On 8/7/2017 I woke up with contractions that were slightly different from the ones I was experiencing for the weeks leading up to this day. These felt stronger and the fact that they woke me from sleep was a pretty good indicator to me that he was on his way. We decided to get ready for the day and head to a marketplace for breakfast. I had contractions all morning and early afternoon 10-12 minutes apart. The type of contraction that certainly made you stop what you were doing and practice some deep breathing. We walked around on the town green and that seemed to intensify them somewhat so we headed home around lunch time to put the girls down for a nap. Around 3:30 pm I began to have a sneaky suspicion that we would need to leave soon and decided to make myself a big fat strawberry shortcake. Sure enough, on my last bite, my water broke…
“This is how we take the fear out of birth: by honoring and embracing all the many possible variations that birth encompasses. In this way, every birth is a natural birth. Each of us is part of nature, not separate from it, and nature is always stunning in its variety. Your birth, then, is part of the natural world, however it unfolds.” – Lauralyn Curtis
I was GBS positive (and was with all three kids) so that meant once my water broke, it was time to head to the hospital. Luckily my parents were here to watch the girls in time for us to leave. We sat through rush hour traffic and a trip that should have taken 25 minutes, took an hour. Thankfully my contractions after my water broke were still only 10 minutes apart. When we arrived at the hospital, they hooked me and baby up and did a little non-stress test and my contractions were still only 10 minutes apart. They checked my cervix. 4 cm. I started to get a bit anxious because I certainly didn’t want to labor all night. Our photographer arrived and once we were settled in a room (around 6:30), I asked to walk around. Since I needed antibiotics infused, I just walked around with my IV pole attached….
“The power and intensity of your contractions cannot be stronger than you, because it is you.”
I never had a “birth plan” going into this birth. I knew I wanted to go without an epidural because the first time I got one, it only took on one side and the second time, I didn’t have enough time for it to even work. I waited until I was about 9-10 cm to even ask for one. I knew that I could go without and my goal was to not ask for one this time around. The contractions at this point were very doable and a little bit of deep breathing got me through without any issue.
We got up to walk the halls and barely made it 1 minute or two before I reached the high intensity part of labor. The contraction that lets you KNOW, it’s game time. These contractions intensify SIGNIFICANTLY and nearly brought me to my knees. I knew that this was it, these were the contractions that would change my cervix in the matter of minutes. All I had to do was get through the next minutes/few hours and my beautiful baby would be here. I just kept focusing on that. Once my contractions took a steady incline upwards, I went back to my room because I knew that moaning through them was the only way and doing that in a hallway was somewhat obnoxious 😉 Since I was getting intense back labor (as I did with all three kids), I decided to try laboring on my hands and knees on the bed with my husband pressing down on my lower back with a heating pad. I wanted to prevent Miles from coming out posteriorly as much as possible. For those that have experienced back labor, you know how intense this is and how excruciating it can be. Power to you!
I labored like this for probably about 20-25 minutes before I had enough. I screamed for the nitrous gas that they had offered me earlier. I just needed to take a tiny bit of the edge off to save energy to push him out. I used the gas for a few contractions and I am honestly not sure how I feel about it. Everything was just as painful as it was without it, but you feel separated from it a bit. It allowed me to breathe through the contraction rather than screaming. After a few minutes of that, I felt it. It was time to push that baby out! We were going to meet our little babe and find out if Ryan was going to be completely outnumbered 😉
side note: My friend, Karla, told me something that resonated with me during my entire birthing process. She had three births (two of which were natural) and she told me that the first natural birth, she screamed and clenched her fists the whole time and it was horribly painful. With the second natural birth, she made sure to relax her shoulders, open her palms up and moan deeply through each contraction and it made the pain far more bearable. Fighting the contractions will only intensify the feeling that you are experiencing. Try to let your body open and birth your baby the way that it intended and don’t try to fight it. This worked wonders for me and Karla, thank YOU for telling me this <3
“IT’s TIME TO PUSH!!!!” I screamed.
“Childbirth is an experience in a woman’s life that holds the power to transform her forever. Passing through these powerful gates – in her own way- remembering all the generations of women who walk with her…she is never alone” – Suzanne Arms
The midwife checked me and sure enough, yes it was. At that moment, his heart rate dropped a bit and they called in the OB just in case and told me that I needed to give it everything I had. I knew I had to get the baby out fast or else they may need to do some sort of intervention (which I did not want). With about three HARD pushes, I felt that head pop out and I have never been so happy in my life (other than when I felt that with the other two) and they were able to get the cord from around his neck. One more push and he was here! First thing I saw was a very good indicator that we in fact, had a BOY! The look on Ryan’s face was priceless….
The funny part about all of this is that we had his name, Miles Gabriel, for years prior to this moment and I swear I have seen this little boy in my dreams. I just knew he was made for us and feel like I already knew him. Is that weird?
He instantly latched and is the best nurser out of all three kiddos. We had a bit of a scare after birth because my bleeding was heavier than expected. After a few doses of some medications and a LOT of mashing down on my uterus (I swear, worse than the actual birthing process), the bleeding subsided enough for us to be blessed to the maternity floor for a bit of rest.
It’s true what everyone said about having a little boy, something about it makes my heart burst at the seams. I swear I never put him down and I could just stare at him until the end of time.