Monday, September 13, 2010

A Labor Story

September 3, 2010 - Baby's due date

9:15am - I wake to the sound of my neighbor's leaf blower and think doesn't he know people are still sleeping around here. As I go to get out of bed I feel a funny tightening sensation in my stomach. Weird I think, could that have been a contraction?

9:30am - I decide to start some quick house cleaning in case this is labor. I don't want to bring my baby home to a dirty house. I also call my husband and tell him to think about maybe coming home from work early because this could be the beginning of labor and I would like him there.

10:15am - I am having light contractions now probably every 6-8 minutes and the contractions are lasting about 30-40 seconds. I have cleaned up what I needed and am feeling good that if this is labor things are in order. I decide to eat something light and go with a bagel and peaches.

10:30am - I call my husband again to check in and let him now I am having contractions pretty regular now but they are not too overwhelming. I decide to get a shower and get ready in case we are going to the hospital today. The contractions keep coming..............

11:15am - My sister is here with me and we decide to start timing the contractions which are getting a little stronger and closer together. The contractions are now 4-5 minutes apart and lasting about 50 seconds. I call my husband again and tell him he had better be home by noon because I need him to help me with my relaxation (instead he is stressing me out by not being here)!

12:00pm - Troy (my husband) arrives home and begins to help me through my contractions by massaging my forehead and neck and keeping me relaxed. It is much better than having to get through the contractions by myself. We call my doctor's office because I am supposed to have a checkup today and I am thinking maybe I should just skip it because I am pretty sure we will be headed to the hospital sometime soon anyway. I am pretty sure this is labor:) The doctor decides she would like us to come in at 1:00pm just to see how things are progressing before going to the hospital. I am not looking forward to this because it means I will have to go through these contractions in a car and not the relaxed environment of my home - but we head out with our bags in the car in case we need to go to the hospital on the way:)

1:00pm - We arrive at the doctor's office and I get hooked up to a machine to see how me and the baby are doing. I am also checked and found to be 4 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced. My contractions are now 4-5 minutes apart and about 50-60 seconds long. I am not finding them unbearable as with each contraction Troy (my husband and labor coach) is keeping my relaxed and positive. The doctor says things are moving along great and the baby and I are doing good and maybe we should just go home and relax for a little while before heading to the hospital - we don't want to get there too early.

1:30pm - We arrive home and Troy advises me to try and lay in my side position and see how it works for the contractions. He tries to get a quick lunch in between my contractions which are now 3-5 minutes apart and 50-60 seconds long. I find that the side laying position is not comfortable and decide the most comfortable position for my contractions is standing up and hugging Troy in a dance-like position while he rubs my back. (He takes bites of macaroni and cheese in between contractions). I decide I would like to eat some ice-cream because I feel hungry.

2:00pm - I begin to feel sick to my stomach and get sick. So much for eating that ice-cream and peaches! I tell Troy I really think we should head into the hospital because I the contractions are getting stronger and riding in the car is not looking appealing to me.

2:30pm - We pull out for the hospital and as he drives Troy massages my forehead through contractions. I am keeping my eyes closed partly because of the contractions and partly because of Troy's driving:)

3:00pm - We arrive at the hospital and as we walk in we stop every 3-5 minutes so that I can do a slow dance with Troy. I can imagine people are looking at us strange but I don't care. My mind is focused on one thing and that is having this baby. I don't even look at people as I walk by them and my eyes are only open to see ahead of me. I look forward to getting to the hospital room and having some privacy to have my baby.

3:30pm - We get to the hospital room and it is time for me to get checked again. The doctor arrives to check me and once again finds that me and baby are doing great. I am now 8 centimeters dilated. The baby is coming! I am excited.

4:30pm - I get in the jacuzzi to relax more through the contractions that are now 2-4 minutes apart and find that the warm water really helps me stay relaxed and manage through everything. I am so happy that I have not had any pain medication and am managing the labor fine so far. I am also thrilled with the awesome nurse (Connie) and doctor (Sandy) who have not suggested giving me any pain medication as my goal is to have this baby with none. They have also respected my wish to not have an IV so that I can remain as relaxed as possible. For me it is all a mindset as each contraction comes to just think about relaxing and getting through this contraction so I can get closer to my baby.

6:15pm - I decide to get out of the jacuzzi because I begin to feel like I could start pushing and the nurse had said to make sure you get out when this happens - the hospital doesn't want and water births. I get out and feel chilly and the need to go to the bathroom. I remember learning about transition and think this could be - it almost time to push. Luckly my transition doesn't seem to be quite as scary as I remember learning in class. Yeah!

6:45pm - I really begin to feel the need to push and the doctor (now Dr. Leynes) now comes to check. She confirms I am ready to start pushing, I am 10 centimeters. She also suggests that she break my water to relieve pressure. I agree. The water is broke and they find there is meconium in the fluid which is not the best for the baby. They say I will not be able to hold the baby immedietly when he is born because he will need to be checked right away. I am sad but know I need to get my baby out. So I get an extra shot of motivation and begin pushing. I find that pushing is hard since I can no longer relax with Troy's help but just focus on pushing and his encouraging words cheering me on.

7:00pm-9:00pm - With each push I think I am getting closer to seeing baby. And while the pushing is tiring it is not as painful as I thought it would be and I love the encouragement I am getting from Troy and my nurse (Jaime). It is like being cheered on from the sidelines during a basketball game.

9:00pm - I begin to feel like the pushing is different. I start to feel the "ring of fire" I have learned about in birthing class. This baby is almost here I think and I hear the nurse call for the doctor. The baby's head is crowning.

9:20pm - The doctor shares that she thinks I need an episiotomy because this baby looks pretty big and we need to get him out. She confirms that I do not want any anesthesia for it and on the next contraction she does the episiotomy. I feel nothing. BUT then another contraction and I feel an extreme release - the baby has arrived!!!!

9:24pm - I suddenly open my eyes which have been closed the whole time and am filled with a rush of energy and excitement. I feel like I have just won a marathon and there is my beautiful baby. He immedietly begins to cry and is taken for a quick check up before very shortly being handed to me. I begin to bond with my baby with my husband by my side and feel wonderful.

10:00pm - I say to my husband, "I could definetly do that again."

*My labor story went better than I ever imagined. I have to give a huge amount of credit to my husband and coach - Troy - who was with me all the way through every contration (after 12 noon) and kept me relaxed and positive through the whole labor. I could not have been as positive without him by my side and he took care of me through it all. I love you Troy:)

*I also have to thank Shanna my birthing class instructor. Troy and I decided to take the birthing class - the Bradley Method - and attend 12 two-hour seesions. Without these classes I don't believe I would have had nearly enough knowledge about birth to feel comfortable knowing what was happening to my body and I may not have been able to have a mindset to do labor without any pain medication. Thanks Shanna!

Finally I encourage anyone having a baby soon to just become as informed as you can about labor and what it will be like beforehand so that you are prepared for the wonderful moment of the arrival of your child.

~Make it the best experience you can~