Even before I met Eric, I had always known I would attempt to do an all natural birth. The needle in the spine thing was just not going to happen. In fact, that scares me 10x’s more than pushing a baby out of my lady business. Weird? I know, but that’s who I am. My mom had all three of us naturally and encouraged me to find some course we could take to prepare us for the act of labor. I was surprised that it was so hard to find classes in San Antonio. Through a stroke of luck, my friend Ruth sent me a text message one day with a website for a lady she knew that taught The Bradley Method. I had never heard of it, so I checked out the program and it was a perfect fit!
During the next 12 weeks, Eric and I prepared ourselves for natural childbirth with the help of our awesome instructor, Julie. We knew how to do relaxation, we knew our options, we had our birth plan written, and we knew that our birth would be as natural as you can get in a hospital setting. When labor began, I felt comforted knowing that I had educated myself and that my birth coach was my partner and best friend. He would advocate for me till we saw that perfect little baby safe and sound in our arms. We were ready for whenever Logan decided to make his grand entrance.
Now when you’re pregnant, you read all about your water breaking; but up until mine actually broke, I never considered how much ‘water’ there would be. I woke up from a dead sleep (or as much of a dead sleep as a nine month pregnant lady can get) to go to the bathroom for the hundredth time that night. From the moment my feet hit the floor, I knew something wasn’t right. I pushed up off the bed and found myself, let’s say, ‘leaking’ everywhere! Thinking I was suffering from some sort of pregnancy incontinence, I hurried myself to the restroom. Unfortunately, after doing my business, I was getting ready to stand up and all of a sudden water was rushing out of me again. What I find to be most hilarious now is that I was too embarrassed to wake up my husband during all this chaos. I was so concerned that I had peed all over myself and our things and I didn’t want him to know. I found myself thinking maybe I could clean everything up and he’d be none the wiser. As it sank in that this was the beginning of my labor, I finally crept back into our bedroom and tried to rouse him. Needless to say, I wasn’t very calm and I didn’t bring him out of his sleep very gently. From the moment he woke, I realized that we were starting what would be a very long day.
We grabbed our ‘grab & go’ bag, alerted my parents that my labor had started, grabbed a towel for me to sit on and drove to the hospital. It was a quick and quiet drive considering there was no traffic. Or more to the point, no people out on this early Thursday morning. I remember us talking about how we hoped it was ‘it’ and how when we came back home we’d have our baby.
When we arrived at the hospital, we found our way to the delivery ward. It was dark and silent. We came across the nurses desk and I shakily told them I thought I had started labor. I was instructed to follow a nurse named Mia for my entrance exam while Eric went downstairs to do some paperwork and get a hospital ID.
All I can say about the first cervical exam is that it hurt like a (fill in every curse word here). I kept thinking how if that hurt so much, I was in trouble. It was around this time that Eric joined me again and the realization that we had forgotten our birth plan in our haste to leave the house sunk in. Luckily, Mia was awesome and let us email it to her, so we could print it out.
We moved from the admitting room to our personal birthing suite to wait for my labor to progress. Eager to see how I was doing, my parents joined us shortly. The next few hours passed fairly quickly and without much fuss. I labored out of the bed for most of it using a Pilates ball to help ease the pain of my contractions. As I reached 6 centimeters, my contractions became much more intense. It was agony to try to stay in one place for another cervical exam and I finally moved myself in the shower for some hot water therapy. My wonderful husband stood for hours drenching my back in water. It was the only thing that made these contractions bearable. I was grateful to our Birth Instructor, Julie, for recommending the use of water during labor. She was so right! When I felt like I couldn’t possibly handle anymore pain, I asked for another cervical exam. It was at the point that I started feeling this desperate need to PUSH. So much so that I was bearing down without meaning to during my contractions. Much to my dismay, I wasn’t fully dilated yet. In fact, I wasn’t dilating evenly. One side was ready to go, the other was late to the party. My rock star nurse, Tammy, asked if I could handle laying on my side. I agreed and that did the trick. Within 30 minutes, I was fully dilated and ready for pushing.
I found pushing to be a freakin’ relief!!! I was being productive. I was going to get to see my baby after 16 hours of laboring. I was so ready! I remember everything and nothing about pushing. But a moment stands out very clearly in my mind and it was the first time they saw his head. I felt overwhelming joy. The nurse asked Eric to tell me what he saw and he told me dark hair. At this point, the doctor came in along with two other nurses who would care for Logan after he came out. Between seeing the top of his head and his head actually coming out there was quite a bit of pushing. The on call doctor for the practice was wonderful and gently coached me through. Finally we were there; a few more pushes and his head was out! One more BIG push and it was done. They laid my beautiful baby on my belly as we waited for the cord blood to go to him. I held his tiny hand in mine and felt such love. It was the feeling of being complete. At 7:13 p.m. my whole world changed.
Updated 9/1/14 (Labor Day):