Birth Story, Part I
Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 was a day like any other. I went to my weekly checkup, and I told the midwife, "I just don't feel like myself today." My brain was so fuzzy, like I couldn't concentrate on anything. On the drive home, I wondered when I would get to meet my son. I was so anxious to discover what he looked like, what he sounded like, whether or not he would have hair and what color it would be. Would he be a big baby? Just how bad would labor be? Little did I know that I would find all this out and more sooner than I expected. I had resigned myself to the fact that I would most likely meet or exceed my due date, so I didn’t think much of it when I felt some mild cramping on April 4th – ten days before my due date. I fell asleep quickly, but woke up early the next morning around 2:00 am with more intense cramps. I got up to use the bathroom and went back to sleep, still not thinking much of it. But when it happened all over again at 2:30, I started to wonder….and at 3:00, I decided to start timing my contractions and wake up Mike. I was still not entirely convinced that they weren’t Braxton-Hicks contractions, until the timer revealed that they were somewhat regular. Then I got up to use the bathroom AGAIN at 6:00 and felt a GUSH that could only be my water breaking.
Raven was with me the entire time while I labored at home.
We headed for the birth center where we planned to give birth around 8:00. I don’t remember much about the hour long car ride except thinking about how the people in the cars around us could be going to do the most mundane of things, whereas I was going to have a baby!
Once we arrived at the birth center we found out that we were still in the early stages of labor (no surprise). I was encouraged to get up and walk around in order to speed things up, but we found that when I did, it actually caused the opposite to happen! This is different than what happens for most women, but nonetheless I did most of my laboring in bed until things started to speed up.
Another check several hours later (the timing started to get a little fuzzy for me around this time) revealed that my contractions were becoming shorter, but things were not otherwise progressing as quickly as we might have hoped. I got some acupuncture that helped things progress and helped me relax at the same time. After that I got into the tub. Being in the water was a wonderful way to help me relax through the contractions, and I actually dozed in between some of them. However, I very quickly went from enjoying my time in the tub to wanting to get OUT and try something else. Looking back, I think that the urge to push started at this point, but I didn’t recognize it as such immediately. I spent some very frustrating some on an exercise ball before I suddenly got up, went to the bed, and announced that I was ready to push. My mother went to go get the midwife, who was out of the room at the time, and they were surprised and perhaps a little doubtful at this development, but a quick check revealed that I was indeed ready to push.
...to be continued...