My due date was May 27, 2015 (Wednesday). We felt ready for our little man’s arrival–we had taken The Bradley Method classes, had our doula on call, and I planned to have an un-medicated birth at Sharp Mary Birch hospital.
Want A Baby To Come? Take A LONG Walk Or Two!
We wanted this baby out so we planned to walk- 3 hours at Safari Park caused some very light cramps but faded later; 4-5 hours Sunday at the zoo. Sunday night I felt some heavier cramps around 10:30 pm, but not enough to concern me so I fell asleep. Around midnight I woke up because the cramps were actually a little painful now. I started to time them. The “cramps” were already about 5-6 minutes apart and regular. I tried to fall back asleep but couldn’t. I was in total denial that this could be labor because I didn’t think contractions would become regular this quickly. For some reason I kept thinking they would stop and this would be a false alarm. I continued to time the “cramps” while I lay down, drank some water and took a shower. They were still coming stronger, letting me know these were contractions, not cramps. By the time I was getting out of the shower, I was focused on breathing through these more intense contractions. I stayed in bed until 4 am then called our doula. She advised us to just meet her at the hospital because of the timing and length of the contractions at this point.
Active Labor Already? That Was Fast!
We arrived at the hospital around 5 am and went to triage. By the time they checked me I was already 6 cm dilated and my bag of waters was bulging. At this point, the contractions were pretty painful and I was definitely concentrating when each one came on.
Work With My Body, Not Against It
Upstairs in the delivery room, after a few attempts, they got my IV started. At this point, I was vocalizing when each contraction came on because I needed help getting through each one. The doula was helping me with massage, counter pressure, essential oils, positioning and reminding me to breathe through each one. My boyfriend was by my side with ice chips and helping me with my breathing. All I could manage to do between contractions was remind myself to physically go limp so that my body could do the work and open my mouth for ice chips. I kept reminding myself to work with my body, not against it.
Trying Not To Push!
Not even an hour went by and I was feeling more intense downward pressure with each contraction now. I attempted to get up to empty my bladder to allow more room in my pelvis. I stood up at the edge of the bed and quickly laid back down as another contraction came on. As soon as I could get on my side, my water broke all over the bed. The nurse checked and I was about 6.5-7cm dilated. Now the contractions were coming fast and stronger than ever. I was feeling the sensation to push with an immense amount of pressure in my bottom. I was trying not to push because I wasn’t 10 cm.
Time To Push This Baby Out!
The pressure and urge got so intense that I called for the nurse because I didn’t think I could resist it anymore. I was starting to panic. She decided to check me and I was 10 cm dilated! It was time to push this baby out! That was both the most scary and exciting thing to hear at this point. Things had moved so quickly that I panicked. I said out loud that I was scared and didn’t know if I could do it. My support team was right there to reassure me and shoot down any doubts I had in my ability. That was exactly what I needed to hear at this point to keep going.
I Suddenly Felt I Didn’t Know What To Do
The whole team came in to set up and they got me in stirrups. As soon as a contraction came on, they told me to push. With the first push I started to lose control of my breathing because I was so scared. I suddenly felt I didn’t know what to do although I could feel everything that my body was doing. My team quickly got me to focus and gather myself for the next contraction. I remember locking eyes with the nurse and she guided my breathing. I felt more in control and could feel my baby moving down with my pushes. I did not have any pain medications or epidural so I felt everything, which was absolutely incredible. I pushed a couple more times and the doctor could see the cord wrapped around my baby’s neck. When she told me this, that was a trigger for me to get this pushing thing figured out and get my baby out to cut that cord! With two or three more pushes I delivered my baby boy! He was born at 8:13 am on Monday morning (a Memorial Day baby!), only 3 hours after arriving at the hospital! He was immediately placed on my chest but he was not crying so he was taken to the warmer. His oxygen saturation was a little low, so they worked with him for a few minutes. All he needed was some oxygen thru a mask near his face and he perked up a bit so he came back to my chest. They monitored his oxygen saturation while he was on my chest and in about 30 minutes his levels were in the 90’s so they took the monitor off his finger. At this point he latched onto my breast and ended up feeding for 40 minutes straight!
A Beautiful Un-Medicated Birth
I was able to have the beautiful un-medicated birth in a hospital that I dreamed of. I was never pushed by the medical team to use interventions, which was my biggest fear with having a hospital birth. Reflecting back on my labor and delivery, it was the most incredibly powerful experience to feel everything and bring my baby earth side un-medicated and fully alert! I feel that my labor went fast and although I was scared, I think this played a significant role in me having a natural birth. Things moved rather quickly so I knew the pain would be over soon and I would have my baby in my arms. It was a beautiful experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat! Well, maybe wait a year or two. 🙂
by Kity Herrera
Edited by Liza Janda