So yeah, you all see how the first part of the day had gone… so imagine how amped up I was at this point. The goal then was to caaaalm down and try and get into the mindset that yup, there was really going to be a baby at some point soon.
The hubby and I got all checked into our cute little birthing suite at our local hospital. I had an enormous bag of things, including a sandwich, drinks, speakers that we could plug the phone into, Ipads, chargers, etc. I was prepared to say the least. But it’s easy to be prepared when you’re 5 days late and have had a bag packed for weeks.
I knew going into it that I was going to be induced with pitocin, a synthetic version of what your body produces naturally in labor, oxytocin. It causes contractions and hopefully would kick start my labor and help me stay in labor (since I’d gone into false labor twice already, stalling out after hours of contractions). I was nervous, since last time around, the pitocin caused a pretty fast and furious labor that I wasn’t prepared for. This time around, because a) I’d done it before and b) I was working with a doula, I felt pretty good that I was going to be able to handle whatever this labor threw at me.
So at 4:30pm on December 21st, they hooked me up and together with the husband and the doula, we waited for something to happen. And eventually it did. But the difference between this time and last time was that I felt them come on slowly. Where last time I was slammed by a mac truck of contractions, essentially going to from NO contractions to HOLYSHITWTFGAAAAAH contractions, this time they started gradually. But definitely increased in strength and duration quickly. I certainly felt them but they weren’t anything I couldn’t handle, which according to my doula meant I was on the way, but really, no where near the end. Because I apparently would FEEL them.
Damn, and here I thought I was going to be one of those people who just popped out a baby.
About an hour and a half into it, my doctor came and offered to break my water to speed things along. But after a day of rushing around READY READY READY to deliver this baby, all of a sudden I needed to slow down. I needed to make sure that I felt in control of my labor and that things didn’t go so fast that I lost it. My doula and I conferred and we decided that maybe I could wait just a little while longer, get more into the contractions and see how things were progressing in a hour or so. I appreciated her calm words and advice because I was getting more and more nervous about what was coming down the line and knew that I needed to be as ready as I could when it came time.
So we waited a while longer. And the contractions sped up and got stronger and I thanked my lucky stars that I had spend 8.5 months doing yoga, breathing through a pose, learning how to disconnect a little bit from the pain with breath. And thanking my lucky stars that I had someone to lead me through it all because damn… I was definitely starting to feel these contractions.
In between the contractions though, I still felt awesome. We were laughing and listening to music and the hubby was rubbing my back and getting me water (lest you think he wasn’t doing anything) and most of the nurses were pretty amused that I was still so happy and upbeat.
9:30 at night, after 5 hours of being hooked up to the pitocin and starting to go through some pretty intense contractions, we agreed that it was time to break my water. I was only 5 cm dilated, but the doctor was pretty sure I was going to fly through labor once my water was broken. I felt good, having gotten through some really intense contractions and felt like finally, I was ready for it.
Let’s do this.
Holy shit people. We did it. He broke my water and it felt like almost immediately the contractions got crazy bad. I was shocked by how quickly they went from painful to OMFG. They had been turning down the pitocin for the past hour or so because my body had taken over but holy cow, I was being thrown wave after wave of almost constant contractions and I started to panic. I lost my breathe and felt like I was being buffeted by ocean waves that I couldn’t get out of. I will be totally honest when I say that I was very, very afraid.
I remember grabbing my doula’s hand and crying, telling her that I couldn’t do this, I was scared, this was too fast… and she wrapped me in a huge bear hug and looked me in the eyes and told me forcefully that I COULD do this. It was time to BREATHE through it… I was STRONG. I could DO this. And that this was transition and yes, it was going to SUCK. (Did I mention I love my doula?)
My husband was fanning me like his life depended on it (and crying) while I went through transition and things finally started to calm down slightly. I was finally getting a little bit of a respite between contractions… all in preparation for the grand finale.
The doctor came in and assessed me, telling me that I was almost ready to push and that the baby had finally started to descend. He told me that I needed to breathe through the next two contractions and then we would start.
Instead, the next contraction came crashing down on me and I felt her. Like, FELT her, barreling down the birth canal, doctor’s timing be DAMNED and I yelled that HOLY SHIT SHE’S COMING!!!! The doctor came flying around the curtain, hands out like someone was going to toss him a football. And while she didn’t exactly come shooting out, three giant pushes later, she was out. Three huge pushes, complete with F Bombs and screams and every other cliche thing you see in the movies. I was not exactly quiet… or censored. I think a trucker would have been proud at the language I used.
And all of a sudden she was here. Perfect and screaming and oh so very pink and PISSED OFF. I lay there, my husband and I crying right along with her, and looked amazingly at what I had just done. Holy shit. My daughter.
And holy shit… ouch.
Whoever says that a wave of endorphins pass over you and you don’t feel any pain post labor? Is a big fat freaking liar. I just remember telling the doctor that the drug-free portion of the birth was over and he was free to shoot me up with the best that he had. PRONTO.
But in the end it was all worth it. Because from the minute he broke my water, to the time I delivered my daughter was only 45 minutes.