I wrote this with the help of the labor notes the midwives took…
I used a midwife and gave birth in her birthing center. I was not induced, therefore I was 8 days past due. First pregnancy, first birth. I was in labor for about 13 hours.
So on 1/7/2010, 7 days past due, I went to see Molly the midwife for my weekly checkup. She told me I was 1cm dilated and 90% effaced and Jay was sitting at 0 station which meant he was finally engaged. She then told me it would still probably be 7-10 days considering I am a first time mom and my cervix had only dilated .5cm in a week. I was happy with the progress and went on my way. It was just a normal day at home. So Ricky and I went to bed fairly late at about midnight or so. I can’t really remember.
I do know I did not sleep well. I kept tossing and turning, never getting comfortable. I kept thinking I’ll never have enough rest if I go in labor. I am not kidding when I tell you “labor” kept creeping into my restless thoughts which I just thought was a normal night. I finally convinced myself to get out of bed and go pee. When I did I discovered I had “bloody show” accompanied by loose bowels. TMI, maybe but no one said labor was pretty.
So I decided to Google the two of those symptoms in relation to labor. I found they could be signs labor would start soon about the same time I realized I was actually having contractions. I wrote down the time as 2:54AM on 1/8/2010. I didn’t want to say anything in case it was false labor so I started timing the contractions to see if there was any consistency. Turned out they were varied in length – anywhere from 20 to 40 seconds long and already 3 to4 minutes apart.
So I kept thinking I should call Mary and Dad so they will get
here on time…or wait it out? Then I decided I should probably tell Ricky first. So I woke him up about 3:10am and for once it didn’t take much to get him alert! He told me I should go ahead and call Molly to see if what I was feeling was really labor. So I called Molly and got the instructions…I was to eat, try to rest, and settle down! She reminded me that adrenaline and extra people can really disturb the start of labor. She asked me to call her when I wasn’t happy at home anymore and felt the need for labor support. Ricky and I decided to only partially listen and we waited until 5:00 am to call Dad and Mary.
In the meantime I ate sausage biscuits and drank some water. I tried to lay down but decided instead to take a bath. At first I thought the contractions slowed so I watched them to see if they sped back up. Ricky called my dad at 5 am while I was sitting in the tub and he didn’t answer! So we called Mary and Dad finally answered. He knew immediately what was going on and only wanted to know what time it was. Mary called me back a couple minutes later and I updated her on my status and what Molly had said.
After I got off the phone I decided to go ahead and get out of the tub and take a shower. After I got out of the shower I coped by walking all over the house and they progressed into some strong “I can’t cope” contractions. Ricky swayed with me and then tried to hold me while we laid down in bed but that was quickly NOT an option. So I told Ricky I can’t do it anymore, it’s time to go.
I called Molly and my parents to let them know we were going to the birth center at 6:45 am. Of course we were lucky enough to get stuck behind a school bus!?!? Ricky took the back roads and the bumps actually eased the contractions a bit. As soon as we walked into the birth center Molly was there to greet us with a smile. You could tell this time is the part of midwifery that drives her.
Soon after our arrival I was hit with a contraction. Molly had me lean on her in a way that put all my weight on her and we swayed. We did that for a while but I found that I had the distinct desire to walk away the pain. Molly decided it was time to check me and she talked to me about not getting upset if I wasn’t far along in labor. Molly politely waited until I was in between contractions to check which made all the tests take forever. So Molly checked me at 7:53 and was surprised to see I was dilated to 4 cm and 100% effaced!
It was then I announced to the world via Facebook that I was dilated to 4 cms @ 8:34 am. Molly and one of the student midwives, Jenee, were happy if not surprised by my progress. So I continued coping by sitting on an exercise ball and walking. Still having bowel movements throughout the day. I tried eating but found the food made me nauseated. I managed to drink some of a smoothie and ate some tortilla soup but mostly I wanted water. At that point in time Molly and Jenee started putting the birthing tub together.
A bit after 10:00 a.m. Molly checked me again and I was only dilated to a 5. Also my cervix had become “rigid” and, while Molly was explaining what she was feeling, I had the unfortunate experience of experiencing a contraction laying down! She offered a homeopathic remedy to help “melt” the cervix and gave me the go ahead to get in the tub. Between contractions, bathroom trips, changing into my birthing pool outfit (a black nightgown I bought from Kohls) I got into the birthing tub at 11:18. As soon as I got in the tub my parents showed up! I was very happy they were not going to miss it.
The next 6 hours are blurry to me so the following is mostly hearsay. :-). At 12:30 my water broke and the fluid was clear. I was nauseated and vomited a couple times. At 1:40 I was dilated to a 6 and was 95 % effaced and he was already at +2 station! This caused me to have more pressure than some women feel until they get to the pushing stage. I remember Molly explaining the reason for all the pressure. I remember feeling and thinking that I couldn’t do it. The front cervix cramps were intense but the back labor I was feeling was being eradicated by my Mary, who faithfully massaged my backside for 5 hours straight. There was no position I could get in to help with the front contractions.
I also distinctly remember Molly addressing my panic and negative thinking at that point. She encouraged me to face the truth that I could get in a car and drive to Weatherford and then have to deal with the hospital and doctors or I could get my act together and actually surrender to my body. If I recall correctly I was back and forth on those thoughts up until that point. Molly showed me a 3 dimensional chart of the 1 to 10 centimeters of dilation, whispered in my ear that now was the time to truly surrender to the power of birth, and gave me a homeopathic remedy to help me and my cervix. I was able to surrender so well that I fell asleep between contractions. I am not sure if that was the best way because it felt like they snuck up on me but, regardless, I surrendered and starting trying to only have positive thoughts.
At 3:03 I completed active labor and finally had the urge to push. Apparently, I had an intact hymeneal ring which had to be softened, along with my perineum (no episiotomy done) before getting him out. I only pushed with contractions (contractions still never got closer than about 3 minutes apart) and the pushing stage lasted a little over an hour. He was born at 4:06 pm. I delivered the placenta at 4:35 PM.
Jay Alexander was 10 pounds 5 ounces, 21 3/4 inches
His APGAR was 8 when he was born, at 2 mins he was at a 9, and at 5 mins he was at a 10. I only had a 1st degree tear that required a few stitches.
The people involved in the birth of Jay included the three midwives (Molly, Kasie, and Jenee), Ricky, my dad, and my Mary. Words can not express the joy and love felt and heard in that room when Jay was born. It is a time I hope to never ever forget.
I could not have done it without the awesome support of my primary midwife Molly. She proved to me time and time again she KNEW what she was doing! I really see midwifery in a whole new light and I am truly an advocate! It was amazing and in the future I know I could not consider or settle for anything less in quality of care