Owyn's Birth StoryI woke up early on Saturday morning, February 28, and announced to my baby that today would be her birthday and she'd better get things moving. I had no reason to believe I would actually go into labor that day, aside from the words of my psychic grandmother who said she would come on the 28th. I just really wanted it to happen that day.
I spent most of the day walking and trying various things, mainly the power of my mind, to get her to come. About midday I had lost hope and was mourning the fact that I would not have a February baby as I had so hoped for.
I took a shower and cried out of disappointment and frustration. I was feeling a little ridiculous for being so upset. About an hour later, I was sitting down at the computer and my back was really aching. I got up and used the restroom (prayed for a moment that my water would break or something), then tried sitting on my birth ball to help my back. It didn't, so I got up again to just walk it off. That was when I felt a small gush and my pants were wet. This was at about 3:45 in the afternoon.
I didn't know what to do. I knew it had to be my water, I had just used the bathroom... it wasn't much fluid though, just enough to soak my underwear. So, I called my mom and asked her if I had just peed my pants or if my water was breaking. She said it sounded like my water, but she was so calm about it I didn't know if I believed her. I said "Am I going to have my baby now?" and she said she believed I probably would very soon.
I found her calmness useless, so I called my SIL (the OB nurse) and asked her the same thing. She said it sounded like I was leaking and to just give it some time and see if I leaked anymore or if contractions would start. She was working that night where I was set to deliver, so she said she wanted me to come in either way to see what was going on, but not to rush it. She suggested I stay on my feet and try sitting and standing a few times to see if I leaked anymore water.
I called my husband, who was working on the baby's dresser in the garage and said maybe he should call it quits for the day, I thought my water was breaking. He came in and started getting our hospital things together (we'd only gotten a few things ready at that point). I walked around the house and had a few more gushes of water within the next 45 minutes. But labor wasn't starting.
We decided to go about our day as we otherwise would have, rather than just sit around and wait for something to happen. So, we went to my sister's where we had planned to spend the evening anyway. She was having the family over for dinner, so everyone was there and anxiously waiting for something to happen. I kept walking around her house and got one or two more gushes of water, but mostly just small leakage.
Dinner took much longer than we had anticipated, and soon 4 hours had gone by since my water started leaking and still no contractions. I was getting concerned. I had just discussed these options with my midwife a few days before, and she is lenient as far as time, but still has to stay within the guidelines of the hospital and the group she works with. I knew if I hadn't made significant progress (like 5 cm and still going) within an 8 hour time period, I'd be getting pitocin.
My back was still aching, so my oldest sister was showing my husband where to rub to help the achiness. At that time, I felt the strangest pop in my pelvis and felt the baby drop way down. I stood up and my first contraction hit me... and it hit me hard. More water gushed, so I went to the bathroom. Had another contraction on the toilet. Had another while I was walking back to the dining room. These did not come in surges or waves, they hit me all at once and completely in my back.
I sat down and the contractions spread out a little, which was nice but I knew we needed to keep them going. So, I got up and walked around for a little bit while my aunt timed my contractions... every 4 minutes, lasting about 90 seconds. By now, my water had been leaking for just over 4 hours. I debated whether we should go home or not... I knew by the time we got there, we'd only have to leave again for the hospital an hour later. I told my husband let's just go to the hospital, I didn't want to be stuck in a car longer than I had to be with these pains. So, we packed up our things, grabbed my mom and headed out.
Contractions got more intense in the car... still about every 4 minutes and lasting about a minute and a half, while I was sitting. We finally got to the hospital. It was about 9:00. My mom went in with me while DH parked the car, and they had lost my prenatal information. So, I had to fill out the registration forms before I could get in a room. Standing up, the contractions were coming every 2 minutes, still completely in my back, these were killer. I just wanted to sit down on the floor, because standing up was putting way more pressure on my back for some reason. Finally, DH made his way inside and took over filling out the forms while my SIL got me in a room (she ended up being my nurse for the whole thing). I had two more contractions walking down the hall to my room.
Got in the room and changed into a gown, hooked up to the monitor, got the sit put in for the IV, they took blood. This all seemed to take an eternity and I could see the bathtub from where I was. I wanted to be in there so bad. I kept asking "Can I get in now, please?" I knew the water would help my back and these contractions were overcoming me. They had to call and get my midwife's permission to let me in the tub since my water had broken. I was told I could get in, but only for about 45 min, an hour tops. At this point my water had been broken for 6 hours. They checked me before I got in, and I was heartbroken to find out I was only 2 cm.
As soon as I was given the go ahead, and a contraction subsided, I practically ran into the bathroom, yanking my gown off on the way and jumped in the bathtub. I felt like I needed to beat the contraction there. The contractions were still very intense and all in my back... I could tell the water was intensifying them, but they didn't hit me all at once. I could feel it coming and prepare myself. I could stay on top of it and breathe through them. I wanted to stay there all night long.
While I was in the tub, my sisters and another SIL showed up. DH came in and asked me if I was okay with everyone being there. At that point, I didn't care if the entire family was there, I just wanted to have my baby. I found some comfort with their company.
45 minutes in the tub went by way too fast and I had to get out. I realized by the time I made it to the bed that these contractions were much more intense than earlier... Out of the water they were hitting me like a freight train again. I literally wanted to jump out of my skin and run away from them. I was fighting them and trying not to, but I had no time to prepare for them. They hit me full force all at once. My SIL checked me when I got back in bed, I was coming up on my 8 hour mark and praying I was at least between a 4 and 5 and could put off the pitocin. I was between 2-3 cm. She didn't even have to tell me, I knew what was going to happen next. She said she'd call my midwife and see what she wanted to do, but I knew what the answer would be. She came back and said they were going to start pitocin. But watched me the next couple of contractions and baby's heart rate dropped to about 90. So, they decided to put the pitocin off for a while to make sure she would handle the contractions. Apparently, it was just a fluke, because from then on her heart rate stayed around 150 the whole time.
This was when I caved. I could barely handle the contractions the way they were, I knew I couldn't take it with pitocin. So, I got an epidural put in. That was torture! I had 4 contractions, back to back-- no break between them, while she was putting in my epidural. I could also feel the pressure from the epidural being put in, along with all the back pains I was already having. I thought I would die right there! But we made it and within a few minutes I was feeling good. The epidural made me a little antsy and shaky feeling for a little while, which I wasn't too fond of.
At this point, we all just sat around and visited for a while. We were all tired, it was after midnight and I'd been awake since 6 am. My husband had been drinking coffee all night and was climbing the walls with anticipation. He was fascinated with everything that was going on. My SIL came back a little later and checked me again. I'd been stuck between 4-5 cm. for a while. I said my butt was achy for some reason. I didn't know why, I should have been numb there. It felt like I'd been sitting on it for too long and my tailbone was sore. Which again, I shouldn't have felt with the epidural. My SIL wondered if the baby was starting to drop down more. She checked and I was barely 6 cm and baby was getting pretty low. She had me roll over to my side to see if we could get contractions more regular. They were coming in a pattern, I'd have a few big ones back to back, then go 5 min with nothing.
I got comfy on my side and thought I'd get to nap, I was exhausted. I could hear my sisters saying they were going to get a snack and would be back, we thought this was going to take a while. My other SIL had fallen asleep. Suddenly, the ache in my butt was getting worse and worse... it wasn't just uncomfortable anymore it was downright painful. I had to breathe through it like the contractions earlier. My mom got my SIL and told her I was having a lot of pressure (it had only been 15 min since I was checked and barely 6 cm.) She hesitated to check me again so soon, but thought it was strange that I'd be in that much pain with the epidural. She checked me, I had jumped from 6 to 8 cm in 15 min. Time to call the midwife and get her there.
Transition hit me hard. I was shaking all over and couldn't control my breathing. I wanted to push, bad. Everytime the door opened, I was praying it was the midwife, I had to get the baby out. I felt like if I didn't start pushing, she would come out all on her own. With every contraction, I could feel her getting closer and closer. It seemed like an eternity when my midwife finally came in the room. She checked me and I was 9 cm... there was just a small bit of cervix that wouldn't get out of the way. So, she had me lay on the other side to see if it would help. With each contraction I was begging to push. I was able to breathe through it, but I kept saying it was torture that I couldn't push. Finally, after what seemed like hours (really about 15 min), my midwife checked again... the cervix was still in the way. I begged her to let me push anyway, I couldn't take another contraction I had to breathe through. She said to try pushing with the next contraction and she'd try to move the cervix out of the way. I pushed, but it didn't work. We decided I'd start pushing anyway.
They put me on my back, took the bed apart, and got me in position. I lost the urge to push. We just stayed like that for the next 10 min or so waiting to see if I'd be able to push.. the contractions were still coming, but I didn't feel the urge to push like I had. Finally, I just closed my eyes and concentrated on my body trying to figure out what it was doing... slowly I started to feel it again. I pushed for about 20 min, getting frustrated, I couldn't tell if I was pushing in the right place, I felt like it was all in my face which I knew wasn't right. I asked for the mirror so I could see what was going on. That helped immensely, to be able to see what I was doing and try pushing in different ways... I could see what worked and what didn't.
At one point, my midwife announced "You've birthed the hair!". The baby's hair was so long that even though we could barely see her head, her hair was hanging out! That really got me motivated. A couple contractions later, she was crowning. Her head was right there. When the next contraction came on, I announced "She's coming out now" and pushed hard. I closed my eyes and felt her head come out. Another small push and her body followed. The strangest sensation I've ever felt. They put her on my chest and I was in awe of her. She was so beautiful, more beautiful than I'd even imagined. It took her a while to start breathing, so we didn't get to let the cord pulsate, they needed to get her going. I was okay with that.
They helped her along while I got stitched up. I knew I had torn when I felt her head come out. My midwife didn't tell me how many stitches I got, but her description was that I tore "to the pucker". Which sounds pretty bad to me, I've been afraid to check it out. I also had a small skidmark on the top, but that didn't get stitched.
When they brought her back to me, I was in another world. I forgot anyone else was there. All our company left, completely exhausted... we'd been there since 9 the night before, she was born at 6:28 in the morning.
I did not get my February baby, but I am definitely okay with that now! My word for the experience so far is just bizarre. I feel like it was all an out of body experience. I kept saying "I can't believe I get to take you home with me". I still can't believe she's mine, I remember every once in a while and have to stop and take it all in for a moment. We really couldn't be happier! I can't wait to do it again!