Natural Hospital Birth | First Time Mom
When I became pregnant with my first child I was certain of two things. I wanted to find out the sex after the baby was born and I really, really wanted to give birth without medication. Two decisions that irritated the general public, but important to me nonetheless.
I was due December 5, 2014 and was scheduled for an induction on December 3 due to low amniotic fluid and decreased fetal movement. I was so, so excited to meet my baby early (obviously!) but was nervous about the pitocin making my contractions unbearable. Dr. Google and all of her glorious mommy blogs warned of the debilitating contractions that pitocin caused and I wondered if I would be able to handle the additional pain.
Would I be able to give birth the way I wanted?
Throughout my entire pregnancy I adopted a go-with-the-flow attitude and tried to rid my mind of its Type-A tendencies. This new method of thinking aided my mission to remain as calm as possible throughout my pregnancy and delivery so I could focus on the ultimate prize: a healthy baby.
I woke up on the morning of my induction anxious and swollen. I had not experienced any swelling throughout my entire pregnancy so I knew my body was preparing for labor. At this point I started to regret scheduling the induction. Going into labor on my own and experiencing a Hollywood-esque water breaking scene was not going to be scratched off my bucket list this time. Bummer, dude.
It took a hot minute to reassure myself that I was making the right decision and focused on my last hours of being with my husband. We had been a duo for so long but we were about to become a family of three!
I quickly showered, got dressed, and ate breakfast (I know…I’m a rebel) and headed to the hospital.
After being checked into my room and settling in I was checked for dilation. Much to my surprise, I was already 5cm dilated and having contractions 5-7 minutes apart. At my 39 week appointment just a few days prior, I was only 2cm dilated. I was ecstatic to learn that I was half way done with labor without feeling a single thing! Halle-freakin-lujah!
I put my game face on and was ready to meet the little person growing inside of me.
Simplified Birth Story
To keep this birth story easy to follow, I broke it down for ya:
8:30am My water was broken by my OB.
8:40am I actually felt my first contraction.
10:00am Pitocin was started because my contractions became irregular.
11:00am Dilated to 6cm. My contractions were every 10 minutes at this point and although I could feel them, I was still not experiencing any pain. In fact, I was calm enough that my husband and grandma were chatting together while I played solitaire and listened to music. I have to be honest.. it was pretty awesome how far into the labor process I was without being in pain. My nurse offered the epidural to me several times and up until this point it never crossed my mind.
12:00pm My contractions became painful enough to stop playing solitaire. I had to really focus on my breathing to get through the contractions. Although the pain was awful, it was familiar. It felt very similar to my menstrual cramps and admittedly, I was terrified thinking about how much worse the pain was going to become. My contractions were still less painful than my cramps at this point but because I had been told and had read that contractions were insanely more painful than menstrual cramps I couldn’t imagine how much more pain I was going to endure. Like I mentioned earlier, my menstrual cramps were excruciating and I missed days of school each month because of it while I was a teenager. How was I going to manage this pain?
Pro-tip: For the love all things Holy, do not..DO NOT hold your breath during a contraction. They feel 10x worse. Just don’t do it.
1:00pm 8cm dilated. I was fortunate enough to not feel any back pain but my thighs were oddly sore. I had planned on squatting and standing while in labor but my legs hurt way too much to put any pressure on them. I had read on countless other blogs that laying down was uncomfortable during labor but honestly, that was my favorite position. Laying on my back with pillows under my right side so that I was slightly turned to the left was my favorite laboring position and I stayed in that position until it was time to push.
2:00pm And, then came the vomit. I had been in pain for two hours at this point and I was finally 9cm dilated. I just wanted it to be over and I was frustrated with how slow I was progressing. The contractions were unreal and I was trying to focus on staying calm. When my body was tense, my contractions felt worse so I learned to focus on my hands. I focused on not allowing my fists to be clenched and as long as my hands were not tense, by body usually wasn’t either. I had to stop fighting the contractions in order to endure them.
3:30pm I felt like I had to push so my husband called the nurse who confirmed that I was 10cm. My husband sent a quick text to our family in the waiting room and got the camera ready while tears welled in my eyes. I was about to meet my baby. So many thoughts were weaving in and out of my head. Was I going to have a son? A daughter? Was I going to be a good mom? Can I actually push this baby out of me? Was I going to tear? Wow, that is a bright spotlight shining on my fully dilated cervix. Okay… I really, really need to push..
3:45pm I never took birthing classes because I didn’t think they were necessary and, honestly, I’m glad I didn’t. My instincts just kicked in when it came to push. I was surprised by how good pushing felt. Although it didn’t take my pain away, it felt good to do something with all the pain instead of just laying in bed. My OB came in my room as I started pushing and, after three pushes, my baby’s heart rate started to decrease. I was instructed to push every other contraction in order to give the baby time to rest between pushes. My OB quietly asked the nurse for forceps and in that moment I knew if I didn’t get this baby out myself he/she was going to be forced out of me. I made a very important decision in that moment: to not freak out. I gently rested my head on my pillow, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath.
It was the oddest sense of calm I had ever experienced.. it was like all the voices around me had been muffled and all I heard was my heartbeat. It was weird, to say the least but I think this moment of being calm and present helped me shift my focus back to my body (which was in quite a bit of pain) and my goal (which was to get this baby out of me quickly and safely). I began pushing during the next contraction and I was not going to stop. I felt the baby’s body quickly move down and out and an extreme amount of firey pressure (the ring of fire). It basically felt like I was being stretched almost to the point of being ripped apart but, thank the Good Lord, I didn’t tear at all.
4:02pm I reached down and pulled out a warm, wet, screaming baby and placed it on my belly. A rush of relief overcame me and my head dropped back on my pillow as I closed my eyes.
I did it.
I opened my eyes to see my husband’s tear-stained face as he proudly announced, “IT’S A BOY!”
A son! I have a son. WE have a son. It felt so right and I could not stop staring at his sweet, wrinkly face. After his cord was cut I pulled him up to my chest and he pulled his head off my chest and looked straight into my eyes as if to say, “Hey mom! It’s nice to finally meet you.” Quite honestly, the most amazing moment of my life. My OB and nurse could not believe how strong he was and, of course, I was one proud mama to have this precious boy looking at me.
I honestly have no idea what happened next because I was high on life and love. A little person; a mini Garrett just exited my body and I was pretty dang proud.
I gave birth. I gave birth to a son. And, gosh dang it, I gave to a healthy son without any medication!
I felt on top of the world that day and I enjoyed every second of announcing, “It’s a Boy!” to our family and friends for those next few hours.
My heart grew 10x that cold, rainy evening.
Carson Dean Tisdale 12/3/2014