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On Monday, May 9th I was officially a week overdue and feeling very inpatient and ready to be in labor.....especially since my Braxton hicks the past few days had been tricking me into thinking I was in labor and getting my hopes up. That night I had dinner with my Dad, sister and Step-Mom and right after dinner I ran into the health food store and picked up some castor oil (I mixed 4tbs into a caramel java chiller milkshake and didn‘t taste a thing!). By 9:30 I felt like I was having the same ole' Braxton hicks, and by 12:30 pm I was sure that I was feeling some sort of regularity to the contractions, though there was still no pain. I never experienced any bad effects of the castor oil and believe that it only worked because my body was ready for labor.
I was so excited that I made the mistake of staying up ALL night obsessively counting contractions! At first they were coming every 15 minutes and lasting about a minute. By 3:30 am I was pretty positive that I was officially in labor, so I ate some cheese and bread and woke up my husband. He wanted to keep sleeping, but I stupidly stayed awake! The contractions didn't feel even a little bit painful until 4:30 am, but by 6:30 they were pretty uncomfortable and coming about every 5 minutes so I called The Birth Center. The midwife, Sarah, asked me to come in at 7:30 so she could check me. I was very disappointed to find that I was only 2 cm dilated, though I was 100% effaced and she could feel Evie's head. Sarah declared that I was indeed in early labor and would be holding our baby by that time tomorrow. She advised me to go home and rest since I hadn’t slept even a wink all night, so we went home and I climbed in bed. The contractions slowed down to about every 10 minutes and I was able to sleep in between, though laying down seemed to make them much more uncomfortable and intense so I decided to get up and walk around after a few hours of this. My in-laws came into town (we had called them thinking I was already in active labor previously) so my Mother In Law was with me from about 10:30-1:30 while we counted contractions. From 12-1 they had consistently been 5 minutes apart and lasting about a minute, so Sarah said to come on in. At this point I was not in a whole of pain at all and I was doubting if I was even in active labor. Once we got there (at about 1:30pm)I was checked and told I was 4-5 cm, so Sarah left us alone for a while and I got on the birthing ball and then in the tub. The tub was so relaxing that I started falling asleep in between contractions. Still I was not in a lot of pain like I had imagined and was able to turn the intensity of contractions from pain to a “sensation” (lol) by never complaining about “pain”, even in my head, and by thinking “This is a very intense sensation that needs all of my attention”. I also envisioned a circle widening and getting bigger and that the intensity was moving from the top of my abdomen and down toward my cervix. As soon as I could change my thinking the “pain” level completely went down! The only thing that was difficult for me was trying to remember to relax and not clench up.
About two hours later my contractions were still coming 5 minutes apart and lasting about a minute and a half. I was starting to worry that my labor was stalling.
I went to go pee and felt, while squatting over the toilet, this overwhelming pushing sensation. I told the midwives and they seemed to think that maybe I was just referring to having to poo. But after a couple contractions that were making my body push (I had no control over the sensation) the midwives though it would be a good idea to check me. Sure enough I had gone from 4 to 10 centimeters in two hours of fairly easy going labor. I kept asking “Um, didn’t I skip a step here? Am I really pushing now? Is this the actual part where the baby comes out???” LOL. Everyone had described transition as this time where you try to rip your husband’s eyeballs out and beg for an ambulance to come to the hospital so you can get an epidural, so naturally I was confused haha. I started off pushing in the tub for about an hour and a half. I loved the pushing because it took the pain from the contraction and gave me something to do. I also slept very deeply in between the contractions. The midwives felt that I needed to switch positions to let gravity work in my favor since I had been pushing for quite some time. I tried squatting in the tub but this was uncomfortable, as was the birthing stool. The midwives then told me that to get her out I should stomp around the room in between contractions and raise my knees high into the air. I would then squat wherever I was standing and push during the contractions. I was SO exhausted from not sleeping that I got very tired and weary during all this stomping and squatting. But sure enough it didn’t take long at all and her head was starting to come out. I felt her hair while squatting at one point and the midwives remarked how long her hair was! The last stretch of pushing I was so tired from squatting and she was so close that I crawled up on the bed and pushed the rest of her out, which took about 20 minutes. The last contractions I had before pushing her out took a while to come, so I was there for a good 5 minutes in between contractions looking at a big portion of her head in the mirror. I was so amazed that in this moment, whether it was hormones or adrenaline, I really didn’t feel any pain - and I could see her head sticking out of me! It was such an empowering feeling and I kept saying “I can do this!”. I then watched in the mirror as I pushed the rest of her head out. She came out so perfectly clean looking and pink, screaming her lungs out, that I thought someone had magically given her a bath in the split second before she was placed on my chest. She looked (and still looks) like the most perfect little child to me. She also scored a 10 on her APGAR! As for tearing, I had only some small “lacerations” that did not require any stitches. And as for all the negative people who tried to change my mind about having a natural birth and tried to convince me that I would change my own mind after feeling the pains of labor. . .that is so far from the truth! I would do it the same way again in a heartbeat and looking back I wish I had never given those comments a second thought because they only brought me down. I now have such a huge respect for my body and it’s natural, beautiful abilities! We created the most beautiful daughter and we are so, so in love with her.
Last edited by PennyLynn; May 11th, 2011 at 10:01 PM.