Sorry this is so poorly written. I feel like I am still in new baby daze but wanted to remember as much as possible and get it done sooner rather than later. My experience was that birth was INTENSE. I had no desire to ever experience it again while in it and directly after. I think that 11 days later I am starting to get that amnesia people talk about, though.
Magnus Bailey Ransom ended up coming on Monday morning 12/19/2016 at 8:15 am. 8 lb 2 oz at 38+4. 9 hours of labor with 2 hours of pushing.
The weekend before he came I remember a few things that might have been indications he was coming soon. On Saturday after Dustin (my husband) and I did our errands Dustin was telling me he was going to leave and do some other errands and also something “secret” and wouldn’t tell me and wanted to leave me. I involuntarily cried about him leaving and not knowing where he was going. He ended up only doing non-secret errands with me and hanging out at home and whatever else. We also went out to eat that night and had a really nice evening in general.
On Sunday, 12/18, I had sex in the morning, went hiking, drank my raspberry leaf tea, and ate my dates. Shamefully, I also had to ask Dustin to put my shoes and socks on for me because it was too hard to bend that way. That was the first time that had been the case in pregnancy. I was telling Dustin that if I didn’t see ANY labor signs that day I’d assume Shleebs was going to stay put for a while. I took a small nap that day and when I woke up Dustin wasn’t in the house. Again, I kind of freaked out and texted him asking him where he was and when he was going to be home. He told me “I am home” leaving it vague as per usual for him. I asked him where he was and he came in a minute later and it turned out he was in the garage installing the car seat for Shleebs (finally!). We live in a complex with a detached garage, in case it doesn’t make sense that I wouldn’t have checked the garage. I don’t remember everything else but I remember that night Dustin telling me he really didn’t want to go into work tomorrow (Monday).
Later that evening at 9pm I was preparing for my bath I had been taking nightly to help me sleep better and when I peed I noticed blood and a tiiiiiny bit of plug. Without even thinking I ran into our room and showed it to Dustin, beaming that there was blood! I didn’t know for sure what that meant in terms of labor timing, but I knew it meant something soon(ish). I grabbed my tablet and texted my midwife while I was in the bath, knowing that I’d want her to have the heads up if things were going to happen and it was still early enough to tell her about something early. Plus, I wanted to ask her what the likely timing would be with bloody show. She told me that bloody show is an awesome sign and things should happen within the next 2 days. I was happy with that and told her I was going to try to get sleep as long as I could so I was well rested.
I got done with my bath and noticed some more plug in the bath water and when I peed after the bath there was more blood. I definitely was suspecting things would start happening soon, at that point, but was HOPING they’d start after I got a full nights sleep. I can’t even explain to you how much I hate not sleeping and how terribly I run on low sleep. Pretty much my worst nightmare was labor from 10p-8a. Haha.
I got in bed and had put on a pad because I was still getting blood spots and didn’t want to worry about it. Good thing I did because at 10:45(ish) my water broke. I had yet to have fallen asleep. I had gotten a couple verrrrrrry light contractions before the water broke and the same thing after. But about 15 minutes after my water broke contractions came on way faster than I expected. They were already about 4 minutes apart and about 45 seconds long. Not only that, but they continued to get longer and closer together steadily. At that point, which was about 11pm, I knew things were GOING but didn’t know how long things would take overall so I was super hesitant to let my birth team know, but I knew my doula wanted to know when my water broke no matter what and my midwife wanted to know when it broke if there was also an active labor pattern. So, I texted both of them just to give them a heads up and told them I was still going to try to rest/sleep (ha!). I also told Dustin to go to sleep and rest while he can since I didn’t know how long things might take. I took sleeping stuff out to the couch so he could not be interrupted.
I take sleep very seriously.
Clearly, I couldn’t sleep. My contractions were legit! They also made me want to poop every time and I had pooped twice by midnight. Three times by 1am.
By 1am, I was also going WTF over the contractions in terms of pain, how long they were, and how close together they were.
At 1:45 I decided either I am a fucking wimp (still up for debate) or that things were going faster than I expected, so I woke up Dustin and told him to call my doula and midwife. He called the doula first and had no idea how to read the contraction timer I had been using so I talked to her and could barely talk through contractions at that point. The doula later told me there was actually a huge difference in how intense things sounded from the beginning to the end of our call, which was about 15 minutes. I’m wondering if waking up Dustin and feeling like I had someone there to support me and take care of me made me feel like I could retreat into labor land more.
After hanging up with the doula I called the midwife who asked me something about shaking. I told her I had been shaking through contractions for a while and she was like “ok I’m coming asap, sounds like you are having some transition symptoms.”
After those first 2-3 hours I was on my own I honestly lost a lot of control and checked out a lot. It was a different experience than I was expecting, though. I was actually more cognizant than I thought I would be in some respects, but with less breaks of normalcy than I was expecting I would have. I wouldn’t have been able to time contractions if I tried. I was already having a hard time remembering to start and stop them when I woke Dustin up. The last ones I actually logged were averaging about 1:30 and 2 minutes apart.
That was at 2:54am. That’s a 30 second break for every 1:30 of contraction!
In the hour between Dustin waking up and the midwife getting there, Dustin made me some eggs because I asked him to and when I smelled them cooking I was pretty sure I would not be able to eat them because they smelled nauseating. I tried a couple bites and just couldn’t. I guess I waited too long to eat, which sucked because I was ever so slightly hungry when I went to bed.
I was in the bathroom when my midwife got there around 3am (I spent tons of time laboring on the toilet both because of the feeling of having to poop with every contraction, but also because my water had broken and it just made life easy). Dustin yelled in at me that he was going out to help her bring in her stuff.
She was pretty eager to check me based on how I was acting and I ended up letting her and telling her not to tell me unless it was good news (which I talked to her about before labor, too. I said I would not want to know when she checked me, but if she thought I was going to be encouraged by the number she should let me know). She checked me and said I was a 6. Apparently, she thought that was good news. lol. I, however, probably wouldn’t have accepted anything less than an 8 as good news. However, in retrospect, a 6 after 4 hours of labor isn’t that bad. I was just already ready to be done.
I feel like this is when I REALLY started checking out, though. The rest of the story has structure because I have my midwife’s chart. Literally, most of my labor I had my eyes closed I was just so in myself.
In between 3:30 and 4am I was really feeling that nausea that started a bit when I smelled the eggs and decided to go sit in front of the toilet and threw up twice. My midwife or doula gave me a homeopathic remedy and I just took it, which in retrospect cracks me up because I never just take things. I can totally see why people end up with interventions they didn’t want in the hospital. Though I may have been more malleable than usual because I trusted them, too.
I know around 4am I really felt I was going to poop again but didn’t feel the ability to really let go with my midwife and doula in the bathroom so I shooed them out saying I wanted to try to poop alone. Dustin later told me my midwife came out and joked: “whatever, if she wants to push the baby out on the toilet alone.”
At 4:48 I started having the urge to push and my midwife wanted to check me. I think I gave everyone the stink eye because being checked was soooo uncomfortable and I didn’t want to do it again. I was 7-7.5 cm and 75% effaced and I remember thinking in my head 1.) “OMG, I need a more intense urge to push than this?” and 2.) “Well some people start pushing around this time and it basically dilates them the rest of the way, maybe that’s me.”
I think I asked my midwife when she next would check me, since she didn’t want me to push yet. She told me when I start sounding grunty at the end of contractions she’d check me again. Since I wanted to push so much I remember wanting to sound grunty. lol. I also remember sometime in there literally clutching Dustin around the waist while I sat somewhere (the toilet?) and was vocalizing super loudly and thinking that if those weren’t grunts at the end of my contractions I don’t know what is.
At 5:45ish my urge to push was increasing and I was grunty so my midwife wanted to check me again, so I unhappily laid back on the couch again to get checked. I was at an 8, I believe, but 100% effaced and my midwife said she thought if I laid there for another couple contractions she could massage my cervix and I’d be ready to push. Since I was already in that position and just wanted things OVER I was like: ok, let’s do it. Those contractions SUCKED. Laying down was awful, anyway, but with someone else also encouraging your cervix to open more it intensifies even more.
Once we finished, though, I was able to start pushing. I was a little taken aback that pushing did not come as a relief to me and still felt intense as hell and that there was no break before pushing, either.
I originally fully intended to wait for the fetal ejection reflex, but my body was telling me to push and I wanted to listen to my body. If I had waited for the FER maybe I would have gotten a break.
Around 6:15 I started pushing. I started on my hands and knees on the couch. It was a pretty satisfying position, but I did end up feeling like my legs were super tired, so I moved to the birth stool for a while. My midwife told me that when I started crowning she didn’t want me on the birth stool, though, because it could increase tearing. Honestly, I didn’t like the feeling of the stool much but it was a way to use none of my muscles other than my uterus because I was just tired.
I decided to move back to my hands and knees on the couch, which felt good in terms of position. I was pushing there for a while. I remember just talking about how tired I was or going “fuck that one hurt” between contractions. My midwife asked if I wanted to be coached through pushing since I was so tired but I told her no I wanted to listen to my body. The next contraction she was like “uhhh, yeah, you don’t need coached pushing anyway.” So apparently I was making good progress.
Actually, throughout the whole pushing phase, especially, I am so glad for all the encouragement I got. I don’t know if I actually was doing better than average, but my peeps made me feel like I was by the things they were saying. Everyone was kind of just telling me where we were at and how well I was doing. I remember the whooooole time before crowning I was just dying for more progress.
I remember constantly getting his heart rate checked was kind of annoying to me, even though it was not suuuuper obvious. One of the midwives was just reaching between my legs to check it. I just felt like it was almost every contraction and was thinking: Ok, haven’t we established baby is fine by now?! lol.
Unfortunately at the very end one of the midwives also couldn’t get his heart-rate anymore so I had to flip over and since they still couldn’t get it they had to use the doppler. Considering I had gone my entire pregnancy without using ultrasound or the doppler once I was pretty disappointed, but of course I gave them my consent to do what they had to do.
At the point, I also decided to just stay in that position because I couldn’t fathom moving again. I also was so tired using less muscles sounded great.
Finally, he was crowning and my midwife told me to push slowly now to reduce tears. Ha, well, with the way it felt I’m pretty sure I would have been pushing slowly whether she told me to or not. I know when he was first crowning I asked if the baby had hair. They told me he did and said I could also reach down and touch the head. While I actually had no desire to touch the head (because that sounded like extra work) I felt like that might encourage everything to move faster so I did. Eventually his head was half out and everyone was telling me that I’d for sure want to be pushing slowly (I guess because of his nuchal hand or because I was swollen or maybe had already torn some?) so I pretty much chilled with his head half out for a while. At one point they were like: “You can finish pushing the head out” but I said I’d wait for the next contraction since I didn’t want to push against nothing. They were all impressed at my “self control.”
Once the head was out I was SO glad. I knew that the shoulders would be much easier and quick and he’d be there. I was waited on the next contraction and gave a good push and out he came.
Since Dustin was behind me he didn’t get to deliver him, but I pulled him onto my belly. Someone said “_______ he _______” and I asked if it was a boy. I’m sure they had seen, especially after seeing some pictures where you can completely see his balls when he came out, but they said “Oh, I don’t know, why don’t you check?” I was less surprised at him being a boy than I thought I would be. I think near the end he was starting to feel less girly.
I just looked at him while promptly freaking out about how fluid filled he sounded and that he didn’t cry or whine. I just kept asking “am I holding him in an ok position to get the fluid out?” Eventually he did need to get aspirated because he did have a lot of fluid. The assistant midwife also started wiping him off right away and I told her not to wipe away the vernix because it seemed like she was.
I was fully expecting to cry and be euphoric right as he came out, but I just felt pure relief. Dustin later told me he cried a bit, which is amazing . He is not a crier.