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Disclaimer: this is probably the longest birth story ever written. I don't expect everyone to read it I mostly did it for myself- that I will have something I can look back on. I also enjoy reading other people's birth stories. Sorry for any spelling or grammar errors. I am running on little sleep as of now.
I had been experiencing tons of the famous braxton hicks contractions from early on in my pregnancy but as I approached my due date, I'd get them regularly and they were increasingly uncomfortable. They'd always start coming in regular intervals and make me think that it was the start of labor but then they would just fizzle out, leaving me frustrated and hopeless.
I had my last doctors appointment when I was 39 weeks and a few days along. My doctor was leaving on vacation a few days later and wouldn't be back until I was 41 weeks. He checked my cervix and tried to strip my membranes but said it wasn't very successful because the baby just moved her head away. I hadn't made much cervical change in the past few weeks and the doctor seemed to think that it didn't seem promising that I would go into labor on my own. He scheduled me to be induced when he got back from his vacation. I didn't really want to be induced but figured I would go into labor on my own before then. With my firstborn I was checked and barely dilated or effaced at all but then only a couple of days later I went into labor, so I figured it would probably happen the same way this time. For some reason I had a feeling my whole pregnancy that this baby was going to be early- I never thought I would make it past my due date.. but I was very wrong!
My mom flew out that night and she had made arrangements to be here until after the baby was born. As soon as she arrived we all figured I would go into labor right away- that my body was just waiting until she was there and everything was ready.. but it didn't happen. Every day that passed made me feel more and more stressed and guilty that I was taking so long. I had told my mom I thought this baby would be early so she came out before my due date and here I was about to be late! I went for walks, cleaned the house over and over again, ate pineapple, etc. But nothing worked.
My due date came and passed and I was left with an extremely heavy burdened feeling. I was so uncomfortable. Every day my mom would ask me "Any contractions?! Anything happening?!" She was always so excited and would tell me she thought today would be the day but it never was. We all had made our predictions on when the baby was coming but we were always wrong. Every time I'd get an uncomfortable contraction, I'd think "This is probably it!" but they would never progress and get more painful even though they would last for hours.
As each day passed by, I got closer and closer to my scheduled induction date. I started getting a little scared because I really didn't want to be induced since I knew that it wasn't the best thing for the baby or for me. I felt that when my baby was ready to come, she would.. but I didn't want to disappoint or let anyone down because everyone was counting on that Monday being the last day I could be pregnant. Even I was looking forward to it because I didn't want to be pregnant anymore but I didn't know if it was the right thing to do.. and I also didn't know if I would have the courage to cancel the appointment and let everyone down if I did decide I didn't want to go through with it.
The day before my scheduled induction, when I was exactly a week over my due date, I woke up at 3 am with a really painful contraction. I just KNEW this had to be real labor because this contraction was a lot different than all the ones I'd been experiencing. The other ones were uncomfy but this one was downright PAINFUL. I was already having to moan and breathe through it. My way of getting through each contraction was saying "ow, ow, ow" through each one, lol. I did this through almost of them, all the way up until giving birth. The contraction was also radiating in my back, which is how I experienced labor with my firstborn, too. Back labor is very very painful. It doesn't feel like anything I would've thought labor would've felt like. Back labor is like a muscle spasm in your back. It starts coming and the pain radiates like crazy until it's over. It is similar to getting a charley horse in your leg, only it's in your lower back.
I stayed up the rest of the night with the contractions. I was so excited that this was it. Even though they hurt I had so much adrenaline and was welcoming them with open arms. Although as I stayed awake through the night, timing them, I started feeling disappointed again because they were still pretty intermittent and not coming closer and closer together like real labor contractions were supposed to. I knew these were way different than braxton hicks contractions because of the pain but I started doubting and wondering if maybe it wasn't real labor again because if it was why weren't they coming increasingly closer together? They were anywhere from 10-20 minutes apart on average. At around 9 am I decided to try to just get some sleep since I wasn't sure if this was going to be it or not. I slept for two hours, waking up in between contractions. They were still very painful but not coming closer together.
At 11 am I decided we might as well go to church because I didn't think I was going to be having this baby anytime soon even if it was real labor. So we went to church and then out to lunch for Father's Day. I was still getting the contractions 10-20 minutes apart on average.. sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. The longer the time in between them, the more frustrated I would feel because I would assume that they were just going to fizzle out again! It was disappointing to think that it might not be it but I knew that if this wasn't it or if it was but my body was just going to be in early labor for a long time, I had my induction appointment at the hospital for 7 am the next day.
After lunch we went to a shopping center to just walk around and waste time. We went to a pet store and then to Target. At this point, the contractions started getting a little bit closer together.. about 8 minutes apart on average. They were increasing in pain a bit, too, because when I'd have one I'd want to grip onto something and crouch down because of the pain. After an hour of walking around, we went home. I was tired so I sat on the couch.. then it was almost 20 minutes again before the next contraction. This really disappointed me because I thought I was making progress so I went outside to go for a walk. My mom walked with me for awhile.. contractions were anywhere from 5-8 minutes apart on average. She was timing them for me and would keep telling me when I should be about to have another one but when I didn't I just felt so hopeless and frustrated because I didn't think I was really far enough along for it to be real labor yet. The contractions increased to be about 5 minutes apart during the end of our walk. I got tired and cold after awhile so we went home.
I lay on my bed to rest a bit and it was another 8 minutes or so without a contraction. I had my laptop out and was just checking JM and facebook. I was frustrated and annoyed so I shut the computer off and just lay on my bed. After that I had a really painful contraction and then another one shortly after. They started coming closer and closer together- about 4-5 minutes apart. They were also a lot more painful. I got up on my hands and knees and just started to breathe through them. I didn't know whether to cry or throw-up-the pain was so intense. My husband came into the bedroom and laid with me through a couple of contractions. I asked him to push on my back through a few of them because the back labor was horrible. He did and I found a little relief if he was pressing in a specific spot with a certain amount of pressure.. but if he pressed in the wrong place or with not enough pressure, I was very intolerable and would just tell him to stop because anything else made the pain worse. I just wanted to curl up and die.. but the contractions kept coming.
Finally, in between contractions, I told my husband that maybe we should call the hospital and tell them that we will be coming soon. So he called the hospital and told them that I've been having contractions for awhile about 5 minutes apart on average. The nurse asked him whether I had taken a shower or been drinking water. That really pissed me off because it seemed like she assumed that I was not far enough along to be coming to the hospital. He gave the phone to me to answer her questions as soon as a contraction was over. The nurse told me that I should try doing a few different things but when I was ready to be checked I could come to the hospital. She said to just give them a call when we were on our way.
After I hung up, I started packing my bag. This makes me laugh now because as I was packing my bag, I realized that this is why everyone talks about having their bag packed BEFORE labor starts. I always just thought it was something I could do while I was in labor to give me a distraction.. which is what I did with my firstborn. While in labor with my firstborn, the contractions were not as painful nor coming as closely together so packing my bag wasn't too difficult. This time it was not so easy. The contractions were coming as fast as 3 minutes apart by now. I went into my daughter's room to get some clothes for the baby and I'd have to drop to the floor each time a contraction came. I'd moan and rock on my hands and knees to try to minimize the pain I was feeling. As soon as the contraction was over, I'd have about 2 minutes to get up and start looking around and grabbing things before I'd drop to the floor again. I did this through about five contractions and then went into our room to pack my things. I ended up forgetting to pack a few essentials such as my toothbrush/toothpaste but thankfully my mom was able to bring them to the hospital later for me when I realized I had forgotten them.
We were finally all packed and ready to go and the contractions were still coming so quickly and fast, knocking me off my feet. I didn't know how I was going to be able to say goodbye to my daughter but I waited upstairs until a contraction was over and then quickly went downstairs to say goodbye. Unfortunately I got a contraction right as I was saying good-bye to her. My mom said it upset my daughter to see me in pain but that she was able to quickly distract her as we left. I felt bad because I was really disconnected to her because of my pain and it was the last time I would see her as my only child.
On the way to the hospital I got several contractions and was in a lot of pain. I let myself cry after each one.. the tears just streamed down my face. I knew that I was not going to look presentable when we arrived but I didn't care anymore.. the pain was too intense. As soon as we got to the hospital I got another contraction as we were getting out of the car. They had brought a wheelchair out for me and I sat down in it while the contraction was happening. I told everyone "Don't move me!" because I felt like if they moved me while I was contracting it would hurt a lot worse. After it was over, I stood up and told them I was going to walk inside. I was very moody and not my usual friendly self.
As soon as I got to the labor center in the hospital I started getting another contraction. One of the nurses had come out to see what I looked like and I overheard her telling the other nurses that she didn't think I was that far along but then she saw me have the contraction and drop to the ground and she quickly changed her opinion. After the contraction was over, the nurse showed me my room and told me to put the hospital gown on in the bathroom. I quickly changed and came out and lay on the bed. The nurse checked me and was very surprised that I was already dilated 5-6 cm. I was happy to hear that I was that far along so I could stay and get the epidural. I just wanted to be relieved of the pain!
She quickly called the nurses in to come prepare the room. I asked if I could get the epidural so they said they have to first get some fluids in me with an IV. The nurse tried several times to get an IV started but she was having a lot of trouble. She told me that my veins were very small and petite and that they kept blowing every time she'd get the needle in. I was feeling very frustrated because I just wanted pain relief- but I started thinking I might not be able to have the epidural because she was having so much trouble getting my veins to work. She'd poke me and move the needle around over and over, only to tell me again that it didn't work. Finally she asked for some help from another nurse and together they got it to go in. Even though it hurt being poked over and over and having the needle being moved around in me, I was just happy to have some other type of pain besides the contraction pain. Even though my contractions were still hurting a lot, my body kind-of went into a different state as I was lying in the bed.
After the IV had pumped almost a whole bag of fluids in me, the anesthesiologist came into the room to get started on the epidural. I was still contracting every couple of minutes and was scared that I wouldn't be able to hold still while he poked my back. They got my body all prepped and ready and told me to arch my back like a cat. The doctor poked and prodded around while I tried to hold still. After several minutes, he was still back there working away. I figured he should've gotten it to work by now since I had an epidural with my first and it only took several minutes. I asked him"Did you get it in? Did you get it?" But the doctor told me he was having a lot of trouble with my spine for some reason and that it didn't want to go in for him. Each minute that passed by, I started getting more worried-that maybe I should just tell him to forget it because I didn't know if he was going to mess up my back. It seemed like with all the circumstances of the hospital staff not being able to work that well on my body that maybe getting the epidural wasn't the best thing for me. I was really scared. I started praying that God would give all the hospital staff a supernatural ability to be able to work on my body and that everything would be okay.
The anesthesiologist poked me several times and played for over a half hour before he was finally able to administer it. It was really annoying to keep having contractions while he was poking me over and over again and have to remain still. I felt lots of pokes, burns, and stings, and this time it wasn't as nice to have a different kind of pain because this pain really hurt, too. I was really worried that he was going to mess up my back permanently. Finally, when I was just about to scream, the doctor told me he was done. He cleaned up everything and left.
As I lay back on the bed, my body started shaking uncontrollably and feeling really itchy but the contraction pain started fading. I was beginning to feel a little giddy and started talking a whole bunch. I kept telling my husband "I can't believe we're actually having another BABY." "I'm actually kind-of scared!" Everything started feeling real to me now that I was able to concentrate on what was happening without the pain consuming me. I posted on facebook that I was in labor at the hospital and that the baby was on her way. I called my mom and sister and talked to them about what had been happening.
I was comfortable for about an hour at the most when all of a sudden, with each contraction, I started feeling a horrible pain to have a bowel movement. It felt like I had the worst stomach ache EVER. I had a lot of pain and pressure. I tried laying on my side- I thought maybe if I changed positions or squeezed my legs together it would go away but it didn't. The pain and pressure were excruciating- I honestly don't know what was worse- the contraction pain or this pain. I told the nurse I think I have to go to the bathroom- I think I'm going to be sick! She told me she thought it is probably the baby coming down- that no one that's had this feeling has ever been able to take a bowel movement at this point- but that she will get me a bedpan so I could try. She checked me at this point and I was dilated to 8 cm. I didn't know if I would be able to hold it in because it felt so intense. It felt like my body was going to expel it whether or not I tried to hold it in which I was trying so hard to do. I told my husband to leave the room because I was really embarrassed that I might have a bowel movement while he was there. He left and then the nurse finally brought the bedpan in and helped put it underneath me. It was huge and awkward laying on this huge bucket. I let myself relax and tried to go to the bathroom but I couldn't go, like she had said. She asked me if I only felt the pain and pressure when I was contracting and I told her yes. She checked me again and I was already 10 cm. I was starting to cry out in pain saying I couldn't hold it in anymore, my body was starting to take over and push on it's own. The nurse said the doctor was on his way. I was trying so hard not to push because they had told me not to but each time a contraction came my body kind-of took over and pushed on it's own. I was frantically asking "Where is my husband?! Where is he?!" The nurse told me that they had sent two nurses to go and look for him. I was so scared the baby was going to be born without him there because I couldn't stop myself from pushing.
My husband finally came into the room and seconds later, the doctor walked in. As soon as the doctor walked in, he pulled the end of the bed off and they put my legs up and said I could start pushing. I felt like the only thing that would make me feel better was pushing. But when I started pushing with the doctor it hurt so badly. He did something with his hands- it felt like he stuck his hands up in me and stretched out as far as he could to make the baby come out faster or something. I was crying and screaming out in pain and telling him I could feel his hands doing that. My husband told me later that the doctor said "Yeah, I know it hurts.." very unsympathetically. Everyone was encouraging me to keep pushing, that the baby was coming, but all I could do was scream out in pain. My vagina was burning and stinging horribly from being stretched so far open. I seriously think giving birth is the worst feeling in the world! She was born in about four pushes.. waaay different than pushing with my firstborn which took about two hours! Right when she was born, they put her up on my chest but I was still in so much pain down there. I just couldn't concentrate on anything else but the pain. I kept saying over and over again how much it hurt- that it was the worst feeling in the world.. the baby coming out. With my firstborn it felt like a huge bowel movement when she was born, it was a very uncomfortable feeling, but not painful.. probably because I was numb with the epidural. This time I didn't feel like the epidural numbed me at all down there.. I feel like I experienced what women call the "ring of fire". The burning I felt couldn't have been anything else. I ended up with a first degree tear. Cambria's apgar scores were 9 & 9.
My whole labor experience was the worst physical pain I've ever felt. I wish I had just told the anesthesiologist to forget it when he was having so much trouble with the epidural because it was so not worth it to me to only have an hour of relief and then to have horrible back pain for days after giving birth.. not to mention I have to say that I DID get the epidural when I went through so much pain. I feel like when I tell others about my birth experience they don't understand how excruciating the pain was because I say I got the epidural. My whole back was bruised and sore from the anesthesiologist poking around so much. I was so uncomfortable lying in the hospital bed. My tailbone was also really really bruised- it actually still is even now- 2 weeks later. My doctor told me it was from the baby jamming into it while she was coming down. I still look back and think of how painful it all was but when I look at my beautiful baby girl, I know it was all worth it.
8 lbs 7 oz
21 inches long
June 20 2010 *Father's Day baby!*
Last edited by Miracle; July 4th, 2010 at 02:20 PM.
Awww Melissa - thanks for posting it and I DID read it all! I know the pain, I know exaclty what you're talking about....it is SO awful. I'm terrified to do it again, but I have no choice, this baby has to come out somehow! Having that beautiful baby makes it all worth it though
I'm glad she decided to come on her own. I had the same deadline looming so I completely understand your feelings. I'm sorry you had such a rough time and hope you're back to your old self soon. Congrats Melissa!!