During the TTC process, and before I was even pregnant, I knew one thing for certain: I wanted a natural birth. I never aspired for a home birth or anything outside the hospital setting, but I knew that an epidural was not for me. Not because I thought I had a super-human pain tolerance or because I feared needles. Not for a badge of honor or so that I could brag about it to my friends. I knew my mother had done it with both of her pregnancies, and I knew I had a fairly high pain tolerance. But the biggest reason was that I am 100% totally freaked out by the idea of being numb. Crazy, right? After getting my first cavity filled as a teenager, I was so freaked out by the lack of feeling in my face for hours afterward that I have never had Novocain for another cavity again.
So when we finally found out we were expecting, my research began. I read blogs and articles online. I read the hypnobirthing book cover to cover, focusing mostly on the page that explained the anatomy of a contraction and visualizing your muscles shifting with each contraction. I found a fabulous doula who also happened to be my pre-natal pilates instructor. I signed myself and poor Mr. Confetti up for the hippy-dippiest birthing class I could find, and I paid close attention while Mr. Confetti struggled to keep his eyes open through the two eight hour sessions.
Because Mr. Confetti had extremely strong feelings about my medical care and safety, he insisted that we use an OB practice, despite my attempts to convince him that a midwifery practice would be just as safe. I prepared physically and mentally, and I waited as forty weeks passed, inching closer and closer to Baby Confetti’s due date.
I reached week 37 and found out that I was dilated 2 cm, and that information, combined with incessant and fairly regular Braxton Hicks contractions, had me on pins and needles, convinced that I would go into labor at any moment! And then I waited. And waited. And I reached my due date, still dilated and effaced, and I kept waiting. I went for long walks. I ate more pineapple and spicy food than I could stomach. I had not one but two pre-natal massages from a masseuse known to be able to induce labor using reflexology. And I waited.
Finally, when I was a week and a half overdue, I came to terms with my upcoming induction. I had heard horror stories of the pain of Pitocin-induced contractions and of stalled labor and emergency c-sections. I cursed the baby inside me for not being able to find the exit button. When I arrived at the hospital for my scheduled induction at midnight, I had accepted my fate, and was just anxious to meet this little guy who had set up an “Occupy Womb Street” protest inside my belly.
I came to the hospital with a birth plan that I knew would be slashed and dashed, due to the nature of the induction. Mr. Confetti and my mom came with me, and we all sat patiently as I was hooked up to the IV, and the Pitocin drip started. It was 1:00 a.m., and we were not thrilled with the prospect of pulling an all-nighter on our first day of parenthood, so we all tried to rest. I was too amped up with excitement to fall asleep; I was anxiously anticipating the labor experience that I had so focused on for so long, and I could not wait to meet the little guy who had been kicking me for so many months.
Again, I waited. They increased the Pitocin drip slowly, and for nearly six hours, I felt nothing more than mild menstrual cramps. My mom and Mr. C took turns keeping me company and napping, and we waited. Frustrated, I had my mom help me with all of the cords and tubes, and we went for a walk around the hospital floor to kill time. Apparently all I needed was Pitocin with a side of gravity to get things going. We made it about twenty feet down the hall before I turned around and went back to my room, conscious that the baby had “dropped” and the real pain had begun.
The next couple hours were spent sitting on an exercise ball, managing my contractions. Mr. Confetti called Kristin, our doula, and told her it was time to head to the hospital. Once the contractions became more intense and more painful, my mom made her exit to the waiting room, and my OB came in to check my progress. I was 5 cm dilated, and after a brief discussion with my doctor, he broke my water to continue to move the process along. Mr. Confetti laughed because after they broke my water, for the next several hours every time I had a contraction, more liquid came out of me, and I just kept moaning, “Ewwwwwwwwww, this is so grooooooooooooooooss.” I suppose if the “grossness” distracted me from the pain, it couldn’t have been so bad.
My progress was so fast once my water broke. Things immediately intensified, and in perfect timing, my doula arrived. She helped Mr. Confetti apply pressure to my hips during my contractions, and she reminded me to groan in a low tone when I felt compelled to scream. She brought me the most helpful tool – a fine toothed comb – which I squeezed in my fist during labor. It was an amazing distraction technique that I would have never come up with on my own.
Within an hour, I asked to be checked again, and I was 8 cm dilated. My doctor marveled at the speed at which my labor was progressing and guessed that he would be back in 30-40 minutes to see if I had reached 10 cm.
There was a brief moment after he left the room, when the pain was at its peak and I turned to Mr. Confetti and whispered to him I might want an epidural. He surprised me by saying exactly what I needed to hear: if I really needed it, he would make sure I got it immediately, but he knew that I might regret it, so was I really sure? I paused and thought for a minute – time seemed to be standing still – and I knew that I was so close to the finish line. If I could just breathe and concentrate, I knew I could handle the pain.
Less than ten minutes later, I announced that I knew I was ready to push and fumbled back onto the bed from the exercise ball. My doctor came back in, quickly checked, and knew right away that I was right. I pushed for twenty minutes, groaning and chanting some choice vocabulary words, and then finally we got to meet Little Mr. Confetti, our Little C.
He came out with his hand up by his head, and his cord wrapped around them both. Because of the wrapped cord, the staff had to take him to get the fluid out of his lungs and double-check that he was okay. As soon as that was resolved, we got to hold the baby and finally get a good long look at our labor of love and begin nursing him, while they stitched me up. He was beautiful. Six pounds, 11 ounces and 20 inches of pure perfection, born at 10:45 a.m. after not even ten hours of labor, start to finish.
Because I skipped the epidural, I think my recovery was much easier than it could have been. I didn’t have to deal with any side effects like vomiting, nausea, the shakes, etc., and Little C was more alert all day than almost any baby some of the nurses had ever seen.
Overall, despite all the waiting, I knew the moment I met him that Little C was well worth the wait. While my birth experience wasn’t exactly what I expected, since my body never went into labor on its own, but in the end, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Natural Birth Stories part 10 of 121. My Mom's Birth Story by Mrs. Bee
2. Emma's Birth Story Part 1 by Mrs. Marbles
3. Sam's Birth Story by Birth Stories
4. Baby H's Birth Story by Mrs. Hopscotch
5. Wonder Baby's Birth Story by Mrs. Superhero
6. Toddler Girl's Birth Story by Mrs. Superhero
7. How Baby HH Came to Be... by Mrs. High Heels
8. Baby Squiggle's Birth Story by Mrs. Pen
9. Susie's Birth Stories by Birth Stories
10. Baby Confetti's Birth Story by Mrs. Confetti
11. Baby Boy Heels' Birth Story by Mrs. High Heels
12. My Birth Story and Giving Birth Again by Mrs. Chocolate