Bubba’s birth was frustrating but looking back on it, I really had a great birth under the circumstances. This birth story is different in so many ways, but mainly because I had to have a hospital birth due to insurance (…so sad, so disappointed).
I woke up on his due date feeling a little twinge of something but I could not believe that this would be the day. I mean, how many babies come on the actual due date? But then, another twinge and then another.
“Babe, I’m having contractions. Can you let Lisa know?” Lisa was our doula and hypnobirthing instructor… I was determined to have a calm, non-yelly birth this time!
Lisa texted back that she was already at the hospital with another mama and had been with her for the last 36 hours! We let her know that I was handling labor well and could just meet her there.
The contractions were strange this time. I expected this birth to go so quickly since my last birth was so short. But this baby had other ideas…
For hours the contractions seemed to be getting stronger and closer together and then suddenly they weren’t. I was getting frustrated and tired, so I took a bath and then applied some essential oils to my belly as recommended by my doula to enhance contractions.
By four in the afternoon, I finally felt like the contractions were consistent enough for the hour long drive we needed to make. I was so thankful my mom was staying with us and was able to keep my toddler entertained and watch her while we were gone. She would also take her for her first time trick-or-treating which I thought no way would we miss since Halloween was two whole days later!
My doula was amazing and armed me with several tricks to manage the long drive with contractions. She gave me two tennis balls in a sock to put pressure on my lower back as I sat in the car. This helped so much to handle the pressure during each contraction!
Once we got to the hospital we waited for the triage nurse. I feel like this began the fight for the relaxed, frustration-free birth I wanted. By this time, my contractions had slowed down to every eight minutes and did not seem as powerful. Was I even in active labor?
The nurse had me pee in a cup, took my blood pressure (which was much higher than my normal), hooked me up to the fetal monitor and left to wait for the resident. Eventually, the doctor showed up. She performed an ultrasound to see the baby’s head was down.
“Is he faced down?” I asked.
“Yep, he’s in position!”
Then, she checked me. She blushed and laughed saying, “I think your closed but let the nurse double-check me” (Gah!)
The nurse declared, “You’re four centimeters!” and then they both left without further word.
My husband and I were left staring at one another. Did that mean were going to be admitted? We were both getting hungry…
“Go tell the nurse we want to leave and get dinner then we’ll come back.” I knew that we had a short window of leaving before being released against medical advice.
My husband slipped out of the room and caught the nurse’s attention.
“Let me call the doctor.”
He overheard some of her conversation with the same resident and whispering, “I’ll tell them the script, doctor..” (Gah, again!)
“You can’t leave because the doctor is worried the baby’s heartrate will drop if you walk around.”
My husband returned with the developments.
“Tell her to come in here”
The nurse came in and pointed to a small blip of what looked like the baby’s heartrate dropping between contractions, but I knew from staring at the monitor that the baby had moved at that moment and I had to move the sensor to catch his heartrate again. The nurse wanted us to wait an hour and see if I was more dilated.
“We aren’t admitted. We are hungry. We will be back in an hour.”
“Let me check you again”
“You are now 5 cm. We’re admitting you.”
Ok, sure. We are progressing, and it looks like I am in real, active labor. But, I’m still hungry!
My sweet husband went and snuck me a packaged meal from Starbucks while I managed each contraction with my surge breathing and tried to relax in the labor room. My doula set the place up with lavender diffusing, low-key, relaxing music, and a peanut ball for me to use.
But my blood pressure read on the high side. That led me to giving multiple pee samples throughout my labor… How fun to hobble… Stop! Contraction!… Hobble. Pee in a cup… Wash hands. Stop! Contraction!… etc…
Anyways, I went through my birth plan with my nurse while she went through the admission process. One thing I put on the birth plan was no IV. I felt that if I even allowed a saline lock that would open a door to other interventions. But before I knew it, a saline lock was in my wrist. I considered it a compromise but it was a point of annoyance for the rest of the stay.
I was able to be monitored intermittently so I could walk around and labor holding on to dear husband. The contractions were intense. I remember thinking, “Was it this bad before?”
A new shift of nurses came on and my nurse was a little less than supportive of a natural birth. The first question she asked was, “Would you be open to the doctor breaking your waters?”
To which my doula asked, “Why would you ask that?”
“Just wanted to know if you wanted to move things along…” groan.
I thought I was moving along!
When they next checked me I was 9 cm.
Ok, cool. Um, can I have something to take the edge off? Please!?
(At this point, hypnobirthing consisted of me saying “relax” and “breathe” loudly)
“No, not at this point. It’s dangerous for the baby.”
Ok. Ok. I can do this. Wait, I need to push. I NEED TO PUSH!
“Don’t push. That’ll cause your cervix to swell shut.”
@#$$! I NEED TO PUSH! GIVE ME SOMETHING!!
Ok, I can do this. I can do this. Breathe.
“Maybe the doctor can break the waters and push the cervix behind the baby’s head?”
YES! Do that! Get the doctor!
“Oh, she’s charting. She’ll be in a while.”
WHAT!? I need her NOWWWW!
Finally, I had the sweetest, most soft-spoken obgyn resident working her magic.
“Give me a push. Great! You’re now at 10 cm. Push away!”
Yasssss! Thank you, Dr. King. I love you, Dr. King!
“Babe! I can see his face! Oh. He’s face up.”
This kid. That’s why it’s hurting so much! It was all BACK LABOR!
Suddenly a crowd was in the room. 10, 15, 20ish people!
I am beyond caring. I’m pushing this baby out of me.
“Push. Push. Push!”
Ugh, shut up! I am pushing!
“One more push and he’s out”
Ok, It’s just like I’m pooping. I’m just pooping.
Suddenly a squishy, squirmy little person was on my chest. He screamed!
I know, little one. I don’t like it here either.
Maybe if I didn’t have the birth center birth to compare it to I wouldn’t have hated it so much, but I couldn’t wait to go home. I felt like I was fighting the whole time, but I know they were just making sure I and the baby were safe. I really did have a positive experience.
Next time it’ll be at home. Next time I’ll make sure to do everything I can to put baby in a good position. But for now, I’ll enjoy my little man and appreciate his health.
Did you like this post? Check out my other posts on Postpartum Recovery, Birth Registry Musts and the One Thing that will Increase your Milk Supply Instantly!