For the most part, my pregnancy was easy. Aside from some crazy sciatic pains that got so bad I could barely walk. I did some stretches/yoga poses and eventually the pain subsided. Another issue I had was pelvic pressure. GOOD LORD. No one tells you about that. Maybe not everyone experiences it? The first time I experienced the pressure was after riding my bike around town when I was around 7 months pregnant. I’m pretty sure that bike ride moved the baby’s head into the birth canal. At first I thought my crotch hurt from riding bikes since it had been a really long time since I rode. It got so bad that after sitting for long periods (mostly at work) I would get up to stand, and had to move at a turtle’s pace and basically limp to wear I needed to go until the pain/pressure eased up.
As for my labor…. My labor lasted days. I started having contractions Wednesday around 1am, I think. I laid in bed next to my sleeping husband and was getting so excited that I was going into labor! I downloaded a contraction tracker app onto my phone and started timing them. I didn’t want to wake Thomas up until I knew for sure it was legit since he had to work the next day. I didn’t want to wake him if it wasn’t the real thing. The contractions ended up very steady for a while and were 5 minutes apart for a while up until 6am, then they started getting further apart. Thomas’ alarm clock went off and I told him what was happening, but that he should go to work and I’d let him know if I needed him to come home. They basically stopped after that, and would just come around every 30 minutes. That night we had a show to go to that we booked months in advance. We knew it was the day before my due date, but being the concert goers that we are decided to buy the tickets anyway. I’m Soooo glad that we went! We saw The Dear Hunter with our friend Max. I had contractions the entire show and was timing them. By the last song, my contractions were 5 minutes apart again, but not very intense.
We went home after the show, and I contracted all night. They were pretty consistent the whole night, so Thomas decided to stay home from work Thursday. We walked all over our neighborhood trying to progress my labor. It was so peaceful. While walking, we just talked and noticed homes we had never seen before. By mid morning, my contractions had basically stopped, so I laid in bed and tried my best to sleep, which was near impossible. It felt like as soon as I’d start dozing, a random contraction would come. By 11pm, I started getting contractions again. They were consistent through the night too. As soon as we decided that in the next hour we would go to the birth center, contractions would stop.
By Friday morning, I was so tired. I had barely slept since Wednesday, BUT! My contractions were finally starting to stay steady. I labored all day. around 7pm, labor started getting pretty intense. I found that squatting as low to the ground while holding onto the back of the couch was the best way to cope. I breathed in deep, and let out deep moans through each contraction. The thought of meeting my sweet baby boy flooded me with excitement! This was it! We were going to have a baby, and SOON! Thomas massaged my lower back during each contraction, which was amazing! It got to the point where we were pretty sure this was the real deal, so Thomas called the midwife and let her know what was going on. She told us to wait a little longer until I was contracting every 3 minutes and they lasted 1 minute. When he got off the phone with her, I started doing dishes because I knew I would absolutely hate coming home to a sink full of dirty dishes! We were listening to The Decemberists on repeat while all of this was happening. While doing the dishes, I’d call for Thomas and he’d run over to me to help me get through each contraction. It’s so funny to think back on.
Once it was time to go to the birth center, we gathered all of our things and headed in! We arrived around 10:30pm, I think. The car ride was not as bad as I anticipated it to be. When the midwife checked me I was only at 2cm! ONLY 2cm. After being in labor for DAYS! She said my cervix was very soft though and that I could possibly progress really fast, so, we stayed.
Once we got settled into the birthing room, (which was AMAZING) they checked mine and baby’s vitals and hooked me up to antibiotics since I tested positive for GroupB Strep. My goal for my labor was to try my best not to get an epidural. I had a doula, which was so, so wonderful. She massaged my back and helped me get into different positions that helped with the labor pains. I could not lay or sit during contractions at all. It was the most uncomfortable thing ever, so I had basically been standing for days at this point. My doula had me sit on a birthing stool and pull a tied up sheet that was connected to the bed when I contracted, which helped for a while. Eventually, I got tired of doing that so I got into the tub! The tub was the best thing, ever! As soon as I got in, I could finally relax. They had all the lights down low with flame-less candles on the edge of the tub. Thomas sat next to the tub the whole time making sure I was comfortable. I don’t know how long I was in there for, but Thomas told me it was hours. I lost all concept of time while laboring. Once the sun was just about to come up, I decided I needed an epidural… I was absolutely exhausted and worried that if I didn’t get rest, that I wouldn’t be able to push the baby out when the time came.
Once I got it, It felt so good to lay down! It was now Saturday morning and the first time I could fully relax since Wednesday. Even though I had my epidural, my doula still came in and made sure I was comfortable. She massaged my feet/legs, and helped me lay in different positions that allowed my cervix to open. There was one point when I had a little emotional breakdown because I was so tired and just wanted to meet our sweet boy! Thomas ended up climbing into bed with me, which I loved! It felt so good to just be held. I think at around 7pm, I was FINALLY dilated to 9cm!
At 8pm, I was ready to push! I told the nurse that came in that I felt like I was going to poop all over the bed, so she got the midwife and doula. They checked me, and I was ready! As soon as I did my first push, they could see the baby’s head! The doula was shocked at my amazing job pushing, and told me it usually takes a couple hours for a first time mom to get that far. It made me feel really good! The midwife set everything up, sat on the edge of the bed and told me to push whenever I felt the urge. She was so amazing! She used a warm compress to help keep me from tearing. Thomas and the doula helped me hold my legs up when I pushed. I was using a mirror to watch the progress, which was so cool! By 8:40pm, I was holding my sweet boy! As soon as I saw him, I burst into tears. He was so perfect, and so sweet, and so cute! I couldn’t handle it! He didn’t cry right away, they wiped his face and we were gently encouraging him to cry, then he did. Oh, my sweet Anthony. He was everything I had ever dreamed. After the cord stopped pulsing, Thomas got to cut it, then I delivered the placenta. They showed it to us, since I asked to see it. I needed to know what it looked like! It was beautiful. We even took some pictures of it. We got to lay together skin to skin for 2 hours. They never rushed us. We just laid there examining our sweet baby. I tried nursing him but he wasn’t very interested. Once we were ready, he got weighed and measured, then we started getting ready to move into the recovery room.
We went home on Monday, I think? I honestly don’t even remember because I was so exhausted. My labor lasted so, so long. It was the most amazing thing I have ever done though. I find myself craving it sometimes. It’s amazing what our bodies can do, and I sometimes just want to relive it all over again.