Disclaimer** Having a natural, medication free birthing experience has always been very important to me and something I have looked forward too. I am absolutely not against epidurals and would never think less of any one getting one. I just didn’t want one myself. So my disappointment in this event stems from that desire, not because I think less of those who decide to use pain medication. Also this is really long.
The night of February 4th I was having extreme lower back pain. I had been having contractions off and on for a little over a week and I had been dealing with back pain for around 10 weeks so I didnt think much about it. I did mention to Garren that I wondered if thats what back labor feels like. I managed to get comfortable and fall asleep around midnight. I woke up around 1:30 to go to the bathroom and could hardly walk. The pain and pressure was insane. I said a little prayer begging to go into labor. At 3:00 am I was lying there half awake when I felt a little pop, I thought “Thats how I imagine my water breaking would feel”, next thing I know warm fluid is gushing out of me. I was so surprised! I told Garren my water broke and he shot up and said “Ok let’s go to the hospital!!” I told him it was ok no rush. I called my doctor and normally she would have let me labor at home for a while but a crazy snow storm was about to start so she told me to collect me things and head on in.
While getting ready fluid just kept gushing out of me. I could not believe how much there was. Garren gave me a a beautiful blessing, I think before that I was in shock because I was shaking pretty bad but after that we both felt so calm and excited.
When I got to the hospital my (amazing) nurse checked me and was shocked by how low baby’s head was already. Unfortunately I was only dilated to a 1+, so I knew I had a long day ahead of me.
My hospital is very pro natural childbirth and I didn’t have to be hooked up to an IV or anything. I did have to be monitored intermittently. Since she was so low it was hard to get the first strip needing for monitoring but we eventually got it.
I walked the halls with Garren for a little bit and was having contractions every 3-4 minutes. They were uncomfortable but not painful at all. We went back into the room and after I had been sitting down for a while the contractions stopped. The nurse I loved had left and told me she would be back at 7:00 pm. She said she hoped I had a baby by then but to not be discouraged if I hadn’t. I remember thinking she was crazy. There was no way I wouldn’t have my baby in the next 13 hours. The new nurse came in and said the doctor had ordered pitocin. I instantly felt disappointed. They said that since my labor wasn’t starting on it’s on, they needed to help it out since my water had already broken. Personally I felt like they didn’t give me enough time to walk and get things started that way, but it is what it is. Through out the day they would randomly come in and up the dose I was getting.(They even tried to hide the fact that they were upping it) I was having contractions ever 2-3 minutes and by 4:00 they were unbearable. I had spent hours dry heaving, and breathing through contractions and was starting to feel pretty weak. Garren was amazing, constantly rubbing my back, reminding me that our little girl would soon be in my arms, and cheering me on. I tried basically every position I could think of to get through the contractions. The best seemed to be leaning up against Garren.
No one, and nothing can prepare you for labor. It literally felt like my insides would explode. It was now 7:00 pm and I had been in labor for 15 hours. I was exhausted and my nurse started talking to me about pain medication and epidurals. I was being stubborn because I felt like such a failure for even considering it. I decided to have the doctor check me again to see if I was close. He checked me and after 15 hours of labor I was at 2 cm. I had barely progressed. I completely lost it at this point. I just knew I didn’t have another 6 hours or however long it was going to take in me. I talked to Garren (more like cried and asked him if he thought I was weak and a failure for wanting the epidural) and he just wanted me to do what I needed to get our little girl into the world. I asked the nurse a ton of questions about the risks of epidurals, both to her and me and finally consented. The anesthesiologist was in within 5 minutes. The epidural didn’t hurt at all going in and was instant relief. I could feel when I was having contractions but there was absolutely no pain. Blair’s heart rate started to get stressed with each contraction, so the nurse checked me again. It had only been about 40 minutes since I had last been checked but I went from 2 cm to 10. The baby’s head was literally right there. I was shocked. Basically my body desperately needed me to relax to progress. The doctor was delivering another baby so they had to keep telling me not to push.
Finally the doctor came and after 3 contractions, and some wonderful coaching from Garren and my amazing nurse (the first one was back!) our baby girl was born! The first thing I say was her head full of hair. They put her on my chest and she started crying. Girl had some strong lungs! I don’t remember much about all of this but I do remember telling her, “I’ve waited so long for you,” and completely losing it. It’s crazy how much you love them from the very beginning. I had a 2nd degree tear, but haven’t had any problems with it so that’s good. She weighed 7lbs .5 oz and was 20 inches long.
While it wasn’t the birth experience I have always dreamed of, it’s the labor and birth that brought me our precious daughter. I knew that if I obsessed over what I should have done differently I would get depressed, so I have made myself let it go. It is what it is and honestly the only thing that matters is that Blair is healthy and here! We are truly blessed to be this little girls mom and dad.