After carrying my first baby 41w and 6d, and having to be induced, I was determined that this one would be different. I went back and forth between wanting to try “natural induction” methods and wanting to let my body do its thing. I was convinced this baby was going to come early and eagerly awaited going into labor. However, I again made it 41w and 6d.
On the morning of October 2, 2014, I went to my doctor to get checked and receive instructions on coming in to be induced. The night before I had been having a few stronger contractions (definitely different than the Braxton Hicks I had been having for months). I told Simon that I was sure they had been working for me and that I would be more dilated than before. Sure enough, that morning, I was finally dilated to a 3 (I had been between a 1 and a 2 for about 3 weeks). Because of this, my doctor said we could wait until the following morning to start the induction. He was confident my body would respond easily to the medication (unlike with my first, where my body fought going into labor). At least a couple times, I jokingly added…”unless I go into labor today”.
After going to the chiropractor, we went home to get ready to have a baby the next day. However, by about noon, I realized I was having semi-regular contractions. They were starting to be strong enough that I was having to stop what I was doing and take a second to breathe. By 1:30, I had begun tracking them on my phone. They were still 10-15 minutes apart, so I figured it would be a while before it really got exciting. Emma and I hung out while Simon worked. I tried to think about getting things ready for the following morning.
The contractions kept coming pretty regularly, and I kept tracking them. I noticed that the time between was getting smaller, but still figured I had a while to go. Just before 3, Simon agreed to take Emma to the park after dropping off some items to a friend in the neighborhood. However, just as they were about to leave, the sky got dark and it began to rain. They changed the plan and headed out for the library. After dropping off the items, Simon decided it was too crazy to go to the library (wind, rain, hail) and decided to come home. While driving past our street, he noticed that we had lost two large pieces of our trees, one of them nearly blocking the entire street.
So, about 3:30, with labor in full swing, Emma became my responsibility again and Simon went to work cleaning up our mess. A friend from church and another friend’s husband came to help Simon. Amy showed up (in record time) and whisked Emma away. I was grateful to be able to focus on the contractions, coming even closer together now. They were serious but not at all unbearable. Rachel came about 5:30 (I guess I had called her at some point….LOL). She was helping me pack my last minute things so we could leave for the hospital shortly. I had her call Simon in the house:
Me: I think we’re getting close.
Simon: Ok. Keep me posted on what you need.
Me: This is me keeping you posted. What else do you need to do?
Simon: I need to climb on the roof and put up a tarp.
Me: Ok, that’s the last thing you can do. Then you need to take a shower so we can go to the hospital.
During this time, I moved back and forth from the bed to the toilet. It was not at all comfortable to labor on the toilet, but I wasn’t worried about trying to relax and going to the bathroom on myself. By the time Simon made it inside, things were getting pretty serious. My biggest concern was feeling like I needed to push. With my first labor, the urge to push came too early, I got stuck at a 6, and every time I pushed, my cervix closed, instead of opened. I knew the dangers of pushing too soon and used all my skills/strength/power/concentration to keep from pushing. Even with all of that, I was scared. I did “horse lips” all the way to the hospital, trying to not push.
When we arrived at the hospital, my doula met us outside and pushed me up to labor and delivery. When we got there, we found out they didn’t have any clean rooms to put me in. So, there I sat- in the hallway, doing horse lips, trying to not push. I needed to know how dilated I was. If the same situation was happening again, I needed DRUGS!! They decided to put us in the c-section recovery room to get me checked in. When the nurse checked me (I jumped on the bed on my hands and knees, trying to get some kind of relief), she said I was between a 7 and an 8. I wasn’t thrilled with that, but at least I was pretty close. With each contraction came the strong urge to push, which resulted in my doula and the nurse trying to get me to not push. Hollie was encouraging and helpful, while the nurse was not. A couple of times she felt the need to remind me what pushing too early could do if I still had cervix (my cervix could swell, oh and she felt the need to tell me that when I held my breath and pushed, my baby’s heart rate dropped). “I understand lady….I’m doing the best I can!!!!” ß That’s what I wanted to say. What I did eventually say was, “I need you to stop. You’re not being helpful.” After about 15 minutes of them trying to check me in and me trying not to push, another contraction came. Again, I did the best I could, but still ended up pushing. That’s when I felt it- the baby was coming! I could feel baby’s head.
“The baby is coming…now…I can feel it!” This of course caused a whirlwind of action. They finally had a room for me and decided to wheel my bed into the room. Down the hallway, I breathed as best I could so I didn’t have a baby in the hallway. We made it into the room and the nurse told me to get onto the other bed. After a short contraction and small push, I somehow managed to change beds. The doctor arrived and began putting on his “accessories”. However, when he looked up, he realized that he wasn’t going to have time to finish. “We’re going to have a baby.” The next contraction, I pushed a small push and out came baby’s head. “One more big push and we’ll get the shoulders out.” Sure enough, one more push later and my sweet baby was here. They laid him on my chest and I was thrilled. The whirlwind of activity continued around me, but I was my own world. A nurse was scrubbing my baby with a towel and I finally asked her to stop. Not exactly sure when it happened, but Simon did get to cut the cord this time. The scrubbing nurse came back and asked if she could take baby to weigh him. I said, “Can you not?” I hope it didn’t sound too rude!
The feeling of having the natural birth I really wanted was amazing. I kept giving Simon fist bumps, saying, “I did it,” and “We did it.” It was exactly the birth I had wanted.