I had a pain free birth with my son in 2007. Graphic story follows. That said, I still "worry" that I'll lose it this time around.
On Wed. morning, I woke up around 6:30 am to some cramps and having to pee. I thought I had a stomach bug or something too, since I had diarrhea the day before. The thought of impending labor never crossed my mind since I had gone to almost 43 weeks with Bella, and here I was not quite 37 weeks. Curiosity had gotten the better of me a few days before, and I tried to check my cervix but was unable to reach it. Intuitively, I had known all along that I wouldn’t make it to March, but after going so “late” with Bella, I didn’t want to allow that thought into my mind. So, at 6:30, I get out of bed to pee, knowing that my odds were not good being in a house with 5 people and 1 bathroom. Sure enough, it was occupied, so I folded my robe up and sat on it to pee. I put it in the hamper with our dirty diapers, and got back into bed. As I get back into bed, I notice my leg pillow is slightly wet and wonder if I should call Eric and tell him my water is leaking, but I decide against it. I would feel silly calling him if I had only peed myself, so I decide not to, fully expecting to have another 3-4 weeks of pregnancy. I put on my hypnobabies tracks that I was supposed to listen to that day, since they always put me right to sleep. Around 6:45, I wake up, having to pee again. Walking to the bathroom, it seems as though I have lost control of my bladder, as I feel liquid trickle down my leg. I get into the bathroom, and the trickle is red. Hmm. I guess my water did break. The thought of labor crosses my mind as a REAL possibility for the first time. I go out to the living room, and tell my mom to call Eric and have him come home since my water broke. I’m still feeling crampy, and although I never timed my contractions, I wondered if there was a pattern, and if they were getting longer/stronger/closer together. Figuring I have a LONG way to go, I start a bath around 7am. I call my dad (Bella’s support person), and my midwife. Bella wakes up, and my mom gets her and brings her into the bathroom. She decides to get in with me. I worry she’ll want to nurse, and I don’t want to, but she doesn’t. I start to feel nauseous, and feel like I have to poop. I hop on the toilet, have diarrhea again, and then go into my bedroom. I only make it to the foot of my bed before a contraction comes and the pressure is killing my lower back. They start coming one on top of another, so I kneel at the foot of the bed and lean on it with my upper body. I breathe heavily and try to use my hypno-cues, but the intensity is scaring me and I can’t quite get a hold of myself. I feel like I’m going to puke, so I ask my mom (now in the bathroom tending to my bathing 2 year old for a bowl. I end up grabbing a trashcan that is behind me and as I vomit, I realize I’m pooping again. I momentarily feel bad that someone is going to have to clean up my adult feces, but quickly get over it as the next wave of contractions come. I wonder if I could be in transition, and pray that’s what it is, because I don’t feel any control whatsoever, and am intimidated by the power I feel. The pressure is insane, and while I’m making some noises, I don’t know that I can say I was ever in PAIN, but I was profoundly uncomfortable, and could not find a position that felt good. I tell my mom we’re going to the hospital. Part of me wants to tune out with an epidural like I did with Bella, and part of me is afraid for his lungs being slightly under 37 weeks. I realize I would just be pissed off to get to the hospital only to not have time for drugs. Around 7:45 am Eric gets home and started using hypno-cues, applying pressure to my back and encouraging me. I told him “I don’t want to”, and he continues to say all the right things. I get my mom to put on my birth guide CD, remembering that I have to choose to use my hypno-training. It starts to help, and I get my switch to center and feel much more comfortable. Then the CD starts skipping. (I was supposed to listen to it at 37 weeks to make sure it worked, but hadn’t gotten there yet). I tell him to make it shut up, and after the next contraction I go to the tub. It’s now about 8:15. I turn on the water and hand held shower head. I hand him the shower and he puts it on my back. I’m on hands and knees again, and my wrists are starting to get tired. I’m totally relaxed and comfortable, with no pain for the next 15 minutes. I then start to feel a lot of pressure and stretching with each contraction. Then this loud unearthly noise is coming from somewhere. I realize it’s me and think to myself, I must be pushing. That low cavewoman type Tarzan bellow comes out of me with each contraction. I never consciously push; my body just does it all. I reach down and feel his head. I holler for no one to touch me, and while my mom says no one is, I know they were, and she continued to for about 30 more seconds. The head is out; I continue bellowing and pushing and then he is out. It is 8:42 am. I look back, and my midwife is here. She has the biggest smile on her face. She apparently got here just after the head was out, and undid his double nuchal cord just in time for his body to slip out. She helps me sit back and hold him. He has trouble breathing. She gives him a few breaths and some oxygen to get him started. He is bright red and grunty for the next 18 hours. We get me to the bed, and I feel pushy, so we try to deliver the placenta, but it’s not ready. I’m hot and nauseous, and although we were planning a lotus birth, he is so cold and needing so much warming that I ask to cut the cord so they can take him aside and warm him up. They do, and they open a window for me so I cool down. At 9:45 I deliver the placenta, and Eric and the midwife go to the living room to keep him happy. I start to black out. I see stars, and call for K. She comes in and looks at me and says… Pitocin? I say I don’t feel so good… and then go blank. They ask me to open my eyes, and I do, in time to see her jab me with a needle in my thigh. Almost 2 hours go by before I feel strong enough to hold my baby, and while I feel somewhat remorseful about missing that time, I know he was being held and loved by my dad and my husband, and being well cared for. K asks to supplement with some sugar water, hoping that will help with the gruntiness. I tell them where the finger feeder is, and it does help quite a bit. We supplement for the next 24 hours or so. His breathing is always better when nursing, and I’m able to give him supplement at the same time. My milk was in by 48 hours, and he nurses really well. I had a breast reduction a year before my daughter was born, and had to supplement with formula. I really hope to be able to provide for all of his nutritive needs. He is peeing and pooping just like the books say he should, and that makes me feel soooo good. I’m taking fenugreek, which helped a lot with my daughter as well. My sister had my daughter for most of the time. They played in the living room until I started bellowing. Bella got concerned and asked what was wrong. My sister told her “mommy’s just singing a song”, and they start singing with me. They play in the hallway for a while, and tell the midwives which door to go in (apartment). About 15 minutes after he is born, Bella comes in to sit on her daddy’s lap in the bathroom. Everything was as it should be. I was dropped by a CNM at 30 weeks for a message I posted on a discussion board, and I know that was a godsend. I’m sure we would have ended up with a hospital transfer because of his breathing, and he would have been hooked up in the NICU with spinal taps and IV’s and all. I’m also very grateful we planned a homebirth, because I don’t think we would have made it anywhere anyway. I can’t say enough about my midwives. Their presence and professionalism and knowledge and kindness were so perfect. The whole thing was perfect. The only thing I would change is my mother not keeping her hands to herself. Looking back, I’m still not sure if I had a quick labor, or because of hypnobabies was deep in hypnosis for the early stage.
Evander McIver 7/21/07, 8lbs 6 oz, 20.5 inches.