*If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant and have anxiety about labor and delivery, this post may not be for you. It’s not so bad as I went the no-meds route which isn’t for everyone, but just in case.*
PICTURES AT THE END, DON’T WORRY!
My latest pregnancy was my third. I knew once I got pregnant, I wanted to go the all natural, med-free route as I did with my first two. I also decided to use the same Maternity Center as I trusted them and knew the midwives. For those unsure, med-free means as it sounds – no epidural or anything. Basically laboring through all the pain until the little bundle of joy arrives.
Okay, so lets get to the story!
On Monday November 4th I had gone in for my regular check-up. I walked in wondering if I had dilated or anything because I have been having Braxton-Hicks contractions. Well, I was having them a little more than usual because I actually did get them throughout pregnancy from about 3 months (which is totally normal!).
As I am sitting in the room with the midwife, I asked her if she can see if I have dilated etc. I asked because they do one internal exam around 38 weeks and then not again until someone feels they are in labor. My midwife was okay with this and checked me right there and then. She said “Hmmm, you’re 1.5 cm…well, 2 cm.” I said to myself “Phew! last time I wasn’t even dilated, so there is progress!” As I sat up, I asked her if I was effaced and she said I was at 70%. Even better news! They say the more you efface (cervix thinning), the easier for it to dilate. So you can say it was a good and positive visit compared to my last one with an internal exam.
I then spoke with my sister-in-law on the phone who had been with me with both my others girls births and was on call to be with me the third time around. She was so excited to hear this, so she said to come on over to her and we would do some dancing, walking etc. to get things moving. Hell yea, I am up for anything as I am so ready to meet my little bundle of joy LOL.
Before I left the Maternity Center, I went to the bathroom. We all know pregnant women need to use the restroom often. Upon wiping, I noticed some bloody show which could’ve been due to the exam. I knew then and there this baby was definitely coming soon!
While at my sister-in-laws we ate, folded laundry, danced like weirdos (as well as my nephew LOL) to the chicken dance and walked around Floor and Decor. At Floor and Decor is when I was getting more Braxton-Hicks and more often. I was also using the bathroom tons and kept seeing bloody show each time which meant something was definitely happening. You can only imagine how excited I was. I thought I was having this baby that day, the fourth of November which meant all my kids have birthdays on the fourth of a month (one is August 4 and the other December 4).
After Floor and Decor we headed to eat. I was still having these Braxton-Hicks contractions and they seems to be a bit more consistent. We literally all thought how “we’re gonna have a baby tonight!” Well that all stopped when we went back to my sister-in-laws house. They had seemed to suddenly stop. I barely had them. We even tried to walk the beach that evening in hopes it would start up again. NOPE! Nothing, Nada, Zilch. I felt so discouraged and headed home. I literally lost hope only because a week before, a similar situation happened, just not as much Braxton-Hicks as this time.
So I got home and decided to take a shower and head to sleep because I wanted to sleep off being annoyed LOL. As I took a shower, I had a contraction, couldn’t tell if a Braxton-Hicks one or a real one. But either which way, I had one in the shower and apparently false labor contractions don’t happen when showering or bathing. But I really didn’t get another so I thought nothing of it and went to sleep. I must’ve fallen asleep around 10 PM that night.
Around 12:30 AM November 5th, basically that same night I was woken up by some pain. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I woke up at the end of it and so thought maybe baby was headbutting me again in the cervix like she usually did the last month of pregnancy. So I got up to use the bathroom (AGAIN), but this time I wiped blood (like I remember in labor the last time). I stood up and then had a contraction, but this time it was more painful down in my lower abdomen and I realized how different it was from Braxton-Hicks and knew this was it. But this was it couldn’t come soon enough.
I waited it out until 1:30 AM where I kept getting them. They were about half a minute to a minute long and anywhere from 5-10 minutes apart. I decided to then call over my sister-in-law and my husband called my mom so she could stay with the girls during the night. Around 2:15 AM we headed to the Maternity Center where we met the midwife. She checked me and was like “You’re only 3 cm. Go home and sleep because you are in labor, but you need the rest.” You can only imagine how annoyed I was AGAIN. I felt like this baby was teasing me over and over again!
We got home and my sister-in-law and I laid in my bed and we kicked the hubby out LOL. I was definitely having contractions because I had to breathe through them and had a hard time falling asleep. I don’t even think I fell asleep, but at least I was laying and resting. At the same time, my youngest (7) kept coming to my room and wanting to sleep in my bed for some odd reason (maybe she had a feeling), but I was uncomfortable and my sister-in-law must’ve taken her back to her bed at least 3 times until the 4th time she just crawled between us and went to sleep.
At 6:45 AM I had gotten up to get kids ready for school. Yes, I was in labor, but I was still able to function through the contractions. After the kids were off to school, I was doing things around the house here and there. At around 8:45 AM my sister-in-law and I went for about an hour long walk around the canal in my neighborhood. I was still having contractions, but they weren’t too consistent. For some reason they were on and off and making me so annoyed because I know with real contractions, they NEED to be consistent.
After the walk around the canal, we came back home. I sat on a birthing ball and what not, but then felt so exhausted I decided to lay down. That literally only lasted about an hour. So I got back up. My sister-in-law made me eggs as she made me eat some protein so I did, but literally forced myself. After that she was on the phone with my brother (her husband) and she said we need to walk around more, but indoors as it is so hot outside. His response was “Walk around the mall, she’s good at that.” I literally laughed because it is so true. But I was nervous to in case the contractions got worse, but we ended up deciding on going there. So we both showered, I got ready with some makeup but no wig and we were on our way.
At the mall I was getting contractions, but still, not consistently. It was to the point they would stall (BADLY!) when I sat down and this started to discourage me again because I read about “stalled labor” and was like “just great, my damn luck!” I felt like it was never gonna happen and again another day of no sleep and pain and no baby. Around 2:30 PM my sister-in-law called the Midwife from the mall and told her what was happening and she said to come on by so I can be checked to see what is going on.
When we got to the Maternity Center I was checked right away. I had gone from 3 cm to only 4 cm in literally 12 hours! You can only imagine what was going through my head. UGHHHH!!! The midwife said to go home, rest a little more and to make sure to eat something good and nutritious so I can gain my strength for what was supposed to happen which I felt wasn’t.
My sister-in-law and left and we decided on making a soup so we headed to Wal-Mart to get some of the missing ingredients. As we got to Wal-Mart, I felt a major contraction walking out of the car that walking up to Wal-Mart almost got hard I needed to stop for a second. In the store I was getting them here and there, but they did get a bit stronger. I’m telling you, these internal exams literally do stuff to you!
We got back to my sister-in-laws house around 4ish I want to say? So I said I am just going to lay on the couch as I am exhausted as is and go through contractions laying down, which I was getting. Even my nephew noticed a difference with these contractions as the previous day we were laughing and having fun through them (though they were more Braxton-Hicks).
As I am laying on the couch, my sister in law is making the soup and at around I want to say 4:30 PM I felt some weird pop, can’t explain it. I was like “what was that?” and a second later I felt a gush. That is when I realized my water broke and called out to my sister-in-law saying “Melissa! I think my water just broke…”
My sister in law rushed over to help me up and take me to the bathroom so whatever was coming out (amniotic fluid) was coming out in the toilet LOL. At that moment though I was freaking out and wanted to cry only because I know what happens when waters break, especially since I do this “having a baby” all naturally and without epidural.
My sister in law helped me clean up and gave me a heavy ass duty pad for when I keep leaking as I didn’t leak through just yet. She then had me lay back on the couch and called the Midwife. She told her to get me to eat if I could and to be back at the Center within 2 hours. So as I sat down to eat, I maybe took 5-6 bites of the soup? And then GUSHHHHH, way more was coming out I was like Melissa!! Back to the bathroom we went where this time she gave me a new pair of underwear and new pad. And that is when we headed to the Maternity Center.
Let me tell you, were those contractions coming hard and strong on the way to the Center. I was in pain, you can imagine… And as we arrived, I could hardly get out of the car and my sister-in-law came to help me. After we got out, another contraction. My sister-in-law with each contraction had me lean on her while she was facing me and rocking with me. In my head I was literally dying and freaking out at the same time. Keep note, this was at around 5:40 PM. (My husband was called and arrived the same time we did.)
A Midwife came running over from the clinic as the birthing center was the house next door (yes, all done in a home setting). We got in and I laid on the bed and she checked me. Only 6 cm. Okay, Okay… I went up 2 cm from the last time, but another 4 more cm to go and these stronger than normal contractions was what was going through my brain. I told them I wanted to labor in the hot tub with jets and my sister-in-law was against it a little because it stalled my last labor, but I was in so much pain that that was all I wanted to do. So they got the tub ready and in I went.
As I was in the tub, they were coming, literally every 2 minutes and lasting a minute each. Let me tell you, contractions after water breaking is horrible. At least for me it was. They are much stronger and longer and so much more pressure downwards, but not where I can push. It was so intense. I was sitting there and told my sister-in-law I wanted to give up. I wanted to cry. I was so done. I knew baby was on the way, but I never had my water break and this was just too much for me to handle at that moment.
After an hour I requested to be checked again. So my Midwife checked and said I was 7 cm. At that moment I went mental. One hour of severe contractions and pain and only 1 cm since the last check! And the contractions kept on coming. I kept breathing harder and harder. At some points I was closing my eyes so hard, my Midwife and sister-in-law kept reminding me to keep my eyes open and focus on something. I tried so so hard. After a another half hour of this, my sister-in-law convinced me to get out to tub and labor another way to see if it sped things up. Well… this is where the fun stuff starts.
The Midwife and my sister-in-law helped me out of the tub and BAM, another contraction and I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe. My sister-in-law then asked me if I wanted to use the bathroom and I decided “you know what, I’ll take a piss.” So I did. And after I did… another contraction, but this was like no other. It wouldn’t end, it kept coming harder and strong until I yelled out “I am going to shit” and had to prop myself up. My sister-in-law at this second called the Midwife over as she checked and said PUSH!
Now mind you, I am in the bathroom and over the toilet and pushing. Though apparently laboring on the toilet is best as well as delivering (I do remember with my second I just wanted to sit on a toilet in labor as it felt comfortable). As I am pushing, I guess the Midwife saw the head and said to stand and my sister-in-law held on to me. Well more like squatting off the toilet. At this moment I am screaming (which has never happened in my previous labors) from pain. It was a nightmare. Normally pushing feels better, but this time it didn’t. And after 3 minutes of pushing, my princess born at 7:43 pm and I felt such a relief, it was so unreal.
So from the time I came out the tub (half hour after being checked and told I was 7 cm) to going to the toilet, I had my daughter within those 5-6 minutes. Again, my sister-in-law was right and I feel if I labored out the tub, it probably would’ve progressed quickly and I would’ve had her sooner. But I said I wanted to just be comfortable as I was in pain and agony. Also, from the time we got to the Maternity Center to the time she was born was a short 2 hours (though to me it felt much longer).
Trust me, this I feel was a hard ass labor, harder than the first 2. And many I have heard from said their third was hardest (though not everyone). I wonder why the third is harder, but it seems to be common. But then again, there is an almost 8 year gap between my new princess and the one just above her, so that could’ve played a factor as well as 8 years is a long time for a body to sort of forget this laboring stuff.
But at the end of the day, I would never change what I went through as it brought me my princess. If you ask if I’ll do this again, I’ll probably tell you no LOL. Maybe ask me in a couple years!