My Birth Story: Seren Marie born December 20th
super long lol
It started on Wednesday December 18; my due date.
I had a midwife appointment that afternoon and since we were going into Tacoma that day anyway, we decided to take the van to get an oil change. While we were waiting for the van I started to notice some contractions. They were about 10-15 minutes apart, varying each time but nothing really serious or painful and certainly nothing for my to pay attention to; I had been having contractions since I went to L&D at 30 weeks.
They stayed the same throughout the day, all through my midwife appointment, which went well. She congratulated me on making to my due date with a "Happy Due Date" when she walked into the room. We joked about how I didn't have the baby on the pier (I had said I was going to forcibly expel the baby on the pier as soon as my husbands ship pulled in a week earlier)
I left her appointment still having contractions, but still not thinking anything of it.
We had more errands to run and decided to get pizza for dinner. After my husband and brother in law got home with the pizza I realized that I hadn't been hungry all day. I had eaten a very light breakfast but then hadn't been hungry all day which was weird.I forced myself to eat some pizza anyway because I knew I needed to eat.
I had barely finished my first slice when my stomach started to rumble. After battling constant constipation my ENTIRE pregnancy, having an upset stomach was very out of the ordinary. I went to the bathroom and then decided to try to eat some more food, because I still hadn't eaten really. Same thing. I gave up food for the night after that.
A little while later I noticed the first of a bloody show. I had been loosing clumps of my mucus plug for weeks but it never had any color to it. The bright red and pink was a definite change and I started to get excited. It was around 930pm at that point, and I was still having contractions.
After I noticed a second bloody show I decided to get my hubby up off the couch and help me clean up. I was at 15 hours of constant contractions at that point that were getting more intense. They weren't getting closer together but they were lasting long and felt a little bit stronger. I knew I was in labor. We did the last 2 loads of laundry, cleaned up our bedroom, cleaned all the bathrooms and made the living room spotless. I was worried for weeks about coming home to a messy house.
As the night when on I tried to get some sleep but I really couldn't. My body was trying to let me sleep because my contractions spaced out to almost 20 minutes apart, but they were stronger. I'm not sure if it was heartburn or uncomfortableness or just excitement that kept me awake, but I barely got an hour of sleep that night.
Onto Thursday, contractions still remained the same, 10-15 minutes apart, but growing steadily stronger as the hours passed. I had more bloody show throughout the day and my stomach remained upset. I tried to eat small light meals throughout the day.
Around 5 or 6pm I decided I wanted to go for a walk. I had tried bouncing on the ball earlier in the day but that didn't seem to do any good. I noticed that walking and moving did however, so off we went to walk laps around our neighborhood.
We walked maybe a good hour and that really picked things up. Around 8pm they were about 7 minutes apart and I decided to hop in the shower with my daughter, that way she would have her bath out of the way and so would I. They slowed down a lot while I was in the shower, back to 10-15 minutes apart but as soon as I got out of the water they picked right back up again.
I finished getting her dressed and called my doula. She had an hour and a half drive to get to me, so I told her to head down and we were planning on walking around Target...they were open until midnight because it was the week before Christmas.
It took longer than expected to get Maeve to bed and by the time Jessica got to my house my contractions had picked up to almost 5 min apart and I was swaying in the kitchen. I still wouldn’t say that I was in pain or even really having to work through my contractions yet. I was eating a back of cheez its and laughing about this ridiculously long labor. We were all going to walk around target together but it took my husband forever to get all the bags downstairs and into the car that by the time he was done, I was almost at 3 min apart and we decided to go right to the hospital instead.
The car ride there was hell. Sitting in general was hell; Seren was pressing on some nerve and whenever I sat I felt like I was being stabbed in the butthole. It wans’t fun.
I got into the hospital and they put me in the L&D triage room to be checked in. I was at 4cm when we got there so the midwife on duty decided to make me walk the halls for an hour instead of admitting me right away. So...we walked. The nurse came back to check me an hour later and I was still at 4cm. Ready to fight witht he nurses about my active labor I started to get defensive, but she told me the midwife wanted me to walk for another hours. I was okay with that...as long as they weren’t going to send me home because I knew the baby was coming tonight.
We walked another hour and I knew that when she checked me again they’d be admitting me. The contractions intensified big time during that hour and I was no long walking and talking through a contraction. I had to stop and lean on the wall, the nurses station, my husband, my doula, lol. Sean would rub my back and Jessica would rub my belly. They were much stronger contractions now. Still not really painful, but really really strong. I say not painful because to me...pain means I need to take something to relieve it...I didn’t need anything for these contractions.
We got back to the triage room and I was at 7cm. Yep...told ya so. I knew I made progress. lol. We got into the water birthing room around 2am. The nurses brought in a birthing ball and a rocking bouncing chair thing, and I kept trying to sit down. Sitting felt great on my back and my hooch...the pressure was insane, but as soon as a contraction hit, there was that knife in the butthole feeling, and then I’d be stuck in the chair to tough it out until the contraction stopped...that really sucked. I told my husband and doula not to let me sit on anything until the baby was out so they turned all the chairs around and put all the bags on the bed. lol.
The contractions were coming about every 2 minutes now and starting to get much stronger. I finally needed something else to distract me....on went Jason Aldean. My lover. I started to whisper to myself to “listen to the music, sing with the music” whenever I felt a contraction getting away from me. My husband and doula were great, my doula more than my hubby, but still. They noticed when a contraction was starting because I started to sway more and I stopped talked, they would jump up right away and start to rub my back. Around 430am the contractions really started to get away from me and I started to get emotional.
I started crying. Not from the pain, just emotional overload. I recognized it right away as transition, and then I cried more because I was excited. I asked them to fill up the tubs. The laboring tub and the birthing tub. I was really crying when I finally got into the tub. As soon as I was in the water calmness washed over me. I stopped crying and started talking and laughing again. It was like night and day. I stayed in the tub for about an hour of contractions and then my husband & doula made me get out. They said my contractions were slowing down and I needed to get out for 15 minutes.
I was PISSED. The second my belly broke the water surface I was slammed with painful strong contractions. I instantly started crying again. My doula got me on the bed on all 4s to try and get me through the 15 minutes....I cried the entire time. The nurse finally suggested I get back in the tub. I could have hugged her forever. The 15 minutes did the trick though because I wasn’t back in the labor tub for more than 10 minutes when I felt like I needed to push. My doula rushed off for the nurse, she checked me and I was at 10cm with a little cervical lip but she wasn’t worried about it.
I moved into the birthing tub and she came back to check me 10 minutes later and the lip was gone, I had the green light to start pushing. After getting into the tub, I noticed another emotional sign post of the pushing stage, when I asked my doula & husband, “I’m almost done right?”. They both laughed and reassured me that yes, I was almost done.
I was slow to start at first, but my contractions also were slow to start the pushing. They weren’t as strong as I needed them to be and I followed my body’s cues. The nurse was trying to get me to push harder but I just ignored her. I knew I would feel it when I needed to push stronger and at the time, little pushes were all I needed to do. A few more contractions passed that way and then I felt the big contractions. I started pushing with effort and changed my position to help give me so power behind my pushes.
My water still hadn’t broken and the nurse was trying to persuade me to break it. Yeah no thank you, there’s no reason to break it so I just ignored her. (I ignored her a lot even though she was excellent.)It took about an hour of pushing, both weak and full force pushes to get her out. They aren’t kidding when they say “ring of fire”, holy wow. I remember letting out a few loud screams, and I felt some of the tears as they happened, but overall it wasn’t horrible. Pushing through the contraction brought relief and I knew the harder I pushed the closer I was to being done. Finally out came her head and I waited for the next contraction and out came the rest of her. I waited for a minute or so before picking her up; my midwife actually had to prompt me with...”pick up your baby, reach down and pull her up”.
I lifted her up out of the water and brought her onto my chest. My first words were “She’s so tiny! So much smaller than Maeve!” Then I rubbed her back to encourage her to get a good strong cry. My husband was pouring water over the both of us to keep us warm while I checked that she was in fact a girl. (She was)I had planned to stay in the tub until her cord stopped pulsing completely but after about 3 minutes I started to get cold and wanted to get out. My husband cut her cord and I handed her off to the midwife. They took her over to the warmer to get her weighed, measured and cleaned up and the nurse and my doula helped me out of the tub.
Being able to climb out of that tub and joke around with the nurses as I held onto the umbilical cord was amazing on its own; after the birth of my first daughter I was dumb from the waist down, completely out of it and sick to my stomach. This was by far a better experience. The nurse & my doula helped me onto the bed where I delivered the placenta, which feels disturbingly weird (shudders) and then the first question I asked the midwife was if I tore. She confirmed my fear, I had been dreading tearing the entire pregnancy and for the first time that I was in labor & delivery I actually shed some real tears. Not emotional overload crying, but actual, I’m upset and I know why crying. I was heartbroken that I tore and very upset that I needed stitches. She told me I didn’t tear badly though as she stitched me up. When she was done the nurses brought me over some blankets from the warmer which were amazing because almost an hour had passed since I had gotten out of the tub; where I was already cold; and I was still in my wet sports bra. They warmed me up and took my blood pressure, told me I was dehydrated...which I already knew. Apart from a few ice chips, I hadn’t had any kind of fluids in the past few hours because I started getting nauseous and didn’t want to throw up.
Finally Sean brought the baby over to me; I took about 2 seconds to look her over and then popped her on my boob. I can’t tell you how long she nursed for, I didn’t pay attention. I wasn’t nervous about nursing this time around, I checked her latch and went on to chat and joke with the nurses. After she finished nursing, the nurses changed shifts and my new nurse got me to change out of my wet clothes, finally!, and we headed down to the mommy/baby floor.
It was small and the walls were paper thin, but its not a 5 star resort. lol. The nurses and aids came in turns to do all the baby stuff in our room. She never left my room, not for a second. It was wonderful. Around noon that day, I heard a knock on the door and as Sean went to open it I heard a familiar voice. My midwife, not the midwife who was there when Seren was born, but the midwife who cared for my pregnancy, came by to see how we were. I was in shock, and very excited to see her. I was bummed out that she wasn’t on call the morning Seren was born, but when she came in she told us that she had gotten the page that her patient had delivered and she took her lunch break to come over and see us. Officially love my midwife. She sat with us for 20 minutes as I told her how everything went.
It took a while for us to get discharged the next day. Seren wasn’t passing her pulse-ox test, but finally on the 4th try she passed it and we were eventually sent home.
I am so happy that I was able to have her naturally. My birth plan was followed to a T and the water birth was amazing. I knew deep down I could do it and I’m still, 5 weeks later, impressed with myself and every once in a while get that “wonder woman” feeling wash over me. Well there is my birth story...finally. lol