So at 5 PM we resumed our walks and I began having – what I would call cramps. The nurse said that I was in full active labor, BUT I called them mere cramps. I wouldn’t even call them painful; they were just uncomfortable. And then they started becoming more intense. The kind where we had to pause and grab the railing. I was so thankful for Q. They were coming every minute and a half and becoming intense. So we decided to walk back to our room.
Clearly I was in labor and didn’t need Pitocin. PRAISE THE LORD. I did not want it. Our midwife came to our room at 7:30 PM and gave us some suggestions to help Sooner drop even lower and to intensify the contractions. Um, they worked. I was at a 6 cm and she would check back later…only things got VERY painful. I could hardly get through one contraction before another came. Knowing that I had hours left most likely, I fell onto Q BAWLING. We had discussed earlier in the pregnancy how I would cope with the pain when it finally hit. I’d read books on hypno-birthing, the bradley method, and lalala. I KNEW envisioning waves and an ocean wasn’t going to work and going to my “happy place” wasn’t going to work either. I’d tried that with Gooner and it didn’t work. THIS time I wasn’t going to try to imagine my pain away; I was going to embrace it, breathe through it, and allow any emotions I had OUT.
Insert Running: Labor and childbirth isn’t like running the biggest marathon of your life but THIS time there WERE similarities. In every long/difficult run there comes a point when you feel like you just don’t have anything left. Your legs feel like lead tree trunks, your lungs are on fire and you KNOW you just HAVE to stop. BUT, then you find some inner strength…from somewhere. This new energy fills you up and you realize you have both the will and the strength to finish your miles…or in this case, labor.
For me emotionally, I wanted to cry. NOT because it hurt so bad, but because I just had to cry.The nurse came in and offered the epidural because I looked like I was in so much pain. By 8:15 PM I was breathing SUPER hard to get through the contractions. It was intense. I felt like I was giving birth to an alien. It was VERY VERY intense. The nurse came in to check the baby’s heart rate and said my contractions were on top of each other and I was in the ‘transition period’. She asked to check me. I didn’t want her to because I wanted Q to help me to the bathroom to go “poop.” With Gooner I had the epidural and definitely felt the need to push but NOT poop. I didn’t realize that this time around that feeling to go “poop” was really an indicator that I was ready to push out my baby.
The nurse checked me and I was complete. I had gone from 6 cm to 10 cm in an hour and I was ready to give birth. Since it was so quick, and no one expected it, Absolutely NOTHING was ready. The midwife rushed in calling for gloves, saying “any gloves will do!”
Delivering with a midwife was totally different. There were no bright lights. No stirrups. No hold it and push while counting to ten. My midwife sat with me on the bed and gave me encouragement and advice. She couldn’t believe how fast I went. She told me, at my appointment, that it would be a quick delivery and most likely take a mere hour. However, since our day had been so slow moving she was shocked. It took me only two pushes and out came her head. The midwife then had me pause when Sooner’s shoulders were visible and with one more push OUT she came.
No tearing. No stitches. No epidural. PURE bliss. It was amazing. No catheter. No soupy legs. No clouded head. The cord was around Sooner’s neck and my placenta had indeed run out of water. Also my placenta begun to calcify. (I’m blaming it on you girls who filled my head with 90 year old women with calcified dead babies.) Anyway, no one knew Sooner’s predicament, BUT if we had waited until 42 weeks is was likely that we would have lost her. Which I have to be honest, pretty much freaks me out. I love her so much and I totally can’t imagine life without her.
Honestly, I LOVED natural childbirth and will do it again. I feared labor SO MUCH after my last experience. I figured if I couldn’t get through natural childbirth we were done having children. I did NOT want to go through that again and I didn’t. Going from 6 cm to 10 cm in one hour was incredibly quick and painful, but when it was over it was delightful. Recovery has been amazing! I did not have a bunch of water weight to lose and I already lost over 20 pounds in two weeks (it pays off to workout throughout the whole pregnancy – especially on those days I had to drag my body to do it – and not eat for two)! Whereas with Gooner I was so pumped with IV fluid and drugs that I came home heavier than when I left for the hospital. I fainted from who knows what, and it took forever to feel normal. This time I felt normal as soon as she was out! And I walked to the bathroom within minutes of delivering the placenta. Actually, I never delivered the placenta, the midwife had to gouge it out which was QUITE painful. And then she showed it to us, including the calcified part.
All babies are miracles, but Sooner’s condition was VERY serious. It is likely she would not have made it to week 42. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. She’s such a sweet little miracle and we all love her VERY much.
And then we took our winter baby home.