I figured I better write it all down in case one day I can’t remember every detail…. as if one could forget.
My due date was approaching and though every day of that last month felt like it’s own tiny eternity I was not really any closer to going into labor on my own. Thanks to my “advanced maternal age” (36 apparently makes me OLD AF) the doctor told me she would encourage induction on or around my due date. A thought that early on, made me kind of anxious. I had wished (back then) to spontaneously go into labor on my own — however thanks to a global pandemic in conjunction with feeling like I’d been pregnant for 84 years —— I got over that pretty quick and was more than ready to get things moving!!
I mean… this is the face of someone who was SUPER ready to be done being pregnant!!
We “scheduled” induction for my due date of April 9th, and due to the additional restrictions from COVID19 that meant that as soon as the hospital had a bed for us they would call and we’d have to rush on in. This call was supposed to come some time between 6am on the 9th or by 6am in the 10th. We were so excited the night before. We ordered takeout, had the house to ourselves, and spend the majority of the time giggling and telling each other fun stories from our own childhoods and just being in awe that we’d soon be parents!!!!
The following day…. we waited. I had an ultrasound in the morning – one where we laughed as Luna refused to participate in any kind of photo opp… for our last ultrasound the one and only souvenir would be this very detailed photo of an ear….
We spent the remainder of the day equally divided by napping and staring at my phone willing the hospital to call us…. which they never did! Finally when my eyes popped open on the 10th at 6:01am I had enough and decided to call them myself. We were apparently next in line, and were asked to be there in an hour! Fire drill!!!! Go time!!
We hustled ourselves ready- half awake – and the anxiety began to set in, for both of us! Months… YEARS had been building to this!!!!!!
We arrived at the hospital and checked in, settling into our birthing suite around 8am. I LOVED our day shift nurse Alex! She was just awesome, very encouraging, entertaining and supportive of my goals to deliver naturally if at all possible! We came up with our action plan to get things started and began the waiting game!
Now, I’ve heard horror stories about Pitocin, and needing additional interventions so I asked if we could try some other things first before we jump to that one and happily was obliged. We settled on 25mcg of Cytotec which was a tiny pill they insert next to the cervix to help encourage dilation and effacement. I was already about 80% effaced and 2cm dilated at checked in.
After that we hung out, chilled, it was pretty boring actually…. but at about noon…. Dawson was cracking a joke about something and all the sudden I felt it…. SLOOOOOOSH…. “Uummmm …. either I just peed the bed…. or my water broke!!! Can we get Alex in here to verify!!!!” Lol that little nudge was all it took to get my perfect natural childbirth rolling!!
I had been in bed/monitored for about 6 hours when I finally had hit a wall. I needed UP! I negotiated with Alex for some non-bed laboring —- and a snack which I desperately needed!! She brought me a birthing ball, and saltines and peanut butter, as far as I’m concerned she’s a literal angel!! Both items were WONDERFUL!!
Contractions were steady at that point and I was handling them so much better on the ball than in the bed! I used 4/6 breathing technique for this stage breathing in for 4 seconds exhaling for 6 seconds and doing very little talking. Music was playing and I was just very focused. Dawson would come sit on a stool behind the ball and hold me or rub my shoulders …. we kind of ROCKED at labor!!!!
The next phase I was checked and had dilated to about a 7 and the contractions were starting to feel way more intense! Upon their suggestion I took some IV pain meds to take the edge off and hopefully curb any need for an epidural. 🤞🏼
It was about that time that the nurses changed out and I had to say goodbye to Alex and welcome in the new nurse that would help us welcome our baby, Alicia. Alex was so sweet, she told us as she was leaving that if it wasn’t her only day off she would have stayed and dula’d for me — she really was so sweet. I’m sure it was partly due to her encouragement that I was able to make it through labor without that epidural!!
Now once those super intense contractions hit I switched to vibration breathing. Sticking to the 4 second inhale but vibrating my lips making a soft sound on the exhale. Very effective for pushing through those sharp contractions.
Now…… once I hit 9cm dilated. I forgot how to human. I forgot how to breathe…. and I was just plain ready to grab my pants and head out the door!! I have no idea how I made it through after that point but I did! The kicker was, Luna had turned herself a bit and they wanted to get her in a different position for birth so… they asked me to get up on the bed, on all fours and labor for a while to encourage her to turn….. oh sure yah no problem!! 😳😵 Not that I was super concerned at the time, but there really is no graceful or lady like way to execute this maneuver and I can only imagine what it must have looked like from the “goal face”…. I was basically crowning at that point!!!
No clue how long I was actually stuck there in doggy style labor … but looking back now the remainder of it all went pretty quickly! At some point they had me flip back over and the stirrups came out and it was time for “practice pushing”. Again, still not knowing how to breathe or human at this point I just remember crying and whimpering through every contraction.
I do remember overhearing some conversation between Dawson and the nurse about pushing, and his reply was something like “yah I know she totally has a few more of those in her”…. to which I said “the fuck I do!!!!” One of the only verbal things I actually said during labor! lol
A few of those “practice” pushes and I remember screaming that I felt burning and it was right at that moment the doctor came in with the oven mitts to catch! I think I did a total of 4 big pushes …. and she was out. Purple…. chubby… adorable and amazing!!!
It’s true what they say, as soon as the baby is out the pain stops! Thank GAWD!!! Delivery of the placenta was super easy because I was staring at my daughter and they could have done ANYTHING to me at that point and I wouldn’t have noticed or cared!!
The one part of labor I really hadn’t counted on was tearing. I believe my contractions were pretty long at the end so they had me push super fast causing a 3rd degree tear and a gaggle of stitches – she literally ripped me a new one!!! lol I’m thankful though the healing has not been horrendous. Painful for the first 2 weeks really but not bad after that and I had full range of motion and was able to walk directly after birth. I even walked myself out of the hospital at discharge because the wheel chair was taking forever!
The whole thing was pretty amazing.
I got to have the birth that I wanted. The one I worked for, and prepared for. I spent the last several months of pregnancy focusing on meditation, mindfulness and preparing myself to be flexible for whatever birth Luna needed, and it was perfect.
Honestly it feels like a lifetime ago – real time it’s been 3 weeks and change. Time is now the weirdest thing. I get lost staring at her…. trying to remember what life was like before her…. motherhood is the scariest, most wonderful journey of my life!!
I can’t believe I get to be her mom!