6, 2000 was my official due date, but that day came and went, no baby.
My internal exams were showing no signs of dilation or
effacement. I was having
monster Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks that I thought for sure
were doing something.
Monday, October 9th, I woke up early feeling a bit “off.”
I was achy, a bit crampy, had a backache, and in a bad mood
overall. Then I realized
that this icky feeling was coming every 7-9 minutes and lasting almost a
minute. And the
contractions felt different than the ones I had been feeling for weeks.
I was now feeling them radiate from my
back and around to the front. I
started to get excited, which is the Bradley Method #1 no-no!!
But I couldn’t help it. I
thought, “Today I’m going to meet my baby.”
The contractions were causing enough discomfort to be noticed but
they didn’t “hurt.” They
were like this until I came back from a walk at 2:30pm.
Then they were 4-5 minutes apart, lasting a minute to a minute
and a half, and hurt to the point where I couldn’t walk or talk
through them. When Daddy
came home from work, he helped me take a warm bath to ease some of the
pain. By now I was VERY
contractions continued like this throughout the night.
We went for a walk up Myrtle Place at 3:00am Tuesday morning
(Oct. 10th). The
contractions were getting closer and more intense.
Daddy decided that we should head over to the hospital around
5:00am when the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart.
When we got there, I was hooked up to the fetal monitor and
checked. 1cm and 60%
effaced. To say that I was
disappointed there wasn’t more progress than that would be an
understatement. Then my
contractions spaced out to 10 minutes apart.
Since we wanted a natural birth, Dr. Bass sent us home after 2
hours. I guess my uterus got stage fright!
that day (Tuesday), around 3 pm, we went to Dr. Bass's office to get
checked again, just to see if I made any progress from the morning at
the hospital. Nothing. We went home, still laboring with contractions
anywhere from 7-10 minutes apart. The thing was, they were still
painful, where I really had to work to get through them. I tried to
sleep, which is pretty hard when the contractions were coming regularly.
And when I did snooze between them, I would be rudely awakened at the
peak of a contraction. Talk about PAIN.
talked to Susan Guidry, our Bradley instructor, about what was going on
and she suggested just trying to rest that night.
Tuesday night comes and goes.
Wednesday morning (October 11th) we decided to try and
jump-start the labor. We walked around the neighborhood for hours.
We even tried nipple stimulation. We could get the contractions
down to 3-4 minutes apart, but as soon as we stopped walking or
stimulating they would space back out to 7 minutes apart. I still could
not sleep. Susan suggested taking Benadryl Wednesday night to try and
sleep. It didn’t do anything for me and made you really active which
made the contractions even more intense.
to Thursday (October 12th)...yes the fourth day of labor! We
had a scheduled ultrasound and biophysical profile for that morning
since we were overdue. You checked out great.
We went to Dr. Bass’s office after the ultrasound and was
checked again...still 1 cm, 60% effaced. Absolutely NO change since
Tuesday. At this point, I was exhausted. It had been 3 days since I
slept. We discussed our options with Dr. Bass. We could (1)continue on
with this latent early (painful) first stage labor for days (2) get a
shot of nubaine/phenergan to help me sleep for a few hours, with the
hope that the rest will jump start the labor or (3) induce.
Dr. Bass felt there was absolutely no reason to induce as you
were tolerating the labor fine. We
wanted a natural childbirth and knew that if I were not properly rested,
it would be difficult to achieve. I
was desperate for sleep so we decided to go ahead with option #2 and get
the shot. Went to Labor & Delivery at 7 pm for the shot. It was
supposed to knock me out for 8-12 hours. We got home around 9pm, and I
was fast asleep by 9:30pm.
11:30pm, I woke up to use the bathroom.
I remember being irritated that I wasn’t wiping myself right.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that my water had broken.
I started feeling the contractions again and found it difficult to fully
fall asleep. I was able to snooze in between them until 12:30 am
(Friday, the 13th). I woke up in HARD, ACTIVE labor. I was shaking
uncontrollably, totally disoriented, and in severe pain.
I remained in bed for about a half hour, working with the
contractions. I was so
nauseous. After that, I
needed to be on my feet. Daddy
was great at helping me relax through the contractions. I remember
walking around the living room, not knowing what to do or where to go. I
was so confused. I finally told Daddy that we had to leave around
2:00am. Poor Daddy, every time he tried to go put something in the car,
I would call out for him. While
he was loading the car, I leaned on the kitchen counter and swayed back
and forth to get through the contractions.
arrived at the hospital at 2:30am. I was checked, now 4 cm, 100 %
effaced. I was admitted.
Blood was drawn. Daddy tried beeping Susan once we got there but
no response. Little did we
know that she turns her beeper off at night!
The contractions were coming fast and furious at this point. No
more than 3 minutes in between and some lasting 2 minutes. The shaking
was uncontrollable. We thought the shaking was a side effect of the
phernergan but the nurse said it was due to rapid cervical change. For
the most part I could "handle" the contractions. But there
were some contractions where I lost it. Completely out of my control.
Dr. Bass was out of town so Dr. Hardy was on call.
He was getting ready to do a c-section so I was checked again at
5:00am. I was 5 cm at this point. Around a half hour later, I was
begging Daddy to get the nurse. I needed something. I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was close my eyes and go to sleep.
Daddy kept stalling me and I threatened to press the nurse call
button myself. What I
didn't realize was that he put the bars down on the bed so that I
couldn't reach the darn button!! Fortunately Daddy worked really hard at
keeping me focused. He
finally called Susan and told her how I was behaving.
We both didn't realize that I was in transition at this point.
In my head I was thinking that I had at least 5 more hours of
labor and I was starting to give up. Susan suggested to Daddy to get me
in the shower. What
relief!! That is what got
me through! I was really
close to giving up before we got in the shower.
I got out, Daddy helped me by breathing slowly and deeply with me, while
stroking my arm at the same pace. It gave me something to focus on, the
constant rhythm. The contractions were one on top of another. No
rest between them. At
6:30am, I was checked again. Now at 8 cm. At 7:30 am, Daddy heard a
little pop, and the fore bag of water broke. I was immediately overcome
with the urge to push. My body just took over and pushed for me.
pushed for about 10 minutes in the position that I was laboring in,
which was tailor sitting, semi-reclined.
I wasn’t being a very effective pusher at that point.
My mind had not caught up to what my body was doing.
I was sleeping in between pushes.
After that, I got my second wind.
I felt rejuvenated and ready to meet you.
I moved onto my side and that’s where all the progress
happened. I could feel you
move through my body with every push.
What an incredible feeling.
They brought over a mirror and I watched you descend further with
every push. When you were
tucked under the pubic bone, I was moved back onto my back and the
doctor and nurse prepared for delivery.
I pushed a few more times and you entered the world.
You cried. The most
beautiful sound I had ever heard. When
they placed you on my belly you immediately stopped crying, and I
immediately fell in love. Daddy
was so overcome with emotion. I
had given him a son. When
the umbilical cord stopped pulsing, Daddy cut it.
You were now a separate being.
Susan showed up
15 minutes after I started pushing.
I only pushed for 35 minutes!
Pushing did not hurt like I thought it would.
Even when your head was crowning, I felt no pain, just a lot of
cannot fully describe the tremendous high I had from feeling you move
through my body and pushing you out. It was incredible!
It was the single most empowering
and strongest moment in my life, giving birth to you, MY son.
Susan captured your delivery with the digital camera.
I look at you entering the world over and over again and I cry
You were quickly
checked over and weighed. You
scored a 9/9 on the Apgar. Your
footprints were taken and then they handed all 8 lb 0oz’s of you to
Daddy. While Daddy bonded
with you, I delivered the placenta, about 5 minutes after you was born.
I got to see the organ and amniotic sac, which nourished and
protected you while in my womb. Dr.
Bourque also stitched up a minor tear that you gave me as you were
delivered. It was superficial and required only one stitch.
Then Daddy handed me
my son. I put you to my
breast, and you took to nursing like a pro.
I was on top of the world. I
had my incredible husband at my side and our child in my arms.
Daddy went with
you to the nursery to be checked over by Dr. Nalam.
Susan stayed with me and fed me grapes and orange juice.
They returned about 20 minutes later and we were brought to our
postpartum room. I was
feeling great. I was up and
showered within an hour of giving birth.
The next day, October
14th, we left the hospital and started our life together as a