My Birth Story

OK - time for all the gory details -- ready? =D

We'd been trying certain natural induction methods for about three-four weeks, being so anxious to get this predictably big baby out as soon as possible. I admit it may have been premature, but if there is any chance he came "on time" because of all this, it was so worth it.

My ultrasound due date (June 6th) came and went and I was getting more and more grumpy, pretty much not wanting to see or talk to anybody. The simple questions "When are you due?" or "How are you feeling?" became torturous to answer. Mentally, I was NOT coping well.

So when painful contractions started coming and I was moaning in bed with Tim rubbing my back, we both got really excited -- this baby might actually come out!!! That was Wednesday night, after book club. We timed these contractions about 4 minutes apart and they lasted about four-five hours. Tim got me up out of bed to go walk around 2:30am...we ate breakfast, thinking it might be my last pre-birth meal, watched some online TV, and waited for things to pick up. Well, they didn't. I fell back asleep around 5:30am and Tim went to work as usual Thursday morning. Disappointed.

I had to do something!!! So I got out the breast pump. worked for a friend, so I thought I'd give it a try. After about 15 minutes of pumping, hard contractions started up again! About 3-5 minutes apart! Peter wanted to try pumping too -- LOL. I waited 30-45 minutes before calling the hospital to see if it would be worth it to come in and get checked. I really wanted to, but I was afraid the contractions wouldn't be real and would die down. Finally, around 11am, I told Tim I wanted to go.

Had a couple really great contractions in the parking hooked up to monitors to record about 15 minutes of the peaking pains...then got checked for dilation. 5 CM!!!! I was ecstatic!! Always wanted to get to the hospital a bit later in the game and not be there FOREVER. So, that was good news. I was admitted and told to walk around the courtyard in the sunshine for an hour or so.

Walking was great. Things were really working now. I came back inside to be checked again and was already almost 7cm dilated. The nurses were really pleased with my progress and I was breathing through the pain no problem. Tim was here to walk with me the second time, between 1:30 and 2:30. Came back inside and was between 8-9 cm dilated already. I was totally stoked because I knew this was transition and I was dealing with it! Yeah, it was more painful and I had to close my eyes and really focus on breathing OUT long and hard. But the nurse thought I was doing fantastic and assumed the baby would be ready to come very soon. She paged the doctor...he came around 3:15, I think.

This is where the really hard part began. Baby was in an occipital position still -- facing up instead of down. Causing my contractions to be very painful in my back region. And making it almost impossible to get fully dilated. That last centimeter took more than 2 hours. And the contractions were deadly once he broke my water. I tried some different positions to try to move baby's head around and I think he manually went in to rotate as well. Finally baby was in the right place.

This time went very slowly compared to the previous 3 hours...and it's kind-of a blur. I remember being less and less able to cope with the pain and relaxing my bottom was virtually impossible. I would just clench up tight and yell! Some of these contractions were really long with more than one peak. I ended up completely exhausted, sobbing, totally dreading another contraction. This is when the doctor recommended some sort of spinal medication (not an epidural). I wanted it so bad, but managed to get through 5 or more contractions before saying, YES, please get me some help. I needed to relax in order to get my cervix fully dilated.

It took WAY too long for the anesthetist to arrive -- I was hating every minute that went by. Finally he got there...and wanted my complete medical history. Then he had to prep the area (I had to sit on the edge of the bed, which made things EVEN MORE PAINFUL, BUT probably helped Ezra crown). I felt myself losing more water with each contraction and semi felt the urge to push. This was really scary to me. I knew it might be too late for the medication.

One more BAD contraction and I could feel Ezra's head wanting to come out. What a horrible feeling!! Some people say the urge to push makes everything better! OH MAN. It was indescribable. I just know I didn't like it at all. I was screaming for help...the anesthetist ripped off whatever he had strapped to my back and ran out of the room...everyone frantically looking for my doctor...I tried to get in pushing position between contractions, but at this point I couldn't really even feel my contractions since the RING OF FIRE was so fierce. Never imagined it could be that bad. So scared and didn't know how to focus on pushing. It all happened so fast. I just wanted the pain to be over!! I knew I needed to relax and follow orders, but my body just said -- get it OUT and I was barely functioning. Pretty much on autopilot. I tried to listen to everyone saying "LAURA, look at me...breathe like this...PUSH with your contractions!" I was just shaking and wide-eyed with fear.

Finally his head came through, after some serious stretching. Tim said he was amazed at how much the doctor had to rough-handle me to get that head out. The shoulders came next and what a relief! Still painful, but WOW. He's virtually out. I knew I would survive this ordeal.

My poor husband had to watch me go through a lot of pain. He was often on the verge of tears. My doctor and nurse were AMAZINGLY SUPPORTIVE. I feel like I put everyone through a lot there at the end. They were trying really hard to keep me on target. I certainly wasn't planning to have a natural birth, but by the time things got rough, it was too late for the epidural. I am 50% proud of myself for doing it naturally, but it was ROUGH and I feel 50% crazy for even trying it!! Thank God I survived and the baby came out without any heart-rate trouble.

It's all fading now -- amazing how something so terrible can be forgotten so quickly. I have a gorgeous, cuddly baby to hold and take care of -- the best thing in the world. Definitely worth it all. But I might want to remind myself how tough these 9 months have about two years from now. =D