Birth Story #3
I started having semi-painful contractions on Friday evening, Sept. 13th, at around 7pm-ish and they were coming fairly regularly, every 2-10 minutes. I wasn't too worried because I'd been having Braxton Hicks for most of the second and third trimester. I was hopeful though, since my due date (the 15th) was just around the corner!
When I woke up next morning the contractions were a little stronger and coming every 5-8 minutes. Mr. N had to go in to work for a few hours that morning and I told him to hurry! because I wasn't sure what would happen.
Well, he came home an hour earlier than expected so we could... wait. And wait some more. The contractions were still strong (but I could still mostly talk through them) and still coming about every 6 minutes, but that was it. All day we waited and waited. I wasn't sure it was going anywhere.
A few things happened this time around that didn't with the other two babies. The first was that I lost my mucus plug that afternoon. That was interesting. As a side note: you think by now they could come up with a better name for that? I mean, there are medical terms for everything else. Why is it called the MUCUS PLUG. Gross. I digress.
Losing the plug is something that can happen a week in advance so it didn't mean too much to me.
About 6pm I started thinking, What if I go into labor in the middle of the night? I had to call the midwife (I see a midwife at the hospital), my doula and a friend to come and watch the girls so I wanted everyone to be a little prepared and I wasn't sure what to do at that point, so I called my midwife to give her the heads up and to ask her advice.
She suggested that since contractions weren't getting any stronger, that I should just go to the hospital (35 min away) and have the nurses check to see if/how much I was dilated. Then, if I was dilated past 3cm, I could stay and if not, I could just go back home. She knew how much I wanted to labor mostly at home.
I called my doula at that time and my friend to come sit with the girls while we went to the hospital. At this point, I mostly thought we would just come back home. I had high hopes, though!
At the hospital they checked me and I was only 3cm dilated. Which most of you know, you can be dilated that much for a long time before you actually give birth. I still wasn't sure what to do, so the nurse suggested we stay for a couple of hours and if I wasn't continuing to dilate, I could just go home. She also suggested that we walk around or go get something to eat to pass the time. All I really wanted to do was rest though. So that's what I did. I laid in the
The nurse came back and checked me at 9pm and I was STILL only 3cm. Ugh! Frustrating! I really was tired and wanted to rest and wasn't feeling too comfortable at the hospital, so I made the decision to come back home to try and get some sleep. (Not before stopping at Culvers so Hubby could get a Butter Burger. ;) The nurses sent me home with an Ambien so I could for sure get some rest. (Note to self: If you suspect you might be going into labor in the next 12 hours, DO NOT take a sleeping pill!)
We got home and by then, my contractions were stronger (I couldn't talk through them but they were manageable), but since I was just checked I figured it would still be a while, so off to bed we went.
Thankfully my friend decided to stay the night with us instead of going home, because about 15 minutes after we got into bed the second thing happened that has never happened to me before--my water broke.
So.. we headed back to the hospital.
I have to say, I was a tiny bit surprised at how much fluid is actually in the uterus (placenta?). By the time we got to the hospital, I was DRENCHED from the waist down. Thankfully, I was sitting on a towel, had one on my lap and the seats in our van are leather! At that point, however, being wet was the least of my worries. The contractions were coming good and strong and I just wanted to get into the tub to try and manage the
Mr. N wheeled me into the OB (quite fast, if I remember correctly) and they checked me and I was 4cm. I hopped into the tub and I *think* that helped with the pain. Quite honestly, though, it went so fast and with every contraction getting stronger and stronger, I'm not sure it made the difference I'd hoped it would.
Before labor, I was DEAD SET on a non-medicated birth. But that's easy to say beforehand, isn't it? After about an hour and a half in the tub, you'd better believe I was asking for drugs. Anything to stop the pain! Oh, the pain!
Towards the end of being in the tub, the last few contractions
It was then that a nurse came in and said in the most sweetest and calm voice, "Ok, I think it's time for Catie to get out of the tub now," I will always remember that. ;) (As a side note, the nurses at our hospital are WONDERFUL. Love 'em.)
I did start to feel like I needed to push so I told my midwife. Obviously, they needed to see how dilated I was first and HOORAY! I was between 8 and 9cm! Almost time to push! Apparently, my cervix wasn't cooperating very well though--one side wasn't getting out of the way. So my midwife wanted to wait a bit longer before I actually started pushing. Again.. how does anyone WAIT to push!?
After a few more mind-numbingly painful contractions on the bed, I heard the most wonderful news--Ok! You can push now!! (they might not have said it with such excitement, but that's how *I* heard it)
I should mention that despite my birth plan instructions to labor drug-free, I had convinced the staff to call the anesthesiologist and I remember a nurse coming in the room right around the time I was starting to push saying the blessed drug doctor was on her way and should she keep coming? Of course, it was too late then. Pooh. :(
I wish I could say that because this was my third baby, he was the easiest to push out. Unfortunately, it took an hour and a half to get that
I won't go into too many details about the pushing (this post is already too long and a big Thank You to those who are still reading) but it was pretty awful. My legs were KILLING me and I was EXHAUSTED. Have I mentioned to NOT take a sleeping pill before going into labor?!
Here we are the morning after I gave birth. Oldest can be so goofy!
Middlest with the new baby.
About half-way through pushing, I asked Mr. N to pray. I needed help! I meant for him to pray to himself for me, but that wonderful man started praying out loud. The room got silent and I think there were others praying with him. Thank you, Honey!
After Littlest finally came out, they put him on my chest. I just love that moment. It's the moment you've been waiting for for months and months. Sweet relief!
One of our wonderful nurses let the girls help give Littlest his first bath. :)
Washing his sweet little head.
Leaving the hospital. He cried the whole way home. :)
Of course, I'm glad that my little guy didn't get any drugs. But, honestly, if I do it again, I might just get the intrathecal injection (the drugs they give you right before the epidural. they wear off pretty fast.) That's what I had with Baby #2 and it was just enough to give me a little break from the contractions so I could effectively push.
I don't know. Maybe I'd do it drug-free again. Maybe not. *shake it off*
If you had a drug-free labor, are you glad? If you've had several drug-free labors, HOW DO YOU DO IT?! I'm a wimp.