My Birth Story
My last few weeks of pregnancy I'd been having Braxton-Hicks contractions on and off. My due date came and went with still no real sign of going into labor. Because things didn't go exactly as we planned with the condo we were trying to buy, Austin and I decided we needed to have a backup plan. So on Tuesday June 16th we went with Justin, our agent and brother-in-law, to look at other condos. While we were out with him, I started having contractions. Nothing regular or serious but definitely different from the Braxton-Hicks contractions. I called my mom and my doula when we got home from house hunting (which was around 8pm) to let them know I was in early labor. My mom predicted I'd have the baby by the next morning. If only.
It was around midnight that night that my contractions started to be regular. They were about ten to fifteen minutes apart. I tried to sleep but couldn't relax. I let Austin get some sleep while I tried to distract myself. I stayed up burning CDs to listen to for when my labor got stronger and watched Tenth Kingdom. Around 3am I called my doula, Liz, to let her know that my contractions were about five to ten minutes apart but that I was still doing okay coping on my own. At 5am I woke Austin up and called her again to let her know I was ready for her to come help me. Around 6 Liz showed up and we started using coping measures. It's hard to talk about the next part of the day as it all blended together after awhile. We tried lots of different things to get through my contractions. I went on a few walks, supporting myself on Austin during contractions. I took several baths. I spent several hours rocking on my birthing ball listening to the music I had burned. I really liked listening to my music. It was very helpful. I would often "get into a zone" which made it a lot easier to get through my contractions. Austin and Liz spent their time massaging me and putting pressure on my back. I didn't know it at the time but Morgan was posterior, which made it so I had really bad back labor. I drank bottle after bottle of Propel to stay hydrated and I tried to eat when I could, which wasn't that much. I lay down on my bed trying to sleep several times but was unable to do more than enter a somewhat relaxed state. At 8 in the morning we called my midwife to let her know I was in labor and we were thinking of going to the hospital but she suggested we wait until my contractions were longer. (My contractions at that point were 2 to 3 minutes apart but only about 30 to 45 seconds long.) I became discouraged at that point and my labor slowed down for a while. So the day wore on. Austin and Liz doing all they could to ease my pain and help me cope. I kept trying new positions and new methods. The things that helped the best were for someone to push on my back and/or knees while I breathed or blew raspberries. Austin and Liz kept a "hot sock" on my back to help with the pain and used a tennis ball to put pressure on my back. As the contractions got stronger I started to vocalize, moaning in a low tone. Finally around 6pm we decided to start packing up for the hospital as my contractions were getting stronger and longer.
I got into my room where I they did my mandatory 20 minute electronic fetal monitoring. I was also checked where I found out I was dilated to 4 centimeters and I was 70% effaced. I had been in labor 19 hours at this point. I wore my own gown and I refused the IV as I preferred to self-hydrate. I got into the tub at that point and stayed there for an hour or so (The hospital has one large room with a tub for those doing natural births). Around 9pm I was checked again and discovered I was at 7 centimeters and 90% effaced. I spent my transition rocking on my ball and having people put pressure on my knees and back. The contractions were getting stronger and longer and much closer together at this point. I started to feel slight pushy urges. I was checked again and found to be almost fully dilated and I was fully effaced. My midwife tried to manually turn Morgan (as he was still posterior) and accidentally broke my water. I tried doing maneuvers myself to help Morgan turn. I started pushing as I felt the urges. I went to the bathroom and pushed for a while before returning. We then were ready for the pushing stage. I first tried pushing on my hands and knees. My midwife then suggested a squatting position. The bed was able to be put into a position that made it like a throne. I was sitting on the edge of the bed like a chair while I had people on either side of me supporting my arms. I pushed and the head started coming out. They encouraged me to reach down and feel from time to time. I was so ready to get him out at this point as I had been in labor for over 24 hours and I hadn't slept for over 48.
Not too long later I pushed his head out and then the rest of his body and my son was born Thursday June 18th at 1:46 am after 26 hours of labor. Austin was crying as they put Morgan on my chest. I was in awe at this point. I couldn't believe he was here. He was slippery and warm and slimy. As I held him he pooped on my hands and I didn't care. My baby was here. I tried putting him to the breast to suckle as I knew that would help my uterus to contract. I think I was pretty much in shock. I couldn't believe he was finally here. I was completely exhausted but I had done it! I brought my son into this world. I held him for a while as my midwife started to stitch me up. I hadn't gotten an episotomy (or needed one) but I tore internally. They took the baby away to do their routine things (except for the things that I had requested NOT be done such as the ointment for the eyes, the vitamin K shot, or the Hepatitis B. I had done research and decided they were unnecessary.) Austin stayed with the baby while I lay in bed waiting to get stitched up. It took two hours and was extremely painful. I let them give me a shot for the pain (which really didn't do anything) as my baby was now out. My midwife had to call an OBGYN in to help stitch me as I had one complicated tear that was really hard to reach.
Me pushing being supported
When they were finally done, I was ready to go take a shower and get cleaned up. I wanted to take pictures with my family. Unfortunately, when I tried to stand up, I passed out. (Not too surprising as I lost a lot of blood, I was hungry, and I hadn't slept for over 48 hours.) Austin said that within seconds there were several more nurses to help as they caught me and I started shaking. Several seconds later I came to. I was a bit confused as I had thought I had been sleeping and then remembered that I was in the hospital. They put oxygen on me and settled me into bed. They decided I shouldn't move at this point so a bunch of nurses came and helped me into a clean gown and changed my bedding (with me still in it). I ate some food and tried to sleep. A little while later I needed to go to the bathroom but was unable still to walk so a nurse put in a catheter and removed it. A nurse convinced us to let Morgan go to the nursery for a few hours while we tried to sleep. While he was in there, he turned blue and they discovered he still had fluid in his lungs so he was moved to special care. His lungs were pumped out, and they put him on oxygen and an IV because he had low blood sugar. This naturally made Austin and I sad and concerned about our son. Because of me passing out and Morgan having to go to special care, we never did get to take the pictures I wanted to.
Morgan in special care
Family members holding Morgan in special careThe next couple of days consisted of me trying to sleep (unsuccessfully), trying to go to the bathroom, trying to walk, and trying to breastfeed. I wore my own gowns and own bathrobe while I was there. Family and friends came and visited us. We went to special care frequently for me to nurse and to visit our son. I really enjoyed my experience at Timpanogos hospital. They were respectful and considerate of our wishes and plans. Nobody fought us on any of our requests. Everyone was supportive and simply wonderful. My labor was really long, really painful, and really hard but it was also a really empowering, really positive, and really wonderful experience. I don't regret one minute of it. I'd do it again. After going through this, I feel like I can do anything.