A couple days before September 7th I started leaking. At first I wasn't sure if I was just peein' myself...often... or if my water was slowly breaking. I'd heard of that happening and I was pretty sure that was going on. I called my midwives, they were pretty sure I wasn't leaking but I had an appointment the next day so if it got worse I would see them then. When I went in my midwife Eloisa did a strip test. It said it was amnioitic fluid. However she said the test wasn't a 100% sure thing. So we'd need to do a slide test. Getting the fluid on that slide took some effort, but suddenly there was another burst of fluid. She told me to go ahead and head to work and she'd call me within the hour to let me know the results.
I went to work.. an hour went by.. two hours.. three hours.. finally she called. She said it had taken that long to dry and sure enough my water had broke. She said I must have a high tear and we needed to get labor moving. She told me to go home, drink a thing of castor oil and do my breast pump to try and induce labor. I was so excited. I couldn't think. I was going to meet my little boy within the day. I was scared.. I was also going to know what labor was all about within the day. I called Joe. He was freaking out. "Do I meet you at the birth center?! Do I go now?!" We had carpooled that morning and I had the car. "No, I'm going to come get you!" I went to get him and we were both so excited we couldn't think and were just giggling messes. We ended up staying in town so that once labor was going and we were to head to the birth center we wouldn't have to drive an hour. We stayed at his Grandpa's old house.
I drank the castor oil, I did the pump... I didn't feel much. A couple contractions here and there but nothing to get worked up over. My midwife told me to get some sleep so that when labor started I would have energy.. Like I could sleep. I got some short bursts here and there but nothing big.
By 9 the next morning after the castor oil had run it's course I was pretty sure it wasn't happening. Eloisa called and said I needed to go to the hospital to be induced. This was not a part of my birth plan. I remember I kept saying as things progressed "this is not a part of the plan! Why did I even write a birth plan?!" My biggest fear the whole time was being induced, and here it was happening.. But at the same time I didn't really care. I wanted my baby out and I wanted him to be safe.
When we got to the hospital things moved quickly. Immediately the midwife (who I had never met before, but my midwives had called to be with me and deliver Ole) told me she needed to break the rest of my waters. I was scared! She did it, it was painless and the gush was HUGE. They told me this would hopefully get my body moving. They hooked me up to the pitocin. I told them I was scared, I didn't want to all of the sudden be in intense labor. They assured me this wouldn't happen, they were only putting it on 1.
Of course, intense labor is exactly what happened. I couldn't think. And the castor oil seemed to be hitting me again.. Great. I was on the toilet, unable to move, unable to think. I tried to do our labor distractions. Nothing was working. It was intense. Finally I was able to move from the toilet to the birth ball. I was being told to rock, sway my hips, lean on the bed. But I couldn't. I just sat, staring at Joe, flailing my hands about and saying "I can't do this. I can't believe this." Then suddenly feeling like I needed to puke. I didn't, but it didn't feel great. This went on for about 2 hours. The midwife told me she wanted to check me. I was only to 4. I have never felt so defeated. I had told the nurses not to offer me pain medication. I wanted to do this naturally. My nurse came in and told me "I know you said not to offer you pain medication, but the anethesiologist is leaving soon so if you end up wanting an epidural he won't be here and we will have to call him back in... Pitocin labor is nothing like natural labor. What you are going through is really intense, you don't need to be a hero and try to do this without meds."
I told her to get me the epidural. I couldn't relax, my body wasn't opening, and I sure as hell couldn't handle what was going on. At that point my contractions were about 2 mins long with anywhere from 10-30 seconds of rest in between. And when I say rest I mean the contractions weren't at the peak, but they also weren't stopping. It was non stop.
Then I got the epidural and we all know how that goes.
Joe's aunt randomly came by. I can't really remember the situation but she took some pics.
Sometime after this I started feeling like he was low and ready to go. I told them I felt pressure. They checked me and sure enough I was to 10. I could begin pushing.
I pushed.. and pushed...
They could see his little head.
Joe could see his head.
Every time I pushed they told me I was doing such a good job.
But he wasn't coming out.
I was confused.
If they could see his head and I was pushing so hard, why wasn't he poppin' out? Hours had gone by.
I was getting nervous but I didn't say anything.
They had me try new positions. I pushed my ass off for almost 4 hours.
Finally the midwife told me she didn't think it was happening and was going to get the doctor. They needed to either try forceps or a vacuum.
I didn't want to hear this.
Why wasn't my body doing anything like it was supposed to?
I was frustrated, exhausted, but still... excited to meet my boy. And I knew the time was close.
The doctor came in and told me we could try forceps.
They a bunch of other nurses came in.
I asked our doula, Hayley, if in her almost 10 years of being a doula she had ever seen anyone have forceps used... she hadn't. My heart pounded.
I hadn't heard good things about forceps... Or pitocin... Or vacuums...
And here I had planned a natural birth at the birth center.
Then the doctor had the forceps out and was telling me I would feel some pressure. If you have never seen the forceps they use... I assure you, they are nothing like the salad tongs I was imaging. It is 2 huge steel rods and just absolutely terrifying. Then when she put them in and started opening the rods. I couldn't take it. She told me I would have to try pushing with those things in me. I couldn't do it. It was the worst pain I have ever experienced. Nothing about it felt natural. I don't think I've ever been so scared. She took them out and told me we could try again. I heard her whisper to the midwife that she didn't think this was happening. She couldn't get the forceps around his head.
I forgot to mention that at this point the epidural had ran out. So here I am with the pitocin turned up to 3, dilated to 10 and full of forceps! I am glad I got to experience what being dilated to 10 and active labor felt like, however I could have done without knowing what forceps feel like.
She tried again with the forceps... This time she told me "I can't get the forceps around his head, we're going to have to do a c-section."
I couldn't believe it. All this work, all this planning for natural birth and I wasn't even capable of having my baby naturally.
Again, I brushed this off because he was going to be here. Within the hour.
...And I was terrified.
Luckily all the staff was amazing. They calmed me. Joe was calm. Everyone was so calm. At this point our doula left and Joe and I were off to the delivery room.
I could feel some pressure of them cutting me and trying to grab him.. he was so low they had to go in my vagina and push him up. Then all of the sudden I heard his little cry. He was here. He was ok. I just started crying and looking at Joe. They wrapped him up and put him on my chest. I couldn't see his face, I needed to see that face. Someone moved him and there he was. His beautiful face. They gave me what just seemed like seconds with him and then him and Joe were off to the nursery to weigh him and measure him and I went off to recovery. I wasn't sad. I knew Joe would be with him and everything would be ok. The only thing I was worried about was not being able to nurse him within the hour. But I knew he was in good hands.
Recovery felt like it took forever. But finally I was back with my family and little Ole Joseph Dean was here. All 8lbs 6 oz and 19 inches of him.