(Sorry for the length, it was just too much fun to write)
On Monday night, Sep 24th, I was out to dinner with two girlfriends. I decided to order a spicy breakfast burrito, hoping the spice would get labor started. I suddenly felt a pop, like a balloon inside of me. My only thought was - what could this baby have done for me to feel that? I shortly realized what had happened, as my amniotic fluid gushed into my jeans. It was 6:30 pm, 39wk 2d. My girlfriends and I were both shocked and excited. "This only happens in the movies!" They offered to call my husband, but I knew I wanted to surprise him with the news. They grabbed a blanket out of my car for me, and I wrapped it around my waist and headed out, no one but my two friends the wiser.
When I arrived home, I excitedly shared the good news with my DH. We were so very excited. We knew it could be some time before contractions started, so I decided to finish a few last-minute tasks. After e-mailing our bosses to let them know we would be starting our family leave, DH ate dinner, and I made sure to gather the remaining items and pack them in our hospital bag. I called our doula to let her know what was going on. Then I got ready for bed, thinking that I could get some sleep. I grabbed my Ipod with hypnobirthing tracks and laid down. It was 8pm.
A half hour later I was experiencing cramps, and by 9 pm I was standing at the bathroom sink swaying and breathing deeply through the surges, unable to lay down. DH tried to time the contractions, but by 10 pm I couldn?t talk anymore and we decided to call our doula. I was feeling nauseous and ?pushy?. Our doula told us we should head to the hospital. I had a little black cloud in the back of my mind. One of the main reasons that we had hired our doula was to help me labor at home as long as possible before going to the hospital. Now, the labor was here and I wanted to go to the hospital before she had a chance to come to our home. One of my biggest fears was - what if I get to the hospital and they tell me that I am only 3-4 cm dilated? It could be hours then. And with my water broken I knew they wouldn?t let me leave and the chances of unwanted interventions would increase.
The initial interactions in triage were rough. The room was bright, florescent, and loud. This was a huge contrast to my initial labor in the dark and silence of our home. The nurse didn't think I was in active labor either, since I'd only been laboring three hours and this was our first baby. But quickly enough, with the help of my amazing DH and doula, the atmosphere calmed. Someone turned down the lights, people started to whisper, and for the most part I was able to focus inward and labor. 11pm, the moment came ? 7cm! All I could think was "Thank God!!" and "So there nurse!"
I quickly waddled to my birthing suite and its calm, quiet atmosphere. My DH and doula were incredibly supportive. The labor and delivery nurse did whatever she could to help me too. Our birth plan was respected and there was calming music, candles, cool washcloths for my neck and forehead, massage, light and deep pressure, and a lot of position changes. My DH held me up during surges as I leaned on him, my doula giving me words of encouragement and helping me relax with every surge. I lost my sense of time and became focused on just one surge at a time and was able to become deeply relaxed in between. No pain, but a lot of intense pressure.
The doctor was in and out, making intermittent observations. There were a few instances where the doctor suggested interventions that I did not want (internal monitor, assisting/intervening for swollen cervix). I felt very empowered, strong, and assertive when I was able to decline these suggestions and continue with the birth I had worked so hard to have.
Finally it was time to push. Initially, when I pushed I could feel my baby begin to enter the birth canal and then slide back up after each contraction. All I could think and say was ?sassy baby!? I moved into a squatting position and within minutes my doula came around to the front of me and said she could see the baby. I was shocked! At her suggestion, I reached down; I could feel my sweet baby?s head. It was so amazing. I just couldn?t stop touching that little head. Suddenly the entire idea of us having a baby became so real, so concrete. There he or she was, right there at my fingertips.
When my LO was crowning the feeling and sensations were immense. I was able to slow down and ease that little head out. My doctor needed me to recline onto my back to get the baby shoulder?s out and with a gush it was over. My husband brought our baby onto my stomach and with pride and excitement announced that we were the proud parents of a baby boy (who, by the way, I had insisted was going to be a girl throughout the pregnancy). 3:19am: our beloved son, Everett James was born. 9lbs 10oz 20.25in. His cry was so sweet, and quickly he was calmed by the sound of our voices and gentle touches. Immediately after being moved to my chest, he brought one hand up to his mouth and began sucking his thumb. With the other, he gently grabbed onto my husband?s finger. I had our baby with no intervention, no medication, no pain. ?I got the birth I wanted!!? At last, we were a family ? happy and calm.