As I sat writhing in the back seat, moaning and arching my back with every exit we passed; I prayed that we wouldn’t get pulled over for speeding. I was barely coherent when we finally pulled in front of the Birth Center. As they helped me out of the car I steadied myself as another wave of contractions rolled over me. The walk inside was a blur as another one took over my body and I just went with the motion. I was on auto pilot as I put each leg in a cold stirrup. Upon inserting two gloved fingers into my cervix, the nurse midwife declared with a hint of surprise in her voice, that I was 8 cm. I bit my tongue to keep from retorting, “I told you I was in labor!”. I would be meeting my baby very soon (The cervix has to be 10cm dilated and 100% effaced for the baby to be born in a vaginal birth).
I slowly and steadily made my way up the carpeted stairs to my birth room. All of my demands in my birth plan went out the window along with my modesty as I was hastily undressed and offered a gown. The wonderful nurse asked if I wanted to continue my labor in the bath. I bobbed my head in agreement and shuffled the few steps to the bathroom, where a warm bath was awaiting me. As I made my way towards the tub, I had an overwhelming urge to move my bowels again, and told the nurses as much. They assured me that it was the baby’s head pushing against my perineum. I then gingerly stepped into the warm oasis and sunk down into a comfortable position. Dad-to-be held the shower head and kept a steady stream of warm water pouring over my prone back as I
rolled attempted to twist and turn to ease the discomfort of the contractions. My water hadn’t broken yet, so the midwife ruptured it with an amnihook. This was in part (as far as I understood) to speed up the birth, and to make sure that there wasn’t any meconium (baby poop) in the amniotic fluid. If there is meconium in the amniotic fluid, that is a huge cause for concern because there is a big chance the baby can inhale/swallow it and become ill. Meconium in amniotic fluid would require an immediate transfer to the hospital. I’m not sure if the labor progressed rapidly because that was the natural pace or if it was due to my membranes/water breaking.
The midwife guided my legs to the indents in the tub and in a firm yet gentle tone, she informed me that I would need to start pushing at the next contraction. I then hooked my arms under my legs and tried (really hard might I add) to bear down and push. They asked if I wanted a mirror to see my baby and I hastily nodded my head in agreement. Placement of said mirror was the comedic relief that I needed at that moment. The mirror was at a precarious angle and I couldn’t make out anything but the tiles on the wall behind my head. When they finally managed to get it at a perfect angle it kept fogging up. At this point my doula made her arrival, and she, dad-to-be, the nurse and the midwife all attempted to encourage me to push. Pushing was the most difficult part for me. I was instructed to act as if I was having a bowel movement but I honestly didn’t have much luck with that technique. Little by little there was progress. The midwife announced that the baby was crowning and asked if I wanted to touch her head. I reached down and between my legs into the warm water with shaky hands and felt the uncomfortably soft head perched in my vagina.
After two pushes more pushes (I may or may not be making that up, details are fuzzy 😉 my little one’s head was out. Yay, all of this bearing down and grunting is working. The midwife announced that I would need to push three more times to get her out. At this point I realize we’re at the homestretch and I’m feeling very encouraged. She asks if I want to catch my baby and I of course nod frantically. This was in my birth plan. I was instructed to reach both of my arms down and when told, to grab my baby under her armpits and to put her on my chest. After the three pushes, I put my hands back in the water and grabbed my baby girl and placed her onto my chest. Oh my FRICKKIINNNNGGGG goodness. I was in shock and wonder and all I could say was “Oh my God. Oh my God.” At the moment the world stood still and it was just me and my love. The spell was broken by her sharp birth cry and it hit me; I am somebody’s mama. Again, oh my FRICKKIINNNNGGGG goodness. Dad cut the umbilical cord, and was handed baby as I was helped out of the tub.
Glad you stuck it out to the end. Come back for what happened next why dontcha.
If you’re wondering, yes I edited the picture. I’m pretty transparent, but I didn’t want the internets seeing my nipple or me sitting in blood. You’re welcome.
I was so swollen lol, with love that is
no I really was swollen and sore and I‘d do it a million times over for my love.