My due date, May 4th came and went and nothing was happening. I felt very prepared for the big day. I had my birth plan on paper and was rereading some of my pregnancy books so I wouldn’t forget anything. Then on May 8th I started loosing my mucus plug. I knew labor still could be a couple of days away, but I was glad to see that things were starting to happen.
Things Started Happening…
The next day I started feeling cramps around 10:30 a.m. They felt like menstrual cramps and I could just breathe through them. I still was not convinced that this was the real deal. My husband left for work at noon and I called my midwife around 2:00 p.m. to let her know that I was feeling something. I decided to lay down on the sofa and rest.
I started timing the contractions and they were about 1 minute long and 4-5 minutes apart. Around 5:00 p.m. the contractions started getting tougher, as in, I could really use a back rub right about now. So, I called my husband to come home from work and my midwife. He got home at 6:00 p.m. and I moved to the bed downstairs. The midwives arrived at 7:00 p.m. and checked me to find that I was 5 cm dilated.
In And Out Of The Pool
I got into the birthing pool and labored in there for 2 hours. My contractions started slowing down so I moved back to the bed for a while. The contractions felt like bad menstrual cramps where I would almost go numb. I tried to relax by breathing deeply and pretending that I was sinking into the bed, but sometimes they still got the best of me and I would tense up. Then it felt like a serious back ache.
They check me again and I was 7 cm dilated. I got back into the pool and labored some more. I felt the best laying on my side in the pool, but then the baby moved down a little and I felt better facing up. The midwife checked me again and I was almost fully dilated with the baby’s head right there and my bag of waters bulging.
I got out of the pool and onto the bed one more time. After getting into the pool again my water broke, finally! It felt like a balloon popping inside of me. At this point I was ready to stop laboring… I wasn’t sure I could keep going. I was in transition.
After my water broke it took a couple of contractions until I got the urge to push. When the urge came, I breathed at first then pushed 3 or 4 times until the contraction was over. I pushed for 1 hour and 45 minutes. I felt like my body was going to split open, so I wasn’t sure how hard to push at first. I was able to feel the baby’s head and after 2 contractions his head was still in the same place so I decided to push as hard as I could.
I groaned deeply the whole time I was pushing and I feel like it really helped me focus. When the baby’s head was almost through I tried squatting in the water but it felt like I was just bulging and not opening up. Somehow I leaned back and pushed the baby out while facing up. I was able to breath through the ring of fire which helped me not to tear. The baby’s body was born a contraction after the head.
Vincent was born at 6:04 a.m. May 10th. He is a healthy baby boy and so precious. I was in labor for a total of 19.5 hours. I understood that labor would take a long time, but I didn’t realize how long that really was. I was amazed at how much determination it took to give birth. I gained much more respect for all the mothers I know and my own mother.
If you would have talked to me immediately afterwards I would have told you that I am never doing that again! Why not just adopt. But time and that cute baby face makes you forget about how hard labor actually was. It was definitely worth it. Besides, compared to the first week of Vince’s life, labor was easy, but that’s a different story.