When we arrived at the hospital and made our way to the special OB Emergency Room where they hide the crazed labor-ridden women, I was informed that I was still sitting tight at 2cm…maybe 2 1/8, if I was lucky. That was impossible! I’d been contracting for hours at this point! The nurse told me that with such little progression, my midwife would more than likely not want to admit me. She must have seen the terror on my face because she suggested that we walk laps around the hospital courtyard to get things moving.
So we walked. And walked. And walked. I’m not kidding you when I say that my sweet husband and I did laps for almost 3 HOURS straight. Only stopping for periodic breaks when the nurse would check me, tell me I was still not progressing, and then send us out to walk some more. Finally, around 3am, after one final check, she gave us the glorious news that I’d made it to 3. She called my midwife and begged her to admit me. The midwife said yes! We picked up my bags and I waltzed (waddled) my butt up to labor and delivery!
After calling our parents to tell them we’d been admitted, I started trying to live out the zen birth I’d been dreaming of. I fully intended to deliver our little girl sans medicine. First things first…into the tub I went. I had put in a special request for a delivery room with one of the big fancy whirlpool tubs. As soon as the nurse had checked me out, I started pushing to get into the tub. She filled it up, helped me undress and assisted in lowering me into the water. I leaned my head back, turned on the jets and felt my labor pains melt away. That is until the aforementioned nurse came back in and started freaking out that my monitor was off. She made me leave my super relaxed position and told me I had to sit a certain way. On my knees, hunched over with my arm hovering out of the water…not exactly the experience I was looking for. Out of the tub, I went.
I walked around my room, bounced on a birthing ball and huffed essential oils like a feen. Around 10am, the midwife came in and discovered that I was still hanging out around 3cm. She decided it was time to break my water and speed things up. After breaking my water (a lovely experience, by the way…blech!) she made me get into a warm shower. She looked defeated and didn’t seem to have much faith in my dilating capabilities. Before walking out, she warned us that we were in for the long haul.
As I waited for them to get the shower ready, I felt a sudden shift in my contractions. They’d gone from bearable to a ton of bricks hitting me over and over every two seconds. They got me into the shower and my poor hubby practically had to hold me up. In a matter of minutes, I felt compelled to sit down and found myself hanging out in a hospital shower in the fetal position. For the first time since contractions started, I began to cry.
The nurse told me that I may want to reconsider the epidural. If I couldn’t handle the pain I was currently in, there was no way I’d make it through the rest of labor. And per that nurse, I still had a LONG way to go. My resolved weakened and I frantically begged for the anesthesiologist.
They prepped me for the epidural and had to keep reminding me to sit still. The contractions were coming constantly, and were hitting harder and harder each time. I saw the nurse and anesthesiologist give each other a funny look. Once the drugs were pumping, I heard one say to the other, “I think you better check her, I think she might be in transition.” The nurse leaned me back, checked me out and looked up with a shocked expression. I’d gone from 3 to 9 1/2 in less than an hour…about ten minutes later I was pushing.
In the beginning of my pushes, my midwife gave me the impression that I had no idea what I was doing. At one point, she even said, “I think you’re forgetting what we’re trying to do here.” Well that just pissed me off. I put on the most intense focus face I’ve ever had in my life and pushed like a champ.
I pushed for a little less than an hour, and have never felt more empowered than I did in those moments. My body felt strong, and I knew that I was completely capable. When they asked me to take breaks between contractions, it almost pained me. I felt like I was going against what my body so naturally wanted to do. Out of nowhere, I felt an excitement taking over the room. The nurses were breaking down my bed and the midwife was suiting up for the big “catch.” I gave one big push, and from the look of unequivocal love on my husband’s face, I knew our sweet Hadley was here. The midwife lifted that tiny body up and placed her on my chest. I felt like a woman possessed. I bawled like a baby and showered my daughter’s face with kisses. She was perfection.
When I think back to my birthing experience, there’s a lot of things I could say. But if you were to give me a one word allowance to describe my feelings about labor and delivery, there’s only one that seems to fit. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I’m one of those annoying women…my experience was beautiful.