One of my bucket list items was to experience a water birth. Since I obviously missed my opportunity with K, I jumped at the opportunity with B (not to mention I wanted a completely difference experience than my first pregnancy experience.)
I began seeing a midwife instead of a doctor. (If I had known what I knew then, I would have gone with a midwife for the first pregnancy and every one thereafter!)
I knew I wanted to birth in water, but had no idea what that entailed. (I will share more on that in a later post.)
My pregnancy with B in general was excellent. Incredibly smooth. Much less stressful than my first pregnancy. My midwives were great. The whole experience was so much better than it was the first time with my daughter.
I will share in detail in a later post (and link back here of course) but a water birth at home included prep work, but needless to say, we were ready a couple of weeks in advance.
I have to add, B’s due date was May 1st. K was born December 27th and for some odd reason, I felt that if B wasn’t born on April 27th, he was going to be late. Something told me he was not going to be born May 1st. (Ever hear that expression of Mother’s intuition? Listen to it!)
On the evening of Thursday, April 24th, I went to pre-natal yoga with some of my mommy friends.
Yoga was something I wanted to try. I wanted to spend time with my mommy friends. I didn’t have any restrictions. The yoga instructor helped me adapt the movements to fit my comfort level. (You only live once, right?)
The following night, Friday, I had good, steady contractions, but nothing consistent.
Saturday afternoon we went swimming like we always did. Saturday evening, our friends came over for cards (another weekend ritual of ours) and again, good, steady contractions, but nothing consistent.
Nothing consistent until about 2-3am Sunday morning the 27th.
I attempted working through the contractions until I had to get hubby up at 4am. He called the midwives and they stated to just work through it and they would begin to get ready to come our way. (Remember in K’s birth story, she was induced so contractions were a whole new ball game to me. And they hurt like heck.)
Around 7-8am, another call was placed with the midwives (I had 3 with me the entire time I was in labor) and I was told I could start laboring in the water if I wanted to. I jumped at that chance!
The entire desire for a water birth was because I had heard it was relaxing and calming. And it was!
Immediately, the pain lessened. (I wouldn’t say it went away completely but it definitely want from bent over, can’t move pain to a dull pain.)
At this point, I still have no recollection of timeline.
I know at some point they had me walk around the block which was a task in and of itself. I would take a few steps and then hunch forward in so much pain from the contractions. When I got home- it was back in the water for some comfort.
I recall at some point trying to push, but wasn’t getting far. I recall forcefully breaking my water outside of the tub on a birthing chair and then back in the tub to push. I remember them telling me that he once was low and getting ready to come, but since my water broke, he essentially got sucked back up. I was once making progress and now there was no progress. And the horrible back pain I was experiencing at this point- he had flipped so he was facing my back rather than facing up like he should have been. (Back labor hurts worse than the normal contractions!)
At this point, I was told to stop pushing (regardless of the severe need to push) and that a decision had to be made. I could make the decision to try and continuing birthing at home (which no one knew how that would progress) or I could go to a hospital (at which my reply was I wasn’t doing anything outside of that water without pain medication).
This was roughly 5pm. I had already been in labor for 13 hours and I was exhausted. I couldn’t go much further. So we loaded everyone up and drove the normal 30 minute drive to the hospital in like 15 minutes with me still in labor in the front seat.
Upon arrival, I was brought into a room and changed into a gown. (Please imagine all this through horribly painful contractions. Looking back, I must’ve looked pretty funny!)
I was told I had a 50/50 chance of delivering naturally or by c-section and that I could have no pain meds until they took some blood from me.
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I knew from my experience with K that I was a strep-B carrier. Since I had not been given antibiotics during the laboring process to prevent passing this to my baby, a c-section was now going to happen. (At this point, the only thing I wanted was this baby OUT and the pain to stop!)
I recall being wheeled to the operating room. I can remember being transferred from the bed to another bed/table. I recall sitting up, hugging a pillow, being in the middle of a contraction when Dr. Feel Good (the anesthesiologist) said to remain still. I recall receiving my spinal and feeling no pain and immediately feeling calm, relaxed, and relieved. I believe at this time, I told them they could take their time because I was feeling just fine.
I don’t recall a whole lot after that. I do know my son was born weighing in at 9 pounds 15 ounces sometime after 8pm. I remember pretty much everyone saw him before me, and remember them testing his blood sugar a lot as they were worried that he was diabetic due to his large size (which he wasn’t.)
It certainly wasn’t the smooth sailing water birth I had envisioned, but I was provided a positive pregnancy experience and a handsome little guy!