So I really should have done a post about 40 weeks pregnant and 41 weeks pregnant on the blog since I went 6 days past my due date with Rhett. Needless to say, I was over being pregnant. My blood pressure was a little high so I took a week off before I actually had the baby to relax aka do every trick in the book to try to get this baby to come. Thank goodness my friend Stephanie took some time to walk the mall with me and get Mexican food (no, the hot sauce didn’t help him come).
Brian and I decided that we wouldn’t go later than a week past my due date so we were prepared to break my water after my doctor appointment on Friday. Thankfully, I started having contractions on Thursday night around 7 pm. I called my parents and told them to get on the road to Tulsa. My parents arrived at 1 am, and the contractions were still strong. I tried to sleep that night but the contractions would wake me up. We went on to our doctor’s appointment that morning where he informed me I was definitely in labor and dilated to a 4. He recommended that we still break my water to speed up labor which I was good with.
We checked in to the hospital around 11:30 am and got settled in our room. Contractions were still steady. My doula, Erin, arrived around noon, and my dad brought us all lunch. I should have probably requested something a little lighter than a spicy chicken sandwich since it was going to come back up, but I didn’t think about that at the time. I had always planned on an un-medicated birth, but still needed to have a heplock in case anything went wrong. Needles are not my favorite thing, and that part still freaks me out. The nurses probably thought I was crazy. “No, I do not want an epidural. Yes, I’m a big baby when it comes to needles.” I made the nurse wrap my hand up so I didn’t have to look at the needle sticking out of my right hand. EEeek!
Dr. Harris had six deliveries that day and wasn’t able to break my water until about 2:15. After breaking my water, contractions intensified, and my lunch made another appearance. I started shaking and honestly thought this was it and I was at a 10. Unfortunately, I was only dilated to a 5 at 3:45 pm.
At 5:45, I was checked again and had dilated to a 6 and was 80% effaced. I continued to labor by walking the halls during contractions. Around 7 pm, my doula suggested I take a shower to relax and help with the pain. It was wonderful, but while in the shower we noticed that I passed some meconium. Honestly, I didn’t realize how scary this could have been at the time. I was in a haze with the labor and was to the point of saying I can’t do this. Bless my mom, husband, and doula for saying yes, you can and you are doing it. I was fighting fatigue from not sleeping the night before and not really eating. Brian kept offering me food, but I just didn’t feel like I could eat anything without the fear of it coming back up. I just remember my mom telling me that I needed to let these contractions work.
Because of the meconium, the nurse wanted to monitor Rhett to ensure he was doing ok. That meant laboring on my back with the monitors which was the most uncomfortable part of labor for me. Our sweet nurse Becky was great about monitoring me then letting me off as soon as she could. I mostly labored on the toilet and by walking the halls with Brian and Erin. I honestly felt that I needed three people to get through labor. They switched off on who was holding my hand, encouraging me, breathing with me and towards the end of labor I had all three of them doing it all at once. I got to the point where I couldn’t breath properly without Brian breathing with me and Erin holding my hand while my mom told me to “breathe in, breathe out” complete with hand motions 😉
From 7 pm to 9:15 pm, I went from being dilated to a 6 to a 10. My doctor was on call that weekend so Becky contacted him around 9 pm to get on down to L&D. With the meconium issue there were about 6 extra nurses in my room and they cranked up the heat for Rhett. Around 9:15 pm, I started pushing. I would love to tell you that this part was easy. It was not. Contrary to what my mom was saying that it’s all downhill when you start pushing, that was not the case for me. Apparently since I was so faithful with working out and doing the elliptical during my pregnancy, my pelvic floor muscles are very strong. Dr. Harris didn’t mention this to me until we were at the pushing stage for 45 minutes and little man was crowning, but not coming out. At this point, I was so tired and saying I couldn’t do it. Keep in mind, it was like 80 degrees in there, and I was soo hot which was contributing to thinking I couldn’t do it. Dr. Harris suggested an episiotomy which we opted for and Rhett was born.
Immediately, Dr. Harris grabbed Rhett and suctioned his mouth and nose until he cried. I don’t even really remember this part, but Brian said everyone was so relieved. They placed Rhett on my chest and he immediately pooped meconium all over me. From there everything was wonderful. Ok maybe the stitches weren’t wonderful, but knowing that Rhett was here and healthy was the best news ever so the pain didn’t even matter.
He was born at 10:07 pm, and I thought Brian said he weighed 10 lbs and 7 oz!! Fortunately, he was only 8 lbs and 7 oz and 21 inches. I’m not sure I could have done a drug-free labor if I was having a 10 lb baby.
Overall, everything went well with our labor and delivery. Did we follow my birth plan exactly? Not at all, but it didn’t matter. I chose to have my water broken and an episiotomy which were not in the plan. I also don’t even remember if we had dim lights and worship music. Funny how certain things didn’t even matter in the heat of the moment. The hospital we chose was perfect for us, and I loved most all of our nurses. I would absolutely do a natural birth again. I would also hire a doula again as she was well worth the price! Prepare for picture overload from Rhett’s birth 🙂