My son, Finn, had a hospital birth, a fourth-degree tear, and I was at work for 24 hours as soon as I got to the hospital (except the night before and the day was another 16 hours). Finn did not want to go out!
I worked the first 20 hours in the hospital and he would not let me eat. I did everything I could to get him to come. I had full back to back with him which was extremely painful and I finally took some pain medication for about 20 hours because I was so exhausted. I fell asleep and woke up in huge pain (it pierced me in about 7), so I took the epidural, they broke my water and it came out within a few hours. I will not lie, the epidural was like paradise.
After they broke my water, (which they really had to do twice!) The contractions started to become louder according to the screen, but I really could not feel them due to the epidural. Then all of a sudden I started to feel pain and extreme pressure and I asked if they could give me more medicine and they said I would have to wait another hour and a half – and I said then I push this baby !!!
It was tedious to work for so long. One intervention led to another intervention that seems to be the way he goes to the hospital. I tried so hard to do it without medication, but eventually gave up after hours of painful work that did not go ahead. I was determined to have a different experience next time.
With my daughter, I decided to go to a birth center to have the option of working in the water. The whole pregnancy was completely different and checking up was a much more relaxing experience. I was afraid I would not have the choice of epidural for work, but I kept telling myself that I would not need it this time.
On September 4, my contractions started at 10:30 a.m. and started late. After completing some work for a deadline, I filed to try to sleep around 2 p.m. I was told if I could sleep, I was not close enough. I used a bit of Keep Movin ‘Cream which helped relieve the pain and the contractions seemed easier to manage for a while, and then about 45 minutes later they got very loud and I told my husband that we might need to start at the birth center soon. I was stubborn and took my time – I did not want to have an experience like I had with my son. My husband told me to stop and let’s go!
We left around 3:20 p.m. to head there (although I had to stop at our store to print something for the deadline – my husband thought I was crazy) During the car ride my contractions were very strong and very intense. They come every 3-4 minutes and had about a minute. I had to send an email and work it out between contractions and that helped to distract my mind. I brought a rebozo to lift my abdomen during the contractions and that helped a little. I called my shower on the street to ask her to come and I also called the birth center when we were out for about 5 minutes and asked if they could fill the tub. The contractions were strong enough to bring tears to my eyes, so I felt it approaching.
We arrived at 4:10. He looked at me and said I was about 8 inches wide and I was so grateful I was almost there. I felt weird that I was going to have a baby that afternoon! As soon as we arrived, I had a very strong contraction and asked my husband to push my back. I knew I had about 2-3 minutes until the next contraction, so I changed and immediately went into the water and it quickly helped me feel more relaxed. I really think water made a huge difference to me, I honestly don’t know I could do without it. They had a complex nitrous oxide / oxygen that I decided to take. He did not take the pain, but he took the edge.
Almost immediately I felt the need to start pushing. Pain was like something I had never seen before and I entered what I can only describe as my “primary” brain. The pain was crazy. They had to remind me to stop breathing in nitrous oxide, so I did not pass! I could feel her “the ring of fire” starting to crown. I could not speak but I said, “Please tell me he is coming” and I was told he was almost there.
Up to that point, my water had not broken and finally, it broke. Then her head came out and I was told to stop pushing and wait until the next contraction. How can I stop pushing? I stopped but it was incredibly difficult. The next contraction came and I push with every ounce of my being and it made its big entrance into the water. Wow I said, “this was the most painful thing I’ve ever done” with a little laugh.
The midwife pulled her out of the water and gave it to me. The feeling of holding my little girl in my arms was indescribable. Lily was here at 4:50 pm, 40 minutes after I arrived at the birth center !! He weighed an impressive 9 kilos, 1 ounce. I’m glad I didn’t know how big it would be in front of him! Delivery experiences between the hospital and the birth center were a night and day difference. At the birth center, I was allowed to eat and give birth as I wished. No silly rules like I had to lie down at birth like I did in the hospital. Lying on my back seemed completely counterproductive and unnatural to me. It made a huge difference to be in an upright position and feel completely relaxed in the water. I would never want to do anything other than the birth of water !!
Recourse to the help of a wardrobe also made a big difference. It helped me during my pregnancy to find better ways to handle the work. It was also very helpful during my work to remind me to breathe and relax! Shortly after Lily, he helped her lock up, gave me support, and also took my placenta and encapsulated it to help during childbirth. She was wonderful and played a big role in helping me get a physical job.
Her birth of course was so satisfying for me and I think it was for Lily too. It can happen, and it was much, much better than getting an epidural and not being able to feel anything. I would do it again of course 100 times over.
I was also able to move almost immediately (after my epidural with my son I had to wait hours before I could get up). I had it at 4:50 p.m. and I left the birth center until 8:30 p.m. and I went home. My mother-in-law could not believe we were almost home when we took her for a car ride. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget! Welcome to the world of Lily Grace!