I fell asleep on Tuesday night around 11:30 PM. I awoke at 12:30 AM, knowing something wasn't quite right. I read my book, watching the clock to time my contractions. After awhile, I woke up S, telling him that I was having contractions, but he should go back to sleep since he might need it. Around 3 AM things started getting more serious. I was having a hard time reading my book. I woke up S who watched me as I labored. I was very excited, knowing this might be the day the baby would come.
S called our doula. He described my patterns of contractions to her. S told me to practice my cat and dog tilts since the baby might be turned around. I was having pain mostly in my back. Sa, our doula, came over. I was distracting myself with sodoku puzzles. Sa used her rebozo while I was on all fours. I tried lying over the birth ball. Sa and S were squeezing my lower back, trying to allow room in my pelvis for O to twist around.
The three of us watched "Oceans 11". I wasn't feeling tired. When I had contractions, I would stand up and dance a little. After the movie was over, Sa suggested that we eat breakfast. She said oatmeal would be good. S and I set about to make some. S was also trying to gather everything we would need to take to the hospital. I warmed up my corn pillow in the microwave, shaking it around as I had contractions. The oatmeal boiled over because I wasn't able to concentrate very well on it. As I was eating my oatmeal, we decided it was time to call our midwife, K, and head to the hospital. I was distracted--having difficulty finding the numbers to the doctor's office and the hospital.
After we contacted K, we rushed out the door and drove to the hospital. We drove to the entrance and dropped off the car keys with the valet. Sa was not far behind. We rode the elevator to the maternity floor. I told the nurse at the desk that I was checking in and would need a room. She answered the phone before she could help us which frustrated me that we were being ignored. Another nurse showed us to a room with a tub, which we'd requested.
My labor nurse, MJ, came in, asking to check me. I asked her to call my midwife who could check me. She told me that if I wasn't in labor then I needed to give the room to someone else who could use it. I told her that I was in labor and I'd like to wait for my midwife. I was upset, but knew that I had to stand up for myself. She left and returned with my birth plan, easing up a bit on the attitude. MJ had what seemed like a hundred questions for me which I tried to answer between contractions. This showed her that I truly was in labor.
MJ hooked me up to the fetal monitor, but it was not staying on well because I was moving around, coping with my contractions. K, my midwife, came in shortly after. When she checked me I was dilated to a five--more than halfway to full dilation. K had to leave because she was also attending another birth. I got into the tub, soaking there until I had to be monitored again. I got into the tub again. The contractions were getting stronger. I had to get out of the tub once more to be monitored. S held the monitor on my stomach so the nurses at the station and our midwife could check on the baby's heartbeat. We were listening to Coldplay since we'd come in to the room.
After the third time in the tub, I began to feel the urge to push. I started pushing. After that, the contractions were very intense. I'd started going into transition. The pain was mostly in the back. The baby was not turned the right way. I laid on my side in the bed to try to rotate him. I felt like I was on drugs--out of my body, but very much feeling pain. I was squatting in front of the bed, pushing. I climbed onto the bed, on all fours and pushed. I was wandering around the room. I threw up many times in the trash can. This time is very hazy in my mind.
At one point, I said, "I'm seriously considering pain medication." Looking back now I realize that I was way too far into labor to get pain medication. No one responded to my comment. I kept right on laboring.
S climbed behind me in the bed. I was falling asleep on him between contractions. We were listening to the recording of my yoga teacher's relaxation. Concentrating on her voice helped me. S held one leg. Sa held the other leg while I pushed. K was at the foot of the bed with her arms crossed, watching. It seemed like it was taking a long time to push. I was frustrated because K didn't have her gloves on. I knew that meant I wasn't close to birthing the baby.
Finally the baby's head began to crown. Nurses were wheeling in equipment. I felt a burning sensation as the baby was coming out. K told us that there was a hand. The baby's hand was on the side of his head as he came out. Luckily, he had turned at the last minute. He came out so quickly. He was put on my chest, squirming and slippery. I was looking for S. I told him "It's our baby."
One of the nurses put an oxygen mask on him. Then he was moved to the warmer. I was afraid something might be wrong with him, but they were only checking him over. O was weighed. Then he came back to me. The hardest part of everything was the stitches. I had a second degree tear. Several bloody rags were soaked. K had to call in a surgeon to finish the job. I was yelling from the pain, asking S and Sa to distract me.
Afterwards, I tried to breastfeed the baby while S called our families. They came soon after.