My cousin and I, only a month apart in age, grew up together. She gave birth to her first child Wednesday, August 18th 2010 at 3:10am. Here is her birth story from my point of view.
B (my cousin) became pregnant in November and had a due date of August 22nd. She was put on bedrest/short term disability around April for having early contractions. Luckily, her cervix was closed and she was able to return to work weeks later without incident. A lot of research indicates first-time mothers will have their babies after their due date but due to the early contractions, most of us figured she would have her baby before her due date.
July 27th: She went to the doctor and found out she was 1 cm dilated.
August 3rd: 2 cm dilated.
August 10th: 3 cm dilated.
August 17th: 4 cm dilated; meconium is present.
August 17th, 7:01pm: I get a call from her saying she is headed to the hospital because her water was breaking. At this time she didn’t feel any pain or contractions.
8:53pm: I call her to see if they’re going to keep her there. She says yes, I go to the hospital.
9:45pm: I arrive in her room. She is now 5 cm dilated, and they have started her on Pitocin and given her an epidural even though she hasn’t felt any pain. She says she doesn’t want to feel anything and we laugh at her. They only gave her a light dose of Pitocin since the epidural hadn’t kicked in yet.
I was slightly worried that the pitocin, epidural, and presence of meconium would combine to create an environment ideal for a C-section. However, the fact that she was already 5cm dilated gave me hope that she would have a vaginal birth and easier labor.
Around midnight, August 18, the nurse came in and said B was dilated 6 cm. We were all a little disappointed, as we were hoping to hear at least 7cm but the nurse said she would guess the baby would be born around 3am because her cervix had softened significantly.
Around 2am the nurse checked B again and declared her 8cm dilated. Everyone in the room looked like O_O
Sometime between 2:45 and 3am the nurse declared her 10cm and said “It’s time!” We all started breakdancing, jaggling, wooting, j-setting, and just generally being ignant before everyone except B, her mother, me, and the staff were kicked out.
She started pushing. By this time the epidural had worn off a bit so she was able to feel a little bit. She described the contractions as bad menstrual cramps, only worse. The baby was clearly ready to come out because as soon as the nurse pulled her into a sitting position, she felt enormous pressure on her bottom, meaning his head was pushing on her. Meconium spilled out as she sat up. She pushed through some contractions, then the nurse made her stop since the doctor had not yet arrived at the hospital. We could see the baby’s head just chillin, stuck in all types of vaginary. I bet he had an attitude; I know I would have. B couldn’t hold it any longer and pushed him out. I AM HAPPY TO REPORT SHE DID NOT POO DURING LABOR AS SO MANY WOMEN HAVE SHARED. JESUS.
Baby R was born at 3:10am. They suctioned out his nose and throat, just in case any meconium was in there. I watched as they had B push out the placenta, which I can best describe as a blue-purple slightly bloody vagina jellyfish. I had always heard how messy labor is and I’m starting to think that a lot of people are just extremely squeamish. Yes, there was blood. There was meconium. There was fluid. There was goo. But it wasn’t a tidal wave of any of it like you would expect hearing these stories. She had a first-degree tear from pushing and they stitched her up. They did not give her an episiotomy thank goodness.
All in all, she only pushed for about 10 minutes. It would have been less if they hadn’t made her wait for the doctor. Not too painful, as she was on the epidural though she says since it had worn off a little, she was glad she had gotten it because she was starting to feel how it would have been if she would have gone the natural route.
Mommy and baby are doing fine. She is currently at home with him pumping breastmilk and mixing it with formula, tending to his circumcision, and just trying to get him on a routine.