April 22, 2012 began day two of labor pains….Oh back labor how I dislike you.
I was stuck at 5 cm and the back labor continued to rage and ravage my body. My entire body would shake when the pain came and I would hum/shake through each wave of contraction praying the end would come.
I tried taking Benadryl to help me get sleep; no sleep came. I took herbs to help me progress; stayed at 5 cm. Sunday afternoon lasted forever.
By 5pm my midwife Mary suggested that I transfer to the hospital…. I was going to hold out till 9pm…so glad I decided to go to the hospital when I did!
Although my mother is a midwife, she works as a nurse at the nearest hospital in Houston, Missouri (not to be confused with Houston, Texas where Danny was born). While I was pregnant, and after I hired Mary to be my midwife, I met with Dr. Brown of Houston, MO in the off chance I was transferred. Dr. Brown trained with midwives in the Netherlands, so I felt like he would give me the best possible experience if the birth occurred in a hospital – he is also a Texan – so can’t go wrong there.
Mom called ahead and knew the staff, so things were a breeze getting into the room – I contracted and mom helped fill out the rest of my paper work.
Eva and Mary never stopped massaging my legs and back – which I will forever be grateful for.
As soon as I saw Dr. Brown, I said, “give me an epidural, I can’t take any more pain – I haven’t slept in two days – I don’t think I can have this baby on no sleep.”
He told me epidurals aren’t entirely safe and that it would be safer for me to take pain medication through an IV that moves through the body fast enough that the baby wouldn’t be harmed by it.
“I didn’t know that was an option, heck get me some of that!!!” Nurse Judy became my best friend the minute she pushed that stuff into my IV. It was lovely.
The pain meds relaxed me enough (still felt the back labor, but it was dulled so much it was bearable) to dilate me to 9cm. After an hour of “rest” and “relaxation” Dr. Brown came in and broke my water.
The worst was yet to come.
I pushed for two hours before Mary said, “your cervix is inflamed, we have to ice it down, otherwise the baby will get stuck.”
My thoughts, “I’m in transition – with the overwhelming urge to push with each contraction and you’re telling me I need to stop pushing so you can ice my cervix?” I believe the words, “oh, help me…” escaped my lips.
Dr Brown allowed me to take a half dose more of the same pain med to help me make it through 45 minutes of icing. I lay there low moaning through each racking contraction, while my mother, sister, husband, Eva and Mary taking turns soothing me, be it ice chips, water, rubbing – what ever I needed.
When Mary said it was safe to push again, she turned me over to Dr. Brown – who had been standing in the room observing until then.
Had I been given an epidural I would have ended up getting a C-section, because to get that baby through my birth canal, I had to move around (stand up) and rotate before each massive push – I would not have been able to do that with numb legs.
I pushed another 40 minutes – baby’s heart rate steady and happy as ever – this time it was after 1am April 23, 2012.
My small delivery room was packed, every employee in the Labor and Delivery unit was in my room. My family lining the wall so I could see them watching me give the best abdominal work out of my life with each long and hard push.
Just when I wasn’t sure I could push anymore because I was physically and emotionally drained – Dr Brown said, “reach down and touch your baby’s head.” I did, I felt my son’s head and I found the strength to push that baby out.
I couldn’t believe this, “is that my baby?” I asked. My mom said, “he’s still attached to you dear, yes, that is your baby.”
This was love at first sight. I have never felt that type of love for anything in my life until that point – that kind of love that surpassed my own comprehension – I love this baby more than myself.
It amazes me that a year has passed, I have forgotten many things since then, but I remember when my son was born. That was the first of many crowning days of my motherhood.
I am grateful to my husband for helping me become a mother – I could not have reached this critical juncture in my life or this calling of motherhood without him.
I had a number of angels in my room the days/night that lead up to 2:28 am on April 23rd, including my husband, my sister, my mother, my midwife, my birth assistant, my doctor, my nurses and the unseen beings that were giving me strength.
Happy Monday – I’ve never been so happy to be sleep deprived!