Three months ago I gave birth to my youngest daughter in what I like to call; the most eventful, uneventful labor I’ve ever had. In my previous two experiences each time I felt as though I had no control. I was at the whims of others and I just hoped that all went well. Thankfully on my third time around, I had a pretty good idea of what I needed to make the situation something that I could look back on fondly. With each of my daughters, their births as well as the pregnancies, were different true to form. My first came into the world via emergency c-section and it was rather traumatic. That situation stuck with me into my second pregnancy until I was told by my doctor that I could let it go. With my middle child I felt powerful as I successfully delivered VBAC but I was still riddled with fear which resulted in me having to have surgery due to a hernia I got during delivery. I vowed this time that I would be able to deliver without issue or the need for an operation during or after. Though you never know what can occur during labor, preparation truly does help it go much easier.
Neither of my other labors began with my water breaking so I hoped that I would finally get to go through that this time. No such luck though! Instead I started having very strong contractions two days before my due date. Although they got increasingly stronger throughout the day it wasn’t until my older sister called to check on me that I realized I may actually need to head to the hospital. Having high pain threshold thing really threw me off. I was just sitting on the couch breathing through it. About forty minutes after her call I was in the labor and delivery ward dressed in my special ordered gown with my husband and mother right next to me.
What I recognized the other two times I gave birth was that I didn’t ensure that my comfort was primary concern. So focused on the baby and the labor itself, I never fully prepared for my stays in the hospital. Meaning my hair was a bit messy and I didn’t bring any momentos from home to give me solace. This time for my final birth, I decided it was also going to be about me as well. When I showed up to the hospital I was 3 centimeters dilated and progressing slowly. However, because it was my third baby – there was no sending me home. The nurses had me walk the halls for thirty minutes and encouraged me to sit on the birthing ball and bounce to help move things along and it definitely worked.
After that, my labor intensified and I went from 3 centimeters to 6 in just a few hours. I had great nurses easing me along every step of the way. They were very surprised at my level of calm and even more surprised when at 8 centimeters I asked for an epidural. Let it be known, I hate epidurals. I do not like not having feeling in my legs nor do I enjoy the constant turning you have to do in order to help your blood circulate. In fact, this time I nearly had a panic attack because the mental stress of not feeling my legs started to get to me. The nurses and my doctor actually almost refused to give the epidural to me because I had progressed so far without anything. Thankfully there was one thing I learned from my past, it was to advocate for myself fiercely. Needless to say, I probably should have forgone the medicine.
Finally around 3pm the next day, Emerie decided to make her appearance with just 9 pushes. It was literally the most easy delivery I’ve had. And I prayed for it to go that way. With the help of my personal humidifier, my pillow, the birthing robe, and my prayers I made it through for a third time unscathed. I mean with the exception of feeling like I had a fight with 62 people after the drugs wore off, lol. My charming baby arrived weighing 7 lbs. and 7 oz. and she has been a joy since her first breath. I’m grateful to be able to share my story after two other deliveries that left me scarred physically and emotionally. This time I didn’t allow my fear get the best of me. It was a great experience for my last time giving birth, and while I wouldn’t trade my other times for anything, I am certainly glad that this one sent me off with a smile.
Do you have a birth story to share? I’d love to hear!
Until next time,