A few things before I start:
- I was convinced I was having a girl. I don’t find out the gender because to me I don’t see the big deal. Yeah, I’m one of those people. When others learn I haven’t found out they say, “You must not be a huge planner.”
- I’m a huge planner. Outfits were packed. I already knew what she’d be wearing home. It was he same outfit her brother wore home. I’m all about te sentimental value. After reading several birth stories I knew whato to expect and how I wanted mine to go. I even played around with our camera until I was happy with how the test pictures were coming out (I settled on the pictures being black and white. From other stories I read that had pictures with them, I felt those looked more classic. Timeless).
- I wanted my husband, mom, and son with me. One of the main reasons I went with a birth center was so my son could be there.
- True Blood was premiering on Sunday and I had a date with Bill Compton.
Thursday, June 7th.
It was my birthday and I wanted nothing more than to have my daughter born on my birthday. I imagined us sharing miletsone birthdays the following year (me turning 30, her turning one. I already had a theme for her party). My husband was going out of town on Friday to attend (and be in) his friends wedding. The plan was if I was dilated high (enough for something to possibly happen) then he would stay. On the way to the appointment I was on the phone with him and he says, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if she (our midwife) broke your water while checking you (for dilation)?!”
A bit agitated he would think that’s possible I just chuckled a little and said “That’ll never happen.”
Once I made it to the birth center and was in the room my midwife started to tell me about options to bring OB labor naturally. She was telling me about cotton root, breast pumping…
I wasn’t listening. I was convinced that once she checked me I would be dilated enough I would have to stay because I would be going into labor soon.
While she was checking me I told her what my husband said. She also chuckled and said “In all the years I have been doing this, that has never happened.”
Once she finished sweeping my cervix (also known as stripping my membranes) I felt a GUSH!
I thought “Oh my gosh she just broke my water!!!”
(I quickly texted my husband. His reponse “Sweet!” WTF??)
She said “I think just broke your water!”
After a quick test it was positive: my water just broke.
Now that I was in labor, I had to stay at the birth center. I called my husband who was more than thrilled to get off work early and told him to bring all the items.
I called my mom and told her she could come in a few hours.
It was around 3 and I texted my sister. She told me I had less than 9 hours to get the baby out.
A part of me knew that she wouldn’t arrive on my brithday. For one, my contractions just weren’t strong enough to get things really going. Also, I just felt it was too good to be true. It was.
Thursday afternoon and night consisted of me walking, jumping jack sqauts, taking shots of cotton root, breast pumping (10 minutes on 20 off), staying hydrated, making sure my temperature stayed down (couldn’t go pass 100.4), getting massages that help bring on contractions,and eating DISGUSTING greasy pizza from a local restaurant. Even their pasta was greasy. I won’t call them out on here but their food was terrible. No one liked it.
I can’t remember what time it was but I was also treated to a castor oil smoothie. I really didn’t want to try castor oil becuase of all the stories I’ve read it seems that it hasn’t worked on anyone. My midwife made me a smoothie with peach, bananas,milk, and castor oil. The taste of it was making me sick. It had nothing to do with the castor oil because I didn’t even taste it. The smoothie was too sweet for my tastebuds. And I don’t drink regular milk (I like almond milk). But like a trooper, I sucked that bad boy down. And like a trooper, I threw that bad boy up.
After all this torture, the contractions still weren’t strong enough. I felt pain in my lower back but nothing that would indicate I was ready to push.
Friday June 8th
My birthday passed and my little girl wasn’t here. But I still had to work hard to get her out as the 24 hour time since my water borke was coming close. For some reason. I wasn’t stressed about losing my water. I know that it could lead to me having to have a c-section if the baby stays in too long but something in me just knew that wouldn’t be an issue.
After several more hours of walking, jumping, pumping, and cotton root shots, my midwife came in and made a suggestion. She told me that since my son was here I was still in “mommy mode” therefore I was not allowing myself to fully relax and focus only on my labor. So my mother and son went home. I was pissed. I could’ve cried but I wasn’t going to give anyone my tears.
Let me also state that during this time another mother came in fully active in labor, had her child, and went home. What. The. Fuck?!
Soon after they left the midwives checked to see if I had dilated anymore because it was a possibitly I was having strong contractions but they just weren’t strong to me. When they checked me I was still at three but could stretch to a 7. Whatever the hell that means.
More time passed and they suggested I go to the hospital to get an ultrasound. Great. The one place I wanted to avoid this pregnancy. Once I was there and on the monitor, it showed my contractions were 8-10 minutes apart. And strong. But I still couldn’t feel them. I also learned that there are two sacs of water and only one broke. Therefore my baby girl was happy floating in the other sac that had about 11.5 ozs in it. I sure as hell wasn’t happy. I wanted this baby to come out. After an ultrasound the doctor said my baby probably weighed between 9-11 pounds. I was convinced she was smoking the crazy crack. She told me this was just an estimate since the baby so was low so she could be off by two pounds either way. So I could have a 13 pound baby????? The only plus side: 13 pounds of weight immediately gone.
Once I was cleared from the hospital, we went back to the birth center.
Saturday June 9th
My friend was getting married today (and I was suppose to be in it). I sent her a quick text to tell her I was thinking about her, how I wish I could be there but I hoped the baby didn’t come today as I didn’t want to share a day with her. As much as I wanted the baby out I didn’t want her to share her day with anyone else. Yes, I know plenty of people are born (and were married) on this day but that was my crazy thinking/rationalization.
After a quick visit from my husband’s step dad and more cheking from my midwives, they decided a change of scenery would be good for my mind. I headed to my parents house (where I would be staying after I had my baby). There I did more walking around the neighborhood. I went over to my sister’s house and did Just Dance with my niece (taking a pee break between each song) . Came back home and did more walking. And watched lots of Twilight. Those movies are so bad they’re good.
Sunday, June 10th.
I was one week overdue.
It was a rainy, ugly day. I went over to my sister’s house and did Zumba with her. I started to feel more pain in my lower back so I called my midwife. She said to monitor it and to start timing them.
I left my sister’s house went back to my parents (they live five minutes apart). My dad suggested I go walk around the mall. I did not want to go to the mall and be harassed and stared at by people. I suggested a lake that was close by. Before we left I decided to take a bath to help calm my nerves. This is when my inner hippie came out. I got in the bath, had all the lights off, closed my eyes and I started to visualize. I visualized my labor, holding by daughter, and us watching True Blood together. Once I got out of the shower I felt so tired. I remember my midwife telling me that I would suddenly feel very tired before my labor began. I went and laid down because all of a sudden standing up and walking was too much effort. But I kept it moving. Me, my husband, my mom, and son packed up all of our things and headed to the lake (just in case something happened). Before we left I told my dad “I’m not coming back until I have a baby.” His response “Good. Go walk. You’re not going to have a baby just laying around.”
Once we got to the lake I KNEW something was different. Each step I took was a struggle. There was a little park and my son played there for about 10 minutes. Once we were up and moving again, I felt a little trickle. Either I peed myself or my other sac was leaking. WARNING: TMI!! To make sure I hadn’t peed myself I placed my hand down there (over my clothes. I was wearing yoga pants) and smelled my hand. Gross, right? To make it even nastier I had my mom and husband smell my hand to see if it smelled like pee or something else. Ya’ll, there is nothing pretty about pregnancy. Just saying.
After a quick call to the midwife, we decided it was time to head back to the birthing center.
I should note the birthing center wasn’t far. About 10 minutes away so I was never worried about not making it there. Plus they were more than ready to come my parent’s house if they had to.
Once I was there they got my vitals for what seemed like the billionth time. My temperature was close around 100 so that was cause for worry. I remember being completely tired and not caring. I just wanted this baby out! After some time had passed and my temperature wasn’t going down, my midwives were getting worried and made the decision that it would be best for me to go to the hospital. There they would hook me up to an IV that would distribute antibiotics. They would also be able to break my water and get things rolling.
At this point I was pissed off. I didn’t want to hear anything anyone had to say. My midwife placed her hand on me and started to rub my back to comfort me. I wanted to grab her hand and do a karate flip. I wasn’t mad at her. Just the whole situation. My mom tried to tell my everything happens for a reason but I told her I wasn’t trying to hear that.
We took the rainy car trip to the hospital and once we got there I really started to feel the contractions.Once I was in the room the nurse gave me some papers to sign. I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t signing anything I didn’t agree with so I read ALL the fine print between each contraction. I also gave them my “birth plan.” When I told this story to a former co-worker her words to me were “Birth plan? Who do you think you are? Beyonce having Blue Ivy?”
I stated I didn’t want the umbilical cord cut until it stopped pulsing (they said that was their practice), I did not want an episiotomy (They were OK with that) and I didn’t want to get stitches (I got the crazy look). The nurse told me she would have to check with the doctor on that one. I also asked if I would be able to take a shower to help ease the pain of the contractions. She told me that was fine.
I wanted to get into the shower because this whole pregnancy I planned to have a water birth and use the warmth to help comfort my pain. Now that was no longer an option, I had to do something else.
The shower never happened.
After the nurse failed FIVE TIMES to find a vein for the IV (I have bad veins) and my water was broken, I dilated to 8cm. The nurses and doctor was worried the baby could literally fall out. Whatever. I have yet to meet, read, or see a woman whose baby just slid on out.
I started to freak at this point. I was going to have this baby fully natural without any type of help for comfort.
They told me I was able to put myself in any position that felt comfortable to me. Their exact words “You can flip and flop like a fish.”
I asked my husband to get a hot washcloth and place in on my back. I needed some type of comfort.
The pain started to intense but it was nothing I couldn’t handle. I put myself in a semi downward dog position in the bed and then I felt this sudden urge to push.
“AHHH! I’m pushing”
“Mom! She’s pushing, go get a doctor.”
In comes the anesthesiologist (who finally found my vein) and yelled “WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THAT POSITION!! YOU CAN’T DO THAT!!!”
My reponse, “YOU SAID I COULD FLOP LIKE A FISH!! I’M FLOOOOPPPPPPINNNNGGGG!!”
I wish I could have seen her face. She walks into the room and I am straight up mooning her.
On to my back I went (which is the WORSE position).
I felt another urge to push and I screamed.
The anesthesiologist told me that if I scream I am letting my breath out and that will not help with my pushing. She told me to growl but to not scream.
I knew this but damn! That one took my by surprise!
So here I am on my back and I turn into the HULK! “GRRRR!!! You don’t want to see me when I’m in labor! GRRRR!!!”
By this time, there was literally 15 people in my room. Later my mom asked my why there were so many people in there. I told her they probably wanted to see who was the crazy chick having an all-natural birth in the hospital.
I wish I had videotaped it. My husband said it took everything in him to not laugh. He said between each push I was breathing hard and my eyes were bulging. I was pushing the HELL out of the rails on the bed. He was pushing in one side and a nurse was pushing in another. He said after one push (of the railings) the nurse had a look on her face that said “Eff it!” and just walked away.
Sometime during my pushing I hear a guy’s voice. It was another doctor. He said he was one of my doctor’s and not some random person. Um, dude. You are some random person.
As the pushing continued I started my mantra. “With each push I’m closer to meeting my daughter. With each push I’m closer to meeting my daughter.”
My doctor told me she saw the head. There was a lot of hair.
In my head I though “Woot! Woot! My baby girl has hair!”
They asked if we knew what we were having and I said no. They gave my husband the pleasure of announcing the gender. I didn’t need him to tell me I was having a girl. I just knew.
In all the natural birth stories I read, all women have talked about the ring of fire. It’s the moment when the head finally pushes through. I knew once I felt the Ring of Fire they would be able to pull the baby out.
I was getting hot. I pulled my gown off and my IV ripped out of my arm. So here I am, naked on the bed, growling and have blood squirting everywhere. HULK.
I felt the Ring of Fire. Honestly, not too bad. Doesn’t last long. Once the head was out I saw the doctor start to cut something. I wanted to know what the hell she was cutting because I told them no episiotomy. I didn’t have much time to think about it because another contraction came.
At this point, the anesthesiologist was getting on my damn nerves. Not only was she in my ear telling me what to do, she was also pushing down on my stomach with a heart monitor to track the baby. That mess hurt! To top it off, she was chewing a minty Winterfresh type gum and I can’t stand that kind of gum! Her breath stunk to me!
One last push and my little one was out. They immediately took her to the crib and started cleaning her off. Um, I thought the umbilical cord was attached. Turns out the umbilical cord was LOOSELY wrapped around her neck and that is what the doctor cut. This could also be reason for why she was just chilling in my belly.
Notice how I am saying “she?” My husband hadn’t made the announcement yet. I started to scream “What is it?? WHAT IS IIIIIITTTTT????”
His response, “Sage Harper, baby!”
Me with a quizzical look, “What?!?! Another boy?”
I want to state I was not upset with having another boy. I was just shocked.
Once my sweet boy (weighing 7lbs 12ozs. My first son was 6lbs11ozs) was here, nothing mattered. It is so cliche but seeing their sweet faces and feeling their smooth skin makes everything better.
Afterwards my mom and son came in and met Sage. My husband’s mother and step dad had arrived at some point as well.
Downside: No HBO in the hospital. Bill Compton would have to wait.
Everything didn’t go according to plan but I am still happy that I was able to make as many choices as possible. I am bummed about not having a water birth. Especially since it is highly likely I won’t be having another one.
In the end, my son is here. Happy and healthy.