When I would ask about my own birth, my mom would talk about how is was to deliver naturally. Walking the halls with my dad to get things moving, working through the pain of labor. It sounded good, like a movie. So I thought that is what I wanted to.
I have always had a high threshold for pain. I participate in many activities that have caused me pain. Skateboarding I have dislocated my elbow (located it myself and drove myself home), chipped the bone in my wrist, concussed myself. Snowboarding, my injuries included more concussions (one so bad I was taken down in the sled), rail slams and jump falls and bruises the size of watermelons. Playing indoor soccer before I got pregnant, I tore my acl and drove myself home and could take no pain meds after surgery because they made me sick. There is a reason I am telling you these injuries. Many people I know have never really been physically hurt. We live in a world, where if you are careful enough, you can avoid it (sure a bruise here, cut there- but nothing major).
So my lifestyle has made me quite aware of how I can handle really painful situations and I think for someone who was not aware of this about themselves, natural childbirth would be a difficult place to learn. (Not to say that many moms who have not been hurt do not succeed, there is just a lot of opinion around this issue and I am explaining my take on it).
Ok, to the story.
I was 37.5 weeks pregnant. I was sleeping out on the couch to support my aching back. I woke up because I heard a small "pop". I got up, because I had to pee anyway and my water broke, everywhere. I was wearing sweatpants and it filled up the legs of them. It was so much water. I called out "Babe!" and started waddling towards the bedroom. I got to the door and yelled again and he stood up and ran across the bed right at me at about 300 miles per hour and went right past me. In his sleepy state, he thought I said the water main of the house broke so he ran into the kitchen. He said, "where is the water?" and I pointed to my soaked pants and said, "here!".
I decided to call my ob. She was of course out of town so I got the on-call lady. I told her my contractions were about 5 minutes apart so she suggested we head in. We did not have anything ready. No bag was packed, our carseats had not arrived. I turned on the shower, but never got in. We wandered in and out of the nursery wondering what we should bring. We were both really quiet and then I started to get scared. I knew that my baby was coming soon.
I called my mom and told her my water broke. She told me she would head over later in the morning. It was about 3:30am when we got in the car to the hospital. The car ride was HELL. Every bump was like a uterus stab. I called my sister and she wanted to head over right then. I told her that would make me happy, I knew she would be a good support.
We got to the hospital at 4am and checked in. All that was on my mind was that I wanted to poop so I did not go on the table. I achieved that and felt ready to get started.
The nurse checked me and was surprised to find I was 5 centimeters. She called the doctor and told her she should head in eventually. I was in a lot of pain and asked the nurse how long this whole thing was going to last. She told me that as a first time mom, I was in for a long ride. That was very defeating and I thought that if I was going to be in this kind of pain for more than a couple hours, I was going to die. She asked me if I wanted pain meds, I told her to ask me in a hour.
At about 5am, my sister called and she and my mom were about 45 minutes away. I was in a lot of pain, like dropping f-bombs left and right pain and the nurse checked me again and I was at a 9! Everyone started rushing around and the nurse told me I was going to have the baby within the hour. The doc walked in, put on her scrubs and told me to push. I pushed twice and Elle came out at 5:27am. About 2.5 hours after I first woke up on the couch.
Elle came out with her arm next to her head and I tore. The numbing meds did not work while I was getting stitched and that really hurt. I was shaking pretty bad. That is when my mom and sister arrived. They were great at supporting me through the stitching pain.
Elle weighed 6 pounds, 10 ounces and was 18 inches long. She was perfect.
My favorite thing about my labor (and this is weird) is that I could have done it in the woods without anyone else. They say the second labor is faster than the first, but I don't know how it gets any faster than that.