I finally decided to post my birth story. My DD is 3+ months now.
The day before I went into labor I noticed an increase of energy that other mother's have mentioned they had just prior to labor. I could easily walk up and down stairs. My energy level only increased slightly, but it was noticeable. I wondered if this was a sign that I would go into labor soon. I asked DH to get "the list" of things we need for the hospital ready.Water Breaks - 11:30PM-ish
That night around 11PM, I lay in the Runner's Position and soon I heard a POP! I wasn't really sure what that was, but I thought it could be that my water broke. I got up to use the restroom and felt some water drip down - more than usual. This happened twice. I told DH about it and it was about 12:00A. As long as I go into labor within 24 hours, all would be well. So, we prepared ourselves mentally for first stage labor at home and baking a birth cake. We called the midwife on call and she said to go to The Birthing Inn at 8:30A. Great... we didn't want to go too early! Well, we didn't have to wait long when my first contraction came; it felt like a cramping pain. DH started the Contraction Timer on his smart phone. I thought it was too soon to start timing, but I was quite happy he did! Because, we soon realized the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart! DH was certain they would grow further apart. After all, we expected about 16 more hours of labor and to have time to bake a birth cake.Stage 1 Labor - midnight
We started putting our Bradley Method techniques to use. I lay in the Runner's Position and tried to relax. DH packed the car between contractions and he would apply pressure on my back during contractions. We didn't practice this technique; so, it was awful. Because I was at the edge of the bed, DH got onto the bed on the other side and applied pressure - a lot of pressure. Two reasons this didn't work for us. First, his movement on the bed was a huge distraction I couldn't relax through. (And, we have one of those beds where you're not supposed to feel much movement... but DH was moving quickly too.) Second, I required so much pressure on my back; he pushed me out of my relaxation position which caused even more tension. It was just awful. (Next time, we'll practice this one, because the pressure helped.) We could only successfully relax through 2 contractions. At this point, I knew I couldn't endure increasing pain for 16+ hours and knew I would want an epidural later. So, we skipped making the birth cake and I wanted to go to The Birthing Inn. Since the contractions were still 2-3 minutes apart, DH made a 2nd phone call to the midwives. Meanwhile, I went to the bathroom and had a contraction. Rather than end up on the floor, I sat on the toilet facing the wall with my arms over the tank. I had some blood... and I let DH know so he could tell the midwife which she replied we should head to the hospital. Thank goodness!Off to The Birthing Inn - 1:30AM-ish
We started for the car and I felt like I was somewhat serious - an emotional signpost to watch out for while in 1st stage labor. I sat in the passenger side and put my seat back down. I had a few contractions in the car but couldn't relax in any position. I should've laid in the back of the SUV. A good idea, if the seats had been down. We arrived at The Birthing Inn. By this time, I was serious! I noticed the difference, but I didn't think I could be so far along into 1st stage labor. I entered The Birthing Inn and had a contraction while on my feet. I felt the need to just lay on the floor to relax through the contraction. Fortunately, DH was right behind me so I hung onto him.Antepartum
There were so many questions to answer and papers to fill out. I was registered and wondered why I had to do all this! I'm glad DH was there to answer the questions. By this time, I asked the nurse "How soon can I have an epidural?" I don't think DH could believe what I was saying. I just knew I couldn't endure this for 16+ hours of labor. The nurse checked my cervix and said I was 8 cm dilated. A few moments later, our midwife arrived and checked my cervix. I was 9 cm (station 1). By now, DH and I both knew that my demand for an epidural was THE emotional signpost that 2nd stage labor was around the corner! Yeay! The midwife mentioned that getting an epidural at this time would prolong my labor, and she reminded me that I wanted a natural labor. Because I knew 2nd stage labor was around the corner (and less painful) I didn't request an epidural anymore.2nd Stage Labor - 2AM-ish
There was no way I wanted to walk to the delivery room, so I was wheeled on the bed. After arriving and about 2 contractions later, I felt the need to push. I mentioned it to the midwife ...and so began the pushing! DH and a nurse held my legs up during the whole time - pushing or not. It was very helpful for relaxing. When I wasn't pushing, I just let myself relax in a comfortable position. When the urge came to push, I pushed 3 to 4 times. DH was a great coach! He kept reminding me to relax my lower extremities, to hold my breath when I pushed, and to breathe deeply. I kept forgetting to do all those at just about every contraction. I felt like I wasn't progressing, but DH could tell. At one point, I switched to a squatting position - the position I thought I would want to labor in. (Who wouldn't want the squatting position allowing 10% more opening?) I was wrong! It took way too much energy to hold myself up. We quickly went back to pushing on my back (~45 degree angle). The midwife asked me twice if I wanted a mirror and each time I refused... until I finally changed my mind. It didn't encourage me to push harder, but it was interesting to watch. I got to feel our baby's head at one point; it was all lathered with soap but you could see the baby's hair. Finally, after about 2 hours of pushing, DH noticed that the nurse and midwives seemed concerned. We weren't sure that anything was wrong, but I was given oxygen every now-and-then. The midwife had to help things along some *ouch!*.It's a Girl! - 4:25AM
Finally, the baby's head came out, and the baby was just about pulled out of me. I can't remember pushing the body out. The baby was placed on my chest with chord in tact. I didn't know what to do nor how to react. I almost didn't touch the baby... then I smiled and gently touched. The nurses then began stimulating the baby until cries were heard. As DH was stepping back to get the camera, someone asked, "Do we know if it's a boy or a girl?" The midwife spread open the baby's legs. I expected DH to say if it was a boy or girl, but I think he was speechless. The midwife said, "It's a girl." DH got to cut the chord after it finished pulsing. Then, the baby was placed nearby for the nurse to clean her up.4.5 Hours Labor
I had a 1 cm tear inside (my perinium in tact) requiring 3 stitches. But, nothing I ever felt during labor. I was then wheeled into the Postpartum room.Books
4.5 hours of labor. Fastest labor I never imagined I would have. And I thought I was going to be a putter-er. I am so glad we both read "Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way". It was extremely valuable during our labor since we had to cancel our Bradley classes
. If it weren't for the book, we would not really know how fast things were moving and DH would not have been such a great coach in 2nd stage labor! We have to work on 1st stage labor for next time... provided we actually have the time. I'm beginning to think my next one will be UC if DC comes in less than 4.5 hrs!
Later I read "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth". Good book. It explained to me why I had a fast labor and an effacing cervix at 30 weeks. It can be normal!
I also read "The Mother Art of Breastfeeding" and "Mother Food".
My DH read "Husband-Coached Childbirth".What I Wish I Would Have Known Beforehand
The only thing the Bradley Method is missing (for someone like me) is a pregnancy diet for a vegan/vegetarian. I now know the importance of an egg a day! (Helps w/ progesterone, a hormone needed for glandular tissue for milk supply... which I am low on.)
ETA: Although, I read Husband-Coached Childbirth and there is a section on nutrition. It never mentions we need egg for progesterone. The book also recommended another book for vegan nutrition, and I am awaiting that one in the mail.
Galactagogues! Wish I would have eaten only that while prego to prevent a low milk supply!
And, the other thing these books should have mentioned was to pay attention to breast changes (or lack there of) as an indicator of low milk supply and how to prevent a low milk supply.