|A Mairy in the making.|
This happened in June of 2010:
On Thursday morning, the day after J got home from being in Blackfoot for 4 days, around 1 am, I woke up for the usual bathroom break and noticed that I was feeling a little crampy. I didn't think too much of it, as I had been having random pains (not really pains, but discomfort) for a couple of weeks. I then woke up every hour until morning and noticed that the pains weren't going away. It took a lot to not wake J up and let him know what was going on, but I decided that if I was in labor, that he was going to need his sleep for the next night and if I wasn't in labor I didn't want to get excited over nothing. When we woke up he timed three of them and they were happening about every 8 to 10 minutes.
I took Beabs (the dog--a nickname as well--not for the sake of the blog, just because I like it) for a walk and got ready for the day. I did a little bit of laundry and just kind of hung out. To be honest, we didn't really think I was in labor until about 6pm that night--this would have been the perfect time to start my list of early labor projects! My "Godfather", Larry, was randomly in town to visit his brother and he stopped by for about an hour to visit. After, I laid down to rest and time some more contractions while J went out for an hour to work. The contractions were steady at 8 minutes apart.
Larry took us to Outback and I had an amazing steak and J's chicken looked pretty good too! During each contraction at dinner I was pressing my lower back into my fist against the booth. Larry had no idea that anything was going on. When we were walking out of the restaurant it started getting very uncomfortable and I was walking quite a bit slower. We had to stop by J's co-worker's house to drop something off to him and while he was inside I had to get out of the truck and stand up because the pain was getting steadily worse. His co-worker couldn't believe that he was dragging me around town while in labor--tough stuff.
We got home and got set up to watch a movie. It was at this point that we realized I was really in labor and that our little boy was going to be joining us soon. Making some brownies for the midwives was going to be an early labor project, but by the time we got home the contractions were about 6 minutes apart and there was no way that making brownies was going to take my mind off of that. We watched a dumb movie, Dear John and J just tried to help me relax. I took a shower hoping that would help my hip pain, and it did for a minute.
When my contractions were at about 5 minutes apart, we called the midwife, and she said to call back when they were 2 1/2-3 minutes apart and that we'd need to come in then.
About an hour later my contractions were at 4 minutes and weren't going anywhere. They stayed that way for about an hour and J suggested that if I wanted this baby to come out tonight I was going to have to start moving because I wasn't progressing any more. So, I started doing side lunges down the hall. SIDE LUNGES DOWN THE HALL. Also, I must point out that because my hips were hurting so badly, J couldn't do the double hip squeeze or the sacral pushing because it put me into more pain. (I think my hips hurt so badly because of the hip displasia that I had as a baby. I can't squat like a normal person and they give me trouble some times.) During each contraction I would hold onto the wall and he put a heat pack on my lower back. That seemed to help. Finally, after an HOUR of these side lunges, we were at 3 minutes. I told him to call our midwife because I was done being at home.
She told us to come in. After a priesthood blessing, and as soon as we were in the truck, I for some reason felt a lot more comfortable making noises. I realized that this was going to be my only pain coping technique. We made it to the midwives in 10 minutes--no traffic at 2:30am and once we got there I cried for a minute just being happy that we were there and had a little more support and also knowing that he was going to be coming out soon. I also distinctly remember feeling the Spirit very strongly and was sure that we were meant to be there. I was 6cm and was totally elated that all this pain wasn't for nothing. There was one other woman there, and I would hear her randomly throughout the night through her contractions, but for some reason hearing her scream didn't scare me like I thought it would.
I got into the tub and tried to find a good position but like I said, I couldn't put pressure on my back during contractions otherwise it hurt too much and being on all fours pulled my back too much. I lasted for almost an hour in the tub and they had me lie on my side on the bed for about another hour. After each contraction I would pass out for a minute. We tried the birthing stool and did a few "trial" pushes. I wasn't quite ready, so back to the bed. J sat there with me and held my hand as that was about all he could do. Then...I needed to throw up. I did and that was probably the best contraction of them all as I didn't think about the pain one bit. J had the gross task of holding the bucket but he didn't flinch. I did some pushes on the bed and then it was time. Well, we thought it was close to being time because they could see his head in the birth canal. J said he thought once he saw his head and how much I was moving him with each contraction he was going to be out in about 20 minutes. Well...he was wrong. I forgot that we had learned in our birthing class that during the pushing stage, the baby moves down and then back up a little. Think, two steps forward, one back. As a laboring woman, I didn't remember this. Total pushing time was 2 hrs (about 30 minutes when all the breaks are taken out). Everyone in the room fell asleep for a few minutes after each contraction. We didn't know our bodies were able to fall asleep that quickly and then be so alert a few minutes later.
Finally his head was out and he was blue. During the next push, they pulled him out quickly and got him over to the bed to clear his lungs. His heart was beating but he wasn't taking any breaths. He was breathing in about a minute and all was well. The midwives expertise was amazing and while I was sitting there I was completely calm, I knew he was just fine.
J already had his name picked out and we were able to hold him and I was able to nurse him, which was tough because all he wanted to do was sleep. After a long time they came in and weighed him, rubbed in most of the vernix and wiped off a little "birth" all the while being as gentle as possible. They handled my baby the way I did. After about 5 or 6 hours we went home.
For anyone interested in a Natural Birth, or even having an inkling that they may be headed that way here are some books/movies:
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, Ina May Gaskin--Beware of naked women and with a touch of "granola" sprinkled in-ok, more than a touch, but this book is by far my favorite positive birthing book and a must read.
Pregnancy, Childbirth and The Newborn, Janet Whalley--This was the book I turned to almost every day for the first few weeks after Rico was born. It has everything you need to know about aftercare. It will also tell you all the stages of labor, hospital procedures, drugs, side effects, breastfeeding (how do we make milk anyway?) vs formula...almost anything you TRULY need to know.
Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May Gaskin--if you just want even more great birth stories.
The Natural Pregnancy Book, Aviva Jill Romm--good overview again as well has some holistic approaches to pregnancy including using herbs.
The Business of Being Born
Pregnant in America