Tuesday, May 31, 2006- I had my OB strip my membranes at my appointment that day and within hours was having sporadic contractions. By 9:30pm they had become more evenly spaced and that is when I count the beginning of labor. Contractions continued 3-4 minutes apart most of the night. Good thing I didn't go in to the hospital based on timing or I would have been there a long time and probably ended up with more interventions and possibly a c-section. As it was, I again labored alone through the night, updating online friends and doing random chores, making sure everything was ready. At one point I sat and watched Jason sleeping peacefully and it was bittersweet to think this was my last night with just one child.
We decided to head in to the chiropractor and stopped to eat at McDonald's on the way. I only ate some hashbrowns, funny how my body craves carbs in labor. My chiropractor made sure things were aligned and did some work loosening my muscles and it immediately cut my labor pain in half, it was wonderful. We then called our family to let them know what was going on. My mom headed up and DH's mom told us to call when we got to the hospital since she was in class at the time.
I labored at home for a few hours. Again my contractions were felt all in my back, but I had DH push on my lower back during each one and it helped immensely. My family showed up around noon and we headed to the hospital. They didn't have a bed ready right away so we sat in the waiting room for half an hour. My OB walked by and saw me there and was excited that she'd be seeing me again soon. At 12:30 they took us back to a room. Jason stayed out in the waiting room with family members.
They couldn't tell if I had progressed any more because my bag of waters was bulging so much. They thought I was maybe 8cm and asked if I wanted them to break my water. I said that we would wait a little longer and see what happened. Eventually, maybe around 3:45 I agree to let them break it because I wanted to be done.
By this point I was in transition and every contraction had me moaning. Being in the bed with monitors on was excruciating. I was squeezing my moms hand and DH was trying to put counter-pressure against my back but it wasn't working from that position. Finally the nurse helped me get my breathing under control and that got me through the hardest part. As I breathed "Hee-hee-hooo" over and over during contractions I tried to just imagine my little baby boy. I felt like I was only getting a few breaths between contractions.
Around 4:30 they checked me and found that I had just a little lip left and asked me to push a little to see if we could get past it. It worked. I was finally complete and ready to go. They went to fetch my OB and suddenly I had a bunch of people run in an turn me on my left side and put an oxygen mask on me. The baby's heartrate wasn't looking good so they were trying to get it back up. Luckily that helped, but again the oxygen mask was suffocating. I just tried to continue my breathing while the OB was coming. I had my mom, sister, sister-in-law and DH with me. MIL didn't make it in time for the birth, but my dad ended up being in there when he was born too because he had come in to help give me a blessing.
Finally I really started pushing around 4:45pm. I was still on my side, holding my right leg up and pushing with all my might. After maybe 10 minutes they got the bed set up in the normal delivery position. I had wanted to try pushing while squatting, but by that point I didn't care, I just wanted him out and didn't have the energy to ask to try another way. My oxygen mask kept slipping down but they kept putting it back on, it was so annoying. Shortly after I started pushing in that position they started saying we needed to get him out quickly because his heartrate kept going down. I just made myself push harder. Pushing hurt but I just kept thinking to myself that I did not want another c-section so I kept going.
They asked me if I wanted to watch and I said yes, so they brought a mirror over. I took one look and thought "Oh crap! What was I thinking?!" and didn't look again. It made it suddenly very really that I was going to push this big baby out of such a small hole! So I closed my eyes and just pushed and pushed and pushed. The ring of fire was even worse than I'd thought it would be. The pain made me want to stop, but at the same time it made me want to push harder to get it over with. My OB told me that she could tell I was going to tear and gave me a shot of lidocaine before he came out.
5:15pm- Finally my baby's head came out. I was still in pain and wanted to keep pushing but was told to wait just a minute. His hand was up by his face and she needed to pull it out to un-stick his shoulders. Finally I was able to give another push and out came my little boy. I immediately ripped the oxygen mask off, thinking Thank God!
The recovery from this birth was very different from my c-section, in more ways than one.