You can catch up on part 1 of my birth story here! And, like I mentioned before, this is a pretty long story and it can get pretty detailed, so if reading about birth is not your thing, then stop now! 😉
I remember at that point, I completely tuned everything out. During this time, I believe I was somewhat “sleeping” in between contractions and would “wake up” right as it began to build. I remember during these particular contractions thinking:
“Why are they lasting SO long? Is that normal? Is something wrong? Is this over yet? Am I almost done? Can we just get this baby out right now? A C-section sounds great right about now? Or perhaps an epidural? I can’t do this! What am I thinking? What WAS I thinking? This baby is NEVER going to come out!”
Then it would end and my mind was completely blank and I sat there with my eyes closed, leaning against my husband, sitting on the side of the bed. I remember being told that I needed to get up and try to use the bathroom and then I would finally respond a few contractions later. I dreaded having to even move, so going to the bathroom was not a welcome task. I have no clue how long this time lasted, but it seemed like forever and only a few minutes at the same time. I almost have no other memories of that time.
THAT is how tuned out I was. At some point, I stood up to go to the bathroom and I was bleeding again. Christian, my doula and friend, went to tell my midwife that there was blood so she thinks things might be moving along pretty soon.
I remember the doctor coming in and we decided that she would go ahead and break my water in order to speed up the last bit of labor. One of the previous times she checked me, she had mentioned that she could still feel it and that everything was how it was supposed to be (I had issues with leaking earlier and thought my water might have broken or was just leaking, and Christian had mentioned it could be leaking from the top therefore it was less noticeable…) Anyway, this time when she went to check me in order to break my water, there was this whole fiasco about them not being able to “find it”. She was basically like, “hmm, it must have broken…” I was very confused because I had previously been thinking it was leaking but she had confirmed that it was there, so we have NO idea what actually happened and when it actually broke or if it just slowly leaked the whole time. Hmm… So, I assume at that point there was a mad rush to get the antibiotics flowing. I don’t actually remember that happening. I think it was there the whole time and someone just had to flip the switch in order to start pumping it in.
Then it finally came time to push. I was slightly feeling like I needed to push a little before during the tuned out part, but once I REALLY felt it, I seriously felt like all of my energy returned. I was awake and alert! (Yes, I was obviously still tired but compared to how I was just moments before and how I felt now, it was almost as if I had just slept for 12 hours and woke up feeling nice and refreshed!) It was so crazy! I even remember thinking at the time how energized I felt and that I was ready to get that baby out! 🙂
I knew for sure that I did not want to try to push while lying down on the bed. That just seemed like it would not help…I don’t have gravity on my side… As soon as I felt like I had to push, Christian asked if I wanted to use the squatting bar and I immediately said, “Yes!” It took a while for someone to come in and set it up (apparently the hospital was not used to women using it, so they had to call someone for back up to help figure out how to set it up. Nice…)
I was terrified that I wouldn’t know when I would need to push and had even heard others say that when it’s time, it hurts to NOT push. And they were right! I knew when it was time. They finally got the squatting bar all set up and I immediately began using it. The only problem was that I would jump up onto my feet during a contraction to push and once it was over, it was too tiring for me to sit there in a squatting position. So I tried sitting on my knees and using the bar. That did not work so well either. So I ended up lying down in between each contraction to rest and would quickly grab the bar and jump back up to my feet when I felt the contraction coming.
Later my mom mentioned that they were laughing (um…excuse me…haha) because Christian was trying to tell me to just relax and that if I couldn’t make it to the bar for each contraction that it would…
I cut her off as I jumped up for my next contraction. She was like “Well, ok then.”
But it was honestly felt the best to be pushing in that position. I was doing this for a while (who knows how long…I have no clue how long I pushed…all sense of time was GONE) before the doctor even came in. She comes in all slow not at all concerned that I was already pushing (she knew I was for a while because she was aware that I had requested the squatting bar.) She checked me again and she had the nerve to request that I not push. (I know, I know, they have medical reasoning for this, and I tried, really I did!). I was apparently not TOTALLY a 10 yet and she didn’t want me to wear myself out by pushing if it wasn’t time yet (Ok, I understand that, but at the time, I was not too happy about trying to not push). I said, “Ok, I’ll try.” The VERY NEXT contraction came and I tried with everything I had in me not to push, but I LITERALLY could not NOT push. So I did. And I apologized for it. (They laughed at me for apologizing. And for saying please and thank you when I requested my water in between contractions… well, at least I was still polite 🙂 )
So here I am FINALLY feeling like we are making some progress and someone is making their way over to the device that was monitoring my son’s heart rate. They began freaking out because they could not read his heart rate. (Ok, they were probably pretty calm, but by how much they were pressing that little monitor into my belly and all over the place, it seemed like they were a little freaked out. I have no clue if this was just during a contraction or if it was the entire time because he was getting so low that they could not read it. But they seemed extremely concerned about it. So pretty much between each contraction I am trying to get as much rest as possible and they are moving and shoving that monitor all over my stomach. They tried for what seemed like the LONGEST time to find his heart rate on the monitor and they couldn’t because he had descended so low, and it was not picking it up.
As this was happening, the doctor had informed me that I would not be able to deliver the baby while squatting…something about my legs being too short and she wouldn’t have enough room between me and the bed to catch the baby (what, me!? Short legs!? I don’t know what she was talking about 🙂 *I am 5 feet tall 😉 ) So they had me lay down on the bed, the ONE position I DID NOT want to give birth in.
So here I am, laying down flat on the bed with my legs on the sides of the squatting bar (I think they decided it was too much work to put it on the bed and no one wanted to bother taking it off so they just had me put my feet on there instead of the stirrups) and they were trying to find my son’s heart rate. With each contraction coming, they are moving the monitor all over trying to find it and they finally decided that they can’t read it with the monitor and will have to do an internal monitor. (Ok, so they had us pass around the thing that they literally screw into the baby’s scalp, and it does not look fun. It’s basically a spring that they go in and screw into the scalp to get a more accurate reading. During the class, we had both agreed that we would NOT allow that to happen. They would NOT be screwing a piece of metal into our baby’s head…no way!)
The midwife told us that they would have to use the internal monitor because they were not able to get a reading on the external due to our son moving around and being so low in the birth canal. So, again, picture me FINALLY thinking this will be over soon, laying down (URG!), being told not to push (Yeah…right…), the nurse shoving this monitor all over me, and them saying they need to screw this metal spring into my son’s head. I was honestly not even sure what was going on. I was in “full on focus” on pushing that baby OUT. My husband immediately asked if there way any way we could wait a little longer and maybe try to find his heart rate on the monitor. He remembered the birthing class and us thinking there was NO WAY we would have them do this.
I was more like, “um…sure, whatever helps to make things go faster and easier, because I am ready to be done.” They explained that there was no way they could find the heart rate and that they needed to do this now. (The midwife could feel the head so she knew that he was too low for the external and that at that point internal was the best way to go.) Finally we either agreed or just stopped asking for them to wait (not totally sure what happened) and they put the internal monitor on our baby. His heart rate immediately showed up and all was well with the doctors.
After that, I felt like the entire time that I was pushing people kept telling me, “Oh man! You’re so close! Almost there!” And with each push that he was not born, I began to think they were lying to me. (Ha! They probably were… because like I said, I have no idea how long I was pushing.) Somehow during all this commotion, ALL the midwives, nurses, and doctors on the labor and delivery wing of the hospital had made their way into my room. (I guess I was the only one delivering at that time). So I could see that I had quite the audience…so much for modesty. (On that note, Christian could tell that my hospital gown was bugging me because I kept pulling it down…it was right at my neck and I kept feeling like I was choking from it…so she untied it and slipped it off. I felt a little uncomfortable and remember trying to pull it over me somewhat to cover myself. But it was much better than feeling like it was choking me. So there I am basically naked with a room full of people that I don’t know. Awesome…)
So I pushed for a while more and at that point the pressure I was feeling due to how low he was made it feel like I had to push ALL THE TIME. The nurse explained to me that the pressure is different than the urge to push. She said that she knows it feels like I need to, but I need to ignore that and only push when I was having a contraction. I freaked out because I was not sure if I would be able to tell, then I had another contraction…I could tell. haha.
So I was pushing with all that I had in me and then here comes a nurse and she drops the top of my bed down so I am laying at an angle with my upper body lower than my lower body. Apparently they were thinking that our son was getting stuck in my pelvis due to my shortness…? I’m not totally sure what was going on with that, all I know is that I was lowered down a few more times.
As all this is going on, there was suddenly this intense BURNING feeling and I thought I should let everyone know. The midwife basically smiled and said that’s because he is almost here; in other words, his head was crowning. (They are not kidding when they call it the “ring of fire”!). I felt like I was only getting a five second rest in between contractions at this point. But I could tell by the look on my husband’s face that at any minute, our son would be born. Finally during one of my pushes, I could tell it was close and I could see it on the audience of people in the room that I was close. (I tell you what; all they were missing was some popcorn. They all seemed so entertained… I guess it’s not everyday that the hospital have someone who wants to deliver without any painkillers, so everyone has to come see).
FINALLY our son was born at 9:52pm on March 1, 2015 (after almost 25 hours of labor!)
Thank you for taking the time to read my story, friends!