I started to have contractions around 1 o’clock pm on August 24th, I didn’t really think anything of it and continued on with my day, they started to get really regular so I texted Patrick and told him “I don’t know but this may be it” we were both getting really excited. About an hour later my contractions settled down and only happened about once every 30 min-they were very mild. I told Patrick that they had calmed down, no need to leave work. I continued about my day and my contractions started up again they were about every 15 minutes from about 6-10. Patrick and I took a walk around 8 to see if that would make the contractions more frequent. While on our walk my contractions did pick up a bit, and each contractions I had “fluid” come out (if you think that’s too much information you should stop reading now). I thought that maybe I was losing control of my bladder the first time it happened then when it happened each time I had a contraction I realized it was probably my bag of waters (Patrick hates that it’s called that by-the-wayJ) I was a bit confused though, as I thought that the bag of waters would rupture all at one time, not trickle out with each contraction. Patrick and I had a good laugh about it and continued our walk. We returned home and my contractions were still pretty consistent but not I-need-to-go-to-the-hospital consistent. I called my lovely Sister-in-law to ask her some questions (she is a doula and a fabulous one at that!) I knew I could trust her not to tell a soul we “may” be in labor and I knew she would answer my questions much better then Google! And she did! At this point my contractions were still consistent so we did what any couple in labor do . . . we went to bed. (What that’s not what you did when you were in labor with your first born). About a half hour after laying down my contractions started to get a little stronger and closer and closer together. I was timing them on my phone. It was about 1230 and they had been consistenly 5 min apart for close to an hour. Right as I was waking Patrick up to tell him the good news my water broke.
“Babe wake up my contractions. . . Oh my gosh I think my water just broke”.
“What do you mean you think”?
“I’m not sure can you turn the light on”?
And sure enough my water had broken (all over our bed if you must know, if this is too much information I would suggest you stop reading now J). At 12:45am on August 25th we were well on our way to holding our baby in our arms. We were both so excited. I decided I would take a shower and stuff before we went to the hospital so I took a shower and Patrick got everything ready and in the car (including a towel for me to sit on so I wouldn’t get amniotic fluid on my car seat. Ha what a thoughtful husband I have)! We got to the hospital at 2:45am when we walked into the hospital the security man tried to make me get in a wheel chair which of course I declined, how many times do I have to tell you people, I’m pregnant not in need of a wheel chair thanks! We got all situated in our room and they monitored the baby and checked to see what I was dilated to. I asked to have limited vaginal exams so this was the only time she checked me until I asked her to later that morning. I was dilated to a 5 and 50% effaced. The baby was looking great and I was able to take off the monitors and walk around. I walked around my room, I had planned on walking around the hospital but decided I would just stay in my room, it was huge and I felt comfortable there. Patrick was the most amazing “birth companion” I could have asked for. He was so encouraging and helpful he did everything he could to keep me calm, and relaxed. He reminded me to breath and keep my body limp so as not to tense up. He helped me to relax when things did get tense and I couldn’t have done it without him. For the majority of my labor I walked around or used the birth ball. During my contractions I would lean on Patrick with my arms around his neck and he would hold me up and support me. This somehow made the contractions bearable, each time I had a contraction Patrick was there to support me and talk me through it. He really was amazing. I got my Hep lock around 3:30am and if any of you know me you know this is what I had been dreading!! Pushing a baby out was lower on my list of fears then getting this stupid thing. I hate needles, I hate how they poke you and then take your blood, I hate seeing the blood in those little vials, I hate the feeling I get when they are taking vial after vial of my blood, I HATE the whole experience, this was the only time during my labor that I cried! I have anxiety just writing about it. Weird right?
As things progressed I decided I would get in the tub and that my friends, was an excellent decision. The water made my contractions so much more manageable and was very relaxing. I didn’t stay in there long though, the water was way too hot and I started to feel sick so I got out and returned to walking around the birth ball. At this time my contractions were very intense and I decided I wanted to be checked again to see how far I had progressed. I was dilated to an 8, I knew I was very very close to wanting and needing to push. The nurse called my doctor at this point so that she could start coming to the hospital I was so glad she was on her way, I knew this baby was coming fast. Around this time my forbag (not sure what that is) started to come out I started to freak a little bit, I thought for sure it was the baby’s head, the nurse wasn’t in the room and I just pictured my baby dropping out on the floor I think I told Patrick, in a panic
“I feel the baby’s head, its coming out!! Get the nurse”
And all he said was
“Are you sure”?
What a funny husband! He was completely calm about it, he called my nurse and she came in and eased my fears, it wasn’t the baby’s head at all nothing to worry about just some weird bag thing that held my water I guess. . .? (Patrick then watched her claw at it with a hooked tool, glad I didn’t know about that till just now!)
I remember asking a billion times if Dr. Laine was there yet, I was so anxious for her to get there I’m not sure why. As soon as I saw her I felt relief and was ready to get my baby out. She checked me one more time just to be sure and sure enough I was dilated to a 10 and 100% effaced! She told me I could “bare down” at any time I was ready to go. During the next contraction I tried to counter it with some “breathing down” (a hypnobirthing term) and for me it didn’t seem to help so I decided to actually “push” (not the kind of pushing that you see on the movies though, my face didn’t turn purple and I didn’t burst blood vessels in my eyes, I learned to push only where I felt the baby’s head and I put this technique to use.) And boy did it help. It made my contractions seem not so bad and I knew that with each “push” my baby was getting closer and closer to being in my arms. During the last few minutes of pushing the babies heart rate kept dropping, he didn’t like when I would hold my breath to push and it showed on the heart rate monitor. I used an oxygen mask at this time to help get oxygen to him when I was taking a break from pushing and this really seemed to help. Each time I would push his heart rate would drop but as soon as I took a huge break of the oxygen it would be perfect again. For a minute there I was a little worried but my doctor was so confident that he was just fine that I was able to put my worry aside and do what I had to do. I “pushed” for less than 45 min. The last few pushes were so very intense, I could definitely feel what everyone refers to as the ring of fire (when the baby’s head crowns), and it was the most pressure I had felt yet. I remember Patrick telling me how well I was doing and that he could see our babies head, this gave me what I needed to try my hardest and get him out and that is exactly what I did. The last two pushes all I was thinking about was how close I was to holding my baby in my arms I was so excited and full of joy. And at 8:04 am on August 25th our baby boy was born. He was bright eyed and wide awake. He was so calm and peaceful he didn’t even cry until they rubbed him all over with the rags to wipe him off. He was (and is) the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing before Patrick cut it. Our baby was lying on my stomach and we are a family. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life.
Patrick and I took hypnobirthing classes to prepare for our birth. I would highly recommend these classes to anyone considering a natural birth and even if you aren’t considering a natural birth these classes are wonderful. I felt so confident during my labor and delivery and the hypnobirthing played a major role in this confidence. Although I didn’t use all of the techniques I thought I would during labor I know without a doubt all the practicing we did and the classes we attended helped me to achieve my goal of having a natural (non-medicated with no medical interventions) birth. I couldn’t be happier. Patrick was the most amazing support I could have asked for. He was by my side helping me 100% of the time and I couldn’t have asked for a better “birth coach” he really was amazing. I couldn’t have done it without his help and support. I am one lucky girl!!