the birth Story {part 2}. 4 comments

{part 1 is here}

The hospital.

Despite the fluke snow – that was not forecasted *shakes fist at Colorado weather* – we made it to the hospital and to labor and delivery. We arrived at 1:30pm. We checked in at the nurses station and they asked me how far along I was. “40 weeks as of yesterdayyyyyyyyy…*head down on the desk*” The nurse noted (duh) that I was in distress and told someone to go start prepping a room for me. They gave me a smattering of papers to sign on my behalf and the baby’s behalf. Normally I’d at least read them, but they practically could have said that I’d pay them a million dollars and I would have signed. (They didn’t say that.) I signed and waddled down to room 303 (hollar because that’s the area code in Colorado). We asked about a bath tub to labor in because I’ve heard it does wonders and they said we could use it – almost no one uses it. 

I changed into a lovely, fashionable runway-worthy gown and crawled into a luxurious bed to be checked. (Note the sarcasm.) I should mention that when I went to the doctor on Friday (we went to the hospital the following Wednesday), I was 1.5cm. They hooked me up to the monitor and Sophia’s heart rate was good. They checked and I was already a glorious 4cm and 100% effaced. They told me I could labor in the tub for an hour, maybe an hour and a half. The tub was two doors down from the room I was in and by time I made it there I remarked to Anthony that I hated walking. The tub was the BEST THING EVER. I cannot recommend it enough. I always thought water birth sounded like a weird thing, but after chilling in the tub and letting the contractions melt away, I totally understood. After just over an hour, the nurse wanted me out of the tub to check me again. Grr. I may have literally grumbled out loud. They began draining the tub and I stood up – smack as another contraction was beginning. I gripped the side of the tub like my life depended on it and waited for it to pass. I swung my legs over the tub one at a time. I walked back to the room mostly dripping wet and again remarked to Anthony that I hated walking and may never want to do it again.

Time for another check. At 4pm I was 8 – EIGHT – centimeters dilated…with my water still in tact. Eight centimeters was incredibly exciting and I knew I was getting close! I progressed 4cm in only 2.5 hours, that was awesome!

Anthony and I decided at the birth class to pray Hail Marys through each contraction. I could regulate my breathing to the parts of the prayer and focus on something other than, ya know, the pain. As the contractions became steadily stronger (I wanted the tub back but wasn’t willing to walk for it), we prayed more and more Hail Marys through each contraction. We calculated that we prayed more than 9 rosaries worth of Hail Marys by the time it was all over.

Here’s where my memory of the timing of things becomes totally lost. At some point my doctor came in to check me and agreed with the nurses that I was 8cm. There was talking of breaking my water since it hadn’t broken yet – much to nearly everyone’s surprise since the baby was sitting nice and low. I’ve heard such awful horror stories of water being broken for you and how incredibly painful it is, but they promised it would move labor along. Since I’d slowed down in terms of becoming more dilated, I figured we might as well pop the bag. Much to my relief, it wasn’t painful at all. It was a warm gush of…goo. It was an odd sensation and not at all like peeing one’s self. Over the rest of the labor I was amazed at how much amniotic fluid just kept coming.

After they broke my water the contractions became more and more intense. Eventually (again, I lost track of time – I can remember looking at the clock and knowing that time was passing, but I can’t remember how long certain things took to happen) I reached 9cm, but part of my cervix was sort of stuck. After another hour I still hadn’t dilated anymore and if we started pushing, we risked even more tearing and issues. I’m pretty sure that towards the end (with me seriously fighting the urge to just push anyway), my doctor sort of helped guide my cervix to being unstuck. Thank God.

The pushing.

I don’t remember how long I pushed for, but I’m still amazed that I was 8cm at 4pm, but Sophia wasn’t born until 9:53pm. Yikes. I do clearly remember that when I started pushing all felt right in the world. I was finally doing something. The first pushes weren’t as good as they could have been. I finally figured out what helped and what didn’t in terms of pushing. I remember asking – after so much encouragement from people that I was almost there – if I was just pushing her shoulders out now. Nope. Her head wasn’t even out yet. Ugh. Push, push, push. ONE MORE PUSH they said…like ten times. I remember telling Anthony that he said “ONE MORE PUSH” five or ten contractions ago and I was annoyed (that was the most complete sentence(s) I had said in HOURS). Finally, after God only knows how many pushes, I felt her head come out. The doctor wiggled her (I assumed to get her into a better position) and before I knew it she was on my chest. Words can’t describe the beauty of that moment.

She aced her APGAR test with a score of 9 (the highest you can get is a 10) and they gave her back to me. She was and is beautiful. Sure, the whole thing hurt and seemed to last forever, but once she was out…only my God knows the beauty of those moments, the joy in my heart, and the love that filled the room. The pain seems so trivial now as I look back and bask in the beauty of it all. And she’s here, in my arms, and that’s really all that matters.

{One other thing I don’t want to forget: I asked Anthony after it was all over what it was like to watch me labor (unmedicated!). He asked me how it would feel to watch him lie on a bed and be stabbed repeatedly and be able to do nothing, only watch the pain get worse and the stabbing increase for hours on end. He also said he gained a whole new level of respect for me. Funny, because I fell even more in love with him as he cheered me on and held my hand through it all.}

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4 thoughts on “the birth Story {part 2}.

    • Amanda @ worthy of Agape

      I honestly wouldn’t let myself think or worry about labor until I was 38 weeks. At that point I just accepted that it was going to happen, made a plan and left the rest to Him!

      Congrats, I hope your pregnancy is smooth and joyful 🙂

  • JoAnna Wahlund

    WAY TO GO! I hear you about the tub. I labored in the tub for 2-3 hours with #4 and it was amazing. At the hospital I’ve delivered at 3 times, all of the birthing rooms have their own jacuzzi tubs in them.

    I do “Divine Mercy breathing” with my labors – not sure how many chaplets worth of prayers I’ve gone through but it’s probably been quite a lot!

    You’ll be happy to know that pushing time decreases with each subsequent kid! I pushed for 1hr 20min with #1, but with all the rest it’s probably been 10-15 min, if not less.

    • Amanda @ worthy of Agape

      Thanks!! The tub was my best friend, and I literally whined and begged the nurse to leave me in for longer – 20 minutes was well worth the whining! I was shocked when they said that hardly anyone labors in the tub! Why on earth not!?!?

      I LOVED praying through the contractions, it kept me focused and gave me something else to think about other than the pain. Also good to know that pushing time decreases, that gives me hope! 🙂