I was 12 days past due and baby boy had not made his grand appearance yet. I was planning on doing everything in this birth process unmedicated, and as natural as possible. I had been studying my Hypnobabies curriculum for months, mentally preparing myself for this process. I knew it could go opposite as planned, but I wanted to have the ammo to face it head on if it did.
Exactly the opposite happened.
We went trotting into the hospital with smiles on our face at 5pm on Sep 2nd. We took our last selfie as a kid free family and checked in saying, “We are here to have a baby!” I had reached the deadline of how long my Dr would allow me to go without being induced. He was going to try to do the smallest amount of intervention as possible; therefore, we started that Tuesday evening with a balloon catheter to hopefully get me to dilate and jump-start labor without having to break my water or administer pitocin.
As soon as the balloon catheter was “installed” I immediately began having contractions 2 min apart. I labored intensely all night long. One of the major things I learned about the natural birthing process is it’s gradual, which is the only way for your body to be able to “handle” the process. It doesn’t just go from 0 to 60 in an instant otherwise you would pass out from the intensity. Well, mine escalated that quickly, but I was managing. I was mentally staying ahead of the contractions all night working through them. When the Dr arrived at 8am we were hoping he would say, “All is well. We can continue to let it runs its course.” I laugh out loud thinking about that now.
He came in at 8am. I was still smiling despite the fact I had been intensely laboring for 15 hours already. I was dilated to 7cm, but he looked at my smile and said, “You are not in labor. We need to get this thing going.” I look back at my journey and I would do it all the same even knowing how it goes. Except maybe this part. He broke my water at 8am. I didn’t put up much fight even though before going in I was adamantly against this. Once you start intervention, it often requires another step of intervention. That’s what was happening. I wonder if we wouldn’t have broken my water if my body would’ve progressed on its own, but obviously there is no way to know.
Over the course of the next 9 hours I dilated to 8 cm and my body got stuck in transition. Transition is the hardest part. It’s the part where everyone wants to give up and says they can’t do it. My best friend was my doula throughout this birth. She was there forcing me to do the things I didn’t want to do, but would help labor progress. Before this process began I told her and my husband, “If I’m going to cave into meds, whatever you do, don’t let me do it at the very end. I don’t want to do all the hard work, and give in right before the most rewarding part.”
8 cm. It haunts me. I was stuck in transition at 8 cm for 10 hours. Hypnobabies was working. I was deep into it. I was listening in one ear and I was in the zone. Every time I had a contraction (1 min apart) I would quietly moan to myself, breath, and my husband would apply as much pressure as he could to my lower back. I was definitely experience back labor, and he was experiencing it with me. He was on his knees, leaning over the bed, pushing as hard as he could on my low back, for 10 hours. This doesn’t include his constant run for ice chips, holding my throw up bag, and wiping my head with a cold towel.
At 2pm was spent. I had given it all I had already. At 21 hours I gave in. I knew my body was maxed out. I had no energy left and was mentally getting behind the contractions. I requested an epidural. They both tried to talk me out of it, telling me I was almost done. This was the hard part and I was going to be through it at any point. I knew I was done. The nurses had been great and never once mentioned medication to me. I pushed my crew aside, looked the nurse in the eye, and said “I need it. I’m done and I have nothing left.” She went to fetch the anesthesiologist. She came back 30 minutes later and said it would be 45 min before he could be here. My crew got so excited because they “knew” this baby would be here before he was able to get here and give it to me.
We sat, and we waited.