So, I’m reading the last post shaking my head and laughing. When last I left you on November 1st, I was in “early labor”. I didn’t understand why it had lasted longer than 12 hours and I was still in “early labor”. Girl.
So the day went on, the contractions are getting more and more painful. There was a brief time where they were juuuust over 5 minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute, for an hour. We were watching Dexter. Then they spaced back out to 7-10 minutes apart but still painful. I’m sitting here thinking how the hell am I supposed to make it through another night with pain like this? I tried my breathing exercises, visualization, relaxing, etc. Still painful.
So that night, I could not even lie down, the contractions and pressure were SO PAINFUL. I called the on-call midwife at about 1 am telling her that no, my contractions are not staying in the 5-1-1 pattern but I can no longer talk through them, I cannot walk through them, I cannot sleep through them, I AM DYING A LITTLE BIT PLEASE HELP. You know what this bish said? “Have you tried a warm bath and a glass of wine?” Bitch, I didn’t say I had a tough day at the office. She said it doesn’t sound like I’m in active labor so I should try to take some Tylenol PM to sleep through them. I COULD go to the hospital but I would be better off at home in “early labor”. Ok bitch fine, whatever, Ihopeyoudie GOODBYE. So I wake up poor Crabby and he goes to 2 different places, NO TYLENOL PM TO BE FOUND. He ended up getting some regular Tylenol from his mom’s house. I took 2. You think that did anything but piss off the contraction gods?
So, at this point, in the wee hours of the morning of November 2nd, I am seriously concerned. How am I supposed to endure a fully natural, unmedicated labor if I can’t even handle “early labor”? There was NO WAY I could stand this pain for another day. Now, that morning, I had my 39 week check-up at the midwives office at 9:15am. So around 6:30 am I’m all fuck this, we’re going in early. The midwives office is in the same building as the hospital, conveniently. So I go take a shower also hoping the water would help my contractions. LOL NOAP. I’m basically on the floor of the shower drowning helplessly every contraction. And I’m feeling waaaaaay too much pressure down below. Pushy pressure, if you will. My bladder and bowels had already completely emptied in the hours before, so what could that be?
I crawl out of the shower, barely throw on a t-shirt and sweats, crawl out, and tell Crabby we have to go NOW, RIGHT NOW. Crabby, who had still been asleep, assumes I mean to my appointment and is not really moving. I’m like NO, SOMETHING IS WRONG WE HAVE TO GO RIGHT NOW. HURRY. I hadn’t even brushed my teeth. Crabby grabbed the toothbrush and toothpaste and we left. Never mind the half-packed hospital bag with my cute little tank dress from American Apparel that I was going to labor in and oh, EVERYTHING ELSE WE NEEDED.
I struggle to the car and we go. In morning rush-hour traffic. While having contractions. Contractions that were now about 2-3 minutes apart. At one point I took off my seatbelt and tried to climb. There was nothing to climb. It was bad. All bad.
We get to the valet of the hospital, they give me a wheelchair, and we go up to the 15th floor, aka the midwives office. I figure just in case I’m tripping and still in “early labor”, they can at least check me out there. We get up there and the receptionist is all, um, the midwives aren’t here yet. So we ask them what floor Labor & Delivery is on, because fuck all of that. Ain’t nobody got time.
They send us to L&D, 12th floor where we are told we actually need to go to triage on the 11th floor. Ma’am? They call the triage nurses to come get us because at this point I cannot sit in the wheelchair with the contractions and I’m just standing there moaning and rocking back and forth. I then tell Crabby mournfully, “I’m going to throw up.” And so I did. All over the check-in area of Labor & Delivery. The Thai noodles from way earlier the day before had never digested. RIP. So then I was thinking ok good, maybe they’ll listen to me.
Once the nurses came, it was like my body shut down. I let them lead me, take me, do whatever. I refused an IV and they did a cervical check. I am drifting in and out and the nurse says “I have good news” and I’m all “blerghdkaskdfje?” and she says “You’re a 9.”
*RECORD SCRATCH* MA’AM?
I call out to Crabby and my mom (who had met us there) DID Y’ALL HEAR THAT?? I AM 9 CM DILATED!
You mean to tell me I have been in active labor this whole gotdamn time at home?! That I am IN TRANSITION AND HAD BEEN IN TRANSITION AT HOME? WHAT IS HAPPENING?!
Somehow I end up in the delivery room. It was all a blur from there. A blur of hydrotherapy shower (that helped SO MUCH), time on the birthing ball, laboring in random positions on the hospital bed, Crabby’s hand applying counterpressure to my back, pushing against the pressure, nurses telling me that I am doing so well; they are shocked by what is happening.
So my midwife asks to break my water because there’s just a tiny bit of cervix left. I ask her if it will make my contractions worse and she says not at this point. So she does it and it seems like immediately I am pushing. They bring out the mirror. I can see her head. But now it’s time to focus. I think it only took 4 or 5 pushes to get her out.
Minicorn was born November 2nd at 9:59am. 6lbs6oz. We got to the hospital at 8am. Let that marinate.
Here she is. In all her brunette ringletted, gray-eyed glory. My little angel-dragon-unicorn baby girl.
She must have gotten too much fluid into her respiratory system because the NICU team came in and put her on oxygen, and took her away :-( but she did fine after a bit of oxygen and they released her to our room.
She has an extra thumb (clearly her unicorn horn, thanks La). She’s perfect. She smells so good. I can’t believe she’s here.
As for my recovery, it has gone so well. I think when you’re a person who researches the hell out of everything the way I do, you’re surprised when EVERYTHING POSSIBLE doesn’t go wrong. But I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed. I am very proud of myself. Hearing my mom, MIL, Crabby, nurses, midwives say how strong I was, how well I handled everything, etc, feels really good.
I had a natural, unmedicated labor and birth MOSTLY AT HOME. Until I was 9 cm dilated. I did not take any birthing classes. I wanted to try it on my own. I didn’t tear, didn’t need any stitches. I bled heavily only that first day. A week later, the bleeding has pretty much stopped. I took no pain meds after delivery. My soreness was gone after Sunday or so. I started nursing in the hospital (they gave Minicorn donor milk while she was in NICU). My milk has come in full force and I’ve almost completely gotten the hang of this nursing thing.
This was all the prep I did for labor. For contractions, I thought “surrender to the pain”. I pictured ocean waves coming in with each contraction. Other times I pictured a flower blooming during the intense pressure. I breathed in slowly, out slowly. I relaxed my body, made sure it didn’t tense up. I relaxed my facial muscles, jaw, etc.
As for the birth plan, episiotomy was never mentioned, my water was broken at 9 cm which helped bring Minicorn here (my concern was breaking it too early, which ended up not mattering at all), Crabby cut the cord after it stopped pulsing (I am really glad we did that now since she had trouble breathing. It could have been worse if we had cut the cord earlier), the stripping membranes would only have come into play if I was overdue (HA), there was certainly no time limit on my labor (HA), I didn’t do perineal massage but didn’t need it, and I only pushed when I felt the urge. I was also careful to push slowly when I felt her crowning (yes, the Ring of Fire is real) so that I wouldn’t tear. Hear me roar, bitches.
Anyway, Minicorn has quite the personality to be so young. She is SO alert and vocal. Her facial expressions are hilarious. She is awesome. I am so excited to see this special little girl grow. I am excited to teach her. I am excited to see what she will teach me. I am overwhelmed seeing this hybrid of Crabby and I.
I am thinking of making a separate blog dedicated to just her. I don’t want her name linked to this blog. E-mail me and I’ll let you know when it is set up. I want to thank you all for your support and encouragement, the kind words, the cards, the gifts, everything. I am amazed that I have this kind of support system in you all.
If you have any questions about my labor/birth/Minicorn please feel free to drop by the comment box. Let’s chat!
She’s a week old today! Gah!