Thursday, December 16, 2010

Birth Story Part 7c- Hospital Contractions #2-5

I was sitting at the admit desk, waiting for a bracelet. The contraction I was having ended abruptly, just as my husband arrived with all our pre-prepared bags from the car. I laughed and joked with him, telling him he looked like a Sherpa. With this labor, even the most intense contractions would disappear and leave me feeling NO pain. My first birth, that was not the case. The baseline of pain crept up and up, so toward the end there wasn't much relief from the pain in between contractions. But for my second, it was like night and day.

Everything seemed manageable, I got my bracelet (quickly I must note), and the guy wheeled me toward the elevators down the hall. Another contraction (#2) came quickly as we were approaching the elevators. I dropped my head and started trying to breathe to manage it, and it was difficult. My transporter had turned me around to back into the elevator which had not arrived yet. I heard the bell ding and the door slide open while I was breathing very heavily and loudly and gripping the armrests of the wheelchair tightly. Then I heard the sound of a stampede. Apparently the elevator was full of people who all saw my distress, and RAN out of the elevator to let me in!

Somewhere between the elevator and the corner of the L and D wing, the contraction ended and once again, I was relieved of any vestige of pain. The midwife I had called and my favorite L and D nurse were there to greet me. I remember specifically waving at them, smiling and saying "I'm so glad its you guys!". I also confirmed (firmly) that the room I was being taken to had a jacuzzi in it (not all do). I was delivered to a room and asked to stand up from the chair, and BLAM! Another contraction (#3). I stood next to the bed and bent over it, and asked (perhaps begged) Can I have the birthing ball PLEASE?!?! I was breathing the best I could but at a point my control "broke" and I let out a deep guttural cry.

No, no ball yet, the midwife said, we need to get you checked in. And it seems like we need to do it in a hurry. Lets get you on the bed. They helped me on the bed and while the nurse fumbled to hurriedly get a fetal heart strip on me the midwife pulled my dress over my head. She joked with me because I was wearing a depends. I explained that I was afraid of my water breaking in church. The pause between contractions was only long enough for her to check my cervix. She stuck her hand up there, and said, well, hold on let me confirm this, yes, you're at 9 cm. I thought REALLY?? Woah. She said in a very soft tone, there's going to be a flurry of activity, don't let it frighten you. And then the next contraction came (#4). I was lying partly on my side, and the nurse was trying to get to the next stage of "check in" with me. I THINK at this point the midwife said to the nurse, forget the IV. This contraction also made me cry out. I could feel the baby fill my pelvis, and the very end of the contraction I said "I feel pushy!"

Having the baby in your birth canal sets off a reflex that feels like an absolute uncontrollable urge to defecate. I don't remember how I was on the bed, where my husband was, or anything else. I do remember that the midwife said, if you feel the urge to push, go ahead.

The next contraction came (#5), and I felt filled with power. There was not pain, just the very happy chance to push and take control. I contracted my abdomen and with a deep and satisfying HUUUUUAAAAAAH! I felt instant relief from the urge. And I heard a splash.

And that was it. She was born.

When I heard a cry and my husband saying, "Its a girl!" I was lifted to a place I've never been. I was extremely high and filled with joy.

The midwife said that she was born a caul bearer, a rare occurrence in which the baby is born with at least the head in an intact bag of waters. Her umbilical cord was short so I felt a tugging at my insides as we tried to put her to my breast to feed. She fed well and right away.

This was such a contrast to my first labor. My son came after 43 hours of regular painful contractions and a lot of interventions (but no epidural). After my son, I wanted Scotch.

After my daughter, I wanted to sing the Hallelujah Chorus.


  1. What a wonderful birth story. This was such a beautiful conclusion. My mother says that she was in labour with me for a really long time and I never let her sleep after that...and then I became a teenager. Oy. I hope you get some rest between now and teenagehood.

  2. So the only medical "intervention" I had was the midwife, taking my dress off. Moreover, she only had time to get one glove on. :)

  3. Wow, what an amazing birth story! It happened so quick!