Aiden is actually nine years old, but nevertheless, this is his birth story. I think positive birth stories are important to have anywhere and everywhere for pregnant women. Every mama with a horror story is just dying to tell it, but there need to be good stories out there too. Mamas-to-be need to know that birth doesn’t have to be long or awful and it can be extremely empowering: it is, after all, the last little bit of prep for her to become a mother. It’s wonderful when it really gives her the confidence that she can handle it.
At 39 weeks, I was so uncomfortable that I wanted to die. At my prenatal appointment, the midwife asked me if I wanted her to strip my membranes. I knew enough to ask what it was and she explained what she would do and that there was a chance that if my cervix was ripe, it would put me into labor. “Do you want to see if I have magic fingers today?” I was exhausted and hating pregnancy. I said yes. She mentioned that I might feel crampy and I should go home and rest. She also reminded me that “80% of first time mothers go past their due dates.” I called her a killjoy and said, “yes, but 15% come before and 5% on. This one is not going to be late.”
About 10PM I was having irregular contractions and minor discomfort and thought there was a small chance this might be labor. We went to the hospital where the nurse put me in a horrid little room on my back with a monitor strapped to my belly and left me in that position for an hour. During that time, I felt a HUGE movement in my abdomen and suddenly you could no longer hear the heartbeat on the monitor. After the hour was over, the nurse checked my cervix again and told me that my options were to stay in the horrid room for another hour or to go home. I was having terrible back pain, wanted to take a bath and hated the horrid little room, so I went home.
I drew a bath, but I only stayed in for a few minutes. I laid on the floor, but that only lasted through one contraction. I laid on my side, my back and my other side on the bed, but that didn’t last long. I got on my hands and knees but that didn’t last. No position was bearable. I thought my back was going to break. Around 1:30, my husband was trying to comfort me as I laid on my side on the bed and whimpered. He recognized that Aiden’s back and butt weren’t where he had been feeling them for several weeks. He poked at my abdomen where he could feel the baby’s spine and the baby flipped over. Suddenly all of my pain vanished and I could relax. Several minutes passed when there were no contractions and then I started feeling like bearing down just a teeny tiny bit would feel good. I stood up. Just a Teeny, Tiny push and… “splash.” Um, I think my water just broke.
“Oh my gosh. The baby is going to be born in my bedroom.” Puts on sweat pants and shirt and waddles to the livingroom. Contraction. “Oh my gosh. The baby is going to be born in the livingroom.” Yells, “WE HAVE TO LEAVE NOW!” Thinks, because babies are born in hospitals. Waddles outside to the car. “Oh my gosh. The baby is going to be born on the sidewalk.” Not sure how, since I’m wearing pants. In theory, the baby would be born in my pants, and not technically on the sidewalk. Gets into the car. J drives, and thankfully, no red lights between our house and the hospital. “Oh my gosh. This baby is going to be born in the car.” Gets out of the car and waddles up to the door at the maternity wing screaming bloody murder. “Oh my gosh! This baby is going to be born outside the hospital!” Nurses flying everywhere summoning all of the people required to birth a baby and the lay me down on a guerney wheeling me to my room. And suddenly I have no pants again. Not sure how that happened.
Nurses tell me, “don’t push. The midwife isn’t here yet.”
” You need to stop screaming. You are too loud and you’re disturbing the other patients. ”
Husband glares at respiratory specialist, the only other male in the room. Respiratory specialist leaves.
Midwife arrives. She doesn’t even have time to don gloves before Aiden is crowning.
“He’s coming now!” Two pushes later, Aiden is born. It’s 3:09 AM.
“I’m afraid of pushing out the placenta. I’ve heard it can be worse than the baby. Can you tug on the cord just a little to pull the placenta out?”
I’m able to hold my little boy skin to… “J, hold the baby for a second.” *fumbles to get shirt off*…skin and breastfeed immediately. When the cord stops pulsing, the midwife cuts it and the placenta slides out on its own within 15 minutes of my son’s birth. The contractions never even come within driving distance of regular.
What I learned from the experience is this: If you hit transition, even if you are planning a hospital birth, just stay home. After the baby is born, you can always go to the hospital if you really feel you need to. I wouldn’t wish a car ride on anyone having transition or pushing contractions though. Much too uncomfortable.