I had my 39 week appointment on Thursday July 18th and was dilated to 2 cm. Friday was a regular day although I really wanted to make sure the house was all clean and things were in order. I was washing dishes at 6:30 that night when I started leaking. I was thinking hey maybe my water broke and then started stressing out about all the things I still wanted to get done before the baby was born. I called L&D and they said it might just be watery discharge and to see how long it takes to soak through a pad. If it was saturated after an hour then my water had probably broke. I went about my evening, which included finishing up an important step in a project at work so that my boss could take it over if I did go into labor. My stressing caused a headache so when I got done I crashed in bed. I woke up at 3:00 am pretty wet, no contractions and a headache. I called L&D again and they said since I was not having contractions I could wait until morning to come in. It was kind of a rough night after that but I did get some sleep and woke up at 7:00 am headache free. I gently tapped Greg and told him we needed to go to the hospital. I have never seen him jump out of bed so quickly! We got ourselves and Emmett ready, packed the hospital bag (thankfully I had a list made of everything we needed) and called our friends the Datwyler’s to see if Emmett could go to their house until my mom was able to get him. Thankfully they were home and I didn’t have to worry about him while we were at the hospital. By 8:15 am we were on our way to the hospital. In the car my water broke the rest of the way and then I knew it was real. We were having this baby today! When they checked me at the hospital at about 8:45 am I was 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced. I was still not having contractions so they said depending on how long my labor was they would start me on an antibiotic. I got all situated, hooked up to the monitors and was ready to get this labor going. I started to have contractions around 9:15 am and was having them fairly steady. At 9:45 they started me on a very low pitocin drip to kick start things a little more. I really wanted to have a natural birth but was a little nervous because the only relaxation technique I had practiced was deep breathing and everyone I talked to said it could not be done without a handful of various techniques and a doula to coach me through. My contractions were pretty bearable. When they would come I would close my eyes, relax my whole body, and just focus on breathing. By 11:00 am they were getting more intense and each time I needed Greg to rub my face or hand to help me get through it relaxed. By 11:30 am I have having contraction about every 2 to 3 minutes and dilated to 6 cm. Greg and I passed the time talking and watching the contraction and heart rate monitors. At 1:00 they checked me again as I was starting to feel more pressure with each contraction. I was dilated to 7 cm. About 10 minutes later the contractions started to get a lot more intense. It took a lot more focus with each contraction to relax my body and I killed Greg’s fingers a couple of times. Not long after that I got up to use the restroom and had to stay there a while because I could not make it back from the intense contractions. I told Greg to call the nurses because with each contraction I felt like I had to push. The nurses rushed in the room and told me they needed to get me back to the bed to check me. I was thinking “yup back to the bed would be great, let me just stop these contraction real quick to get there”. I was dilated to 8 almost 9 cm and the pain of not pushing was so intense. The nurse had to help me gain control and tell me how to breath. They called the doctor who thankfully showed up very quickly and said I could start to push. Oh glorious day I thought, until I started pushing. Oh my goodness was pushing the most painful experience of my life! Pushing through the first contraction hurt a little and I let out a little scream but then the contraction ended and I got to rest a little. The nurse told me on the next one to try and not scream because it would let out the air I needed to hold in to push. I kept apologizing saying I was trying to not be dramatic and I would focus harder on pushing. The second contraction was more painful and I told the doctor he better get the baby out soon because there was no way I could push much longer. The doctor told me he thought 2 more contractions with good pushing and the baby would be born. Pushing through the third contraction I tried to push really hard. I screamed quite a bit and the nurses kept reminding me to focus on the pushing. I kept apologizing saying I was not doing a very good job and was probably scaring all the other moms in labor. Everyone just laughed and reassured me I was doing a great job. Fourth contraction I pushed really hard with a lot of pain and screaming and thankfully Pippa was born. I was so relieved I just about cried! They cleaned her off on my stomach and I kept saying I love you baby. It was definitely worth the pain to have her here. Pippa was born July 20th at 1:46 pm weighing 7lbs 2oz and was 19.5in long. I didn’t know any of those stats until a while later because I was just so tired from pushing and the fact that she was healthy was good enough for me. I didn’t tear at all so there was no stitching up to be done. The only thing that needed to be done was clean the baby poop off. Pippa pooped all over me when they set her on my stomach so I was pretty messy.
Natural birth was certainly a painful, humbling, amazing experience. I am so grateful I was able to have a natural birth. I have a renewed respect for all women before modern medicine. I am also grateful I was able to do it my way without having to do some of the crazy hippie relaxation techniques I read about or with a doula in the room. I just wanted to share the experience of Pippa’s birth with family and not a stranger coaching me on what to do. The deep breathing worked so well for me to get through the contractions. I didn’t get up and move around but just sat relaxed in bed and made it to the end! I was in labor for 4.5 hours and only had to push for 4 contractions. It was an amazing and quick birth and I am thankful I was able to experience it naturally.