This is my first time blogging in forever, I mean forever. I just wanted to document the birth of Willow. This will be long and graphic, fair warning. So here goes…
I have been dreaming about this birth since the first moment I found out I was pregnant, literally. I loved my other two births and could not wait to do it all over again. I quickly contacted Rachel, the doula that helped with River Jane’s birth, because I desperately wanted her again. Score, she was available!
Here’s a little background to this birth. I got back in shape before getting pregnant this time around, because a) I wanted to and b) I hoped it would benefit being pregnant. Wrong. Being pregnant the third time around was much more difficult than I anticipated. I was sicker the first trimester, tired almost the entire time, achy and painful anytime I slept, and I felt like my bottom would fall out at any second. Graphic, but true. I loved being pregnant, don’t get me wrong. Nothing compares to feeling that tiny baby moving around inside one’s tummy. I was always judgy when women would complain their whole pregnancy, but this time around I totally understood why women felt that way. Pregnancy is hard. And this is coming from me, when my pregnancy really wasn’t that hard. Anyways…
I naively thought that maybe the baby would come earlier since this was my third birth. I had my hospital bag packed weeks before my due date. Fool. This time we decided not to find out the sex of the baby, just to add a little mystery to it all. We took awhile but finally narrowed it down to one girl name and one boy name. So, week 40 came and passed by yet again (as it did with my other two births). I wanted a natural birth again, so I was willing to wait as long as possible to minimize interventions. My doctor’s office only wanted me to go to 42 weeks, so I began to get a little nervous. The 42 week date got closer and closer and my doctor mentioned scheduling inducting, and I have to admit, it freaked me out. I knew that was the next step, but still it really freaked me out. I called Rachel in tears because I felt like I had no control of my birth. I knew I really didn’t have control; God is completely in control and had sovereignly planned this birth. I mean I felt like my doctor wasn’t giving me any control. After talking to Rachel, I felt much better about the possibility of an induction. She informed me she was great at inductions with natural labor.
Friday, the 3rd of October came, and we arrived at the hospital at 6:00 am bright and early for my induction. It felt so weird arriving at the hospital when I wasn’t having any contractions. Usually they break your water and then start the pitocin, but I talked to Dr. Mac and he agreed to let me keep my water intact. Having my bag of water intact really helped manage the pain for the other births. (It didn't get broken until baby was coming out, FYI, so that was cool). They hooked me up to an IV at 7:00 am and began the dreaded Pitocin. I had imagined Pitocin was thick and black and that I would be able to feel it creeping into my skin. Oh, and that it was evil. Thankfully, I was wrong.
They started me out at 8 (insert measurement) of Pitocin. My doc had assured me I’d be able to at least walk around the room while hooked up to the Pitocin. One of my fears was that I’d be trapped in the bed the whole time. I knew I couldn’t handle natural labor while trapped in the bed. So, I began my slow walk around the room pulling my Pitocin behind me.
Contractions started right away, but they didn’t really hurt yet. They actually felt good. I had been craving contractions for so long, finally having them felt wonderful. I was able to still walk through them and occasionally rock when necessary. I bounced on the ball when I needed a walking break.
My doc came to check me a little after 12 pm, and he announced my dilation. 3, maybe 4 centimeters.I was crushed. It had been 5 hours, and I was only dilated 3 or 4. Dr. Mac and Rachel could clearly see that I felt defeated. They explained that getting to 3 or 4 would be the longest part, and that it should go faster now. Also, baby had been way high, like still floating around when I got there but had dropped down to -2. He/She was moving into the birth canal, so that would speed things up. I thought they were just saying that to make me feel better. Rachel talked to me about having the right attitude. When a contraction would come, instead of starting each contraction with “oh no”, to greet each contraction with “this is helping baby get here”. So, they bumped my Pitocin up to 10 (whatevers) and the contractions immediately got stronger. Rachel wanted me to remain upright to aid baby in sliding down and cause me to dilate more. I had to hold onto Jonathan and moan through contractions now. Right before one would start, I would try and smile, take a deep breath, and welcome the contraction. I labored a little on the potty, slow danced with Jonathan, and sat on the edge of the bed. I would hold tightly onto Jonathan’s arm and burrow my face into his arm for each contraction.
They were getting to be really strong and difficult. I even told Jonathan no more being funny; it was starting to annoy me.
I was so exhausted after each one, I just felt like going to sleep. They were intense. I cried a little at how tired I was. Apparently Rachel knew I was probably in transition, but didn’t tell me. I didn’t know how to gauge the contractions, since I was on Pitocin. I thought I had a long way to go, so I felt so sad.
I was sitting on the edge of the bed, moaning loudly through a really strong contraction, when I felt something strong, and yelled out, “What was that?!” Rachel said it was probably the baby connecting with my cervix. I realized that it felt like the baby had slid down. Awesome. I told Rachel I had to change positions, that sitting on the bed wasn’t working for me anymore. So she suggested a new position to rest a bit. Ha ha. What a joker. Rest.
She had me lie on my side and put the peanut balls between my legs. I HATED it. I frantically grabbed the sides of the bed during the few contractions I had to endure in that position. I yelled at Rachel, “I hate this thing! I don’t wanna use it anymore.” She later informed me that this was a distraction position while she sneakily checked me. Again, I hated it. Jonathan said she realized I was really close, so she quickly called the nurse to tell them to get in there. Rachel then had me change positions. She had me get on my knees, reach over the top of the bed, and grab the back of it. This was very helpful.
At this point I was in my deliriously crazy stage. Screaming loudly, panicking, gripping the bed for dear life, unable to understand what Rachel was trying to tell me. She was right in my face trying to get me to breath slower and yell lower. I remember saying, “I don’t know what you are saying.” Once I finally understood what she was saying, I did my best to get control of my breathing. All of a sudden I felt the pressure. The pressure that told me it was time to push. I screamed out, “The baby is coming!” In my head, I still thought that Rachel didn’t believe that I was so far along. When in reality, she had already got the doctor and nurses in the room. Dr. Mac checked me to make sure I was dilated all the way before they wanted me to push. Rachel came and got in my face (cause that’s the only way I would listen) and told me that I was ready to push, and that I probably wanted to turn around so that I could actually see the baby being born. I was scared and panicked and screamed, “I can’t move! I can’t turn around! I can’t move!” And then another strong contraction hit me and more panic. The doc told them it was now or never for me to turn around. So, Rachel gently grabbed my arm and leg and ‘tricked’ me into turning around quickly. I’m so glad she did. Once I was sitting up on my backside, I felt great. Dr. Mac said okay push whenever you want. They were trying to set the mirror up for me to see while I pushed, but the lady holding the mirror turned it the wrong way. I angrily screamed, “I can’t see anything!” Jonathan said I also screamed, “Don’t you know how to use a mirror!” Whoops. I thought that I had only thought that last one. I pushed twice, I think, and out came the head. One more push and baby was out all the way. Pushing felt so great after all those intense contractions. Once baby was out, I immediately felt so much better. I did it! Victory! Hoorah!
They gave my baby girl to me right away and I was overjoyed. She was finally here! Once everything was all cleaned up, I nursed her for the first time. Wonderful. So very wonderful!
Willow Drew Owen was born at 1:27 pm.I went from 3-4 cm to baby out in about an hour. Rachel joked to the nurse that she knew I was in transition, but didn’t know that transition was only going to last five minutes. It was a very intense and painful hour, so glad it was so fast. I can’t believe how great it went. I was terrified of the Pitocin not working on me, but it worked wonderfully and got that baby out in 6 ½ hours. I am so thankful that I was able to have the birth that I had wanted. It was a wonderful wonderful birth. Jonathan was fabulously patient and calm and strong. Rachel did awesome again. She helped suggest things to progress my labor and to help me manage the pain. I could not have made it without the two of them. Dear Abby was also with us as the photographer. So glad she got to share in this with us. All of the fantastic photos are hers.