I was grateful to be able to make it to Jeremy's wedding last Friday, which would have been less than certain if Aiden had been born early in the week, but I was uncertain as to what would happen. Mike had given me a blessing promising a birth free of complications, and I was doing my best to maintain that faith, but doubts kept creeping in, especially with all the false alarms I kept having, when labor seemed to be starting, and then stopped.
Sunday morning, I woke up around 5 and went to the bathroom, and on the way there, I had quite a bit of fluid drip. I thought perhaps my water had broken, but apparently not, because there was nothing else the rest of the day. But I had had trouble falling asleep that night, and wasn't able to get back to sleep that morning. I was having some contractions, and I ended up throwing up, so I made the decision not to go to church. Mike went and took Mason with him, but came home early after being lectured by my uncle (leaving Mason at church with Auntie April in charge). My Aunt Liz came over and gave me a foot massage, then we went to my in-laws for dinner, after loading the car up with our hospital bags and Mason's bag. I was scheduled to check into the hospital at 5 pm for induction.
Before dinner, my father-in-law gave me another blessing, with the help of Mike, Jeff, and Mike's grandpa, who was visiting for the wedding. We ate dinner, said goodbye to the family and Mason, and went to the hospital.
When we got here, there was a bit of mix-up, they apparently didn't know we were coming, so we had to wait awhile for them to prepare a room. I spent a lot of time walking around, because it seemed to be having a good effect on my contractions, but around 8, I had to get in bed and stay there for 2 hours after they inserted the Cervidil, which is supposed to help the cervix get ready for labor. They were planning on removing the Cervidil at 5:30 am, and then start the pitocin at 6. The nurse brought me an Ambien to help me sleep, and before we went to bed, Mike prayed that things would start on their own before the pitocin was needed.
I woke up at 4 am, needing to pee, and then I couldn't get back to sleep. I had some contractions (probably all night long) and felt that labor was starting. By 5 am, I was sure of it, and when the nurse came in, she confirmed that things were starting. No pitocin needed! I was thrilled! We texted Mike's brother around 5:30 to tell him that if Alexis was going to be there, she needed to come soon. He decided to drop her off before work, which was a good choice. She was there around 6.
The nurse checked my dilation, I had dilated to a 3, was still 75% effaced, and the baby's head was moving down. She monitored me for twenty minutes, then took me off the monitors and brought in a birthing ball. I asked about the Jacuzzi tub, and she said they preferred I wait until I was dilated to a 4 or 5 to use that, as it might relax me too much. A bit after 6, I was in so much pain, that I asked the nurse again, and she said it was ok, so long as I didn't spend more than half an hour at a time in the tub.
Of course the tub took awhile to fill up sufficiently, so I wasn't able to get in it until about 6:30. I remember, I was practically whining to Mike, the pain was so bad. The tub helped a lot, but it was still extremely intense, and I started wondering if I was cut out for natural childbirth. I felt that if this was going to be going on for hours, I would have to ask for drugs, which made me feel I had failed. And that maybe I hadn't prepared properly. I was feeling very down, and very wussy. And I was afraid I was setting a bad example for Alexis, I had hoped this would have been a good experience for her.
Around 7, which was the time I would have had to get out for a bit, I started feeling like I needed to go to the bathroom, and couldn't stop the urge to try to have a bowel movement in the tub. It was the strangest feeling. I knew, intellectually, that the urge to push felt like needing a bowel movement, but I couldn't believe that it was time to push. I got out, and went to the bathroom. Every time I got back off the toilet, I would get back on when another contraction started. Mike reminded me that it sounded like I needed to push, and I told him there was no way. Finally he insisted on calling the nurse, and when she came in, she shocked me by telling me that I was now dilated to a 9 and yes, it was time to push. All that was left was a bit of a lip over the baby's head.
I have to tell you, this made me feel a WHOLE lot better. I had been feeling so wimpy, and the whole time, I was going through transition, and my body was booking through the labor process, so of COURSE it was painful, and of course I started thinking I needed pain meds. I think most people feel a desire for meds during transition.
She called in a doctor and another nurse and they started getting stuff ready. Someone said that if I wanted my midwife to be there I'd have to hold on, and I asked where she was. When I was told she was at least half an hour away, not counting rush hour traffic, I said I wasn't waiting. I couldn't NOT push when the urge came, and I wasn't waiting for that long. I stood by the bed, pushing with the urge for several minutes, until my legs started to give out, then was on the bed without the stirrups. It was interesting, I didn't feel the "ring of fire" with Mason, I didn't feel anything at all when pushing him out because of the epidural. So I was surprised how quickly I could feel the head moving down, how quickly the "ring of fire" started, although it was obviously much more intense when he crowned. I was actively pushing for about 17 minutes, and he was born at 7:55 am. My midwife came in 3 minutes later. She later said the nurses would be reminded about what to do when a patient is in that much pain.
|Thermometers are mean!|
|Mike having me taunt the IV machine I never had to use|
So here are some pics of the cute baby to sum up my adventure. Sooo worth it!