Can I just start by saying I love birth stories; they are all so unique and each one gives you just a tiny glimpse into the strength and grace of that specific mama. If you aren’t a lover of birth stories or things like this make you squeamish go ahead and click out now before you get in to deep because I can promise you this is 100% a birth story about how I brought life into this world!
If you have been following my motherhood journey from the start then you know just how opposite of my birth plan my first-born son’s birth went and how upset I was in the beginning plus the difficult recovery I had afterwards. If you don’t know feel free to read all about it here. Since experiencing that, this time around I knew exactly what I wanted. My husband and I decided before we even became pregnant that we would be hiring a doula for our next birth so that’s exactly what we did! I must say, without the support of my TWO amazing doulas I know I wouldn’t have been able to reach my birth goals. I’ll forever be grateful for their support, love and grace they provided myself and my husband during Lucas’s birth. With that being said, I initially planned for a birth center birth but no matter what I did my iron levels dropped far too low to have that as an option. Even having to deliver in the hospital these women made it feel just as possible to achieve my goals! Ok….I suppose I won’t keep you waiting any longer for the actual events.
Let’s go back to about June 12th…yep that’s when my prodromal labor began. I swore I was in early labor almost every night until I delivered. The contractions would pick up, intensify and follow a pattern almost every single night then they’d just simple stop and I’d wake up in the morning STILL pregnant. Once I hit my guess date of June 20th, I was pretty down on myself and would have to give myself a pep talk each day to keep my spirits up for the real thing. On June 21st I had my 40-week midwife appointment which I never experienced with Liam because he was born at 39+6. It was pretty hard hearing the “we will see you at your next appointment.” when we walked out of the office but I was hopefully my body and my baby would know what to do soon. After all, It was summer time and I felt like a beached whale. That afternoon the contractions started just as they did every other night. I went to bed and woke up in the morning STILL pregnant. However, this time the contractions were still there and somewhat regular. I knew my body was doing something! We had plans to meet my Mom at the pool for a little morning swim so although it took me longer to get out the door and the contractions were intensifying, we still went. Around lunch time I felt like this was probably the real thing so we ate lunch at my Mom’s condo and then headed home. I began laboring in our master bedroom like I had planned. I switched from the shower, birth ball and walking around the room for about 2-3 hours. My husband and I played board games to pass the time and he got the house ready for when it was time to leave. Finally, around 3:30 pm I wasn’t able to consistently talk through the contractions and we decided it was time to head to the hospital.
Once in triage we found out I was only about 5cm dilated and they gave us the option to be admitted or walk around for a bit but we could not leave and go home so we decided to be admitted. Once we made it back to our room and were settled, I was able to continue laboring on a birthing ball as well as walking around. My husband set up the essential oils in our diffuser and then I had him run and get himself some dinner because who knows how long this would be! When he got back the contractions were still tolerable and I was still able to chat and laugh through some of them at times. I decided to get into the tub for a while to help relax. Laboring in water was one huge thing I had been promised with Liam’s birth but was never ever able to do, so having that option this time was amazing! I stayed in the tub for quite some time but was getting too hot and decided to get out for a bit. I laid in bed and contractions picked up even more. We tried a few other positions but on my left side was what felt best for the time being. I decided to get checked and was at about a 7, I was starting to feel defeted because my goal was to go completely drug free and the pain was really starting to pick up at this point. I talked with my nurse about the possibility of using fentanyl as well as getting an epidural but decided to get back in the tub for a bit to see if that helped.
I was able to be intermittently monitored throughout my labor so before getting into the tub my nurse needed to do another monitor check. While doing this the contractions hit me hard and I could only tolerate being on my hands and knees on the floor. I breathed through a few big ones and when I felt like I had a decent break crawled back in the tub. It honestly gets pretty fuzzy at this point because all I really could do anymore was breathe through each contraction as they came and went. In my mind I just kept telling myself that I could do anything for a minute, 60 seconds is nothing.
I know while in the tub I asked for fentanyl as well as an epidural multiple time and said “I can’t do this anymore”. My amazing support team was there to remind me that I was in fact “doing it” and that I could keeping going. I decided to get out of the tub and get checked again. I couldn’t make it to the bed and labored again for a few contractions on the floor. Once I got back in bed, they checked me and I was a 10! Ready to start pushing!
Thank goodness because I was very close to getting an epidural. Come to find out the reasoning in my mind and my husband’s mind although we never voiced it was the same. We both were thinking about how much I did not want a catheter which has to be placed in the event of an epidural. He knows me well! Afterwards he told me he was close to telling me “suck it up you don’t want that catheter too” but didn’t want to be too harsh. HAHA!
The pushing began and thankfully I only pushed for about 10 minutes total this time. (a quick blink in time compared to the three hours with Liam.) At the very end I did end up pushing without a contraction because I was so exhausted and ready to meet my son. I think because of this; I experienced another tear but thankfully nowhere near as bad as with Liam’s birth. And at that point I definitely didn’t care, our baby Lucas was here and I was so very happy!
HOLY CRAP! I had just accomplished my entire birth plan from beginning to end! Let me tell you, it’s a very cool thing to feel every single minute of your child’s birth. In the moment, I thought I was dying but looking back I have never felt like such a bad-ass, empowered woman. The contractions were strong, the pushing was intense but the feeling of bringing a life into this world is beyond amazing. Typing this up I had to laugh because I feel like it was so much less eventful and quite boring compared to Liam’s birth BUT that’s exactly why I wanted to labor the way I did! My main goal was to bring my baby into this world healthy, happy and hopefully avoid the difficult recovery I had with my first.
AND I’m happy to report that so far, my recovery has been much easier! Although I did tear again the pain and discomfort is much less this time around, I feel like I can enjoy the moments and embrace the soreness a bit more because it did in fact come from bringing such a sweet baby boy into this World.
Lastly, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no matter how each of us mamas brought our children into this world it is something to be proud of. Maybe you had the perfect birth plan or maybe not, that’s quite alright! We are all bad ass women and deserved to be celebrated.