My first labor pains started on the 18th at night, after I almost choked on an orange. They continued through dinner and throughout the night and the next morning they were still there, 5 minutes apart. I started nesting hard-core, preparing the birthing room and making the bed. While doing this, I got a very strong contraction and from then on they started coming at 2-minute intervals, and I couldn't talk through them anymore.
When my midwife arrived an hour later, she checked me and told me I was at 4 cm and pointed out that the previous night's contractions were very likely effacing. She sent me to take a nap, but I could only try to relax through the contractions - there was no way I could sleep!! She told me not to moan through them yet because I would exert too much energy (great suggestion, btw!). When I got up some time later (I had lost track of time by then), I asked her to check me... I was at 7+ cm!! She suggested I take a walk with my husband (it was night by then, but I don't know how late).
During our walk to the park, contractions started coming strong and fast. My husband told me the most helpful thing of the entire labor: "They are just sensations, don't put an emotion on them". That became my mantra: "It's just a sensation, it's just a sensation". I had to hold on to him every minute or so, but we made it to the park and back. Then my midwife suggested I take a shower, and told my mom that the hot water would send me into transition (she didn't tell me this, though!). She knew her stuff, because as soon as I came out of the shower the contractions began coming one after the other and were SUPER long, and I lost all control and just lay in bed moaning through them and rubbing my hands on the bed sheet. I found that if I could get my voice to vibrate at the same frequency as the contraction, they became a lot more manageable. I started shaking and got totally naked.
Suddenly, the contractions stopped for a few minutes and I lay in bed catching my breath. Then my body was raised up by a different type of contraction, and I had to get on my knees and start grunting. The second midwife had arrived by then and the midwives were quietly getting their supplies ready without saying a word. After a couple of these grunty contractions, I asked if I could start pushing and got the green light (by the way, I LOVED how my midwives guided me but never told me what to do, they just allowed me to follow my body).
I can't say pushing felt good, but I couldn't NOT push. I wasn't making much progress, and it was hurting a lot, so my midwife checked and moved the lip of my cervix out of the way. From here I had to get totally vertical so I hopped on the birthing stool and began pushing with all my heart and soul. I had a hard time grounding myself, I was exhausted and kept yelling alternately "God, please make this stop" and "Get it out of me!!!". Then my midwife said: "You are going to get your baby out" and I realized it was just me and my baby. My mom says that I smiled, raised my head proudly, and started talking with my baby, telling him we were doing this together.
A few pushes later, his head started crowning and I felt the famous ring of fire (hello, fire indeed!!!). My midwife asked if I wanted to touch the baby's head but it took all the focus I had to keep pushing, so I shook my head no. Then I heard: "The head is out, now the nose, and the chin!" Then they started yelling at me to breathe, breathe!!!, so I stopped and panted while the baby rotated his shoulders out. With the next heave, I felt my baby slip out of me and I heard my midwife say: "Hold you baby!!"
I opened my eyes in time to see and hear a huge 10 lb. baby screaming his guts out. I held him under his arms and pulled him up towards me. The cord was very short so I only got him to my belly button. I held him there and talked to him while he continued to cry, and we discovered he was a boy!!!
I was starting to lose a lot of blood, so my midwife had me deliver the placenta and had to cut the umbilical cord before it stopped pulsing so that they could attend to my bleeding. I put my baby to my breast and he began to nurse like a champ, but my uterus wasn't contracting to stop the blood flow. I was injected with Pitocin, given Cytotec, and one more drug, as well as several herbal remedies and a chunk of placenta to eat (yum...not), but the bleeding continued. My midwife massaged my uterus non-stop and they worked on me for a long time. I kept praying that the bleeding would stop; I wasn't in pain and my vitals were perfect (bp 120/80!!), but I could see that everyone around me was scared.
After several hours, their entire supply of gauze and a whole roll of paper towels, the bleeding finally stopped, just as they were getting ready to make the decision to transfer me to the hospital. Then they were able to stitch up a jagged tear and do the newborn exam. I had to have a catheter to drain my bladder because I almost fainted when I tried to sit up to pee, and the first whole day after the birth I had to pee into a pot while sitting on the birthing stool that my midwives left behind.
My midwives worked through the night and left after sunrise the next day (baby was born at 12:10am), they were tireless in their efforts to keep me at home. I was blown away by their dedication, professionalism, and unwavering trust in the female body. They are my new heroes!!
Zach is doing amazingly well; he nurses like crazy! He weighed 10 lbs. at birth and went up to 10 lb. 3 oz. five days after birth!! I'm anemic (no surprise there) and we're homebound for 30 days, which is kind of nice because it gives me more time to bond with my little boy. He looks just like his daddy and I can't believe the amount of love I feel for him, it's overwhelming to say the least.
I honestly couldn't have done this without you ladies; your guidance, cheering, and support let me know that I was capable of doing this. I hope you all have amazing babymoons!!
Edited by montessorimama1 - 1/30/12 at 5:38pm