didn't have to create fear for everyone, but it's the way it is. I told my Doctor that I didn't want to be induced and that I was willing to go to 42 weeks.
When I walked out of my little room that the Doctor was seeing me in, the Nurses told me congratulations on the baby being so close to getting here. I was so disappointed from this appointment that I didn't feel excitement at all and I feel bad because it showed. If I could go back, I would cheer with them, but my mind was on everything that had been different than I imagined. When I got home, I opened my laptop and started watching the show “17 kids and counting” on Netflix when all of the sudden I felt a warm gush of water flow out of me. I was afraid my water had just broken and I went into the bathroom and more liquid came out. I checked the color and odor and it was clear and didn't smell like anything (both signs that it was amniotic fluid. Weston was napping in the other room and I went and woke him up and started crying because my water had just broken. I think I said, “my water just broke and now the baby has to come in 24 hours.”
Weston looked at me confused and said, “Isn't that exciting that the baby is going to be here in 24 hours?”
I said, “I'm excited to have the baby here in 24 hours, but I'm sad because my water probably just broke and I'm not in real labor so they are going to want to induce me and then I have a really high chance of having a C-section.”
I had been taking a birthing class from a midwife/ RN that had worked in labor and delivery for 35 years. I decided to call her and she told me that there was a good chance that it was the amniotic sac that had broken, but the first bag of water (that is only about a half of a cup to a cup of water). She told me to watch and if I didn't keep leaking water then I was probably fine. After I got off the phone with her I felt better, but then I started to leak more water and continued to do so. Weston was so good and comforted me. He had class and he stayed home to be with me.
Since my water had actually broken, I tried to put myself into labor. From my class I learned a bunch of different things to do if your water breaks before being in labor to help get your body into real labor without having to use pitosin. I started out by rotating between hot packs (wet rags I threw into the microwave and then placed in a plastic bag) and cold packs (I used frozen steaks). I was able to feel a few contractions from doing that, but nothing regular and constant came. I also made myself some cumin tea (hot water with a bunch of the cumin spice thrown in), and I tried to put pressure on the soft pallet in my mouth. Nothing seemed to work to get me into labor. The last thing on my list (which was actually the first thing she told us to do, but I decided to try all the free methods first) was to take Evening Primrose Oil capsules. I told Weston about them, but I don't think he wanted to get them because everything at the health food store is so expensive. He came up to me after I had been doing all the other things and told me we could get the Evening Primrose Oil capsules (he later told me that he was praying for me and felt good about getting them).
After I took a couple of them, we both lied down for a little nap. I don't think I ever got to a deep sleep, but I am glad that I got a little nap. My Grandma (Dad's Mom) called me while I was napping and she asked me about my labor. I didn't tell her that my water had broken because we decided to wait until the baby was born to tell everyone about me having the baby. I told her my due date was in a couple days and she said a prayer for me over the phone. I felt like I needed that little prayer and I am thankful she called.
We both woke up around 6:30 p.m. And we decided to go on a walk to help once again get into labor. I was starting to get really nervous because I still wasn't in labor. Sometimes I felt a tightening sensation, but that was it. Nothing regular and no pain. Weston could tell I was getting super nervous and he tried distracting me by telling me to look at how beautiful the clouds looked or asking me questions like, “ What color are you going to paint your toe nails?” (I had told him how I wanted to have cute toe nails when I was in labor). I was so nervous that I didn't even want to think about anything like that. We called him Mom who had a Midwife friend to see what she would say. His Mom called her and then called us back. She told us that we needed to get to the hospital since my water was broken just in case the cord came out first which would be very dangerous.
We got to the hospital around 8 pm. I was expecting to get there, have them tell me everything was fine and then get to go home. We got there and the nurse told me that I was dilated to a 5 plus basically a 6 and I don't remember how effaced I was, but I think it was more than I was before. I want to say I was either 90 % effaced or 100% effaced. That was so exciting to hear!! I was glad things were moving along. She also put the monitor on me and it turned out that I was having contractions! Nothing was very regular or super close together and I was ready to go home. I gave her my birth plan and she looked over it.
It included (with my reasoning that wasn't actually on the birth plan itself):
Please do not offer me an epidural or any other medication. (The benefits of having the baby without medication went on and on. Some included: baby is more alert when born, reflexes are better-tests have shown even after 2 years the reflexes still were better on the kids that were born naturally, usually faster labor=less stress on Mom's body and baby, chance of c-section goes down- which is one in 3 now, etc...
I don't want to be induced (No pitocin) (energy spurt isn't there, things aren't soft and ready for labor, baby hasn't released the hormone that lets Mom's body know that he/she is ready to come, high chance of c-section)
I don't want my water broken (too late) or membranes stripped (more pain through labor, there is no real proof that the water being broken speeds up labor, higher chance of infection, higher chance of c-section)
I would like to eat during my labor (more energy, don't want low blood sugar)
I don't want an episiotomy (I don't think anyone does this anymore, but really dumb. Higher chance of tearing to 3rd or even 4th degree tear, long recovery)
I don't want an IV unless there is an emergency or I'm dehydrated ( I want to be mobile and able to move around easily)
I only want to be monitored the first ten minutes of every hour (Once again mobile and I want to be able to walk around)
I want the baby to be handed to me right away and have her apgar test done in my arms (
I would like to spend at least the first 3 hours with my baby without her being taken away from me (The very large amount of endorphins created in your body during labor lasts for about 3 hours and help us fall in love with our baby)
Do not cut her cord until it stops pulsating (I don't want her to be anemic)
No Hepatitus B Shot
Do not give her a binky or a bottle
She right away told me that I was not going to be able to eat anything but ice chips and that I was going to have to have an IV thing (I think they are called heplocks) just in case of an emergency. She also told me that I had to stay at the hospital since my water had broken just in case of an emergency. Then she told me she was going to call my Doctor and discuss my birth plan with him. As she walked out of the room I started crying. I didn't want to stay, I just wanted to go home until my contractions were 2-4 minutes apart. Crying actually made me feel better.
When she came in, she saw that I had been crying and she apologized and I could tell she really felt horrible. She told me the Doctor thought everything on my birth plan was fine, and that I could eat as I pleased! Yay for no ice chips!! He still wanted me to stay and he wanted me to have some antibiotics given to me since my water had broken 8-9 hours earlier to help protect me from getting infections. I agreed and I was hooked up to an IV. First they gave me sugar water and then they gave me the antibiotics. After that they took it off and I was a free woman!
I actually felt really good being in the hospital. I felt calm and relaxed. Weston was so good to me. He went home and got our suitcase and some food. Since we didn't think they were going to make us stay, we left everything home. Once he got back we watched the movie Second Hand Lions with an occasional break here and there so I could walk around. I really loved this time together and all the attention I was getting since Weston left all his homework at home.
After an hour of being there, I was once again put on a monitor and my contractions were now 7 minutes apart and I still didn't feel any pain! I barely even noticed the contractions. I would look at the monitor and it would say I was having a contraction and I would think, “I guess I am!”
My Doctor came into my room around 11 pm and he told me that I probably wasn't in active labor and that it would probably be a good idea to have pitocin, but he would obey my wishes and let me even go past 24 hours without any if that was my wish. I didn't believe him that I wasn't in active labor and I didn't really care anyway. He checked me and told me that I was dilated to a 7! So exciting! Then he told me that he had the next day off so he wouldn't be delivering my baby, once again I didn't care. I really didn't care who delivered my baby, I was willing to catch her myself, it really didn't seem like a big deal to catch the baby.
After he left the nurse came in and said that he told her that I wasn't in active labor and she thought that was ridiculous. I agreed. Things were going really slow, but as long as I was without pain I was fine with a slow labor.
Weston and I continued to walk around, watch the movie, talk, and take some pictures. After a while, I told him that he could rest if he needed and he took me up on it. I asked him, “Isn't it nice that I'm not in pain and you don't have to worry about me?” We were both really happy about the situation so far. While he tried to sleep, I put in another movie, “Ever After”.
The night seemed to go really fast and I didn't sleep at all. I really wasn't tired and plus the nurse came in every half an hour. Before I knew it, the sun was coming up. I was starting to feel my contractions around 7 in the morning, also the same time I got a new nurse. She checked me and I was still dilated to a 7 and my contractions were still 7 minutes apart. I am pretty sure she checked me right before I transitioned to an 8. Weston and I started walking around and I had to pause during each contraction to concentrate on relaxing. They were now definitely closer than 7 minutes.
Once we got back into the room, Weston started to touch me and I think I said, “don't touch me.” I then went to the bed and sat down. My contractions were starting to feel really uncomfortable and they were accompanied with pain. It was getting hard to relax and I could feel myself getting tense every time one of the contractions came. This was making me nervous that things were not going to move along because of me not being able to relax. I could even feel my arm raise because of how tense I was getting.
The nurse came in and I asked her if I could go into the jacuzzi tub and she said that I could, but it needed to cleaned first. She checked me on the monitor and my contractions were now 3 minutes apart. After she walked out, I laid on my left side waiting for the tub to be ready.
The nurse came in a half an hour to an hour later and I asked her if the tub was ready. She told me the cleaning people hadn't come yet. She then told me that I was going to need pitocin since things were moving so slowly and that I hadn't dilated for 8 hours. I told her, “No! I am not having pitocin when my body can barely handle the contractions that I am having as it is” Then she asked me if I wanted Fentanol and I once again sternly said, “NO!” I didn't mean to be mean, it was just hard me for me to be patient and nice when I was starting to feel so uncomfortable. She asked me what was the most important thing to me and what I would be willing to give in to. I told her the most important thing to me was doing what was best for the baby. She looked like she didn't know what to say and she left the room.
Somewhere around this time I was starting to feel my mind go into a different place and it sort of felt like a fire was growing inside my brain. I had read about this happening. This is what our bodies do during labor to help us get through it. Our minds are sent to a dreamy state and endorphins are being produced like crazy as a natural medicine. Everyone was becoming blurry that I saw and I remember my nurse asking me a bunch of questions and I have no idea what she was saying and I kept saying, “I don't know” or my annoying, “No!”. Also time moved so fast. Seven a.m. To the time the baby was born went by really quickly and really only seemed like a few minutes.
After the nurse left talking to me about the pitocin and my high chance of c-section I looked at Weston starting to feel worried that things really weren't moving along and said, “maybe I really should get pitocin and get an epidural so I can relax.” I told him previously not to feel bad for me and he did so great! He looked at me and said, “Get into that tub!” (there was a bathtub in my room). I got into the tub and immediately started to feel the urge to push and I couldn't stop myself from pushing. I yelled, “ I need to push!”
Weston exclaimed back, “Don't push! Breath!”.
We both started breathing really fast but I couldn't stop myself from pushing and I kept pushing. I yelled, “I can't not push! It feels good to push!” (The reason Weston was trying to stop me from pushing is because we were taught to do that in our class, just in case it was the baby putting pressure on my bowel instead of being completely dilated and effaced).
The nurse pulled me out of the tub and I went to the toilet because I felt like I was going to the bathroom. She pulled me off the toilet and brought me to the bed and checked me and she told me that there was no more cervix and that I could push all I wanted! I looked at Weston who had tears going down his face and he looked so happy. I felt so much joy as well. I was now standing on my bed holding onto the headboard for support and every time I felt a contraction, I once again felt the strong urge to push. Pushing felt so good, it didn't hurt at all.
Weston kept telling me that I was doing so great and he kept rubbing my back. I loved that and needed that. At one point, I felt tired and asked for some juice and he grabbed my cup and held it for me while I drank. After about 20 to 25 minutes of pushing standing up, I sat down and could see the baby's head coming out. The nurse touched her head and I yelled, “don't push it back in!” I was afraid she was going to push her back in since the on call doctor wasn't there yet. She told me that she wasn't going to and she was just catching the baby. After a few more pushes the baby was placed on my chest (skin to skin) and she was crying. I immediately tried to calm her down. My mother instincts just kicked in I guess. They dried her off and stuck a warm blanket on both of us. The nurse announced that she was born at 9:36 a.m. It was so amazing. I couldn't believe it, I was holding my baby. It was so weird to think that she was inside of me the whole time. She looked different that I thought and I was already starting to fall in love with her. I was also exhausted and everything and everyone in the room was sort of a blur.
I do remember the on call doctor getting in there and she delivered my placenta. I didn't even notice it coming out and I looked at it and said, “Oh good.” I was so relieved that I hadn't felt any pain because I was ready to be done. The doctor announced that I had a first degree tear and she stitched me up. I remember saying, “Owe!” annoyingly. I was just so ready to be done with everything that every little bit of discomfort was super annoying.
Overall I loved my labor experience and I was blessed so much with the knowledge and health that I have. I could not have asked for a better labor. My prayers were answered and I have a beautiful baby girl that I love more than I could ever imagine.
Love, Becky joy