Mention of pain in natural birth -- avoid if you're staying in your positive birth bubble
Started having mild, timetable contractions at the local library at 11am yesterday (the 8th), ran other errands w dh, was somewhat uncomfortable but wasn't positive I was even in labor til about 2. Called Mw she suggested I come right in, arrived at birth center at 4 - managed well to this point, 40 minute car ride wasn't great but we did ok, still laughing btwn contractions. Got checked at 4 pm and was 8 cm! Felt v proud of my pain management and relaxation, super excited. Tried to pee right after and pain intensified drastically - but I was still ok. Breathing and counting to myself rhythmically. Got into tub at about 5 and was checked at 9 cm, pain was effing bad by then, unexpectedly shockingly bad, moaned loudly during ctx and softly btwn them. Checked again at 6, waters still intact and I had a cervical lip - changed from lying floating on side in the tub to kneeling, with arms and face on the step of the tub / with request to bare down. I may have let some moans turn to cries, tried to get out of the tub legs first in a desperate attempt to escape the pain, and yelled 'I can't f$*+#ing do this, I'm DONE' and the equivalent a few times. Considered transferring to hospital for an epi but couldn't even fathom getting out of tub the pain was so bad. Baby was in oa and head super low, heart tones perfect- ie no positioning problems, I think it was just the cervical lip and the quick labor, there was no time for me to adjust to the pain. My back felt like it was shredding. Anyway, once I was on my knees and I was able to bare down enough to push back the cervical lip. I was so desperate in pain I asked mw if breaking my water (I was fully dilated by this point) would move things faster, she thought probably, so we broke them. Maybe six to eight excruciating back to back contractions later of me pushing with my body, but with effort, I could suddenly feel his head halfway out - it was right up against my clitoris somehow so I was worried I would tear there- I protected it with my hand and next contraction pushed out his head. So painful but i knew we were practically done by then and that knowledge kept me going. He turned and the next contraction I pushed out his body. I felt such relief to have the pain stop that I think I was almost in shock! I pulled him through my legs and onto my chest, we just stared at him and dh and I smiled and cried in disbelief of the whole experience. He was born at 7:06 pm.
8 lbs 9.6 oz, 21.5 in long. Born at 39+3. Head full of dark hair, absolutely covered in vernix- gobs falling off him mw dh and I all ended up covered it vernix as well. He pinked up quickly. We are smitten. He nursed a few times, hasn't been so easy but no too bad either, we're gettin there. Slept on my chest all night with his hands on either side of his face, nestled btwn my breasts.
My placenta was heart shaped and nice and dark, I tore, first degree but in a couple places inside, got five stiches. That was a walk in the park compared to the last hour or two of the birth
One big misconception I had was that I'd be able to labor on the birth ball, stool, or toilet - I literally could not sit starting at about 2 pm, it was so insanely painful. Next time I'll have looked up more standing positions because I assumed I'd prefer sitting so I had focused on those when prepping.
Last thing, (can't believe he's slept through me typing all this) in case it's useful to anyone, we had no time for all the nice snacks, aromatherapy and other labor stuff I packed, but I do wish I packed a squeeze top water bottle so that I could drink without help and without needing to shift my sore bottom around to reach or sit up. Also wish I had a big soft button down men's pajama top to wear or a loose dark colored button down nightie - nice for when you have to walk somewhere and don't want you mesh panties on display, still easy to nurse and to be checked/stitched/change pads after labor.
Dh wished he was wearing shorts instead of jeans, was a cool day but the stress and heat of room meant he was feeling v warm. And wished he had his flip flops bc he felt weird walking around barefoot if he had to leave our room, but didn't want shoes on while comforting me on the bed or sitting right next to tub. He had those things in his luggage but everything was in the car.
We also left all of our camera and video stuff, and my iPhone in the car in our rush then had no time for dh to go get it, so I'd advise against doing that