I am so excited, despite a growing butt-pain and some stiches - I have to tell you guys all about it.
Last week, I was told I would have to induce just before her due date because of some maternity-related high blood pressure and my age (38.) Instead, I used evening primrose oil, sex, nipple stimulation, and two acu sessions and apparently it worked, because I went into labor Friday night. At first I thought it was B/H, which I never had before, so I got in the tub to relax from 12:30 to 3:00 or so. I woke my partner up at 3:30 because I was throwing up, and by that time labor had started in earnest. I stayed in the tub whining until 5:00, when the doula got here. She checked me and I was 4cm dialated, so she put me back in the shower for a bit more. At 7:00 I asked if was normal to want to push, and she checked me again, I was already at 6 cm. We jumped in the car, I was on all fours in the back seat screaming at my partner as we made our way through Houston traffic to the Hospital. (This was the bad part - I felt out of control and I couldn't quit pushing through the contractions even though I knew I shouldn't.) At the hospital, after being checked at 8 cm, I immediately got back in the shower and marched, squatted, swayed, and made ridiculous faces on the toilet until she was ready to really come out about an hour later. (By now it was 8:30 or so.) My partner grabbed my hands and I squatted on one side of the bed, she on the other, and we pulled on each other's arms while I pushed onto the floor. I could really feel the difference every push! I finally got back onto the bed, laid on my side with one leg up, pushed a few more times, and I could feel and see the head! My doctor came in and took over from the doula but at that point things moved so fast that he didn't even have time to put his gloves on before she came on out. My partner cut the cord and that was it!
They laid her on my chest, we snuggled together naked for the rest of the morning. I sucked on her little fingers while the doctor made sure the entire placenta came out (it came out within a minute of her arrival) and gave me a few stitches. I was in the shower twenty minutes after the doctor left, and walking around the hospital floor that afternoon. We checked out the next morning.
Total labor - six and a half hours.
Total stiches - (no episiotimy) - three.
Hemorroids - yes, but they didn't arrive until my first poop yesterday.
Hospital - Memorial Hermann at the Medical Center
Houston Doula - Nadia Stein - highly recommended. As soon as she walked into the hospital room the nurse said, "Great to see you again!" and then turned to the other nurses and said, "This is a Nadia birth. Please go get the new nurse so she can learn from her." My entire birth plan was followed with no questions or complaints, and Nadia actually did everything but catch the baby. The OB came in, took one look at the situation, and walked back out until the baby was fully crowned.
Houston Acupuncturist: Dr. Jia and Dr. Liu at the Acupncture Herbal Wellness Center across the parking lot from the Mothering Center, Timmons and Alabama. Dr. Liu specializes in OB/GYN and teaches it at the local Traditional Chinese Medicine School. She helped me get pregnant, stay healthy and comfortable while pregnant, and induced me when the time came. I can't say enough about them.
I wanted to tell you this story because two things sustained me throughout the labor - thinking of all the success stories I've read here and elsewhere, and knowing the right resources to help me. When the going gets tough, it helps to have the right doula - she listened to me whine but never let me seriously consider an epidural, though I flirted with it two or three times, and she gave me the space to do what I needed to do without shame or fear. She distracted me with new positions every few contractions and never let me think I couldn't get through it, eventually.
I'm not particularly fit, particularly prepared, or some kind of superwoman - just someone who believed in herself and in her baby. You can do it, too!