My Natural Labor Story: I got up to pee at 3:00 A.M. and sure enough as I stood in the bedroom door way my water broke. I told R.D. and he replied "Well then get to the bathroom your leaking amniotic fluid everywhere." I was in the bathroom for a few seconds when R.D popped around the corner dressed ready to go to the hospital! I wanted to wait as long as I could, take a shower and labor at home. I told R.D. to make himself some coffee and get the bags together while I showered. After the shower I noticed some blood in my fluid and deiced we should go get checked.
We arrived at Broward General Hospital (where both R.D. and I were born) around 4:00 A.M. and after being put on the monitor and examined we found out I was 3cm and in labor.
We called all the family, my dad hopped on a plane and the rest of Zella's cheerleaders got ready to spend the day in the hospital.
I quickly learned that I could control my contractions with breathing and that was empowering. To me contractions felt like period cramps plus a charlie horse. Maybe even like period constipation cramps. Another thing that happened quickly is I learned what I needed to be comfortable during a contraction. The ground rules in the labor room were:
1. When a contraction hit I didn't want to be touched
2. I only wanted to be told when the contraction was almost over
3. Since I closed my eyes to focus on breathing during contractions there was no talking.
There was a lot of vomit happening, but I'd been throwing up the whole pregnancy so it wasn't that big of a deal.
At 8:00 A.M ish. I was told I could get in the tub and that's where I went. It was amazing. It takes all the pressure off your back and that is almost half the battle. I fell asleep in the tub....while in labor. They woke me up to check me and the baby. When they did I was 6cm and going strong. I labored out of the tub for a while and was doing really well. A doctor even came in just to make sure I was OK and he said "You have no need for me" I was right on track with my natural plan.
Soon the contractions started strong and stayed they way- I knew it was time to get back in the tub. It was about 1 P.M. when I finally got back in. While I was in the tub contractions were intense. I wasn't feeling all the relief I felt before, but R.D. poured water on my belly to help relive the pressure and I just tried to focus on breathing. After about an hour and a half Eileen, my midwife, told me they needed to check the baby's heart rate soon.
I remember knowing that getting out of the tub was gonna suck this time. My contractions were close and intense and the last thing I wanted was to get out of the tub and be cold and wet and have a contraction. It was inevitable. I got out of the tub and BAM contraction.
Without the water helping with pressure this was the worst yet and for a moment I thought this is gonna be a lot harder than expected. (Funny enough the entire time I'm in labor drugs weren't even a thought for me. Honestly the idea of the epidural scared me more than going thru the contractions. It still does.) I was bent over trying to get 'comfy' for the few minutes of pain and was having a hard time. Then R.D. did something I will never forget. It makes me tear up thinking about it, I fell in love with him all over again. I didn't prompt it, I can't believe he paid attention in Lamaze and remembered, but he grabbed my hips and pushed up to relieve the pressure on my back like they taught and when he did- I KNEW I could do this. It was exacticaly what I needed. In my mind I was in the clear armed with this new comfort technique. I made it to the bed and they checked me: I was 8cm.
My concept of time is very hazy from this point on, and since the Facebook posts stopped I have no reference. Also since I was closing my eyes thru every contraction to breath I remember things in flashes. What I do know is 8cm is when labor officially sucks. What I was thinking though is I'm almost done, I have R.D. and the hip maneuver, just one more hour and then I'll be pushing, just find a new comfortable position and lets have a baby.
I got on the medicine ball-bad move. The contraction I experience on the medicine ball should go down in history. It started gauged at 123 and stayed that strong for 5 minutes. It was AWFUL (FYI the contractions only measure to 150 on the pain threshold), The hip technique wasn't working, I was stuck on this stupid ball and to top it all off I lost control of my breathing. I was in suckville. I was owner and mayor of suckville.
When that was over I told myself that I was probably close so I would not have to do this much longer (Little did I know I would have done that contraction again versus go thru the 'ring of fire', but I digress). It had been an hour since I was checked and I was progressing so well I figured it would be time to push. I got back on the bed to be measured and I was only 8.5cm. Utter devastation.
I laid on the bed to try and re-gain control of my breathing and re-focus. The last thing I wanted was to be stuck laying on the bed to deliver. I had read so much about letting "gravity help", and how my hips would "rotate easier standing or squatting"...but 30min later I hadn't moved and my body did something new.
When your about to throw up your body convulses. That is what happens when your ready to push. I ignored it the first two times thinking that I would be measured again soon and they would tell me when it was time to progress to pushing, but the third time it happened I looked at my nurse and said "I think my body is pushing" to which she responds "Well that's what we were waiting for." In my head I said some very nasty things to her, I mean I could have been pushing already...I was aggravated. Next thing I know they are setting up the room and one of my worst fears is happening: I'm gonna give birth on my back. I looked at the TV and Judge Judy was on. I'm never gonna forget thinking "Ok, its either 4 or 4:30 P.M. I'm gonna have this baby by the time Dr.Phil comes on"
The room goes insane. Elieen comes in with a tray of tools. they pull the stirrups up and another nurse comes in the room. I am abut to have a contraction and Eileen tells me to let the contraction build and then push. I close my eyes let it build, start to push and think "NO WAY. I'm not doing this" I open my eyes and tell R.D. "I can't do this". Pushing makes contractions feels like a day at the spa.
I look around and there are two more people in the room, there are spotlight lights on and Eileen is putting on these water boots. Eileen says," you know your close when I put these boots on" Another contraction starts and I close my eyes to concentrate. Now breathing isn't enough. Actually you really don't breath at all while your pushing so I needed a new strategy. My new game plan was to get leverage-I'm holding on to the side of the hospital bed railings (which are above my head) and am going to use my legs to push against the stirrups like I'm doing a 300 pound leg lift at the gym. A contraction comes and I break a stirrup.
I open my eyes and there are at least 6 people in the room. (later I find out there were so many people in the room because no one had scene a natural child birth before). Now I have one nurse on each leg and another contraction comes. I close my eyes and experience the 'ring of fire'.
Let me just say this is one painful thing. Its as if some one set you on fire, cut you open and then poured lemon juice on the open wound. It sucks and blows. I look at R.D. and once again say..."I can't do this" He encourages me, but I'm spent. I look down and they are rubbing iodine on my legs and 'area' I start to freak because I'm worried my only other fear is coming true-the episiotomy. Elieen assures me that's not happening. Another contraction comes and I can feel her head. Elieen says "She has a head full of hair" and that's enough to get me thru the next contraction.
Thru this time of pushing R.D. tells me I was rather colorful. I just remember trying to keep the situation light. I kept thinking that if I stay light hearted and keep logical I would be able to get thru this.
After a few more contractions I finally hear Eileen say "reach down and grab your daughter" to which I respond "If you can pull her out get her out!!!" Next thing I know I have a hugh sense of relief pressure wise; she's out. I ask why I don't hear crying. No sooner can I get the words out of my mouth I hear her sweet voice, she is put on my chest and I fall in love.
She was born at 5:26 P.M., weighed 7lbs 12oz, was 20 1/4 inches long and scored a 9.9 on her Apgar.
It was a beautiful moment. It was just R.D. and I in the room. He was an amazing partner.
The after birth was no big deal-didn't even feel it-I didn't get an episiotomy and only tore a little so no stitches needed. R.D. cut the chord after the blood was done pumping and January 28 became a day we will never forget.
|Facebooking during labor..|
|Our Little girls first picture...Miss. Zella Rae|
|I now know this is her I'm Cold face...|
|Eileen and Yolanda...thanks to them Zella came into the world no problem!|
|Our first family photo|