On Wednesday February 22, I went into the hospital at 41 weeks along to be induced for labor. We got checked in around 9 AM. When we arrived, my midwife checked me and she said I was dilated at a 3 and 50% effaced. (The day before I was at a 2 and the baby was pretty high still.) Luckily for me, the baby had moved down further than she was the day before so we decided we would like to have my water broken in the hopes that doing so would cause labor and I wouldn’t have to be put on Pitocin.
When my water was broken, we learned that there was meconium in there as well. My midwife said it was a concern, but that as far as the color, it was “the best color that we could have in this situation.” I decided, once they had monitored the baby and we filled out all the paperwork that I would walk around to try to get the labor going. Randy and I walked around the hospital for about an hour and during that time, my contractions got stronger and closer together. We had fun talking and hanging out together and Randy making fun of me every time I was surprised as I felt another gush of amniotic fluid coming out. Every once in a while, Randy pulled out the camera and took video of me laboring.
We got back to my room and they put me back on the monitors so they could check on the baby. We continued to labor and the contractions were getting stronger, so I had to actually concentrate on relaxing through each one. I sat on the birthing ball at the edge of the bed and Randy rubbed my lower back or performed effleurage for me while I listened to my hypnobirthing CD. My midwife came back around 1:30PM and checked me to see if I had progressed or if we needed to start a dose of Pitocin. I was crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t need the Pitocin as I wanted a completely un-medicated birth. She said that I was dilated at a 5 and 90% effaced. I was progressing enough that she said I was fine to keep going the way I had been.
Randy and I hung out while the contractions got stronger and closer together. I decided that they were getting pretty strong and I felt a lot of back labor, so I asked Randy if I could get in the Jacuzzi. The reason I asked him, is because for the last two babies I delivered, I nearly had both of them inside the Jacuzzi. We joked that I shouldn’t get in the Jacuzzi this time because it goes so fast once I get in. We decided to have the nurse check my progress and if I was at a 6 or 7 then, I could get in the bath, if I was an 8 or more, I should probably stay out this time around. When the nurse checked me she said I was dilated around a seven, so they filled the Jacuzzi and I got in. When you are in labor, it feels amazing to get in the Jacuzzi. I had the jets flowing right on my lower back and was able to relax a little more easily. Randy made me promise that I wouldn’t stay in there too long and that I would tell him when the contractions got really strong so I could get out in time to actually birth the baby. The nurses came in at some point with the Doppler to check the baby’s heart rate, but I honestly don’t remember even seeing them, I knew they were there, but I was too focused on relaxing. While I was in there, Randy had the nurses prep the room for delivery (we hadn’t ever had time before) and even got a wheelchair just in case I needed it to get from the tub to the bed.
I was in the Jacuzzi and the contractions were pretty intense. The first time my body started to push a little bit and I felt pressure, I decided to tell Randy I needed to get out. Unfortunately, Randy was outside with the nurses and I was alone. I knew that I could pull the cord right by the tub, but I didn’t want or need a bunch of people running in, so I decided to wait till he came back. I had another really strong contraction with another surge pushing my baby down. Luckily, Randy came in right then and I told him I needed to get out of the tub. He helped me out, toweled me off and put on my gown. I had another contraction and I leaned on him in the high school dance pose and asked him “can I do this?” he assured me that I could. He told me that I was doing great and that I had done it before and that I could do it again. I was reassured and I walked from the tub to the bed. I looked at the bed and decided to lay on my left side because I thought lying on my back would be too much with the back labor. I put my arms around Randy’s neck and waited for my body to push the baby down. I should probably have Randy write what happened from here on out, because I am in my own zone during transition and into delivery. But here is what I remember. My body started to push and I remember feeling like I needed to "bear down". In hypnobirthing, they teach you to breathe your baby down and not to push or force the baby because it can cause stress for you, your body, and the baby. Anyway, I kind of held my breath and pushed and Randy said “just breathe the baby down” so I took a breath. I also remember my nurse saying sweetly, “don’t force it, and slow down.” I tried my best to listen to both of them and breathe, and not actively push, but to let my body do the work on its own. I felt the baby crowning and I felt my body push her out. Usually, that is all I feel. In past births, I just feel the crowning and the head being pushed out and then that I am done. With this baby, however, I felt the head and then for some reason that I couldn’t figure out, I wasn’t done. I felt someone down there manipulating me or twisting the baby or something and I said to my midwife kind of in frustration, “what are you doing?” like it was her fault that the baby wasn’t out yet. She told me to give her a big push! I didn’t really understand why, but I did as I was told and pushed as best I could. Finally, after what seemed I like a long time, but I’m sure was not, Alyssa was born. They immediately put her on my stomach, but they took her away pretty fast because the NICU nurses were there to check her lungs because of the meconium we discovered earlier.
I then delivered the placenta and my midwife told me I did a good job. She explained to me that when the baby was coming out, she started out posterior (like all my other babies) but had turned at the last minute and was kind of sideways. Her head had come out, but her shoulder got stuck and my midwife had a bit of a struggle getting Alyssa unstuck. Lucky for us, Alyssa was unharmed and I didn’t tear at all in her struggle to get out.
I finally got to hold her after they assessed her and found her to be doing just fine. She was born at 3:04 PM and was 9lbs 5 oz. and 20 inches long. I got to hold her for quite a while and I tried to nurse her. She didn’t want to latch on right away and was too busy screaming. I got her to latch on and she nursed for a few minutes. She is beautiful! Randy and I were so excited to finally meet her. She has a full head of dark hair and little tiny dimples on her chubby cheeks. We are so very blessed to have her join our family.