At my appt. on 11/1, I was 39 wks 1 day. My blood pressure had been creeping up over the last few weeks and, unfortunately, was 165/105 that morning. My doctor looked at me, said "you're done", and was immediately on the phone with labor and delivery setting up my induction. I had been induced with my son 2.5 years earlier for the exact same reason at 39 wks and 1 day. I really wanted to go into labor on my own this time, but it wasn't in the cards. My husband and I got to L&D at about 10:30 am and meet with the midwife who was on for the day. I told her I really wanted to avoid pitocin this time if at all possible. Since I was already 3cm dilated, she suggested a foley bulb induction.
She inserted the bulb at 11am. It was not uncomfortable at all. I just felt some pressure, but no real pain. After it was in I was free to walk around and could even use the bathroom. So, we hung out, ate Italian ice and waited for the bulb to do it's thing. At 2pm it was time for it to come out. I could already feel it slipping, which was a good thing because that meant I was dilating further. She deflated it, took it out, and checked me. I was 6cm! At this point, she suggested we break my water and see if my contractions would start on their own. Boy did they ever! Within about 20 mins I was having contractions that were about 3-4 mins apart. I managed pretty well with deep breathing and walked around my room as much as possible. I tried the birthing ball, but it was uncomfortable at this point since the baby's head was right on my cervix.
Contractions continued to get stronger for the next 2 hrs. At about 4:30, she checked me again and I was 7-8. I knew at this point the epidural option was pretty much out the window. I still needed a liter of fluid which takes about an hour in infuse, and I knew I didn't have an hour. I was almost relieved because I really didn't want to get the epidural. I had a sense that things were moving quick at this point. I asked to get in the whirlpool thinking that might help me relax and dilate even faster, I think it would have felt great had I not been going through transistion! I have never experienced anything more intense. The water was nice, but my contractions were so close and strong at that point that relaxing was just not possible. I started to break at that point and told my husband to tell the midwife I wanted meds - anything! He came back in and said she needed to check me first. I was feeling so much pressure that I knew I had to be completely dilated and wasn't going to be getting meds.
I managed to get out of the tub and back to my labor room while having the most intense contractions I have ever experienced! (I had an epidural with my previous delivery and was feeling no pain by 10cm,) She checked me and, sure enough, it was time to push. I just remember thinking, "this is what you wanted - a med free delivery." I don't know if deep down I really didn't think I'd be able to do it, but I almost couldn't believe that I was about to push a baby out with nothing for pain on board. I just kept saying, "I don't know what to do" over and over. Then, wham, urge to push hit, I was so loud and vocal! I kept apologizing between pushes. Pushing hurt, but the pressure is more memorable. I never could have expected that! I pushed a few times and then felt the baby slide underneath my pubic bone. Next thing I knew my midwife told me the head was out. I don't recall the "ring of fire", just intense, intense pressure. I kept telling her, "get the rest out, just get the rest out!" The shoulders were the toughest most painful part, but then it was just instant relief! We didn't know the gender and my eyes were closed. My midwife said, "look down and see what you have." A girl! I had the biggest adrenaline rush and could not believe I had just done that. It was amazing! Baby girl was born at 6:02pm. No meds, no IV, no tears or stitches. Recovery was so much easier this time around.
Med free birth was the most intense experience of my life but, looking back, it was awesome. I wouldn't change a thing!