Bram’s birth was an altogether different experience than Fox’s
birth.. While it was blessedly uneventful and safe, I was not prepared
. Fox’s birth was calm, clean and rather manageable. Bram’s almost brought me to my knees. I don’t know if it was because I was now a ripe ol’ 28 rather than 17 or because I was 30 lbs overweight and out of shape before I got pregnant, but my second birth was more difficult.. However, he was very much worth it.
About a week before my due date I was sitting on the couch one Friday night. It was about 9PM on a muggy August night and I just could not keep my eyes open. This was odd because I was usually wired until 11PM. I figured something was going on, that my body was resting up for something, so I went to bed.
I woke up at 1AM on the dot. I had felt a *pop* with no pain, and felt a trickling sensation. For a second I thought I was peeing the bed. Still half asleep, I realized what was happening and ran to the bathroom. I sat down on the potty just in time for the big WHOOSH of my water breaking. So there was very little clean-up.
I woke up Hubby and told him what had happened. We both just kind of sat for a few minutes waiting to see if I was contracting. After having a few contractions I called my midwife. In the very few minutes it took her to call me back I thought I perceived my contractions getting stronger. Being that it had only been about 10-15 minutes since my water broke I thought I was imagining things.
She asked me a bunch of questions: How much liquid did I loose?-I don’t know because it went in the commode, but I’m sure my water broke. Am I contracting?-Yes How bad?-They’re still mild. Did I feel any pressure?-Yes. She had just delivered another Mommy and was still at the hospital so told me to come on in.
Hubby and I woke up Fox and told him the baby was coming. He was ecstatic! It had been decided months before that, when I went into labor, Fox would go stay with one of the local grandparents. So we called Hubby’s mom (10 mins away)–there was no answer. We tried again–still no answer. We then tried my dad–no answer. We tried again–still no answer. Then we called my mom (30 mins away)–no answer. WHAT IS GOING ON?? We waited a about 10 minutes and did the round of calls again with no luck. We waited another 10 minutes and tried again-NO ONE ANSWERED THE PHONE.
It was now about 1:45-2:00AM-sh and it was obvious (to me) that this labor was progressing quickly. The contractions were getting more than uncomfortable and the pelvic pressure was getting bad. I said “forget it, Fox is coming with us because we have to go now.” So we jumped in the van and drove to the hospital, Hubby was trying to call the grandparents the whole way there with no luck.
The drive was eerily similar to the night Fox was born, black, foggy, the air was heavy with an impending storm. In the 25 minutes it took us to get to the hospital the contractions had gotten to the point where I could hardly breathe through them. I had told Hubby before we left that I had been given instructions to come on back to maternity when we got there but he still stopped at the information desk (Grr) where it took the guard forever to realize I was in labor and usher us back (double Grr). Seriously, how often does a very pregnant woman come into the hospital at 2:30 AM, sweating, breathing heavily and clutching her stomach. Einstein!
I was taken back to the laboring room while Hubby settled Fox in the waiting room, even though he technically wasn’t supposed to be left there alone. My midwife hooked me up to the machines to “get a readout” and told me I had to sit there for 20 minutes. I sat for about 3 minutes before I started to panic. When I am in pain I HAVE TO MOVE. I cannot sit still or I go nuts. And by my calculations I was in the beginning or middle of transitional (stage 3) labor. Not fun. So I started rocking to try to cope with the pain and pressure and was told I needed to be “as still as possible”. Yeah, right. I think my poor midwife got another 3 minutes out of me before I convinced her to “let” me up. I then took off walking down the hall.
Poor Hubby was had finally gotten hold of my dad and step-mother who were on their way, but since Fox was not supposed to be in the waiting room alone he had to run back and forth between me and Fox. When I went on my little walk Hubby was checking on Fox. I was not supposed to be walking alone, I turned around to see my nurse jogging up the hall trying to catch up to me-that’s how fast I was moving. I was all adrenalin. I got a serious contraction and stopped to breathe (hyperventilate) through it and she caught up to me. I had experienced tough contractions with Fox, those I could pretty much handle, with breathing and concentration. What caused me so much grief were three things I did not have with Fox’s labor.
The first was back labor: OH MY FREAKIN’ GOODNESS that hurt!
The second was the pelvic floor pressure: Not fun. At all. *shudder)
The third and worst was that I swear I could feel my cervix fighting the dilation. It felt like I had two hands in there pulling and ripping at my cervix to get it to dilate: I could have cried and screamed over that sensation. It was AWFUL, REALLY AWFUL, like, I want to block out the memory awful
So, as I stood out in the hall with the nurse, breathing and swaying through my contraction and trying not to scream I felt a *pop* in my cervix area and a short burst of blood streamed down my leg. Not a ton but not a little either. It was dripping all over the floor and, in between huffs and puffs, I turned to the nurse and said “Shit! Sorry for cursing. But shit!” She kindly told me not to worry about it, that she’s cleaned up worse and I went on walking, bleeding down the hall and laboring.
I went back to the laboring room and Hubby met me back there after checking on Fox. I was hit with another couple bring-me-to-my-knees tummy, back and cervical contractions, it was about this time that I felt like I was going to lose it.
My midwife told me she needed me to slow my breathing because I was hyperventilating…and I couldn’t take it…
I asked for an epidural. My exact, almost sobbing words were “I want an epidural, I can’t do this. This is SO much worse than Fox’s labor.” Hubby, who was holding my hand, looked at me and said (almost accusingly) “Fox’s labor lasted for days.”
I jerked my hand out of his and clenched my jaw to keep from cursing him. He’s lucky I didn’t hit him. I repeated my request for an epidural. My midwife told me that she was confused because, since I met her, I had stated that I wanted another natural, drug-free childbirth. She suggested I try Stadol.
For some reason I decided that if I wasn’t going to go “all the way” and have a blessed epidural I surely wasn’t wasting my time with Stadol. I was able to refocus.
I labored through a few more contractions on a birthing ball. This was nice. It felt like it applied counter pressure to my SORE cervix, but I soon got antsy, the pain overwhelmed me and felt like I needed to move. When I stood up the pressure was unreal. I told my midwife she needed to check me and began to climb up on the bed. I was up on my hands and knees, getting turned around when I realized this position helped IMMENSELY. The back labor and cervical pain and pressure was greatly reduced, I just swayed through the contraction. I think if I had tried this position earlier my labor would have been a bit more bearable.
I laid on my back, the midwife checked me and told me it was time to push. I felt so, so much pressure on my cervix and bowels. I told my midwife (again almost sobbing) that I needed to go to the bathroom and she told me I couldn’t get up, that if I needed to move my bowels then move them right there. Now you have no idea how frustrated and angry this made me. Going to the bathroom on the table is one of my biggest fears. Thankfully, I didn’t really need to go, it was just the pressure from the baby.
But I can tell you that pushing with Bram was altogether different than with Fox. Again, I don’t know if it was because I was out of shape or what. But with Fox, I felt like I could control my muscles and push only with the vaginal muscles, and with Bram there was no control, I felt like I had to bear down with everything.
But before I began pushing my midwife pulled out the bane of my existence-the birthing bar. Even though I had only been in labor about 2 hours my muscles were jelly. I wanted to squat vertically with my shoulders directly above my hips , like the lady in this first picture -I got up in that position a few times and I liked it. But my midwife kept telling me she wanted me to recline. So essentially I was holding on to the bar, my arms completely extended, leaning back at a 45 degree angle to the bed-this was not comfortable for me at all. My exhausted arms just couldn’t support all that weight. But I somehow managed to make it through.
This time the pain did not go away when I pushed, it stayed steady. I felt the lovely “ring of fire” sensation too. But all in all Bram was pushed out easily, it only took a handful of pushes. When he was born it was a really special moment.
Hubby and I had chosen not to find out the sex before birth and I had requested that Hubby be the one to tell me what the baby was. So I asked “What is it? What is it?” and Hubby said “I can’t see!” But then I saw his face light up and with a little laugh he said “It’s a boy!” I think we were both somewhat expecting a girl because I carried Bram a bit differently than Fox.
I again got to hold my new little bundle and after a few precious moments handed him to Daddy. Bram followed in his brother’s footsteps and promptly peed all over his Dad. It was another very beautiful moment. So after only 2 hours and 12 minutes, Littlest came into this world at 20 inches long and 7lbs 2.9 oz. at 3:12 AM.
I had a difficult time after Littlest’s birth. I was very unhappy with the way my labor went. I felt I had done a very poor job with keeping myself calm and together. I allowed the pain to overtake me. I was very ashamed I had asked for an epidural and I was very irritated with my midwife’s insistence upon the birthing position. I had gone to her looking for less medical intervention and felt like I got more. It was not how I had envisioned it.
I did a lot crying and stewing in the weeks that followed. Happily I’ve been able to make peace with my delivery, though it took some time. If I’m honest I have to admit that it has scared me a little. I would love to have more children, but I am apprehensive about what would come next and whether or not I could handle it. But no matter what, when I look into my boys’ eyes, I know it would be worth it.