"Labor was a long wait to come - 41 weeks and a day (Nov 25), to be exact. I felt some light surges come and go just an hour or two before Jay came home. I didn't pay any mind to timing until he had been home and I was on my way to my 5 o'clock chiropractic appointment. Between the time I walked out the door and the time I got to my appointment, about 15-20 minutes, I had had 3 surges. They were a bit stronger than earlier but I wasn't getting my hope's up, just rolling with it.
While at the office, I had 1 before the adjustment, 1 during, and 1 before leaving. When I got home, I let Jay know. I got the kids to bed and let my doula and midwives know that I was going to take a bath and try to get some rest in case it was the real deal.
It was about 8pm now. I relaxed so well in the bath I almost was falling asleep, so I decided to hop out. As soon as my belly hit the air, another surge rolled in and a strong one, strong enough I had to wait to get out.
Once I was out as I was trying to dry off, another one hit. At this point I was bent over leaning into them. I gave up on my after-bath routine and threw on a nighty and created a nest in my bed, checking back in with the midwives/doula about the outcome.
I struggled to get comfortable, the surges kept coming. As Jay and the kids slept, I got up and worked through the surges alone and in the dark. I labored in our room, in the bathroom, and in the living room. The surges grew stronger and more frequent.
Finally, I had to wake Jay to message our doula. A few surges later, I had him call them both. The doula showed up in about 45 minutes, about 11:30/45pm and the midwives came in about 12:30/45am (Nov. 26).
To get an idea of where I was at, since I have history of long labor and slow progression, I allowed a dilation check around 1:30am. I was 4cm. I labored around, on the floor, my yoga ball, the bathroom, the couch. My doula helped me do some counter pressure on my back and hips, some side lying releases and get comfortable on the couch to rest.
Sleeping in between each surge, getting support through each rush, I napped about 30 minutes each side. Around 3:00am I was checked again and was happily AND nervously at 6cm.
So many emotions and thoughts I had in my head, since I had never made it passed 6cm with the boys. But I was quick to hush them and fill my mind with positive, affirming thoughts.
Eli (my son) woke up around this time. He visited with the birth team and gave his momma love. Now, resting reclined, I was quick to sit up and call for Jay's assistance with each rush. It was getting intense and I needed his strong arm to pull on and I moaned a low moan as I felt called to.
We all talked and joked and laughed. Especially trying to get me to the bathroom to pee each time, as I could never make it in time. Half way there, every time (right in front of the kitchen), another rush would come and I would pee. On the floor. In the same spot. Every. Time.
I couldn't believe it. Logan (my 1 year-old son) had slept through this all and finally woke about 7:30am. Around 8:00am, I got in the shower and sat on my yoga ball. Eli's favorite part, he got to hold the shower head and run the water over my back and belly. He was so proud. The water was like magic, I even claimed so in the moment, as soon as it hit my belly it was instant relief. Even through the waves, I was relaxed. And when I got out, I felt energized.
The boys ate and played and became too full of energy, so we sent them to the neighbors' I think around 9:00 or 10:00am? By 11:00am, I was feeling SO good and we decided to check my progression again. I. COULD. NOT. BELIEVE. IT. I was 8cm!!
My midwife asks me, "How does it feel to be 8cm? You ready to fill up the pool?" I said, "I would LOVE too, but I actually think I could run a mile first!" I could not believe how GREAT I felt and to be so close to the end stage of labor.
The surges were enough to wake me up and get me in a deep moan and occasionally call for Jay's support to get through, but were also very spaced apart. The longer I rested in the warm water the longer the spaces got between them. After an hour or so of rest, I was called out. The midwives were afraid to let my labor stall too much.
Once out of the water, that's when labor REALLY hit me. I was growling at points and when it felt too much, I was calling out to my baby, "We ARE doing this, my baby." When the pressure was too intense, I breathed down, "I feel you coming" "Come down, my baby". When I felt weak, I growled, "I AM strong." "I CAN do this." At this point, every rush I was begging for Jay's support. And every time, he was there.
3:00pm rolls around, and since I was in active labor and a "high risk" home birth, I was checked again. Still 8cm. With the lack of progression after 4hrs, my midwives were uneasy. They came to me and suggested a transfer. They expressed concern of prolonged intense contractions on my 13mo (and stretched) uterine scar tissue and the possibility of this stage lasting several hours more. They felt strongly the need of a light epidural, to allow my body to rest. She reassured me that she would call all of the nearest hospitals and seek out the most supportive hospital with the most supportive staff, while giving Jay and I a moment to talk about it.
I was in shock. Jay was on the side of the best option to be sure to have a safe and healthy momma AND baby. Me. I was scared. I didn't want to go. I felt this was me giving up. I felt my hard work was all put to an end. That I was loading up to sign my birth rights away for some strange doctor to surgically remove my baby.
The ride there was treacherous. Wading through Portland traffic, in RUSH HOUR. Getting to the hospital, riding in a wheelchair, getting undressed and onto a hospital bed, laying there on my back, being hooked up to monitors, being asked a million questions over and over again. Moaning, begging, fighting my way through the rushes. I was out of my zone. Fear had set in deep, despite the AMAZING staff that cheered me on and constantly reminded me they were on my side and that I was GOING to do this, and the pain began to be unbearable. I could. Not. Wait. For an epidural at this point. We checked into the hospital around 5:00pm and the epidural was placed around 7:30pm..
By now my once excited son was now scared, and of me. He thought the doctors were hurting me. He didn't want me to have a baby anymore. He didn't want mommy to be in pain. He wanted to go home. I reassured him the best I could..
A little while later my birth team and I discussed my options with the midwife on staff. I was adamant to not have pitocin to augment my labor. Since my waters had not yet released, I agreed that would be our first line of action. And if that didn't take us anywhere we would seek other options before pitocin (such as pumping).
At 9:00pm she ruptured my waters. During this time, my midwives and doula went and got snacks and tried to entertain the kids. Without even asking (because I knew the hospital's answer), I demanded snacks from my own crew. I released my doula sometime between 10:00 and 11:00pm, figuring having my midwives here would be enough.
Jay worked to get Logan asleep and Eli was finally comfortable enough to lay beside me. I layed quietly in my dim room trying to commit to a nap, but it wasn't happening. My mind was racing. Thinking of all the possible outcomes. Finally, Jay got Logan to sleep and Eli was asleep beside me. MY midwife, Catherine, snuck in. She helped reposition me on my side and we quietly talked. About my feelings and where my head space was at. It was a good, intimate moment.
She moved Eli and sat quietly beside me. Jay resting in the other chair. It wasn't long before the pressure down below became uncomfortable and I was feeling the need to sit directly up with my knees up as well. Catherine helped me get into position and called the midwife on staff, letting her know my sensations.
After a check, I was 9cm with a slight cervical lip, in which she manually pushed back. An hour later, the pressure was REAL. I have never felt the need to poop so bad in my life, haha.
I had not prepared for an epidural birth, so I had only practiced birth breathing/breathing down, and had to be coached and awkwardly taught how to push. I was feeling like it was impossible and I was reminded - that means I was almost there. I kept telling myself, "this is good." As the feeling of my body separating (opening) felt impossible.
Logan woke up, just a few contractions before Kayden's head emerged and what a relief that was! A few more contractions and I hear the midwife say, "I am going to pull him out, okay." Instantly, I say, "No! Don't pull him out." And the reply is, "It's okay, I am just going to pull him out." As she pulls and twists Kayden from my body and lays him on top of me (12:06am Nov 27). He is out. Having an out of body experience, I am looking down.