My baby arrived on Labor Day after a whirlwind labor and delivery that left the midwife, nurses, and my doula all pretty surprised! I don’t want to be too graphic/gross in this, but I also want to be truthful about what happened.
To start, on Sunday I was feeling normal Braxton-Hicks type contractions (barely painful tightening) as well as frequent balling up of my stomach, but with no tightening or pain sensations. I wasn’t too concerned, and neither was my care team, so I went about my business as normal. Looking back I could have been in very early labor as early as Sunday afternoon (so even during yoga!).
On Monday morning, my husband and I started it off as a normal day. We had a delicious brunch at home and were just about to leave the house at 11:30am to run some errands when I had a really sharp and intense pelvic pain and felt like either something had dropped down (maybe the baby) or that I had to have a very urgent bowel movement (or both, who knows!). I ran to the bathroom and sure enough had a big bout of diarrhea, but the pelvic pain continued even after that was done, and was coming in waves. It was hard to get off the toilet, and I felt like my water may have started to break.
We decided to call the midwives at WHC right away. While on the phone with them, I was continuing to have these waves of intense pelvic pain that I thought must be contractions. It was crazy though because I felt no other abdominal pressure or pain; it was all in my pelvis and hips. Everything was so crazy that we never got to officially time how fast they were, but the midwife said later that it sounded to her like they were 2-3 minutes apart. That coupled with the fact that I passed my mucous plug with bright red show made the midwife say we should come in right away. It took everything I had to get out of my leaning over the tub position, into my labor gown, and into the car. The pain all localized in my pelvis and hips was far worse than anything I could have imagined. I remember telling my husband that if this was how labor was going to be, I absolutely needed an epidural to get through it.
If my water didn’t break earlier at home, it definitely did in the car on the way to the hospital as I had more contractions (thankfully I was sitting on a towel!). I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to wait for us to park and walk in, so my husband pulled up to the front and secured me a wheelchair and some very nice nurses took us up a special elevator so we could get to labor and delivery faster. When I arrived and went into triage they determined that I was already 10 centimeters dilated and the baby was at +1 station! I was relieved to know that I was feeling such intense pressure and pain because I was so far along, but also disappointed to know that I was too far along to get an epidural because I was not coping well with everything. They took me right into a labor room and I started to feel the urge to push almost immediately. Thankfully my doula was able to join us in time, and she did some great verbal guidance and also applied ice cold washcloths to my neck and forehead. My husband remembered to ask for the nitrous oxide, but once they got it set up it was even too late for that as the baby was already starting to crown. The intensity of pushing and the continuing pelvic pain was so strong that I was instinctively having very panicked breathing and crying in between pushing, but thanks to some extra oxygen and coaching I was able to regulate it to deep breaths.
While pushing my doula and some nurses were helping to hold my legs in a much more open position. They kept telling my that I could let my legs relax against their hands, but I didn’t feel like I was straining to keep my legs up at all. I suppose that shows you the power of squats! After a few rounds of pushing I remember feeling some rectal pressure on the next round and shouting out “what was that?!”. But then he was out! Turns out that pressure was an OB my midwife had called in to potentially do an episiotomy, but instead she had applied some pressure in just the right spot to direct baby’s chin so he could come out on the next push.
After he came out I was so relieved that it was all over and while he laid on my chest for the next two hours I finally got a good look around the room. I had pretty much had my eyes closed or either focused on my midwife, doula, and husband the whole time. Later the midwife told me that I was pushing for about 45 minutes, with the baby crowning for about 15 minutes. All together it was 3 hours from that first bout of pelvic pain to baby being born. We hadn’t even had time to notify any family members that he was on his way yet. Not what anyone expected from a first time mom at all!
I ended up spending far longer in the labor and delivery room not in labor than in labor!
Everyone kept telling me that I did such a good job, I’m choosing to believe them even though in the moment I felt like such a baby with how I was coping.
Our little guy’s name is Logan Lee, and we love him so much already!