I had this amazing birth in my head…It didn’t go the way I envisioned but it taught me a lot about myself.
I worried about everything during my pregnancy…a long labor was not one of them. Everyone told me how fast it was going to be so I believed, no hoped that was true. I even remember telling my doula that I could take a little longer of a birth than my second but no more than 8 hours. Little did I know what was in store for me.
Labor with my first son would be called ‘Slow and Steady’.
My water broke but I wasn’t making progress. So they started pitocin and I ended up getting an epidural. It lasted around 28 hours but even with the epidural I was miserable from how swollen I was that my whole body ached. Over all it was not a great experience.
My second son’s labor would be called ‘Fast and Furious’.
I started laboring at 6am. Left for the hospital around 8am and sat in traffic for an hour and a half (wonderful morning I35 traffic). I pulled up to the hospital at 9:30am. Walked into the room at 9:45am and had my little one at 9:55am. I didn’t have an epidural or much intervention and I loved it that way. I never would have thought that I could have done it naturally or even attempted it but when I did it I felt so empowered. Plus the recovery was so easy and quick. I knew that if I ever had kids I wanted another drug free birth. I got one just not exactly how I envisioned it.
So the first thing I did when I got pregnant was start researching and planning. I found this blog post that I found really helpful. I watched The Business of Being Born. Then I watched More Business of Being Born. Both were great and reenforced to me that I wanted a drug free birth (no pitocin or epidural because I hate needles).
I made the decision to birth at a Birth Center. I wanted a midwife because I wanted a more natural approach to my pregnancy and delivery. I also loved the idea of going home hours after giving birth…I do NOT like staying in the hospital for days.
I started out at one in Austin but ended up switching mid pregnancy to Central Texas Birth Center in Georgetown. I know now that it was the perfect place for me. Anywhere else and I would have ended up at the hospital.
I continued my research by reading Ina May”s Guide to Childbirth and listening to Hypnobabies through out my third trimester. I also kept very active (even did three sessions and threw a birthday party at 38 weeks). I walked a lot and ate really healthy. I was trying to do everything I did for my second pregnancy to ensure my labor was fast.
Since I had given birth to both my boys at 39 weeks that is what I planned for this time too. Nope made it to 40 weeks 4 days.
6/4 – My due date. And no baby.
6/5 – I woke up with contractions. I was so excited I got up took a shower and even curled my hair. My hubby stayed home because we were worried he wouldn’t be back in time if he got stuck in Austin traffic. Then by mid morning everything had stopped.
6/6 – I sent my hubby to work because I felt nothing. It was so cute because he would call every few hours to check on me. We went in for a scan since baby was moving less than normal but he was perfect. At night I started having regular contractions again. I had a feeling the next day was going to be THE day.
6/7 Woke up at 2am & 4am with contractions. I kept making myself go back to sleep because I knew I needed my energy. I woke up at 6am with strong contractions. They were 3-4 minutes long and 4 mins apart. I knew this was it. I started to get ready, woke up my hubby to get the kids ready, and texted my midwife and doula. We left around 7:30am and got there around 8am. I listened to my Hypnobabies but the ride was hard. One of my fears was not making it to the birth center because of how fast Enrique’s birth was that I wanted to get there asap.
We got to the birth center and got settled. I foolishly thought I would have a baby by noon. Silly me.
I got there and labored for a while. I walked and tried to get my contractions to get stronger. My labor had stalled a little with all the commotion. I got checked around 10:30am and was at 6cm and my cervix was gone and paper thin. I was excited because it was pretty easy to get to that point. Heather stripped my membranes to try and get my contractions more regular. Around 11am Heather told me to go get lunch. That it would help me to get away and relax a little. As I got in the car my contractions started to pick up. We drove and got something through the drive through and went back because being in the car was miserable and I was afraid of having the baby in the car. Do you see the recurring theme here! LOL
Around 1pm my contractions had slowed down. We decided to go home and rest. I got home and slept. Woke up at 3:30pm with contractions. They were coming harder and closer together. I texted my sister to come watch the boys because I didn’t want them at the birth center. I couldn’t concentrate on laboring because I was worried about them. She showed up and off we went again. By 4pm we were back at the birth center. On the way there I told Leo “So the baby’s birthday is going to be 6/7…well it better be because I better have had him by midnight” Ha. Ha
The times are little fuzzy but I still remember some basics. Around 6pm they checked me and I was at 7cm but he was still really high. At this point I got into the water tub and was in there for 2 hours. When they checked me at 8pm I was still at 7cm. I remember being so disappointed. It felt like the contractions for the last two hours were pointless. I got out of the tub and dried off. Heather called Allie from Goodwin Chiropractic to come and adjust my pelvis and do some acupuncture on me. I also ate a little and continued to labor. We had a doula switch because Shelley was leaving on vacation and her back up Allison showed up. Around 11pm they checked me again. I was still at 7cm. At this point Heather checked me during a contraction. She said that my contractions were doing what they were suppose to. My water bag was bulging and it felt like a tight water balloon. The pocket of water was keeping the baby from dropping but because he was so high it was dangerous to break my water bag. It was around this time that I started thinking about going to the hospital. I was worried that I would continue to labor and nothing would change since there had been no change in the last 5 hours and I was tired.
We decided that I would try and rest and I would take some castor oil to try and make my contractions stronger and longer. I tried to rest but it is hard when you are having contractions every few minutes.
This is where I get even more fuzzy. Partly because I would ask what time it was and Leo would try and distract me. The later it got the more disappointed I would get, so he didn’t want me focusing on the time. Also I had been up since 6am and was sooo tired.
2:30am-5:30am. Here are a few things I remember.
- Being tired. I remember at one point I felt like I was going to pass out because I was so tired. Plus I would shut my eyes during contractions and was hyperventilating from my breathing. I kept saying I am going to pass out but no one was phased by this. I think I remember someone saying no worries we have smelling salts.
- My husband looked so tired. When I would open my eyes he looked soooo tired. He would try and rest between contractions and looked asleep.
- The darn birthing ball. If I never see another birthing ball it will be too soon.
- Pain. The contractions were so intense. I was crying because I just wanted the pain to stop.
I remember drinking the castor oil but nothing really happening. At 4am they checked me again and I was at 8cm. I thought ok that is it I am going to the hospital and getting an epidural. I am done. My doula Allison said that doesn’t matter you can go from 8 to 10 in 10 mins and it is going to take you three hours to get an epidural. So I said ok lets try and get this done. Nope the 8 to 10 in 2 contractions didn’t happen. Kate and Allison kept trying to get me to sit on the birthing ball or toilet to make my contractions harder and push the baby down. I didn’t want my contractions to be harder I wanted to sleep. I kept wishing I was at home in my bed asleep and not here in all this pain. All the birth stories of fast births were running through my head and I kept thinking why is this happening, why could I not have a fast labor. Yes I had a pity party for a little bit. But then I sucked it up and kept going.
Around 5:30am they checked me again. I was at 8cm but 9cm during a contraction. When they said that I felt so disappointed. I couldn’t take another 2-3 hours to get to 10cm. BUT they could feel the baby’s head so it meant they could break my water bag. I was laying down which is torture during labor, and listening to my hynobabies, waiting for them to break my bag. I couldn’t figure out what was taking so long. Apparently my water bag was a super bag because it wouldn’t break. They tried several different things and nothing worked. Heather took off to see what she could use. I remember her saying “your bag is like teflon how much vitamin c did you eat”. Apparently the healthier you eat the stronger your bag and remember how I was eating super duper healthy. Well yeah. Finally they broke my water and the water just came and came. The huge pocket of fluid was holding the baby up like a dam.
At this point I got into the tub again to try and dull the pain. Allison kept reminding me to breath and to push down into the contractions but that was hard as I was getting leg cramps during my contractions. I thought come on, seriously leg cramps too. Around 6:07am I felt like I had to push. I never had this sensation before. With Alex I had an epidural and with Enrique he literally slid out in half a push. Then I felt it…the pressure of the head. I started to push and there it was…the dreaded ring of fire. I kept pushing and pushing because I just wanted him OUT. Heather kept telling me to let it go. I didn’t want to let it go. I wanted him out. I honestly was half passed out at this point. His head was half out but got stuck at the mouth. Then Heather jumped into the tub and kept saying stand up. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I got worried that something was wrong. Leo was holding me up trying to help me stand up and then Kate started saying lift your leg on the edge of the tub. Lift my leg! I wasn’t even really conscience at this point I couldn’t life my leg. LOL Kate helped lift my leg and with one push Joaquin was born at 6:18am. He just plopped out the rest of the way. Then I fell down into the water and said “I did it, I am done.” I was holding the baby, but still mostly out of it and Heather says don’t drop him in the water. It took me a few minutes to catch my breath and realize I was holding my baby.
The pushing part felt like 30 minutes to me. Nope it was actually less than 10 mins. They had me stand up because they were worried he was going to get stuck and wanted to give him more room in my pelvis. This whole part is like a blur really.
If you do the math I was in labor for 24 hours!! He wasn’t born on the 7th he was born on the 8th..not at midnight but at 6am! I had done what I was sure was the impossible for me. I had watched a video of a women telling her birth story and saying she was in labor for 27 hours with no drugs. I thought no way could I or would I ever do that. Well I could and I did. God showed me how strong I actually am.
During labor I kept telling myself “I can do all things through Christ.” I know that is true. He set up everything during my pregnancy and labor to allow me to have the birth that I wanted. There is no way I could have done what I did without my midwives, my doulas, and my husband. Changing birth centers was the best thing I could have ever done. Having Heather, Kate and Summer (my midwives), Shelley & Allison (my doulas). There for me the whole time, supporting me, helping me and telling me I could do it was amazing.
And my husband..my amazing and wonderful husband. I worried while I was pregnant how he would do during labor. We have never “labored” together. But he knew exactly what I needed the whole time. He was supportive and did exactly the right thing all night. He was the most wonderful partner during the whole thing. The thought of a contraction without him scared me. I leaned on him and held his hand. I know I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him. I remember seeing the worry in his eyes during each contraction and how it really hurt him to see me in pain. I fell even more in love with him that day. Didn’t even know that was possible. Plus he has been nothing but amazing since we brought the baby home.
Whenever Heather would ask me what is your dream labor I would reply…”I don’t know, fast”. I didn’t get fast but I got my dream labor even though I couldn’t put it into words before hand.
I wanted to have my baby in a birth center. I wanted to feel supported and loved during the process. I wanted to do it drug free. I wanted to be able to eat and walk around during the whole thing. I wanted to go home hours after I delivered to rest and recover in the comfort of my own home. Most of all I wanted a healthy beautiful baby. And I got all of those things.
It was longer than I expected but what I have come to realize is that my baby is totally worth every minute of pain. Plus when he is older I can say to him “I labored for 24 hours with you.” LOL
Here are some pictures of my sweet baby boy. I still can’t believe I have a baby even 6 weeks later. I love everything about him, his smell, his little feet and hands, his chunky cheeks, and the little noises that he makes. I fall more in love with him every day. <3