Weeping may endure for a night, but Joy comes in the Morning. Psalms 30:5
After I had been given some pain meds through my IV I fell into a fitful sleep. This sleep was interrupted around 6pm with a very very painful contraction. The midwife came in to check on me at that point and I rolled over to say something. That when I realized that I was either peeing uncontrollably or my water had broke.
The nurse helped me to the bathroom where I changed out of my nice and comfy but soaking wet clothes into an awkward hospital gown. They also confirmed that my water had indeed broken. I was in a lot of pain but sooo happy to hear that. Now, I thought, now things are really going to happen.
Once back in bed they checked me again. 90% effaced and still only 1cm dilated. I lost it at that point and started crying. It had already been 24 hours of pain getting worse and worse, but I was still at the starting line.
I began begging to get into the pool. However they told me I couldn’t get in until I was 5 or 6cm, because we didn’t want to stop the contractions. Around 8m they gave me another bit of pain meds. They helped me some but I was still in pain and couldn’t rest.
At this point I was in full blown (back) labor. Hard, back breaking contractions every 1-3 minutes. If I got 4 minutes in between I felt blessed. There was one thing that helped me at this point. Well two actually. Jason pushed as hard as he could on my lower back during contractions; and that monitor which drove me crazy on Friday became my focus. I breathed and focused on the little heartbeat that blipped on the screen.
I warned Jason ahead of time that I did NOT want an epidural no matter what I said in labor. Good thing too, because at times I begged for it. “I can’t do this!” I cried; the midwife replies “but you are doing it”. Me “doing what? dying?!” I’m afraid my somewhat snarky side came out several times during labor.
Jason was my strength. He encouraged me, talked to me, loved on me. At one point he crawled into the bed with me and spooned. The heat from his body soothed my aching back.
I lost track of time and sometimes snoozed off between contractions. I would wake up saying something really strange that made no sense to anyone including me! Apparently I was having 2-3 minute dreams.
They had me get on all fours to try and flip the baby over, but it was so painful I could only do it for couple contractions before I curled up into fetal position again.
I don’t know what time it was when they let me into the pool, but oh how good that water felt! It lifted me and helped me so much. I still moaned through pain and occasionally begged for pain meds, but Jason and the midwife encouraged me and helped me focus.
Around 2 hours before he was born, he did turn, the back labor let up and I felt the contractions as waves. In the water it was easy to take the waves and even though the contractions were stronger than ever I wasn’t in quite as much pain than I had been.
I’m not sure how long I was in before I realized that I felt the need to push. I didn’t say anything, instead I let my body take over and went with it. The midwife noticed and checked me, 7cm finally!
At some point I went back onto my knees while leaning on the side of the pool. With the back labor gone, this was the most comfortable position. I remember seeing the clock and thinking maybe 1am, maybe 1:30, surely by 2am…
At one point I heard a terrible crack down in my sacrum area, and wondered what it was. After he was born and they helped me into the bed I realized that my tailbone had broke. I broke it when I was a teen and that is one pain you don’t forget!
The baby’s head was there, I could feel it, and what felt like lots of hair. But the contractions weren’t very strong anymore. I was giving it all I had and I just didn’t have much to work with. Suddenly a HUGE contraction hit and I knew that was the one. I pushed with all my might and felt the head come, the midwife started saying whoa! whoa! whoa! (while trying to turn the shoulders) and I was like No! No! No! and out he came!
2:30am Sunday morning. The ultimate Father’s day gift!
Jason got to catch the baby, he wore long gloves to cover the poison ivy that still hadn’t quite went away. I hear a cry and “it’s a boy” and that fast I had turned and reached for my son.
He was perfect. I couldn’t believe my eyes, Jason and I gazed in awe at his little face and were amazed at the wonderful work God had created in my body.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning!
Now here’s the thing. I went to the hospital because I had ICP and we didn’t know what that would do to the baby. Turns out baby was fine and when we looked at the placenta there was only a few areas where you could see it beginning to deteriorate. If I had went into labor on my own at that time, a homebirth would’ve been completely fine.
But as a first time mom and being my mother’s daughter, I likely would’ve went another week an a half. Who knows what would’ve happened to the baby in that time. Maybe nothing, maybe a lot. A hospital birth wasn’t my first choice, but in this case, we did what we felt best and we still feel it was the best choice.
God takes care of his children and even though we don’t always get everything we want, he works things out for our good and I am thankful for that. Maybe someday I will get a homebirth, but in the meantime I am thankful that the hospital really went out of their way to help us have the birth experience we wanted, even if it was in a different location.
A special Thanks to Belle Hess Photagraphy for taking photos of our little one’s birth.