Due to my gestational diabetes, the midwives were pushing for induction next week. I opted to have my membranes stripped on Tuesday afternoon. I started spotting and cramping afterwards. I woke up Wednesday morning at 6am with what I thought were fairly regular contractions. We went to the midwife/OB office to find I was only 3cm dilated :( Sent us home to continue laboring.
After an hour in the tub, I was having contractions right on top of one another. We walked out to the car to go to the hospital, and my water broke. When we arrived, I was only 4cm! I climbed into the Jacuzzi tub and labored for 5 hours in the tub - alternating between hot water and cold water. My husband was my coach and drizzled me intermittently with cool water and placed cold wash cloths on my shoulders and head.
After 5 hours, I felt ready to move to the bed. I was checked and found to be 9cm. I had the strong urge to push - and the MW gave me the go ahead. I pushed for an hour, and she was born! Pushing was the most physically demanding thing I have ever done. Toward the end, I started to panic a little - fearing she would get stuck. Even when I could feel her head, I was scared! I started to hyperventilate a little, but thanks to an amazing nurse, midwife, my mom, and my husband, I was able to calm down. I pushed in the side position with my right leg in the air and pulled back to my chest, and the left leg bent at the knee and pulled toward my chest. It was very, very hard for me to relax my legs and not push against the midwife/nurses/husband. Truthfully, it was the hardest part of relaxing.
Pushing scared me, I won't lie. It's incredibly intense. It wasn't painful in the way that I expected really (certainly not like transition). It was more intense pressure and kind of a burning at the end when her head came out. But I was truly frightened I would be too tired to do it. Toward the end, it got very, very hard - but you CAN DO it. Pushing felt so good compared to transition and hard labor.
With the side position and perineal massage by the MW, I did not tear. The placenta passed about 15 minutes post partum. It required a little it of pushing, but it wasn't bad - similar to a moderate menstrual cramp.
At 10:21pm 9/28, Evaline Adelle joined the world at 7lb 2oz. She is beautiful and latched with some help after about an hour.
I hope this helps those of you out there considering a natural birth. This was my first child, and I was very, very scared. I kept telling my husband how scared I was. I tried very hard to rest the night before, but I was unable to do so between the cramping and the contractions starting at 6am.
Now, 4.5 hours after the fact, I feel great. I can walk around, I feel strong and healthy, and nothing hurts anywhere. I didn't tear, I don't feel swollen, and I'm very, very happy! She was borderline hypoglycemic after birth, but we're working on fixing that. Keep us in your thoughts!
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