Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Birth Story {Part 2}

You can read the first part of my birth story here :)

As my sister walked me up to labor and delivery my mind was racing. All I wanted to do was to burst into tears, but I held it together. One of my favorite midwives, Ann, met me in my hospital room. It was a large airy room with a great view of the mountains.  I kept thinking to myself, "Okay, this is where you're going to have your baby. Today is the day."  

They sat me down and began to explain the induction process. I asked Ann how common it was for someone who is given pitocin to still be able to deliver without an epidural. She said it had been done, but was very difficult. All of my plans were floating out the window.  Martin and I had prepared for months and months for a natural drug free birth.  Already things had changed. I had been in labor for over a week and my body was tired. I tried to keep calm and tell myself that my baby needed to come today so she would still be healthy, so if my plans had to change because of that it was okay...but I didn't really feel okay about it.  I was disappointed.  
As Ann continued to calmly talk me through the induction procedure my contractions were coming back very strongly.  She would talk and then patiently wait through my contraction and then keep talking.  Within just a few minutes my contractions were coming about every five minutes.  My midwife told me she would give me some time, she knew that a natural birth was what I wanted more than anything. She would wait until Martin arrived at the hospital before she proceeded any further. As she got ready to leave my room I had another powerful contraction and I think she knew that I wouldn't be needing an induction after all. 
Soon after that my doula, Faith, arrived and so did Martin.  I was so relieved to see both of them.  We got our things set up in the room as I changed into my hospital gown.  Martin figured out the DVD player and put in my favorite episodes of Glee :) My mood was calm and I felt happy...we were going to have our baby today and I wasn't going to need an induction.  The timing of my contractions starting up again couldn't have been more perfect. 

I began to labor through the evening. This was it! My contractions were so strong, but I was able to work through them with the help of Martin and Faith.  I tried every position and every remedy to help ease the pain; walking, standing, using the birthing ball, a hot clay pack for my back.  I remember I spent most of my time swaying back and forth leaning against the window sill watching a lightning show outside my window. The lights were dim and quiet music played. This is exactly how I had pictured it. 
As night fell I lost all sense of time.  I remember though when my contractions started coming every minute...lasting almost two minutes each, it must have been close to 9pm. I had been in active labor now for almost 8 hours. Around midnight Faith told me it was time for the bath. Let me tell you, having hot water spray over your back had never felt so good! The nurse brought in battery operated candles and lined the bathtub and they turned off the lights.  It was peaceful, but I was struggling through each contraction. Each one took everything out of me and I didn't have enough time to recover before the next one swept over my body. My body was so tired. During the minute rest that I would have between my contractions, as silly as it sounds, I tried to sleep. All I wanted was just a few minutes of sleep.   

I think my doula and Martin could tell I was struggling and needed some good news about my progression.  Faith called in my midwife, Jessica. I remember her checking my progress and not telling me the number of centimeters I was. Instead she kindly said, "You have been working so so hard.  I don't want you to be discouraged."  I knew then that I hadn't progressed in almost 12 hours...I was still only 4cm.  I remember saying over and over that I didn't know how much longer I could do this. I am so thankful for our doula, Faith.  She gave me pep talk after pep talk and reassured me when I was at my lowest. I was able to go almost an hour longer in the bathtub and then I hit the wall again. This time I started to cry...and I mean the loud uncontrollable sobs.  I couldn't breathe through my contractions and the pain seemed to take over my body. 

I looked up at Faith and told her that I thought I needed an epidural. I was so disappointed in myself. Faith could tell and took my hand. She told me that I had been so strong and had been working for over a week at having my baby...and to remember that most women don't have a labor like this. She told me that I could do it naturally and she would be by my side encouraging me the whole time. But she reminded me that my contractions were on top of each other so it might be a wise decision to get the epidural so I didn't become too exhausted when it came time to push, which could lead to an unwanted c-section.  She left the bathroom to go get Martin so we could have some alone time to think it over.  The moment Martin sat by my side I burst into tears again.  He tried to calm me down and talk me through my decision. A few minutes later we decided that an epidural would be best.   

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