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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My son is almost two now, but I just found out I am expecting number 2! So as I prepare for a second natural birth in a hospital I thought it might be helpful to other mamas planning the same to share my previous birth story.

Sorry it's long!

Tristan’s Birth Story

Approaching my due date I started looking for any sign I could that labor was coming. I felt very mild crampiness here and there, and had had sharp pains in the cervix area for 2-3 weeks, but other than that didn’t notice anything un-ordinary. Just before my 40 week prenatal appointment I decided to check my own cervix. It was far enough up that I could not reach it on my own. And I didn’t think that anything was really happening, so I did not have my OB check me. We decided to wait baby out and scheduled my next appointment for the Monday after Thanksgiving (Dec. 2nd).

The night before Thanksgiving (the 27th) I started having cramps after dinner that I noticed were stronger than usual. Strong enough to just mention it Jordon, who was at work, but mild enough that I made sure to tell him I was sure it was nothing. A couple hours later (around 8:00) I started noticing that there was a pattern to them. So I started timing them. They varied between 7 to 10 minutes apart, and had gotten noticeably stronger, though still not really painful. So when Jordon got home from work at about 10:25PM I let him know that I was definitely having contractions, but didn’t know if they would go anywhere. By then we were both too excited to relax much, but I knew I should at least try to rest, so we lay in bed together watching Netflix until the contractions got painful enough that I needed to move around and concentrate on how I was breathing through them. By this time they were about 7 to 9 minutes apart and they stayed that way well into the night. So Jordon dozed off at around 2:00AM and I let him sleep, thinking at least one of us should be rested.

I went to the bathroom at least every hour, and tried to stay hydrated and eat snacks. I starting getting bloody mucus here and there, so I knew the contractions were doing something. At around 3:00 the contractions got quite a bit more painful, and at that point I couldn’t keep down any more food, and very little water. But they didn’t get closer together. I walked around most of the time, or sat on the edge of the bed. At first during contractions I would lean against the dresser and swing my hips while I breathed deeply. As they got more painful I squatted through them. More painful still and I sat on the floor against the door frame and swung from side to side while trying really hard not to tense up. I did well at focusing on breathing techniques, and was surprised it helped me as much as it did.

By about 5:00AM the contractions were very painful and had gotten between 4 to 6 minutes apart. I tried to wait for them to get closer (you know, they tell you 3-4 minutes), but they stayed pretty consistent, and eventually I couldn’t focus enough to time them by myself. That’s when I figured out I should go to the hospital.

For some reason I didn’t want to bother Jordon or anyone else, and felt silly waking him up. So I stalled. When I did wake him he asked me if I was okay and suddenly I started sobbing and hyperventilating. He asked me what was wrong, and I honestly answered that I did not know. He asked if I wanted to go to the hospital and I said I didn’t know . . . I started feeling very weepy, panicky, and strange. He helped me calm down enough to breathe through the next contraction and encouraged me to go to the hospital, but still asked me if I wanted to, to which I replied “sure”. I now realize that this was the transition stage. .. I had no idea at the time. My brain was definitely somewhere else. He realized it too, but had spaced off the fact that that meant pushing should be not far distant.

I had already gotten everything together as a means of distracting myself. So after helping me calm down a bit he took everything out to the car and got it warming. As we were driving to the hospital (it’s only about 10 minutes from our house) I felt much more calm, and excited than before. And we talked happily about it during the drive. We got to the hospital at about 6:25. Everything was quiet, and there was hardly anyone there (small town). I was so calm by this point. They took us to the delivery room and asked me some questions about how things had been progressing, which I calmly answered.

The contractions had slowed a bit by then, so we were all just expecting to be waiting for things to pick up again. The nurse said “Okay, well lets hook you up to the monitor and check your vitals, then we can check to see where you are and go from there.” When I laid on the bed contractions started coming back, and of course on my back they hurt more. So she helped me lift my pelvis up, and waited for one to subside before checking me.

She incredulously said “well I am not feeling anything. So I don’t know if it’s really that thin or if I am missing something, so I am going to have someone else double check, okay?” I wasn’t with it enough to know what she meant by that. What she meant was that she couldn’t believe I was as far along as she was feeling, and yet acting so calm. She came in with another nurse, who came to the same conclusion. That’s when they ran to call the doctor, and wheeled out a table of medical instruments.

They helped me sit up in the bed and that’s when I was hit with a HUGE contraction and the urge to push. It took me completely by surprise and I screamed through it, vaguely trying to communicate that I couldn’t control it. They told me to pant through it to slow things down, but that didn’t work at all. So with the help of my husband I just did my regular breathing, and when the urge to push came I let myself push, screaming through them as I felt my body bearing down. I couldn’t move very much by that point, but as I pushed I lifted myself up with my arms to relieve the pressure on my bottom as he was coming down. On the third contraction my water broke, which I frantically communicated.

The doctor came in and they informed him that my waters had just broken. The first nurse helped me move the wet pad, and I tried to tell everyone that I could not hold back. I didn’t realize it, but they could see baby’s head from push number one, and already knew that I couldn’t hold it back. I honestly had no clue what was going on, except that pushing was excruciating and wonderful at the same time. The only way I could get through them was to scream/roar through them. As a regular introvert I was kind of shocked at how vocal I was, but it helped me cope, and looking back it was kind of liberating. I remember thinking it was probably freaking my husband out, and apologizing to him for it.

The second nurse was trying to get an IV in me as I was trying to get through a contraction. I never wanted an I.V. but in the moment I didn’t much care what they were doing to my arm. The vein blew and the doctor told her to just give up and get out of his way. He got down there, and they tried to get me to hold my legs and direct me into pushing. I mostly ignored them. One nurse and Jordon helped hold my legs back, while I used my hands to steady myself.
She had tried to tell me to “help them hold my legs back” to which I responded “I can’t”.

What I meant was “I am doing enough work, I need my arms to help relieve the pressure, and I am pretty sure you can handle it on your own, so no.” But of course in the midst of labor I couldn’t communicate properly, so I just said “I can’t!” But I knew what I meant so when she said “Yes you can!” I just said “no!” and ignored her after that.

I ignored them telling me when to push and counting through contractions. Instead I focused on my husband telling me how wonderfully I was doing and how close we were, which was much more helpful. I don’t remember exactly when, but at one point as I was starting to hyperventilate through the pain they told me to focus on something else. I looked around frantically for a minute, until Jordon said “focus on my eyes sweetheart.” I did. And it definitely grounded and encouraged me. I still have that vision of him in my mind.

Jordon told me the head was coming, and that I was on my last push. His head coming out hurt more than anything. Up to that point it felt like forever but then it all seemed to happen so fast. I pushed for about four contractions and less than ten minutes, but it felt much longer. The doctor gave me an episiotomy, which I didn’t even realize until later when I needed the stitches. I just remember him asking if it was okay to put some shots in to ease the pain. That part still bothers me.

When his body slipped out they suctioned out he fluid and he started to cry. I was half laughing and half crying. They put him on my chest and wiped him off before covering the two of us with blankets. I sat up and held him close to me while I watched them take care of the umbilical cord. They gave me pitocin in the leg to help my uterus clamp down. I consented because I just wanted everything done so I could be left alone with my baby and my husband. The afterbirth came quickly. It was strange to watch it slide out. Then I lay back and tried to focus on my baby while the doctor stitched me up. I hated that.

They left baby on my chest for at least two hours before coming to clean him up. The first things I noticed about him were his long fingers, like his dad’s piano hands; and his dark hair. We tried breastfeeding on and off. He had a hard time latching on, and I had a hard time knowing how to hold him. So we just worked on that together until they came to check our vitals and get him cleaned up. My husband went with him to the nursery, and I was left alone for a while until my nurse found time to help me shower.

I think it’s kind of hard on moms to be left alone for that period after giving birth. I felt vulnerable and overwhelmed, and didn’t like being alone. Plus I was anxious to get my baby back. But I was glad I had Jordon to watch over him for me, and I knew it was good for him to have some of that bonding time with our son.

After my shower I felt wonderful and my husband helped me walk to our room, and then they brought the baby in to us. It has been a wonderful and very difficult few days, but we are all healthy and recovering well. It has been wonderful to watch Jordon dive right in to father-hood. I am so happy that we get to be the parents of our little squeaker together.

Tristan Edwin
7LBS and 1.5OZ
20.5” long

Next time around I am going for a midwife attended birth, still in a hospital.
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