In case you missed it, here is Part 1. Sorry part 2 took so long. I have been a bit busy with nursing, changing poopy diapers, and sleeping. :)
Warning* this is the most exposed you'll view me. But birth is a very exposing experience and a very natural and beautiful experience and I want to remember it all!!
Finally my nurse sees how frazzled I am, and goes and gets her cell phone. I finally get a hold of him. He JUST left our house, which is 40 minuets away. "Did you get the chargers?" I asked. "Uh....no. Should I go back?" "Yes but than hurry up! I need you!" "Ok, I'll be there soon. I love you!"
I feel better now knowing he's on his way and he has everything. I can relax a little as I am hooked up in bed with all the monitors and while I get the antibiotics in the IV which takes 3o minuets. It's about 3:30pm give or take. The contractions are coming every 5 minuets (I know because the machine was keeping a detailed account). They were growing in intensity but really very manageable. I try to focus on what I need to do when the pain picks up. I'm thinking that as soon as Davey arrives I'll change and get in the tub.
4:15 or so Davey comes in. Thank you Lord! He has 3 bags, a cooler, a boppy, and the birth ball is still in the car. Bless his sweet heart. I'm just excited now, and by the expression on his face I know he is too. He gives me a big hug and kiss and goes to get the birth ball.
When he comes back he says, "So you ready for me to get the mood set in the room?" Haha :) I trained him well. He fills the bath for me with my lavendar bubble bath, I change into my sports bra and keep a towel on.
I decided to walk around a little bit before I get in the tub because I didn't want the tub to slow things down. Well I really didn't have to worry about that! Once I get in the contractions start coming every 1 1/2 mins apart lasting for 60-90 seconds each. Each one is stronger. The first hour in the tub is great, Davey is timing the contractions, we are listening to my iPod iHypnobabies and I'm just so excited I am doing this natural. The contractions are getting strong. Still manageable, but much much more painful. At this point I'm hoping they aren't going to get much stronger because I'm barley cooping.
The nurse came in and said my midwife was eating down the street and wanted to know my dilation. So I got out to be checked. She said I was a 4 1/2 cm and %80 effaced. I was immediately discouraged, and now knew why women choose not to be checked. I stayed out of the tub for a while and birthed on the birth ball, tried to walk around (standing in any way seriously made contractions hurt so much worse) even laid on the bed for a little bit. I was now moaning and even crying with each contraction. My nurse was monitoring them and confirmed they were 1 min apart sometime 30 seconds apart, lasting 60-90 seconds.
All I could think was how can it be this hard and I'm only at 4cm!? I began to doubt myself. My midwife came in shortly after, listened to me through some contractions, checked me, and she reported I was 4cm and %50 effaced!!! WTHECK!? Totally discouraged, I get back in the tub. I really think the tub intensified things for me. It helped me relax, but it really made things pick up. I wanted to stay in the tub, but I was getting so so hot. I felt like I was going to pass out. I kept telling Davey "I'm so sorry, I can't do this. Please, I can't do this." He kept assuring me I could and that I WAS doing it and that each contraction brought Reece closer. He was so great, and so strong for me.
It's maybe 7:45pm now and I'm really serious when I tell Davey I can't go on anymore. My whole body was shaking and the pain was so, raw. He says, "Wait till she checks you one more time." I get out of the tub, and tell the nurse I want to be checked NOW. My midwife comes in and checks me. I am at a lower station (Baby is lower) %80 effaced, but still a 4cm. I cry.
She said, "I am so sorry, You need to walk around and get your contractions to get even stronger to dilate you. Right now they aren't at the intensity to open your cervix. I am so sorry, I know how hard that is to hear." Yeah it's hard to hear!! I can barley stand let alone walk around or squat or even SIT! I sit on the bed and sort of refuse to move because anytime you move positions a stronger contraction comes. Davey reminds me to relax but I can't, my body is tense all on it's own. The contractions are RIGHT ON TOP OF EACH OTHER. Each one more painful than the one before. How can these not be opening my cervix!? I can't move!
The nurse comes in, "I want an epidural. NOW." She said, "You really want one, like for real?" I said, "Yes. Please make them hurry." My midwife says, "I think that's a good idea. Once you get it, you are going to go so fast, you'll be ready to push in no time. I hate to encourage something you didn't want, but once your body relaxes you will open." I could see the disappointment on Davey's face. I kept apologizing to him, and he kept telling me not to be sorry, that it was okay.
She calls, says she has to give me a whole bag of IV fluid first so baby and mine heart rate doesn't go down. That takes 30 minuets. Than takes over another 30 minuets for the anesthesiologist to get there. Once she is in there the contractions are so so intense. My whole body is shaking, I'm literally convulsing and can't help it. I ask Davey for a barf bag. I didn't throw up but really felt like I was going to. Contractions are about every 30-45 seconds apart. I feel a lot more pressure with each one, not quit yet like I was ready to push, but just feel more pressure, like the baby is moving down.
If I could go back in time.....I would have my midwife check me right here. One more time. But at the time, I honestly didn't care if I was an 8 or 9, I feared ONE more contraction. And to be honest, I bet I was maybe a 6...maybe. But this is what kills me now, not knowing what I was exactly before I got it, so I keep thinking, "what if I was an 8?" Which I know I wasn't, and you'll know why in a minuet.
9:00pm She makes me sit still through about 6 contractions while she did the epidural....PURE torture. Then she says, "It'll take about 30 mins to kick in!" WTHECK NO!!!! Luckily it began to work very quickly. I could still feel a lot, but the pain was so much more tolerable now. 15 minuets after I got it my Midwife checked me and I was an 8-9cm. WOW. My husband is watching these mondo contractions on the machine telling me they are peaking at the very highest, and that there is NO break between them. Boy I'm glad I can't feel that. I feel so much better, and so relived, yet I have a twinge of guilt for giving in.
9:25pm (Yes I watched the clock), I am ready to push. I take my time, no one rushes me. Davey is ready to catch Reece. My midwife says, "Oh he does have hair!" Davey is telling me what he sees. Linda (my midwife) is stretching and massaging so I won't tear and telling me to take a deep breath and hold it, then push. Once I hear them say, "He'll be out in one push!" I push with all my might, I hear myself grunting loud.
9:32pm, exactly 7 hours after my water broke, out comes his head, then his body slides right out all in one push. Even though I had the epidural I felt a slight "ring of fire". I though for sure I was tearing. But even so, once he was out..... Relief! Only 7 minuets of pushing!
Davey places him on my chest. He cried the moment he was out. Such a beautiful sound! I hold and kiss him. I rub his back, and stare at him. He calms down when he hears my voice. He was covered in thick vernix. A nurse sucks his mouth and nose. Once the cord stopped pulsing (which was very quick actually) Davey cut the cord.
He lays on my belly and they place a blanket on us and a hat on his head. My midwife starts pushing on my tummy for the placenta to come out. A few minuets later she told me to give a small push, and out pops the placenta. She put it in a pink tub and shows it to me and describes it to us in detail. So cool. This organ nourished my baby for almost 40 weeks. Wow. God's design is so amazing.
Once my midwife announced I had no tears or anything, I was cleaned up, and I could put my legs down (yay!). A few hours after having him when a nurse checked me she was so surprised I wasn't even swollen. But I continued to put iced pads on because it was soothing. I peed an hour after delivery with no problem. When I stood I did feel faint, which doesn't surprise me.
After about 20 minuets of skin to skin they cleaned and wrapped him than brought him straight back to me. We attempted to nurse, but he wasn't very interested. We just stared at him and thanked God for him. We quickly texted photos to family. I was totally over whelmed with joy and endorphins. I felt amazing.
Don't let my smile fool you. This is in between contractions when they weren't as painful :)
I have been struggling with the guilt of getting the epidural. But in my mind I just didn't know how to make myself progress. I keep thinking, "Who cares! You only got an epidural, no other interventions. No pitocin. No induction. No C-Section". And those 3 were the ones I really cared about the most. I have a beautiful healthy baby boy that I am so overwhelmed with joy over.
Will I try to do a natural birth again if the Lord gives us another baby? Yes. I will PRAY my water doesn't break first. My nurse had 4 natural births, 2 at a free standing birth center. She said twice her water broke first and it is horrifically more painful than if it doesn't. In fact she said she cried when her water broke. Haha. I really think it hurts more because there is no cushion. The water bag usually gives a cushion to the contractions and with out it, it's just so raw. That is the only word I can use to describe it.
I spoke with a friend of mine who is a doula. She said no doubt I was in transition. It's common with a 2nd or 3rd birth for the woman to go from 4cm-10cm very quickly. I did needed to relax and let my body open. She said she sees it all the time. Its a puzzle to me. Who knows how long I would have been in transition.
Overall I have to say, Reece's birth was so amazing, and everything went according to my birth plan, except the epidural. I am proud to say I made it 6 1/2 hours natural and that out of ALL the births on Monday Dec 5, 2011 in our hospital, I was the only 1 out of 8 ladies in labor that was spontaneous. We are extremely thankful to God for Reece and his health!
Love, The Curvy Housewife