Ty came into this world fast and fierce. He was definitely not messing around when it came to his entrance! Let me preface this story by saying this: From everything I had read and what EVERYONE had told me I was planning for my first birth to take about 12-18 hours of labor perhaps even longer. I had planned to stay at home for at least the first 6-7 hours to do all my pre labor work, and not head to the hospital till it was serious. This is how most all of my friends first births were, and my pregnancy had been pretty routine...
Short version: I had Ty on March 10th, 2011 he weighed 7 pounds 3 ounces and was 19 1/2 in long. I did an all natural delivery and couldn't have done it without my doula Jenni, husband Cody, and mom Lecia. My labor was 5 1/2 hours and pushing was 11 minutes.
Now here is the long story from beginning to end (yes it is long and detailed):
So remember how I was complaining about getting check and it just gets your hopes up and yada yada? Well I still feel that way, but when I went in at 39 wks and 5 days I decided to go ahead and see if I had progressed any from my previous visit. I started that Wednesday morning by going to Body Pump at the YMCA (Weight lifting class). I was hoping the squats and lunges might send me into labor that morning, but no such luck. That afternoon I went to my appt with my midwife. She went ahead and checked me again. I was 3 cm dilated 80% effaced and Ty's head was in between a 0 and +1 station! Things were looking very good :) Dawn went over what to do when I go into labor, and let me know that she would be on starting Thursday morning at 7:00 AM and from Friday at 12:00 through Sunday. I was thinking that for sure she would get to deliver Ty. She had told me that she thought I might have a fast delivery due to all the working out I did while pregnant and the shape my body was in. She even told Barb the Midwife on call that night, that she might be seeing the Bobay's. When I got home I prepared the car for an emergency car birth (trash bags, pillows, and blankets). My Doula, Jennifer Elder, had talked with her sister who is also a doula and a prior labor and delivery nurse, and she felt since I was so dilated and effaced without even being in labor that we should be prepared just in case.
Later that evening Cody and I went and spoke at Shartel Church of God for the last night in our series of "Soul Control". When we got home we did the deed as we were told this helps induce labor ;) Then we went to bed. I woke up at 12:00 AM with what I thought were contractions, but I wasn't sure. They felt like an intense menstrual cramp, starting from my back and spreading to the front of my belly. I decided to get up and go into the living room. When I got in the living room, I started texting my mom. I wanted her to be here for the birth. We were trying to figure out if I was really having contractions. She told me to start timing them. So I did the best I could determining when they started and ended. They were coming about 4 minutes apart and lasting about 50 seconds. My mom called and we decided she should go ahead and wake my dad up and get on the road. She kept saying, "I don't want to miss it!" I assured her that even if I did have a fast labor it would still be like 7-9 hrs right?
I went ahead and called Jenni and let her know how my contractions were. She decided to take a shower and head on over. I made the call to let Cody stay asleep. These contractions weren't that bad and I could definitely handle them on my own. In fact I thought man if this is pre labor I could do this for hours. I walked around, but would have to stop and brace on a wall to relax through the contractions. They started to intensify extremely quickly. At about 2:00 AM Jenni got to the house, and I decided to sit on my birthing ball and lean on the kitchen table. She got me some tea and looked at my contraction chart. She told me that I should probably wake up Cody. I went in and got him up. When he came out he was totally unaware of what was going on, but quickly realized I was in the middle of labor when he looked at my chart. At this point I am feeling like I am dilated to about a 6. The contractions are about a minute long and coming more like 3 minutes apart. Jenni decided that it would probably be good for me to go lay down in the Bradley position (birthing method) in bed, and work on really relaxing deep through the contractions. We turned on some worship music (I made a worship birth CD) and I continued to labor. At this point I can't talk or focus on anything but my breathing. I was focusing on working with my contractions. They were really starting to intensify, but I did not focus on the pain, but rather working through them. If I thought about the pain I would lose my concentration and feel out of control so that was just not an option! My right leg would involuntarily shake, and it was so sweet cause the only person that could get it to relax the entire time during labor was Cody. Jenni and Cody would switch between coaching me. About 4 songs in after a contraction I looked at Jenni and said, "We need to go" just as she was saying to me, "I think it's time to go". It's funny because every book I read said that you will know when it is time to go, and I definitely knew. At that point my contractions were a minute and a half long and 2-3 minutes apart. Although this may sound like it had been a long time, it had only been an hour. At 3:00 AM we headed for the car...as we were getting in the car I hit transition. Trust me I KNEW it was transition. Jenni hurried Cody along, told him not to worry about grabbing anything else that we needed to leave right now.
The car was miserable, but I was so thankful I had prepared for a car birth. I had blankets and pillows to get comfortable with (and by comfortable, I mean as comfortable as you can possibly be while in extreme and intense pain). Now it was really difficult to focus. I was laying in the back by myself. Jenni was turned around from the front seat coaching me. We had a 25 minute drive to the hospital. The sign that let me know FOR SURE I was in transition, was that I all the sudden had the urge to throw up. Thankfully I did not!
When we got to the hospital it was about 3:30 at this point. Jenni helped walk me in through the emergency exit. It took us quite awhile to walk to the elevators as I had to stop every 2 minutes to work through a contraction. I would lean on Jenni and just try and relax and sag my whole body through the contraction. We also had to make a bathroom stop on the way to the elevators. This is how Cody found us! He could hear me moaning through my contractions. Being vocal definitely helped me to relax. I was not loud and screaming by any means, but just slightly moaning through the contractions helped me release that extra tension. When we got up to triage, they actually asked, "So is she having contractions!" There were many choice words that I wanted to use at this point, but held my tongue as I knew it would not help in any way for me to stay relaxed. Jenni let it be known that I was pretty far along, and that they should hurry up. I walked back to a room and got on the table. The nurse tried to ask me all these questions, and finally quit asking me and started asking Cody as I couldn't speak or really think! We suggested that she check me, but she wanted to do blood work and get the monitors on first. When she finally checked me she said, "Oh my, you are dilated to about an 8! I think I will go ahead and call the midwife". At this point it is about 4:30 AM. They ask if I would like to be wheeled into the Delivery room or take a wheel chair. At this point the pain is so severe and intense I can't really imagine moving, so I ask them to wheel me in the bed.
When we got in the room we met our L&D nurse. We gave them my birth plan and told them we wanted no IV's or medication of any kind. I got up to go to the bathroom and tried to walk a little bit. My nurse was eager to check me but I just told her I wanted to hold off. I had asked for intermittent monitoring, but they kept them on cause they were having a hard time getting a good heart beat for Ty. The monitors totally gave me back labor...I continued to politely ask if they could be removed, but they said not yet. I continued to lay in the bed on my side and labor through these contractions. At 2 different points I looked at Jenni and said, "I can't do this". I had no intention of trying to get any medicine, and I remember thinking I should say this so that she will reassure me that I CAN do this. The reassurance gave me another boost to hang in there and keep working. My contractions were about a minute and a half to a minute forty-five and about a minute apart. Cody would come and coach me and amazingly my leg would stop shaking (hehe I love that!). Eventually they placed the monitors low enough to get a good heart beat, and then they were removed. My mom arrived at 5:00 AM. She walked in the room, and I thought I spoke to her, but later found out I just looked at her and then rolled over and continued to focus. The funny thing is I distinctly remember EVERYTHING she said. I could hear her saying, "I am so proud of her." "Look at the way she is so focused." "I can't believe how calm she is." All these things just encouraged me to hang in there. At this point I felt a little urge to push so I let the nurse check me. I was a 9. Jenni started to count me through the hard part of the contractions. This was a life saver...it gave me an end goal and gave me something to focus on. I focused on getting to a specific number on each contraction. The nurse suggested I switch off slow deep breathing to a little bit shorter quicker breaths like blowing out a candle (not quite as intense or fast as Lamaze). This technique REALLY helped! For the next 45 minutes my contractions were about 2 minutes + long and every 20 seconds.
Jenni heavily and firmly suggested that I get up and get on the birthing ball (This was key in what happened next). As I walked to the birthing ball my body started pushing. Barb, the midwife on call, was in the room at the time, and asked me to get back in the bed to check me. She said I was a 10 and Ty was at +2-+3 station. My water had not broke at this point. At first I was on my back at a 45 degree angle with my mom, Cody, and Jenni pulling my legs back almost making me upright. This position was not good for me! I felt out of control, and up until this point I had been in control through the entire labor. I asked if I could get in the squatting position. Once I was there Barb said she felt like it wasn't the best angle for her to catch the baby, so Jenni suggested hands and knees turned to face the bed. So I flipped myself around and grabbed the top of the bed. This position was AWESOME! At this point, my water had not broke on it's own so they asked if I wanted them to break it. I decided it was time. When they broke the water there was meconium. This meant that I would not get Ty right after I delivered b/c they would suction him and then hand him off to the pediatrician and her nurses to suction him more and make sure he didn't aspirate any of the meconium. After they popped the water...things got out of control. My body all the sudden started violently pushing. Every muscle in my body started flexing, and bearing down. My mom and Jenni told me after that my entire back started flexing and my veins were popping out. At this point I couldn't help but moan EXTREMELY loudly on the verge of yelling. It was crazy! The contractions were one on top of the other. Through the pushing I only remember one brief pause of about 15-20 seconds where I said, "I can't do this" then my body started pushing again and never stopped. I couldn't feel any tearing down, but I could feel myself tearing up...that was a bummer. After 11 minutes of this Ty was out at 6:06 AM!!! I had to look over my shoulder to see him! He was so beautiful. The pediatrician and her team had been in the room ever since they broke my water so they took Ty right away while Barb sewed me up. I had a grade 2 tear down and a grade 1 up. I then got to hold Ty after that :)
So that is my story. My total labor from beginning to end was 5 1/2 hours. Short, but not necessarily easy. I did things a little backwards. Instead of pre labor being my longest part of labor, transition was. I had read and been told by most that from a 7-10 generally takes 30 minutes-1 hour and 1/2. That was my longest part of labor taking 3 hours. Not at all what I had expected or had been told to expect! I guess that's the crazy thing about labor it's pretty unpredictable. To be honest the pushing was pretty violent. Jenni came up later that evening to talk though some things with me and give me a little counseling. The best way to describe my pushing experience was that my body suddenly assaulted me, took control picked me up and threw me on the ground. I know you are probably thinking this is extreme, and I thought maybe I was just being a big baby, but the nurse and Jenni both assured me that it had been very far from normal. The nurse told Cody afterwards that she hadn't ever seen contractions that intense or severe. Jenni assured me that out of all the deliveries she had seen she had never seen pushing that was quite that violent. Even if it wasn't that badand I am being dramatic, this made me feel better :)
The whole family a few hours after birth! Cody was amazing and SO helpful coaching me through it all!