I had originally planned to have a homebirth with the coming of my third child,as I did with my other children. But, a myriad of wacky events happened so that by about the 7 month of my pregnancy, I had to come to terms with the fact that it just wasn't going to happen. I found a family practice doctor who also worked with a midwife, and felt very comfortable with them. I also chose to birth my baby at a very small community hospital that was supportive -and used to seeing- natural childbirth. And I hoped all would go well...although I did have a lot of anxiety going into the situation.
On the morning of Dec. 28th, I took my boys outside to ride their bikes. I started having this weird nerve pain in my right hip, along with the usual last trimester, somewhat uncomfortable braxton hicks. I was about three weeks early, so I really thought nothing of it. By that afternoon I was still having the surges about every 8 minutes. They were a tad more uncomfortable, but nothing spectacular, but the pain in my side was becoming ever more displeasing. Since we live pretty far outside of town, and I was by myself with the kids, I decided to give my mom a call and ask her to come over. I wasn't sure what was going to happen. I figured it would either start up in the next couple hours, or peter out. Either way, it was nice to have help with the kids.
By 5 o' clock I was still having the surges. We decided to go for a walk around the mall, get some dinner and do some last minute shopping. I had called dh at work to let him know what was going on. He was having lots of trouble finding someone to cover for him, and he didn't think he would be able to get off early. I was a little worried about this. Looking back on it, I think I was waiting for him, for my labor to begin. At the mall, my contractions did pick up, but mostly the pain in my back got worse. I started having bouts of the runs with each surge, so we hurried up and got out of there. In the car on the way home, the contractions all but stopped. My side and back were very uncomfortable, mostly like a nerve type pain - a horizontal sciatica if you will. I started to get real weepy and sad. I didn't want to have the baby without dh.
By about 9 o' clock dh had found a friend to come cover for him at work and was on his way home. Yay! . I wasn't really feeling anything anymore. I chalked it up to prodromal labor, and decided to take a nice hot bath and go to bed. As I lay in bed nursing my 21month old, Makai, I started to feel the surges pick up again, along with the horrible hip pain. I didn't really think much of this, although I noticed they were coming about every 5 minutes. I lay there for about an hour when all the sudden I had a strong contraction followed by a loud? (not the right word, but that's how it felt to me - loud) popping sensation. I thought maybe my water had broken, so I went to the toilet to see what was going on. I had lost my mucous plug and was having some bloody show, but no water. I didn't have any more contractions, but for some reason knew that this was it. I started feeling really weird – my right leg started shaking really bad and I got sort of clammy. I tried to get off the pot, but it didn't feel right so I just sat down again. My 5 year old, Kobe, came in and was like, “Are you in the labor? I'll go get Dad.” He's so cute. Hiroshi, my husband, came upstairs, took one look at me sitting there on the throne, and said, “We're going to the hospital right now.” I have a history of precipitous labors, and not thinking I'm in labor when I actually am. We also had a forty minute drive to the hospital, so I can see why he didn't want to take any chances. Although I really didn't want to leave the toilet!
The drive to the hospital was actually quite peaceful. I had some good strong contractions every 3-5 minutes. My mom was driving and I was in the backseat with Hiroshi, resting my head in his lap, while he applied counterpressure to my right hip. There was some really beautiful Hawaiian music on the radio, and I just let myself relax, drift away, whatever...With each contraction I visualized my uterus doing its work, and let my cervix open. I think I actually said open, open a couple times. Towards the end of the drive I started to get a little panicky – I really had to poo, and I didn't want to in my parents car!!! My mom sped up to the Er door and I literally jumped out, Hiroshi chasing after me and RAN inside. At the check in I had another contraction, squatted down right there in the lobby and said “I have to go to the bathroom!!!!” That got me a wheelchair to L & D in about 5 seconds!!!
From this point on its mostly a blur. It was just like one long contraction – I was having lots of back and hip pain, and was having sort of a hard time adjusting to the pain. With my other two labors, I had gone into a deep meditative state, and they were diffucult, but not painful. This was beyond painful. I couldn't keep my right leg from shaking – and this was making it really hard for me to relax and find my center. The only way I could really deal was by making these loud, lioness moans...so not like me, but it felt really good!
At one point I started saying, I was ready to go home – I wanted to go home. My mom came in and said, that means you're almost done and asked the nurse to check me and see if I was ready to push. I was only about 7 centimeters, but they said if I wanted to push go ahead. I did, and on the first push my water broke. The doctor checked me again and said the baby was posterior, facing up towards my right hip. Hence the pain. I pushed a couple more times – but because of my hip I couldn't really get the hang of it. At this point I couldn't even really move my leg- my pelvis had slightly separated along my sacrum. I got on my hands and knees. It felt really good, and I could feel things working much better down there. The doctor said she could maybe try and turn the baby. I was wary, but at this point I would try anything. So, as I pushed she reached in there. Baby turned right away. On the next push out came the head, and then the body. I think I actually pushed for less than seven minutes, but it felt like longer.
I was so surprised it was a girl. I remember them telling me it was, but I didn't really believe it, but I figured I wouldn't peek under the towel for at least half an hour, so that I could pretend to have a daughter for a little while. But she was! Violet was so peaceful, and beautiful it took my breath away. She never cried. She just looked strait into my eyes, as I looked into hers. She was so new, but it seemed I had known her forever.
The total labor was about 2 and a half hours. A little too fast for my liking. I have to admit, that it was a powerful, crazy experience. It was so powerful. That's the only way I can describe it. With each of my labors, I feel like I have learned something that sort of went along with my life's current events – My first labor was long and somewhat traumatic (brow presentation) It sort of initiated me into motherhood and its unknowns. I had taken a long journey-somewhat painful and difficult, and in the end become a whole new person. My second labor was very healing. At that point in my life it was exactly what I needed. I reached out to other women, and was blessed with their wisdom. In the end, many of my old wounds were soothed. And I became a better mother because of it. With my third, I was on my own, as I am in life at this point. Like my current life situation, I had to reach deep inside myself to get through the pain. Part of that was letting myself feel the pain, vocalize the pain....In the end it wasn't exactly the situation I wanted, but I made it through, using my own inner strength, if that makes any sense.
As for the hospital, it was a good experience in the end. I had no invasive procedures whatsoever. They actually even asked if we wanted to do Vit K and erythromycin. (We did opt for Vit K this time, because of the head turning) Nobody ever pressured me to do anything I didn't want to do. If I ever choose to birth again, I will of course, choose home. But all in all it was a beautiful, life changing experience, as are all births. I had one good night's sleep (the first in five years) and went home the next day.
I hope that you made it through this long story. Its so hard to put such a life changing experience into words. It almost takes away from the mystery and beauty of it all. But, I wanted to share it. So here it is... Violet Lilinoe was born Dec. 29, 2004 at 1:44 PM. She is so peaceful and beautiful. Everytime I look at her I tear up. I can't believe I brought another person into this world. I feel such strong love for all my children and I feel complete.