My sweet little man is 5 months (as of the 5th) and I have been reflecting on his birth a lot lately. If you would’ve asked me 6 months ago what my “birth plan” was, I would have given you a detailed list of expectations for the big day. For starters, from very early on in my pregnancy, I began convincing myself I would be delivering two weeks early because of a “gut feeling”. This was most definitely not the case.
Aslan and I prepared in every way we thought we possibly could. I had every intention of delivering without an epidural or any other medical intervention. We took natural childbirth classes, I did prenatal yoga (and looked like a goofball, might I add) in our living room, took evening primrose oil, and the whole 9 yards. My due date came and went, and still no sign of baby. As time went on, I got more and more uncomfortable and on August 4th, I decided that I would try every single “natural” way to induce labor until that baby decided it was time. So, I woke up and RAN up and down the bleachers at a near by school, went out and had eggplant parmesan with my hubby, bounced on my birthing ball for what felt like hours, etc etc until eventually I somehow talked myself into taking *castor oil. (*side note: don’t try this ladies, so not worth it).
At this point, it was almost midnight. I had hoped that contractions would start in my sleep in get stronger by morning, after a good nights rest, of course. I went and laid down in bed and before I could even fall asleep I felt my first “real” contraction. Things progressed WAY quicker than I imagined they would and within the half hour, my contractions were roughly 5 minutes apart and a minute long.
Aslan tells me that I was laughing in between trying to breathe during each contraction. I, however, just remember trying to hold myself together as I got into the car to go to the hospital. Of course, Ezra was posterior and I had HORRIBLE back labor.. so I sat in the front seat backwards, hugging the chair. Thankfully, we live right down the street from the hospital.
After checking in and changing into my hospital gown, the nurse checked me and told me I was at a 5. Although contractions were already MUCH more painful than I imagined, I thought, “A FIVE?! I CAN DO THIS!!!” Now for some reason, which I am still unsure of, my midwife broke my water. No warning. Maybe it was an accident? Anyway, this made things MUCH more painful and Aslan and I spent the next 5 hours doing everything we could think of to hopefully ease some of the pain I was feeling. I tried EVERYTHING: bounced on the birth ball, got down on my hands and knees, and even went to visit a friend who was on bed rest at the hospital. My midwife tried helping me do laps around the labor and delivery floor and it was at that point that I felt like I just couldn’t take the pain any more. She tried talking me into toughing it out a little longer and helped me into the whirpool to hopefully take some of the pressure off my back and told me we would check for any progress and reevaluate from there.
People always ask what labor feels like… and it’s no wonder no one can really describe it. It really is like nothing I’ve ever felt before. I am told that you forget, and while I am sure that’s true- I don’t know that I will ever forget staring into the water and physically SHAKING from being in so much pain. My midwife checked me once more and said, “I think you’re at.. a 4? MAYBE a 4 1/2.” I had never felt so defeated. I couldn’t believe that not only had I not progressed at all, but I wasn’t even as far along as I was originally told. My poor husband, I practically threatened him before that day. I told him NO MATTER WHAT to not let me get an epidural. SO here I am, in tears, shaking, begging him to get me that epidural. Long story short, 30 minutes later the anesthesiologist came to the rescue.
It was almost 7 am and neither of us had slept. The nurses had propped my body up in such a way that it would hopefully flip baby (and it did, thank god) I stared at the monitor for a few contractions, and both Aslan and I went to sleep. Hours later, the nurse woke me up, checked me, and said, “YOU’RE AT A 10! Ready to push?!” And just like that, it was time.
I vividly remember the remainder of my labor. I remember having my eyes completely glued to the screen, watching my contractions and pushing with every bit of strength that I had. Thankfully, it went by so quickly. I pushed for less than 30 minutes, and up until the last few, it was a breeze. I do however, remember thinking, “There has GOT to be another way… there is no way this is going to work!”
When he was finally out, they laid him on my chest for skin-to-skin and I thought for sure I would drop him! He was the most beautiful boy I had ever laid eyes on and he was ours.. and if I am being honest, for the first time it scared me. Just like that, I was a mama!
Our hospital stay was awesome. Anyone here in Nebraska knows this hospital is like a RESORT. The food is surprisingly amazing… and before we delivered there, one of our youth kids informed us that they always bring “the most delicious warm cookies” to the rooms, which is true! 😉 Ezra stayed in the room with us and, of course, I didn’t get any sleep because I had to “check on him” every 5 seconds of the night. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him then, and at 5 months old, I still can’t!