Those of you who were there for the birth of our daughter or talked to me much about it before hand know that I am a big supporter of natural childbirth. I don't just mean not having a c-section, but rather not using an unnecessary medication or medical intervention during the labor and delivery. Scott and I went to great lengths to prepare ourselves for this endeavor, and were very excited about the prospect of bringing our little girl naturally and beautifully into the world.
My labor began Thursday afternoon around 4:30. I labored until 6:30 a.m. the following morning when I finally was able to fall asleep. When I woke up at 8:30 a.m. my contractions were all but gone. I was pretty disappointed, but also very tired, so I went back to bed for a while. I napped a bit throughout the day, but never more than a couple hours at a time. At midnight Friday night/Saturday morning the contractions were back. They picked up at the intensity that they left off at the day before and were too strong for me to sleep through.
I began doing my relaxation techniques and Scott coached me through them. From there things really got going. My contractions were picking up and getting regular and closer together. We figured we would have a baby by dinner for sure. Our doula, Cami, came over to help and we called our family to let them know it was time to head down. By morning we decided to head to the hospital because the contractions were starting to come very close together. When we got there I was 2-3 cm. After about an hour there we decided I would be much more comfortable at home, so we headed back. After a little while family started to arrive.
My mom, sisters, and Scott's mom were all there to help...and Max of course! He did cheer me up during some of the really tough ones. We stayed at home until afternoon and then headed back up to St. Luke's when it seemed that I was nearing transition. When we got to the hospital I was 6 cm and my contractions were very close together and lasting over a minute.
I decided to get into the jacuzzi to help me relax and offer some pain relief. It was so nice to float in the water between contractions, but while in there they started to really build stronger. After a while in there (I had no concept of time at this point) Pam checked me and I had only a little bit of cervix left and was considered about 9 1/2 cm. I decided I should head back to the room so I could get ready to push.
I labored for another little while in there and could feel my body pushing her down during the contractions. I started to push with them as well which was a huge relief to the intense feeling of the contractions. After a little while of this Pam decided to check me and realized that my cervix had swolled back to 9 cm and I would have to stop pushing or risk tearing my cervix. It was sometime around 4-5 p.m. at this point. This was a really frustrating moment because I felt like we were so close!
During this whole time Evelyn was in the posterior position (facing forward instead of with her face against my spine). This is what led to my labor being back labor and my body having to work really hard to try to turn her.
I labored for another hour or so and then got in the shower to try to get some relief. While in there the contractions got extremely strong and I felt like I had lost control. I know during the next few hours we tried me getting into all different positions to get her to turn and my body to quit pushing, but nothing seemed to work. I eventually got back in the jacuzzi until I just couldn't take it anymore and had Pam check me again.
While I was in there, Scott talked to Pam and realized that they were afraid with how exhausted I was that I wasn't going to be able to push her out, especially since she was still refusing to turn. Pam was really worried that I was going to end up in a c-section. She and my nurse were so great in following my wishes to not offer me any pain medication despite their concerns.
When Pam checked me I was still swollen and not dialating. That was my breaking point. I realized that if I was going to be able to have this baby without a c-section, I would need an epideral. At this point it was a little after 9:00 p.m.
It took the epideral until 10:00 to work and I was able to rest for the first time in a looong time. 45 minutes later I could feel my body pushing again and a lot of pressure. I called for the nurse and Pam and they checked me. I was all the way dialated, no swelling, and she had moved way down! Hallelujah!
Because I waited so long to get the epideral, my legs were still functional and I was able to push her out without laying on my back paralyzed. She made her way into this world, still refusing to turn, at 12:36 a.m. on September 21st.
Even though it didn't go as planned, I have come to realize it went the way it needed to for her. I would do it the exact same way over again. And I plan on going natural for my future children as well. It was very difficult, but so amazing! I would highly recommend reading up on nautral childbirth and it's benefits if you plan on having a baby any time soon!
Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way
The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth