To all those of you who hate birth stories, I apologize in advance. But I am a doula after all; how could I not indulge and share my story?
M is Baby nr. 3. Y was a c-section due to being breech, A. was an awesome VBAC and I was looking foward to another great experience. I had hired a wonderful doula (shoutout to Elanna Possner) and liked my doctor. This was my first time giving birth in the US so I was a bit nervous. I wanted to stay home as long as possible but I also wanted to get to the hospital in time.
I knew I would be giving birth close to my due date (Jan. 15th) because that's how it had been the previous two times. I was having lots of braxton hicks contractions in the week leading up to my due date and kept thinking- maybe this is it. Monday, Jan 12th I went to the doctor for a regular check-up. I was having stronger braxton hicks that felt different and really thought things were slowly starting to move. When he checked me though, I was not dilated. I was a bit disappointed but did not worry about it too much. That night before bed, I made sure my bags were packed just in case.
I woke up at 4 am to go to the bathroom and when I got out of bed, my water broke in a huge gush. Kind of like in the movies and you think these things don't actually happen like that but sometimes they do. I woke up my husband right away and called my doula. I knew things were going to move fast, the way they had when A was born. Elanna said she would shower and come over. I went to sit on the toilet and waited for the contractions to start. They started soon after, coming every 10 minutes. They were still manageable so I breathed through them and rocked back and forth. In between I read a book and was instructing my husband on packing last minute things.
Soon the contractions were getting stronger. We called my inlaws around 5 45 and asked them to come over as soon as they could. Elanna came around 5 30 or so. We just hung out in the bathroom because I was very comfortable sitting on the toilet. It sounds funny but it's actually a great position to labor in because they baby can move down and you can rock back and forth.
I was not sure I wanted to go to the hospital yet. I had called in and found out that my doctor was coming in around 7 so I figured I would wait till then. I preferred him to the other doctors in the practice because I knew him. The contractions were definitely coming closer together and were getting stronger. We wanted to get going but my in laws were not there yet. We called a neighbor who was leaving to work soon but she sent her nanny down. My kids were still sleeping anyway.
Around 7 10 we left. We had to stop on the way to the cab every few minutes when a contraction hit but we made it the hospital by 7 30 or so. Thankfully I got to skip triage and went right into a room. That was good because I pretty much hit transition as soon as I got to the hospital. I was so thankful that I was not in the cab anymore. I tried squatting through the contractions and breathing but things were getting intense.
In the room, they wanted to put me on the monitor for a bit so I had to be in bed. My doctor was in a meeting so he sent his midwife down to be with me. She insisted I get an IV even though my birthplan clearly stated I only wanted a heplock and my doctor had signed off on it. That was the only bummer. Meanwhile I was ready to push and it was kind of comical- me starting to push while the nurse was still trying to find a vein for some bloodwork and the IV.
I think at some point in labor, every woman hits a wall when things just get too overwhelming. I was feeling the urge to push but also very strong contractions so I just started screaming. After a few minutes, though, I got the hang of the pushing and became focused again. All this time Elanna was there holding my hand and encouraging me. She told me she could see the head already. One more push and the head was out and then he was there in full glory- a beautiful baby boy. Born on Tuesday, Jan 13th the 17th of Tevet, at 8 13 am and weighing in at 7lbs 14 oz.
I was so thankful that things had gone so smoothly and really felt exhilarated by the whole experience. I held him right away while they cut the cord and delivered the placenta. Then they cleaned us both up a bit and I was able to nurse him. We just hung out in the room and chatted while they did all the admission stuff they hadn't done before the birth because things had gone too fast. We called our families to share the news.
My doctor never made it in time. The midwife was great though. The funny part was that I had attended a birth about a month ago with her and so she remembered me. It was good that she wasn't a total stranger to me.
And now it's a year later. M is a delicious baby who is very easy going and happy. He is always smiling and rarely cries. He loves food and is very adventurous. He is cruising and almost ready to walk. I feel incredibly blessed.
If you made it all the way to the end of this post- thanks for reading :)