My labor story starts around 3am on Jan 27th. I woke up to a contraction which wasn’t uncommon for the last few weeks. What was uncommon was that another one followed within a few minutes and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I got up, went to the bathroom, and went out to the living room to watch some TV and bounce on my ball since I couldn’t sleep. I decided to time a few cx just to see what they looked like. They were coming every 5-8 minutes apart and last about 45 sec-1 min long. No big deal but I was wide awake now. I got back in bed around 6 or 7am because I was getting tired again and my husband was getting up to head to work. I told him I couldn’t sleep and was having some cx but they weren’t anything to get excited about.
When I woke up a few hours later I was still have the same kind of cx so I just laid around for most of the day timing them and watching movies and TV. If this was going to turn into the real thing I wanted to get rest while I could. Jan 27th was my SIL birthday so after DH got off work we headed over to my IL’s house to have pizza and cheesecake. On the ride over there I noticed my cx started feeling a little bit sharper. They were still the same amount of time apart just grabbing my attention more. We were at the IL’s for a few hours and I actually had to zone out a focus a couple of times through some cx but was trying not to let it show because I didn’t want anyone to get excited if it wasn’t the real thing. I asked DH if we could leave around 9pm because I was tired and in the car I told him that my cx were much stronger than they had been all day. When we got home he made me start timing them again and they were very consistently 4.5 minutes apart and lasting a min or more. We called the MW around 10:30 pm and she decided to head up to our house and check me out since she lives an hour away.
Our doula got to the house first and then a couple of mins later our 2 MWs showed up around 12:30am on Jan 28th. My MW checked me and I was just at a 3 so they decided to stay the night and check my progress in the morning. I labored through the night with the help of my doula. The cx weren’t terrible but I did have to breath through them. We only got about 2 hours of sleep that night and at around 7am my MW checked me again. I was still at a 3! I couldn’t believe it! I was feeling very tired and a little deflated since I had labored for several hours during the night. She said I was very stretchy though and wanted to massage my cervix some and do some pressure points to see if she could progress me. A few mins of that and she had stretched me to a 5! She also put some EPO up my who-ha to try and get things going a little more. They decided to stay and we were officially in active labor.
None of it felt real still. DH had his parents and mine praying while we labored through the day. It was very cold outside so we didn’t do any walking just stayed inside. My photographer showed up around 11am because she didn’t want to miss anything. The whole day was pretty uneventful with me just laboring on the ball, walking around, instructing DH on how to make lasagna in the crock pot, and praying that something was going on down there. At some point my MW brought the birth stool in and I sat on that for a little while. Around 2pm I started dozing off in between cx and decided to lay down in bed because I was so exhausted. DH and I layed down and I think I dozed off in between cx for about 2 hours. I don’t know how but it was just what I needed and was glad for the little break. Around 4pm I couldn’t lay down during cx anymore and had to get up.
At this point my MW decided to check me again. I was still at a 5! Seriously? I couldn’t believe this. It was not what I had in mind at all. I thought you were supposed to progress during labor and instead my cervix seemed to being just hanging out while I worked for nothing. She said I was still very stretchy so she decided to try and stretch me again. It sounds really painful but it really wasn’t. I didn’t care what she had to do I just wanted to get the show on the road. She easily stretched me to a 7 and said the baby’s head was in a perfect position and my bag of waters was bulging so she wanted to break my water to get things moving. I agreed whole heartedly! She broke my water and it was nice a clear. Time to get this rollin!
It all became very real to me at this point. This was the real deal and we were going to have a baby today. After my water was broken things started to get a little more intense. I labored on the birth stool for the most part and started to moan and vocalize a little during these cx. I got in the shower at some point to try and relax a little. I was really focused on relaxing and working with the cx and not against them. My doula was really good at helping me to breath correctly and relax my face so that I wouldn’t tense up. While I was in the shower I told DH that it was about time I had this baby. Things were really getting intense and I was ready to be done. I got out of the shower and back on the birth stool. I lost track of time at this point. It felt like forever but I know it wasn’t that long.
The MWs started getting things ready in the living room where I was. I was really vocalizing through cx now speaking in tongues very loudly. I thought that was strange because I don’t normally do that but it was all that would come out at the time. People always said I would be screaming and yelling at my husband about how he did this to me and things like that. I really didn’t want to be one of those women that blames my husband just because I am in labor. I didn’t once think to yell at him or blame him for anything. Anyway, so yeah, I was speaking loudly in tongues and praying in the spirit. A few times I would say, “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Come on baby!” Of couse I was speaking to Jesus and then to the baby but DH thought this was really funny because it sounded like I was calling Jesus “baby.”
I never felt that overwhelming need to push but I do remember at some point I just wanted to push, I felt like I should. I said something so my MW decided to check me again and told me to stop because I still had a small lip and she did want it to swell. She tried pushing it out of the way but ultimately had me breath through a few more cx first. Those were some of the hardest cx. I was whimpering/crying and just wanted to be done already. My DH and doula were right there the whole time encouraging me and helping me through. My MW started to pray over me and it was such an awesome moment! The prayer was so powerful and really made me feel like I was in the best hands. My team trusted God and invited Him to be in the midst of everything and I felt such an amazing amount of peace in the room. Things started to move fast. DH prayed over me and the baby and then my MW checked me again and said I could start pushing with the next cx. I tried on the birth stool and on my hands and knees and neither were really working. My MW wanted me to lay on my back and we tried a could of pushes there. Then she wanted me to squat in front of her. Everyone helped me up but I only made it one push before I gave up because my knees hurt so bad.
I was back on my back and that is where I stayed. I held my legs up to my chest in what I can only assume was a death grip because my arms were killing me the next day. I gave a few pushes and my doula helped hold my head so I would keep my chin to my chest. I guess I started pushing pretty good because everyone started getting really excited and encouraging me. My MW kept saying that I just had to get his head through my pelvic bone so that his head wouldn’t go back in. I thought that was much easier said than done but I finally got his head through. I remember I would push and then let out a loud cry and then whimper. They kept wanting me to push and push and push and I thought they were crazy because I was out of breath and felt like I had no energy. I had already decided that I didn’t want to be pushing for hours and hours though so I gave it all I had. Once his head because to appear she had me reach down and touch his head. I was so overwhelmed my the whole experience I just kept crying, I couldn’t believe this was happening. Everyone was encouraging me saying he was right there, but all I know is I didn’t even know what pain was until the “ring of fire” appeared. Oh. My. God! That was the craziest thing I have ever felt in my life. His head seemed to be “right there” forever, but all of a sudden it was out. Everyone started saying, “His eyes are open, he is looking around.” They were all laughing and so excited. I heard them say that the shoulders were next but I didn’t even feel that part. I felt him kicking me like he was trying to climb out or something.
All of a sudden he was on my stomach! I was crying hysterically. I just couldn’t believe it! I kept saying to DH, “Our baby! Our baby!” DH swore he wouldn’t cut the cord because the whole thing just grossed him out, but in the moment he was such a trooper. He watched him come out and cut the cord once it stopped pulsing. I was so proud of him and knew he would be amazing even though he didn’t. I only pushed for 30 mins and delivered the placenta within 10 mins or so. I stayed on my back because I needed to be stitched up and my baby stayed with me the whole time. They checked him while he was on my chest. I couldn’t see him very well because he kept scooting my chest and was at the neck in no time. He didn’t even make a peep; never cried and just kept looking around. His hand was up grabbing at my neck. It was the most overwhelming moment of my life. I have never felt so much love instantly. He was so real, so alive, so perfect!
As far as my tear, I don’t know what degree it was but I do know my MW had never seen anything like it in her 35 years of delivering babies. DH said it looked like the inside tore away from the outside. It took a little while for them to stitch me but I didn’t feel anything. Something I have never heard anyone mention is how weird it is getting up for the first time. I felt like I couldn’t breath! My stomach was all of a sudden empty and there was nothing there to hold my organs. It felt like all my insides were barely hanging on. I wasn’t light headed or anything but it was hard to walk even with two people holding me up. They got me to the bathroom, put a diaper and pad in the most ugly but comfortable mesh panties, and then put me in my bed. The MW checked my baby out right there in my room on my bed. My doula got me some food and everything was done and taken care of within 3 hours.
Let me just say, if I was in a hospital I would have gotten an epidural for the simple fact that I was exhausted. The pain was bearable but I was so tired and just wanted a break. I wouldn’t change it for the world though. I was so grateful to be at home and not have to go anywhere. It was easy and I was comfortable being in my own home. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Solomon, born at home on Jan 28, 2012 at 7:50pm 7 lbs even, 20 1/2″ long
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