The weeks leading up to the birth of our baby girl were definitely different than that of Pickle’s pregnancy. I had been experiencing what is known as ‘prodromal labor’ nearly everyday for about a week and a half. Every day thinking, “maybe this is it!” only to be let down.
There were multiple days where I would have stable contractions for 12 hours, but leading no where. It became quite exhausting as well as irritating. I suppose it did not help that I kept thinking she would be born before the new year. Once that time frame had passed I started wondering if she was ever going to come out.
Meanwhile, where I live, we typically have snow on the ground this time of year and yet there was hardly any. I kept telling everyone that she was waiting for it to snow because what is the point of a winter birthday if there isn’t going to be snow?
On the evening of January 4th, I was having more prodromal labor and decided to stop getting my hopes up. I had been communicating, via text, with my mom regularly to keep her updated on how I was doing (we were all impatient). I jokingly told her I was going to wake up at 1am with real labor contractions and it was going to be go time. We had also talked about baby wanting to be born on her Uncle’s birthday.
I kept telling everyone I just wanted my water to break as a sure answer to if it was real labor. I wound up going to sleep around midnight that night. Around 12:30am I woke up with a contraction. I figured it was just another one of the prodromal labors starting up again and decided to try to go back to sleep. As I was drifting off into lala land (1245am) I felt a warm gush in my pants. Immediately I sat up and there was more. I knew what it was and this time it wasn’t a joke!
I am not going to lie I kind of started to go into panic mode. I woke up my husband and told him my water broke. To his reply of, “are you serious?” Oh yes I was serious and was not messing around. I got my phone and ran to the bathroom. I immediately called my step dad’s phone to get a hold of my mom. I let them know my water broke and then called my sister. I let her know the same thing and we decided to all meet at the hospital.
I remember calling the hospital several times while standing in the shower, without water running, and no one ever answering the phone. We woke up our 3.5 year old son and got everything and everyone to the car. I do not really remember having contractions until we got into the car. The contractions were about every 4 minutes, but not terribly painful.
We got to the hospital around 2am, the security guard wheel chaired me up to the L&d floor where there was no one to check me in. Fortunately, a nurse wrote down my info and took us to a room. They called the Midwife and let her know I was there, water already broken.
The Midwife came in and checked me. I was 2cm dilated, 0 station, and “very thinned out”. The Midwife gave me 2 options. 1. Take a nap and let my body get itself into gear. Or 2. Do a tiny bit of pitocin to make my body jump faster to get it moving.
I talked to her about the risks with pitocin and she explained we weren’t inducing labor we were just helping it along if that is what I wanted to do. So I agreed to the pitocin. She said she wouldn’t check me again until I was looking at her like I hated her.
The contractions were every 3 minutes, but still not unbearable. I tried to get some rest in between contractions to save my energy for when things were really picking up. However, I cannot sleep in hospitals so I didn’t actually fall asleep. Around 630am things were heating up so I requested to be checked, I was 4cm.
The Midwife said I needed to get moving to get things going even more. So I got up and they had me swaying and rocking my hips. I also tried doing all 4’s on the bed while rocking hips back and forth. Around 830am it was getting more intense and so I requested to be checked again I was 5cm.
By this point the back labor was getting pretty bad, but I knew I had to get through it. I “who’d” like an owl through each contraction while rocking my hips. Somewhere around 10am things were getting much more painful and I requested to be checked again. 7cm.
By this point I was having so much pain in my back I didn’t think I could make it much further, but I knew I could not give up.
Around 1130 things got really intense. I was finally in tears from the pain and the pressure was getting severe. I kept telling them I felt like 6 cows were trying to come out of my butt. I asked to be checked again because I thought maybe I was close and could get through the pain quickly. 8cm and baby was stuck on my pubic bone.
The Midwife wanted me to try the peanut ball and all these positions that were either me laying flat or on all 4’s. I couldn’t handle the pain because those positions increased it terribly. My mom started feeling bad and told me they could give me something to take the edge off if I wanted them to.
I don’t really remember how it all occured, but the nurse gave me a very tiny dose of fentanyl. Within about 15 minutes I could tell the difference as the back labor was not as terrible, but still very present and I was able to relax between contractions.
My nurse was making me crazy as I didn’t want to do the positions that hurt more. I went to the bathroom (I had been going to the bathroom multiple times throughout and contractions seemed to feel better on the toilet anyways). I go to the bathroom and am sitting through a contraction when all of a sudden my body is literally pushing and I could not control it. So I yelled “it’s pushing and I’m not doing it!!!!”
Apparently everyone on the other side of the bathroom door (my family) panicked. The nurse came in and kept telling me to stop pushing. I said I can’t I cannot control it! She said stop pushing stop pushing! Finally it let up and she demanded me to get off the toilet. I told her I couldn’t get up. She said you have to there is no choice get up. So I manage to get up and into the bed.
The nurse checked me and said, “well there is a reason this is happening, you’re complete”. I was in so much pain, I was hardly paying attention and my body started pushing again.
It is hard to explain how it feels when pushing, but let me try. I felt like my pelvic bones were separating and like the cows have now migrated and were trying to come out of my vagina. The midwife pretty much let my body dictate when to push. Somehow there was a few minutes pause and they were getting all the supplies on the bed. At some point I remember only hearing my Midwife tell me that I just needed to push and not to relax too long in between or baby will go back up and it will take longer.
On the next push, it hurt like nothing I could explain. I pushed, felt the burn and told myself to just push hard through the burn. I did and her head came out. I was able to reach down and feel the top of her head. Then they told me one big push and she would be out. I pushed and out she came. I instantly felt the relief from all the pain, it was incredibly amazing. They put her on my stomach for skin to skin and the first thing I said was “I did that!!” Everyone laughed and cried and said yes you did and you did it with grace!
Apparently (the midwife told me this) I was the calmest they had seen in awhile through a natural labor. I really don’t know how I composed myself like that. I am still in complete shock over the entire thing I cannot seem to wrap my head around it. Especially at the end when I was doubting my ability to handle pain. But I did it!
She does have a bit of an egg on her head from where she was stuck on my pelvis, but other than that and a 2nd degree tear near my rear, we are both doing great!! I am incredibly grateful for the support of my husband and family because I don’t think I could have managed the pain that long without them (and my rice bag). I have been longing to say the words and now I officially can; I ROCKED MY VBAC!!
[Funny note: one of my midwives told me that I should send a birth announcement to my old doctor and say, hey look what I did that you, for some reason, didn’t think I could do.”]