On April 30, I went in for my regularly scheduled 40 week OB appointment. All was well, aside from my general end-of-pregnancy misery. I’d been having timeable braxton hicks contractions for ~2 weeks that continuously fizzled out and drove me crazy, but I learned that day that I’d been progressing ever so slowly to 4 cm. After two prior inductions, this was the furthest I’d ever progressed on my own! Yay! So OB went on to check baby’s heart rate and commented that it was a little high. She wanted me to do a NST (non-stress test) just to be safe. I just knew I was going to be admitted after that (this is how every other induction started) and I was upset because I did not want another induction for my last pregnancy. I had this pipe dream of going into labor naturally and experiencing a med-free delivery (total opposite of my other two labors). So fast forward, heart rate is still a bit high and my regular contractions are caught on paper (so I feel a little validated). Anddd OB wants to admit me and induce. Wahhh! She thinks if they break my water my labor will progress relatively quickly on it’s own without pitocin, so I keep my fingers crossed but I’m still feeling pretty pessimistic about the whole thing.
So fast forward, I’m admitted, I have time to call my bestie/doula/RN/wearer-of-all-the-hats and my favorite fellow photographer friend and tell them I’m being admitted but no rush since I assume it’s going to be a thousand hours until I go into active labor. Both head over and both are there in about 2 seconds flat (or so it felt). A bunch of nothingness went on. Chit chat, food, jolly ranchers. A doctor eventually came in and is all like, “I don’t think your’e in labor”. And I’m like, ok well I didn’t admit myself? Is this not an induction? And whatever, her bedside manor was lacking and I was bummed she was going to be delivering my kid. She says she’ll be back in a bit to break my water. Cool beans!
So a bit happens, and a DIFFERENT doctor strolls in and she’s this massive breath of fresh air and feels kinda crunchy and she’s super smiley and excited about life and says she’s actually going to be the one delivering. And I’m like YASSSSS! She says she’s going to go grab some dinner and she’ll be back to check in after the first Dr breaks my water. I already miss her once she’s gone (ok exaggeration. kinda.).
Sooo first Dr comes back and it’s go-time. Crochet hook looking thing in hand, and then all the water. My vagina (yes, I said the word vagina so if you’re squeamish at this point probably stop reading at this point!) is officially in waterfall status for the remainder of my labor. Like nothing I’d experienced with either previous labor (it was just a trickle with my first and never broke until I was pushing with my second). Like HOW does that much water fit in there???
Shit starts getting real, REAL fast. I head to the bathroom, I was in there for maybe a few minutes, and had two intense contractions I couldn’t talk though. Oh shit, this is really happening. I mosey on back to the faithful labor ball knowing full well I’m in active labor now. We all keep chatting away but now I can’t talk through contractions.
An hour or so passes (it felt like 5 minutes) and the labor ball is too uncomfortable. I opt for my favorite labor position with my second, leaning face-first against the back of the raised hospital bed. I was warned ahead of time that should I request an epidural it can take up to a half hour for the anesthesiologist to even get there so that’s feeling pretty off the table and I realize my window for an epidural has essentially come and gone. There was no turning back. I was going to go through with my natural birth.
So I start screaming through contractions. And my head is all like,
I CAN DO THIS.
NO I CAN’T DO THIS, I THINK I MIGHT DIE.
NO I CAN.
NO I REALLY FUCKING CAN’T.
I THINK I’M GOING TO PASS OUT.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I PASS OUT??!
GET THIS FUCKING CHILD OUT OF ME!!!
I have doula-bestie giving me positive affirmations, photography-bestie snapping away, and DH feeling what probably felt like his arm being ripped off. And then I start pushing. GET HIM OUT GET HIM OUT GET HIM OUT!!!
Four minutes of pushing, on my hands and knees, and little man is officially born. And I FUCKING DID IT!!!
To recap, my water was broken at 7:45p and little man was born at 10:00p. So in retrospect, THANK GOD my water didn’t break at home! I would have dilly-dallied thinking I had all the time and probably would have had a car baby or an ER hallway baby. Everything lined up perfectly for my friends to arrive in time and for me to finally have my dream birth. And for that, I’m eternally grateful.
All images by Marissa Jillian Photography, an amazing photographer and all around human being.