Note before you read: this is a happy, positive birth story. I was always cautious when reading others birth stories because some of them are just down right scary.
I last left you three weeks ago with my 38 weeks post slightly disappointed that I had yet to go into labor and trying everything I could to bring it on.
Well on July 6th my husband and I went for a winding hike up the side of a steep mountain in hopes to jostle this little baby into a position that would cause labor. I didn’t go into labor…immediately. That night we went to a worship concert and jumped and danced around.
My stomach felt H U G E and very hard. We went home and I decided to curl my hair just in case I went into labor. Hey, I wanted to at least my hair to look good :). Around 2:30am I woke up with contractions which did not concern me since I had been having contractions for weeks. I laid there and prayed that they would just subside if they weren’t the real thing so I could go back to sleep.
I laid there for a while and they did not go away. So I decided to start timing them, and they were coming about every five minutes. I had timed them for nearly an hour and decided to wake up my husband. We sat up trying to see if they went away. I got up and was standing my the bed when a gush of water trickled out. It happened again a few minutes later, so I asked my husband to call the Dr. who told us to come into labor and delivery.
Two days prior I had been told that I was at 4cm and when I got to labor and delivery they told me that I was a stretchy 4cm with contractions coming one on top of the other. While there we were joined by our doula. We found out that my water had not broken, but in fact my little baby had head butted my bladder.
Since I was having such frequent contractions, they decided to admit me! I requested a room with a garden tub so I could have it for hydrotherapy. Upon arriving at my room, the nurse put in my IV port which didn’t work the first time, I still have the bruise three weeks later, and we all prayed for what was about to take place.
I was in no pain, I couldn’t really feel most of the contractions I was having so we went to walk the halls. By this time the sun was starting to come up and storm clouds were rolling in over the mountains.
I got a new nurse and she warned my doula that the Dr. I would have likes to see progress by the book and that he would suggest intervention if there wasn’t a reasonable amount of progress. This worried me at first, but I continued to pray through each contraction and trust that everything would be OK.
Around 8:00am, I think, maybe 9:00, the Dr. came in and checked me. I was between 6-7cm which was considered slow progress. He suggested an AROM, which I refused because I was not in pain or in a hurry. So I continued to labor for several more hours.
When I began to feel afraid I would read scriptures that I written on index cards. I alternated between walking, laying down, bouncing on the ball, and sitting on the toilet.
The nurse checked me sometime later and found that I was around 8cm. At this time I got into the tub to try to relax more to see if I could dilate more. I listened to some of my hypnobirthing affirmations and relaxation affirmations while my husband and doula massaged my shoulders and feet. Sitting in the warm tub felt wonderful.
While I was in the tub my back started aching some. After staying in the tub for a while I got out, and continued to move around and listen to my worship music playlist. My back became more uncomfortable so I stood in the hot shower for a while which helped tremendously.
After laboring for about 15 hours, I was checked and was at 9cm. I had been stuck there for a little while. My nurse and Dr. both told me that my bag of waters was still thick and not even close to being tenuous. So I decided to have my water broken. I was afraid that it would hurt, but it didn’t at all.
I had my first painful contraction not long after that. Then from there they became more intense with each one. I felt like a tube of toothpaste being squeezed all around. I was so exhausted that I could not get on top of the pain. I tried to get into the tub, but was incredibly uncomfortable.
Before going into labor I had really wanted to have a natural birth, so I prepared in every way possible to have one. I was willing to get a medicine if I needed it though especially if I was having back labor. Well, my little princess was posterior, face up, which caused back labor. I cried and asked for some medicine, and quickly received an epidural.
The epidural was amazing. I could feel legs and move them, but I couldn’t feel my contractions. I was able to sleep for maybe an hour, and I was checked a little before 9:00pm and was completely effaced and 10cm dilated. My nurse told me to start pushing. I could feel slight pressure, but absolutely no pain. I was able to bring my legs to my chest and push effectively. 45 minutes later, I was greeted by 8lbs. 12oz. and 20in. of pure joy.
She came out alert and ready to eat with apgar score of 8 then 9.
In my 17.5 hours of labor, I really only had about an hour and a half of truly hard labor. I was so pleased with the way my labor went. My nurses and Dr. were wonderful. I am not disappointed that I ended up getting an epidural since it helped finish dilating and gave me the energy to push this baby out. Even though she was posterior, I didn’t have any major tears and have completely healed by three weeks postpartum.
I think that the hiking and dancing definitely played a huge role in starting labor, but I think the fact that I curled my hair is what really did it. 😉<p