I often tell expectant mothers that they may not get the baby they ordered. The baby
I ordered slept at night and sometimes during the day, the baby I got only sleeps when
I'm holding her. Do I care? not at all, cause she is so much more then I asked for, but I
just wanted to explain why this took so long and why I'm typing with one hand. Well,
here goes......Sadie's birth story!
I actually started feeling contractions quite regularly for about a week before the birth,
they would start at night and peter out by the morning. 2 days before she was born I
thought my water broke but it was just a little hind leak, looking back I now realize how
little this leak actually was compared to the real thing! Of course after a week of these
false alarms I was getting tired both physically and mentally, I just wanted to have her
(I did not know baby was a her yet) safe in my arms.
I talked a bit with my sister about how I was feeling. She asked if I was feeling overly
emotional, ya know the kind of emotional where you cry over everything. Of course
my answer was no as I tend to keep everything held in, all I really remember feeling
was impatient. Well, on babe's due date the movie 'The Help' came out, which is one
of my favorite books and I was secretly hoping to go overdue so I would get to see
it. Hubby and I went to the lunchtime screening, the movie was awesome but when
the tear jerking ending came around I tried my best not to cry. Instead what came out
of my mouth was a high pitched, inhuman noise, followed by laughter and 15 minutes
I guess I needed a good cry because contractions started on the walk home and did
not stop. By 5pm the contractions were steady at 3 min apart lasting 1 min but they
were not very intense, I could get through by closing my eyes and breathing. As time
passed they did get much stronger and I felt that I needed to be standing up through
them, the shower helped too. When 9pm came around and the contractions were
still going strong my hubby called the midwife even, though I told him not to because
I didn't want to disturb her so late for "no reason".
Good thing he called because when she got here I was 4cm and fully effaced, she
decided that because the contractions had such a good pattern that she would stay.
At this point it started to sink in that this was really it, almost immediately the
contractions became more intense. I called the doula to come over, strapped on
the TENS machine and Hubby started to set up the birth pool.
When the doula arrived I was half naked and moaning through the contractions
(quite the sight I am sure) each time I had one I would boost the TENS machine
and lean over whatever was in front of me (a chair, TV, garbage pail or a human).
Between the contractions I would walk around, talk and joke feeling nothing much
By midnight the contractions were 2.5min apart and lasting 1.5min, I was starting
to feel pushy so I asked the midwife to check me. I was 7cm dilated, which was great
progress, but not far enough along to surrender to that urge to push.We decided it
was time to get into the birth pool, I have to say it felt amazing in there but I
have to admit that over the next few hours I was surprised by how intense the
contractions became. My husband stayed very close to me and was incredibly
encouraging while the doula massaged my back between contractions. I remember
This part of the birth very well, I was so loved and supported through this, but inside
my head I was starting to doubt myself. Here is a list some of the things I was saying:
"Why did I choose to do this?"
"Why would anyone do this"
"I will never do this again"
I even threw out a few "I cant's" an "I wont's" in there, which were always followed
by "you can's" and "you will's"by my support team who apparently thought I was doing
a good job. At around 3am the urge to push had become much stronger and I could no
longer ignore it, each contraction made my body bear down without any way to stop
it. Normally this is a sign that it is time to push so I asked the midwife to check me.
"7cm" was definitely NOT what I wanted to hear, I had made NO progress in 3 hours
and the urge to push was just getting stronger. The midwife suggested she break my
water as the bulging amniotic sac may be causing that urge. My hubby did exactly
what he learned in childbirth ed. class and asked for time to talk about it. After a
very VERY brief discussion I decided to do it because I wanted that urge to be gone.
I think hubby became worried at this point because he knew how much I wanted
to avoid intervention, but he was very supportive in the decision.By the way, it
did not work, all I got was soaking wet and the urge to push stayed!
Disappointed, I went back into the pool where my husband and doula worked to
repair the damage of hearing "7cm" had done, and to try and stop me from pushing.
The problem is that if you push on a not yet dilated cervix you can cause swelling so
I had to be very careful. My doula had me panting though contractions so I wouldn't
bear down and my hubby continued to let me know I was doing good and that
everything would be ok. By this point I was feeling like I couldn't go on, up until
then the intensity felt manageable, the failure to progress did not.
At 6:30am I was checked again and again I was 7cm, but this time the midwife let
me know that the baby had turned completely posterior (not good), which could be
why I was feeling pushy. By this point I was pushing through contractions involuntarily
and the midwife was concerned my cervix was going to start swelling. She suggested
we go to the hospital for an epidural, this would take away the urge and lower the
risk of swelling.
So, now we had a decision to make, go to the hospital leaving my homebirth dream
behind or stay at home and see if I will progress over the next few hours. Not an easy
decision and I'm still not sure I made the right one. All that I can say is that at the time
I knew exactly what I had to do.
Part 2 will come soon (it took me a few sittings to write this!)