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Alexandra Jane arrived on Saturday, 10/20 at 1:30pm. I was team green throughout this entire pregnancy, and chose to labor pain medication free and as natural as possible. Her birth story started on Friday at 4:05pm when my water broke. I just got out of the shower and was sitting on the couch with my bathrobe on and all of a sudden I felt a trickle of water. I quickly stood up and felt more. I didn't pee...and knew this must be "it". I called over to my husband (who was in the other room) and told him that I thought my water broke. Suddenly, I felt this sense of excitement, happiness and quite frankly fear hit me at the same time. Oh my God, this really is it, I thought to myself!! As a first time mom I didn't know what to expect.
I called my Dr. office and spoke to the Dr who wanted me to make sure it was my water and not urine. He recommended I wear a pad for an hour and let him know whether or not it continued to be saturated. I did and thirty minutes later he called to check on me. It was definitely my water! He told me to head to the hospital.
I remembered from our childbirth class that you should labor at home as long as possible. Honestly, I was a little scared and wanted to get out the door quickly. To delay being in the hospital a little longer my hubby suggested we stop somewhere on the way to the hospital for dinner. I chose the only place that came to mind; White Castle (what kind of a choice was that?!?!?!).
We arrived at the hospital around 6:45pm. They checked me and admitted me. Wow! This really IS real I thought to myself. This is actually happening. Quickly I was hooked up to monitors and my blood was drawn. I had a monitor for baby's heart rate and contractions. The thing was sooo fickle and the monitor kept on moving. They were adjusting it every few minutes to either find the baby's heartbeat (it was there, it was just the monitor belt) or my contractions.
Fast forward to 11:00am on Saturday. While my labor was progressing, it wasn't progressing to the point my Dr felt comfortable and little Alexandra was still relatively high up in the birth canal. She wasn't ready to leave I guess. I did tons of walking around the hospital, squatting, and swaying my hips for a few hours straight, but it just wasn't working and my Dr was concerned that my water was now broken for quite some time and a risk of infection could happen. At that point he talked to me about some options to consider. The first was to start a very slow dose of pitocin to see if that helped or to walk around for about two hours and then start pitocin. He felt that walking probably wouldn't help being that I was doing it for hours to begin with. He said that, unfortunately, if the baby didn't start dropping into place a c-section may be necessary.
I opted for going right to the pitocin. I didn't want to risk the baby's health anymore and wanted to give this my best effort to avoid a c-section. The first dose of pitocin wasn't that bad. Sure, I felt increased pressure and definitely more frequent contractions, but the difference wasn't huge. Then the dose was increased after thirty minutes. Again, some changes, more frequent contractions; I knew we were headed in the right direction. Finally the third dose started. This was around 12:30. This dose DEFINITELY felt different. I watched my contractions as they peaked (I could feel it, too) on the monitor and they were off the charts and regular. Before I knew it, my bed was being turned into a delivery bed, stirrups were set up and I was encouraged to start light pushing through my contractions. A major advantage of not using pain meds was that I could fully feel what my body was doing and was active in being able to decide when to push.
Around 1:10 (I asked my hubby the time) they told me when I am ready to really push with the contractions, to go ahead and do so. They allowed me to decide when to push and helped with the counting. 4 major contractions later (about 20 minutes) I could feel Alexandra's head crowning and then her body entering the world. I heard that beautiful song of strong lungs letting out a cry as they entered the world and heard "it's a girl". It was all so beautiful and amazing.
The funny thing is that I was asked if a student could come in to assist in the birthing process. She is actually a student at the College I work at and she's expecting herself. I found out her due date is my birthday! I truly felt honored to share this experience with her as this was her first birth. She even starting crying because she was overwhelmed with how beautiful it was! She was shocked I did everything pain med free and remained so cool, calm and collected. I felt (and still feel) like super woman.
Despite the stitches and soreness and some pretty big blood loss, I would do this again a bazillion times over. I have been given the gift of a beautiful little girl who has already changed my life for the better!