Today I bring you a birth story from Mama Violet. She blogs about her life pre and post baby at New Mom In The Windy City.
Nine months ago I became a mother.
It all started on August 27, 2010 at 9:02 am. I was a week past my due date and was settling in with the idea that I would be pregnant forever. I turned on the tv to watch a DVR’d Project Runway episode. I sat on the couch with my legs tucked under me and heard a pop and felt wetness. I ran to the bedroom to grab my cell and text Him (priorities). I continued to leak heavily and decided I should probably sit on the toilet first and stop making a mess. I got myself together and sent the text. I then called the midwife and doula and gave them a heads up. Lastly, I called my mom because she wanted to be the first to know. I told her it was beginning and not to call me (like she did everyday towards the end of my pregnancy). I would call her as soon as Little Miss was born.
I showered but continued to leak heavily but did not have any contractions. I’m not exactly sure when the contractions started but I do remember Him taking me to Jimmy Johns to pick up lunch, I remember trying to rest up but not being able to. I was too excited and ready for things to get going. Evening came and I had been trying to rest for a few hours. Not being able to sleep, we went for a walk around the neighborhood and I had to stop every 2 – 3 minutes to contract. The were strong but not unbearable and didn’t last very long so I knew I was still in the early stages.
After the walk I tried resting again. I laid in the bed and told Him to just check on me periodically to see if I was ok. I decided to time the contractions and was at 4 to 6 mins lasting 30 secs to a minute. Again strong but not unbearable. Around 9 o’clock I was ready to go the hospital not because I was at a breaking point but because I was worried about my water being broken for so long. The midwife said it was ok if I wanted to stay at home a while longer but I just wanted to get the show on the road.
We arrived at the hospital at 10 pm. I was escorted to a room and the midwife wanted to check to make sure my water had broken. Her test was inconclusive so she had to do a more invasive procedure (owwee). As she was about to “go in”, she said “There’s the head lots of curly black hair. You’re definitely in labor.” Well, duh. I was about 5 – 6 cm dilated and still the pain was not unbearable so I knew it wasn’t time. My doula arrived and started to write. I was confused about why she wasn’t helping me but I was focused on having a baby so I just went breathing, sitting in shower, and rolling on a birthing ball and this is where I stopped looking at the clock. No sense of time at this point.
After some time I was tired of all the movement and just wanted to lay down. Doula came over and lightly stroked my arm which was very annoying while in labor. I needed firm strong kneading hands. I told her to stop. The midwife came to check on me and said I was 8 cm and why don’t I do a little pushing to see if that will get me to 9. It did but I didn’t have an urge to push. However, she continued to command me to push and I tried even though I really didn’t understand what I was doing. Call me weirdo but pushing like you’re having a bowel movement is just hard to do if you’re not sitting on a toilet. I just kept trying with Him, the doula, the midwife, and a nurse all around me. I had been pushing for a long time and I was tired. I was also wondering why my doula hadn’t stopped the midwife and nurse from doing the you can do it, push, push, push cheer. I clearly remember telling her that I did not want that.
I was scared, crying, naked, tired, and “pushing”. By this time I had started a mantra of “I can’t do it” to the midwife’s “YOU HAVE TO DO IT!”. I became very frustrated and out of control. It wasn’t the pain. It was intense but still not unbearable. It was the commands and the people around me. My introverted self was having a reaction to all of the goings on around me and within me. I needed a break. I needed to go inward and just be alone but I couldn’t say all that so I snapped. I shouted, kicked, slapped and broke free from the bed and went to the bathroom and sat on the toilet.
The nurse came in to soothe me. She closed the door and talked softly too me and got me to a place where I could go back to the bed. My ruckus brought in 2 other nurses to assist. Great. Exactly what I needed more people. My midwife left. I kicked her good and hard I’m sure she needed the break.
The pushing continued through the morning and afternoon. I pushed on my back, on all fours, and standing. My contractions slowed and I dozed periodically. They were coming every 7 – 8 minutes. I could no longer tell I was having a contraction. I would look at the monitor and ask the group surrounding me if I was having one. More time passed like this. Still no baby and the contractions were not unbearable. I called on God even though I’m not religious. I wanted this baby out but I had no idea how to make it happen and no one seemed to be helping me. I needed divine intervention.
When the midwife returned she suggested Pitocin to get the contractions up again. Not what I wanted. I just saw my natural birth experience tanking. I did not protest because I just wanted the baby out by any means necessary. Too tired. Too hungry.
More time passed and the Pitocin kicked in gradually. I was still too out of it to figure out if I was having a contraction and relied on the monitors and people to tell me where the “peak” was to push. Amazingly enough my body finally started to really push. It was like vomiting when you can’t stop your body from lurching. I believe that happened for about an hour when I felt her crowning. I pushed through it not caring about the pain because I just wanted her out and finally..she came out. The midwife told me to stop pushing and to look down. I saw her little head. She was looking at the light above. I had a sunny side up baby. Her cord was wrapped around her neck 2 times. The midwife freed her and placed her on my chest.
She was squirmy and wet. I was afraid of dropping her. The cord was cut. We tried her first breastfeeding and she took to it like a champ. She sucked away as my 2nd degree tear was being stitched.
All in all, this was approximately a 29 hour process from start to finish. I pushed for 10 hours! I knew it was long but I didn’t know it was that long. The midwife said posterior babies normally do take longer. The midwife who I thought would be at my birth but wasn’t on call that day said she had a posterior baby and normally there is no urge to push. That explains a lot. I knew it would take some time since it was my first but I felt the 10 hrs of pushing was way to long. I’m glad the midwife was able to stop me from having a c-section but really all of the pushing was unnecessary. It wasn’t until the final hour that I had the “urge”. If I was to do it again, I would stay at home longer and hire a post partum doula instead of a L&D doula.