THIS MAY BE A "TMI" THING FOR SOME PEOPLE SO READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION
Everyone told me I would need a C-section. I'm 5'2” and before pregnancy weighed about 110 pounds. My mom had all C-sections. Being small, for some mystic reason, would preclude me from having a “normal” child birth. I wanted to avoid a C-section at all costs (it's major surgery) so I did some research. Here's what I determined I would need:
At 4am I went to the bathroom again and this time there was something weird about my pee. My water had broken. I woke up Brandon again. I told him we'd probably need to go to the hospital in the next few hours. I went back to the living room and started timing my contractions. My midwife said to go to the hospital when my contractions were 5 minutes apart, lasting at least one minute and this has been going on for an hour. I continued to drink water, listen to my hypnosis and tried to relax. The contractions were getting stronger and I could no longer sit through them so I got up and moved. Either walking or swaying. The swaying really helped.
Brandon joined me in the living room around 5am. Over the next hour my contractions jumped from 7 minutes apart to 4 minutes apart to less than 3 minutes apart and they never reached a full minute. They weren't following the "rules" my midwife has prescribed. When a few in a row were under 3 minutes, I told Brandon we needed to go to the hospital. We changed out of our PJs, grabbed my hospital bag and drove the 15 minutes to the hospital. Sitting was the last thing I wanted to do so the drive was pretty terrible.
When we got to the hospital, I was put in a triage room before being admitted. I waited about 20 minutes before being evaluated by a nurse to determine if I really was in labor (this was one of the hardest times of my labor; the pointless waiting. It actually wasn't until I started bleeding and announced that I felt the urge to push that a nurse made her appearance). The nurse told me the bleeding was okay and she checked to see how far dilated I was. I was 6cm and she then decided I really was in labor and moved me to a delivery room. I have to admit at that point I asked for an epidural. I was really uncomfortable and feeling a little frantic. The nurse told me they couldn't administer any pain meds until my midwife arrived and evaluated me first. And oh, they hadn't even called her yet.
Another half hour or so ticked by. Brandon went over my birth plan with the nurse and I was hooked up to contraction and fetal monitors. My midwife arrived around 7:30am. I was so relieved to see her and was able to relax again. Things felt like they were under control. She checked to see how far dilated I was and I was 9.5 cm. I asked her for an epidural and she said it was too late to get one, the baby would be here soon and any meds this late would affect the baby's respiratory system after birth. (I still asked about 3 more times over the next few hours for an epidural or any pain meds. It wasn't that I was in real pain, I was just tired and I wanted relief).
I was feeling the urge to push and my midwife told me to push if it would make me feel better but it wouldn’t necessarily help delivery the baby since I wasn’t to a ten. I pushed and it felt better. The thing I didn’t expect about labor was between contractions, there is no pain or discomfort. I was able to relax between contractions and the contractions didn’t hurt, they just felt like the world’s worst menstrual cramp that I knew would go away in a minute or so. There is so much hype about the pain of child birth and it’s just inaccurate.
Anyway, the pushing started to distress the baby. His heart rate dropped. I was told to stop pushing and I was moved to the bed and put on my side, trying to get the last of the cervix gone and find a position the baby liked to bring his heart rate up. His heart rate stayed down (in like the 80’s). I was given an IV (just saltine, no Pitocin), an oxygen mask and they put a heart monitor on his head to get a better reading. His heart rate improved but not enough.
Meanwhile, I was doing my best to breathe through the contractions instead of pushing which was the absolute worst part of my labor. My body wanted to push, the urge is truly out of your control, and I had to fight that urge.
At some point I was asked if anyone in my family had ever had an adverse affect to anesthesia and my midwife was texting on her cell phone. Later, I found out I was potentially being prepared for an emergency C-section. My midwife was texting the OB over the practice and he came down to Labor and Delivery. He didn’t come into my room, for which I am grateful. That would have freaked me out. He talked to my midwife at the nurse’s station and monitored the baby’s heart rate there. He told my midwife to go ahead and proceed with the delivery. The baby would be fine.
At around 9am, I couldn’t fight the urge to push anymore. I was growing more and more exhausted by not pushing. I told my midwife I couldn’t not pushed anymore. She checked me and I was finally to 10 cm. I was given the okay to push as my discretion. Yay! I pushed for about an hour and half. The actual birthing part, which I anticipated as being the most “painful”, again, was just super uncomfortable. It felt like I was trying to push out the world’s largest piece of poop. The delivery was hard because I didn’t know exactly when it would end and I am someone who likes certainty. And it was hard because I just got so tired. Again, there was no pain between contractions (except for the feeling of skin being stretched and it wasn't painful, just weird)
After only 9 hours of labor, Jonah was born at 10:53am.
I attribute my positive birth experience to my Hypnobirthing course and my midwife. Because of hypnosis, I was able to relax completely between contractions and not be afraid of what the next one would feel like. Also, because I wasn’t afraid, the contractions didn’t hurt, they were just extremely uncomfortable at their worst. Because I had a midwife, I had excellent bedside support and she solved the baby’s falling heart rate with all her available resources first instead of resorting immediately to a c-section which I fear an OB might have done. But really, I think God knew I needed an easy delivery so I won't be afraid to have another baby (in 5-10 years).
Hi, I'm Sarah! I write young adult fiction and LDS romance. I live in Salt Lake City, UT with my skinny husband and tiny son. I also am very small.