This has taken me a little longer to write then I thought but I want to get it all down before I start forgetting the details. Trying to recover, learn to care for a newborn and adjusting to a new life is harder then I thought! I'll be honest and say it wasn't quite what I expected but I still received my beautiful daughter in the end. Here it goes!
I woke up Friday morning a little bit before my alarm went off around 5:45 am. I had felt something like a pop that didn't feel like any normal baby movement. I got up thinking my water might be breaking. Looking back, it may have just slightly leaked at that time. About 30 minutes later I realized my Braxton Hicks seemed to be coming pretty regularly around 6 to 8 minutes apart. I called my doula to get her opinion because I was still thinking about going into work. She advised me to stay home because my water could really break at any point and that I should go for a walk to keep timing the contractions. Ryan at that point decided not to go into work either and go on the walk with me. I kept thinking that this was just fake labor again and that I couldn't possibly be going in to actual labor. But the contractions kept coming and maybe a little closer together as I went for my walk but still not painful.
At this point we decided to go grab a bite to eat and I timed my contractions through our whole meal. Sometime around then my mom called just to check in and found out that we maybe in early labor so she decided to drive in from Kansas City. I still thought she was premature and shouldn't come but she wouldn't listen. Ha! Then we decided to take a quick trip to Wal-mart to pick up a few snacks and treats for the nurses just in case I really was going into labor. It was at that point, walking around Wal-mart, that my contractions started to get some what painful (maybe around 11:30ish?).
They stayed about that intensity for awhile. My mom got into town around 2:00 and my doula (Brooke) arrived around 2:30/3:00. My mom & Brooke took me on another walk and tried to assess where I was at. Brooke stayed about an hour and a half then had to leave to go feed her babies. Before she left she had me get into a bath and told me I needed to accept that I was truly in labor. Ha! I still didn't really believe I was and felt bad that my mom & her had come out to the house. By the time I got out of the bath the contractions really started to kick in. Ryan decided that he should go for a quick run around 6:00 pm thinking that we still had a lot of time but by the time he got back around 6:30 I was in quite a bit of pain and Brooke was on her way back to the house.
From there Brooke had me try different labor positions like squatting and leaning over an exercise ball. I labored at home until about 8:00 pm then we decided to head to the hospital since it was about 45 minutes away. I was pretty uncomfortable in car but I toughed through it.
Last belly shot before heading to the hospital. 41 weeks to the day!
My mom, Ryan & I in the triage room before getting admitted as a patient. I was about 80% effaced and 3/4 cm dilated. I was pretty disappointed that I wasn't further along but I was also in a lot of pain at that point so I didn't want to leave. The nurse also confirmed that my water had not broken yet. This picture cracks me up because Ryan was still smiling at this point. The pictures taken later in the evening look like he was about to die!!
Brooke was so sweet to take all these pictures for me since I was a little preoccupied. :) This was our room. I loved the size and the fact that we got to stay in this room the whole time we were there.
I also loved the fact that the nurses and doctors did all their checks on Maggie right there in the room and she never left my sight.
Ok, back to the birth story. I continued to labor throughout the night. I tried rocking, sitting on an exercise ball, got in the shower, squatting and walking the halls. We all got pretty tired as it was turning into a very long labor. I was dilating 1 to 2 cm every hour.
Walking the halls. I would have to stop and grab the side railings and squat while Ryan put counter pressure on my lower back/hips. It was the only thing that would get me through the contractions. Unfortunately, I was having major back labor...
At one point the nurses offered me some Dr. Pepper and it was the best tasting soda I've ever had. lol I felt like it helped perk me up a little bit to keep going. My water eventually broke on its own around 1:00 am which brought me a little relief because it felt like it released some pressure for me. But then it started to get a lot more painful and I seemed to stall out at 9 cm. I have never been in so much pain and I wasn't getting any relief between contractions. It was just constant pain. Apparently, Maggie was in an odd position causing me to be in continuous pain. I can't remember the time but eventually I hit my breaking point and was asking everyone to gas me. Eventually, the nurse gave me half a dose (1 mg) of Stadol to give me a little bit of relief. I still felt all the pain but it allowed me to sleep between contractions. It only lasted for about 15 minutes but it was enough for me to keep me going to the end.
My doctor finally got there around 4 something and said I could try to start pushing. I still had a lip on my cervix so I wasn't making much progress. What was kind of weird was I never felt the overwhelming urge to push that I hear people talk about. Again, I think it had something to do with Maggie's positioning. I still never felt pain relief between contractions while pushing which is very unusual. I ended up pushing around 2 and a half hours. I really started to doubt that I was going to be able to push her out myself. My doctor was so wonderful in reassuring me that I could do this and finally convinced me that I was going to do this. And I did!
Maggie arrived at 7:09 am. I look awful but love Ryan in this picture. I ended up losing a lot of blood and that's why I look so pale in these pictures. That was really the only scary part. My pressure got really low and my pulse really high. I ended up having to get an EKG, blood work, lots of fluids and close monitoring for awhile. I now just have to take iron supplements and I'm doing fine.
I love this shot, and I especially love this picture of what I call Maggie's beauty mark a.k.a. mole. At first I thought she just had something on her. When Ryan saw it he said, "At least we won't get her confused with another baby". Ha!
8 lb 5 oz and 20.5 in long
This is another favorite pic of mine. I love how Ryan is staring at his daughter with so much love.
Maggie's first bath.
Ridiculous amount of hair...
My awesome doctor and I. We both look like we've been through the ringer since I kept her up late.
I'm so glad we decided to switch doctors and hospitals towards the end of my pregnancy. I absolutely loved the facility, staff and care we received. I also wanted to give a shout out to my doula, Brooke (who I totally forgot to get a picture with!). I know without a shadow of a doubt I would not have had an epidural free labor without her. She was truly amazing and such a champ to stick with me through a 24 hour labor and 2 1/2 hours of pushing. Without her support, encouragement and techniques it would have been a very different labor. I doubted myself so much through the whole thing and she really helped me believe I could do it. I highly recommend doulas if you chose to do a natural childbirth. They are worth their weight in gold.
I also want to thank my sweet mother and loving husband. They are such troopers! Their encouragement, back massages, patience and spirit got me through it. I don't know what I would have done without them. I'm pretty sure they felt like they went through a labor of their own when it was all over. Ha!
People ask me if I would do it all over again and honestly it's a little too soon to ask. Ha! I'm glad I got to experience natural childbirth and wouldn't change anything. But as far as my next pregnancy I can't promise anything if I have another back labor. There were times that I had some contractions that were not in my back and that felt like a cake walk in comparison. So who knows... we'll just have to wait and see. :)