I’m going to attempt to give a brief birth story with somewhat-ish details so if you get scrimmage or don’t want to hear about cervical dilation, feel free to skip this post!
On Tuesday June 14th I had my routine OB appointment. I had been holding steady at 4cm and 80% effaced for about a week and half at this point. All my restrictions were lifted so I took advantage of the pool and took multiple walks a day hoping to get things moving. I knew sitting at 4cm, once labor really kicked in, things would go fast and my OB agreed.
So I arrived at my appointment and was 4cm and 90%. It was a change, although a small one so my doc put me on the monitors. From the moment she checked me, things were different. My back ached, my uterus tightness was constant, and the contractions now had a definitive start and stop to them. I also found myself needing to constantly move. I was swaying and pacing and when I got on the monitors sitting still just was not an option.
Unfortunately, standing and moving around, Baby C didn’t look good on the monitor. So I was quickly taken back for an ultrasound. A biophysical was done and Baby C got an 8/10…he looked great.
Back to the waiting room I went swaying, walking, and pacing trying to relieve the contractions. At this point the pain wasn’t unbearable. Moving or leaning over something and swaying actually felt good, but what I was experiencing was so different from previous weeks. I had a hunch I had progressed significantly.
I went back to the exam room and while waiting for my doc for about 15 minutes I counted 14 contractions. Quickly in between contractions my doc checked me again and I was 6 cm and 100% effaced! This all occurred within an hour!
So my doctor said “you’re getting your wish. Let’s go have a baby”. I was scared, nervous, excited, and SO ready to not be pregnant anymore.
Here’s where logistically it gets a little interesting. I drove myself to my doc’s office and fortunately it’s right next to the hospital. However, FirefighterDad was on shift. I had texted him a bit while being monitored and told him baby looked great on the ultrasound and that I was feeling different so he had an idea that this might be the day.
As I drove the 30 seconds to the hospital, I called FirefighterDad and told him we were having a baby! Maybe it’s men, or maybe he was distracted but he asked when. I emphatically replied NOW! I told him I was going to the hospital and I was 6 cm. From our experience, we knew this part of labor I would fly through so I told him he needed to hurry. Fortunately his Chief was understanding and he made great time.
The hospital was prepping for me and C and I quickly changed (how much do you hate those hospital gowns?! They are always SO big!) I got my IV which wasn’t so bad since I asked for a smaller gauge. Up until then I was dreading the IV more than pain of childbirth! My veins don’t hold up well to them.
The doctor on call checked me and I was 7 cm and having contractions every minute. At this point my pain was about 4-5. I was able to very easily breathe through the contractions. I would close my eyes, bend over the bed and sway and breathe through them. In between them I felt great. At one point my labor stalled a bit but moving around the room picked it up and my pain increased to a 6-7 but I was still very easily able to move through the contractions.
I would alternate between the birth ball, bending over the bed and swaying, and walking. I felt really relaxed and in control the whole time and every nurse commented on how relax and calm I was especially for being 7 cm. They all knew I didn’t want an epidural (again catheter in spinal cavity? No thank you I’d rather deal with the pain. Maybe I’m a chicken but anyone who gets an epidural is amazing bc it scared me too much) and were really impressed with my demeanor. It was really calm though- so calm FirefighterDad even caught a quick nap on the couch!
Quickly, I noticed I had more pelvic pressure and a nurse checked me and said I was 8.5-9. The doctor came in to confirm and she said I still felt about 7 cm. so she broke my water.
Having my water broken is fine but after that I knew the pain was going to be bad. Like bad with a capital B. The amniotic fluid acts as a cushion during contractions, so without it, the real intensity of contractions are felt, at least for me. The first contraction came and it was intense. I knew laboring on my back wasn’t an option so I turned around on my knees facing the back of the bed which a nurse had raised so I could rest my arms on it and I labored like that. Another contraction hit and my pain was topping the scales at a 9-10. It’s a pain that you just want to runaway from. My contractions were only about 60 seconds but those 60 seconds seemed like forever.
At some point I got unbearably hot and took off both my gowns (I was using the second one as a robe since the room was chilly) and just labored in my sports bra. At that point the pain was so bad and I was so hot I didn’t care that people could see my bare bum! The doctor came in and checked me real quick and I was 8 cm.
A couple contractions later and I needed to push. It was an uncontrable action. I screamed at FirefighherDad that I had to push and he got the nurse. The doctor quickly came back and still on my knees facing the back of the bed, I was bearing down and pushing through another contraction. With Brother I, I never felt this so I was a little freaked out and remember saying that I never felt this before and I was a bit freaked out. The nurses reassured me and I could see the doctor getting her shoe covers on and some paper scrubs.
With the next contraction my body neared down and pushed and Baby C’s head was crowning. I remember saying “there’s the head!” And the doctor checked and said “yep there’s his head”.
The doctor and nurses were trying to get me to turn around so they could take the bottom of the labor and delivery bed off. My back labor was so bad I made it about 20 secs before getting back on my knees. The doctor got those awful blue calf stirrup things out and I said “No I don’t want to use those. With my older son I had no leverage to push” her and the nurses were great because although it was clear I had to push on my back, I was sitting up more and my doctor got the foot pedals out and handles! It was perfect. My legs were lower then my body, instead of being higher like the calf stirrups, and I had all the leverage in the world by being able to use my legs and arms and 4-5 pushes later Baby C was born screaming!
I remember my doctor saying he was a big baby for his gestational age (35.4) and probably close to 7 pounds. I was just so relieved and kept saying “I’m holding him, I’m holding him.”
I also kept asking if he was okay and if he was breathing. I remember it as me asking 2-3 times but FirefigterDad told me I probably asked a dozen times and everyone in the room, him, the nurses, my doctor, the nursery nurses, all kept saying yes he’s perfect he’s crying and he’s pink. And I do remember how pink Baby C was but I guess in high adrenaline situations I get auditory tunnel vision because I don’t really remember Baby C crying. I know he did, but I can’t remember hearing him. And once he got to the warming bed he was silent and that was so disconcerting for me, because Brother I was born grey and not breathing. But everyone assured me he was so pink and breathing just fine.
After delivering the placenta, Baby C was placed skin to skin on my chest. Because his blood sugars were low and my bleeding was a little more than my doctor preferred, we hung out in our labor and delivery room for a bit.
I nursed Baby C and just marveled in holding my baby.
From the time my water was broken Baby C was born an hour later weighing 6 pounds 10 ounces and measuring 19.5 inches long.
Stay tuned for Big Brother I meeting Baby C and Oasis 235.