After on and off couch sleeping being awoke by contractions, taking three different hot showers, and throwing up in my kitchen sink, we arrived at the hospital around 5:00am. My husband wanted to make sure this was “the real thing” so he left our bags in the car which I brought “ just in case.” After finding out I was 4cm dilated, my husband asked the nurse, “ So is this it?” (Bless his heart, he really didn’t know!) I’m just telling him, “ Go get the stuff babe and hurry yourself up!!” I gave my nurse my birth plan, which explained that I didn’t want an IV or anything hooked up to me. She was so wonderful and respectful of my wishes and let me do as I pleased.
I walked around, sat on the birth ball, and spent a lot of time in the tub. The water was a lifesaver. It felt amazing. I focused on my breathing and kept telling myself that I could do it, I am strong, the Lord is with me. My husband and nurses were wonderful supporters. I had nurses bringing me cold wash rags, water, helping me get in and out of the tub, and everything. I was in and out of the tub for the majority of the time. It really helped me control the pain.
I labored in different positions for about three hours until things really picked up and I was like, “ I need to push!! I can’t help myself!!” The doctor checked me and I was 8 cm. dilated. Hearing that made me so unbelievably happy! I knew that something was actually happening! I sat on the birth ball for a while, bouncing up and down, walked around a lot, and did lots of squatting. At one point, I was squatting and I peed on the floor, all over my doula’s shoes. (Sorry about that!) I probably peed an entire liter worth. I remember saying, “ I’m peeing! I’m peeing! I can’t control it, it’s just coming out!!!” And my sweet doctor said to me, “That’s okay Samantha. You might even poop and that’s okay too.” And I just looked at him with such a blank face and said, “Oh, I know it is.”
Then, I really needed to start pushing. I wanted to stay off the bed as long as possible(whoever thought pushing while laying down was a good idea??) but finally ended up on the bed. It was so uncomfortable and made pushing more difficult, but at this point I just didn’t care. I pushed for an hour or so and became so physically tired. I had no energy. I actually told the doctors I wanted to take a nap and come back to pushing. Ha!
I managed to find every last bit of strength and energy I had to push and push. I don’t even remember much of the pushing stage because I was so tired and out of it. It’s all a blur to me at this point. I remember things started to finally progress and the doctors had to give me oxygen at one point. That was pretty scary for me, breathing into a plastic thing, but apparently I wasn’t giving enough oxygen to my baby. I was pushing so hard but not taking enough oxygen in. It was a blur to me, but I faintly remember words of “ she needs to breath more” and my doula was encouraging me to take deep breaths. My doctor encouraged me to touch his head so I could feel how close I was. I felt it and immediately got a burst of energy to push as hard as I could.
After 90 minutes of pushing, he finally came!! I wanted him immediately on my chest, but the umbilical cord was so short that he had to lie on the lower half of my stomach. Even though it was only a minute until my husband cut the cord, it was sill so hard for me to wait to hold him! Once I was able to hold him and I knew that he was safe and healthy, I knew my world as I know it was complete.
Labor is a beautiful and empowering experience. Yes, it hurt, but truth be told, I was so tired that I don’t even remember it hurting that bad. It’s funny how somehow, you almost forget the pain. I remember asking my doula later on after he was born if I acted liked it hurt, because I can’t remember any vivid feelings of the pain. She told me I was definitely in a lot of pain and it definitely hurt! By the grace of God, I was able to deliver my baby boy exactly how I imagined it and I’m so thankful for that!
Molly's Note: Samantha is a free-lance writer and full-time mother. You can find her over at her blog, Mama Notes, where she is probably posting something funny and informative right this very minute. Thanks for sharing your story, Samantha!