Labor Of Love

It was nine in the morning Thursday October twenty fifth we were at the dentist for Peter’s appointment. Once he was called my contractions began. I went out and walked in the halls and began breathing techniques. They became frequent so I started timing them. They were two in a half minutes apart. I texted Peter saying “I think we’re in labor.” After he was done we went to the little cafe. He got an eggnog latte and I got an eggnog. I couldn’t sit down so I stood and breathed through contractions thinking we had long road ahead but not realizing how long. After that we walked around Target. The contractions were still about two in a half minutes apart. We were in labor! I was so excited! we walked down the baby isle and then headed home. Four hours in labor we started texting people. I was still excited as the contractions started to get stronger.

We headed to the hospital at four thirty and checked in at five. They saw that the contractions were close but we still weren’t aloud to get a delivery room. I was dilated at a one and my water hadn’t broken. I was discouraged and didn’t want to go all the way back home trying to breath through it all in the Suburban. It was seven at night. They offered me pain medication that would ease the pain for two hours and a shot that would help me sleep. I was exhausted and tempted. So I asked about the side effects. They said hallucination. I passed on both. I was made to do this I told myself. So I passed. I knew I had to be focused and keep our baby safe so no sleeping pill for me. They suggested to take a Unisom when I got home and rest up for delivery. We were ten hours in by then. As we were leaving the ladies at the front desk suggested to walk the mall for an hour because some women’s water break right after being sent home. But I was tired and didn’t want to walk anymore.

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It was seven thirty at night by the time we got home. I go in the tub. Peter asked me if I wanted the Unisom. I passed. I was tired but wanted to keep going. I’ve trained for this and didn’t want to quit now. I had been waiting for this big day and chose not to medicate when I had Braxton hicks. This was unfamiliar pain that I wanted to teach my body in hopes for a natural labor. After getting out of the tub we did walking, and breathing together. Then we went in the room and Peter did pressure points pushing on my back to help ease the pain. 

Throughout the night Peter grazed on snacks keeping his energy up and having me sip on water and eat grapes between contractions. I was in so much pain. I knew I wanted to push through so I began to pray. During the hard ones I’d pray “Give me peace.” And when it was done I’d thank God for getting me through that round. When I was in the tub for the third time I’d find my focus point and pray and chant reminders in my head through the contractions.

God is my strength.

God is my peace.

God is joy.

God is going to get us through this.

God is good.

Thank you God that my baby is almost here.

It was six in the morning we twenty one hours in when we decided to try and go back to the hospital. Peter went around and grabbed the last bit of things. He got me my fuzzy body pillow that we bought when we found out we were pregnant as my comfort item. I wanted it with us for the end of the journey. I was afraid to get back in the Suburban. We took each step super slow. I had stopped on the steps. We stood and breathed through the pain. Right before we got in another contraction. Before we drove off we sat in the Suburban as it was heating up I squeezed my fuzzy pillow as more contractions came. One that set was finished Peter slowly started to drive. Most people in labor speed. But I asked him to drive slow. Speeding means something this urgent and wrong. Nothing was wrong. Had we sped it would’ve given me anxiety. Step by step and slowly is how we had to go about this. 

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I hugged and breathed into my pillow four sets of contractions. “We’re here.” Once Peter turned the car off I was breathing through my last set. Peter helped me out. As soon as I got out we breathed through another set. I looked at the hospital entrance hopeful. We shuffled to the doors. Three people offered us a wheelchair. Walking felt better at the time. We got in. Peter was telling the front desk we were there the night before and had checked in. As soon as we got in the room to see if we were aloud to stay and see if I had dilated more my water broke. We were standing next to the bed when I felt trickling down my leg as we were working through another set of contractions. “I think my water broke.” Peter checked and saw it running down my leg. A sense of relief and joy hit me. “My water broke” I kept saying. I couldn’t believe it. By this time we were twenty two hours in labor. I happily went to the bed hugging my pillow. I told Peter “They can’t kick us out, we’re here to stay.” 

When the nurse came in I thought she’d see I had dilated more. We told her my water broke and she said “lets get you checked in.” Because the next room was farther they wheel chaired me to the delivery room. At first I was hesitant. Peter gave me my fuzzy pillow. I hugged it tightly as we went. Contractions.  I was excited to enter our delivery room. As soon as we got there I was hooked up on IV’s on both arms, they put compression socks on me, a heart monitor for baby and a contraction monitor. I went from the wheelchair to the ball. It was fun to sit on but it didn’t seem to help. I went to the bed. I tried the Nitro Oxide gas but it only worked through a few contractions. They were getting too strong. It started to annoy me. When they saw I stopped using it I asked if could just hold it for psychological reasons. 

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The baths seemed to help me the most at home so I asked if I could take one. They asked me if I wanted to take the socks off. I said no. The less I was touched the better. We shuffled to the tub. I was aloud to be in it for only forty minutes, because they wanted me back on the heart and contraction monitor. After a quick forty minutes Peter helped me up. I stood….contractions. I stepped out. Contractions. We shuffled to the door. Contractions. They have gotten closer. I was getting less breaks. When I got to the bed they took off my compression socks and put on compression calf socks that would puff up. They were better because they could velcro off and on. I was back on the monitors.

I sat as we worked through some more. I stood up. I would squeeze Peter’s hand as we breathed through more contractions together. I saw that his hands were turning purple so I decided to squeeze his forearms instead. I needed his hands for pressure points. His forearms were hurting so he put on long sleeves. Every time we’d stand I would use peters shoes as a focus point. I’d stair at the laces. I kept getting checked for dilation progress. I was at a six. Time was lost. They checked me again and thought I was at a nine. I thought we’re going to make it. Almost to the finish line. I was eager and glad we went this far. 

When they said he was at a nine they said he needed to be turned and that we would be meeting him soon. They had me get up grab my fuzzy pillow and sat the bed up so I could get on my knees. A red arrow on the machine became my focus point. At every contraction I would command Peter to push. Peter pushed as hard as he could relieving my pain doing more pressure points. I’d peak over at the monitor watching the contractions sky rocket. Two hundred and fifty two is the highest I can remember. I took us three hours to turn him which only felt like fifteen minutes to me. Time had escaped me. 

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When the doctor came in to check on me she told me the news we didn’t want to hear. My heart sank. Here I thought we were so close. I felt defeated. Thirty four hours into labor to find out I was still at a six. I had a fever and his heart rate had dropped. It was time to make a decision. He couldn’t stay in longer. My fever could’ve given him an infection. She gave me the options Pitocin to induce or a c-section. She could tell I was afraid of both options and it was not what I had wanted. She said we should still induce because it will be closest to the kind of birth I wanted. I was supposed to be induced on October eighteenth but we asked to push it to October thirtieth in hopes to go into labor on my own. The one thing I tried to avoid was now my safest option.

My baby had to get out quick and safe. The doctor left the room giving me and Peter time to talk. When Peter and I were talking I asked him if we should c-section. “We are not doing a c-section” I’m so glad he said that. My mind wasn’t clear and before I told him to not let me do in unless it was the last option. When the doctor came back in we told her Epidural and Pitocin. She said my contraction levels were so high it was as if I had already been on Pitocin. I still asked for Epidural because I knew I needed the energy for pushing.

We worked through more contractions for twenty minutes. When it was time for epidural I had four big contractions before he put in the needle. I didn’t even feel it. Once I got my shot Peter went to take a nap. I chatted with the nurse. I could still feel some contractions but they were milder. Then I got the Pitocin. A few hours later it was time to practice pushing. Thankfully I was not completely numb. They said anytime I feel pressure to tell them. Three big pushes. They could see his head! They said I was a good pusher and I will see him soon. The doctor came in and I pushed she said it will be quick. I felt some stinging. 

Peter took pictures of his head starting to show. I pushed. I felt him slide out. The next thing I saw was my baby on a towel getting cleaned on my chest. Peter cut the chord. He didn’t cry at first. I was getting ready to hit his feet. But they got him to cough and make some noise. They rolled him to his side and used a sucker thing to get off the extra fluid on his face. They said he’s good they don’t need him to cry loud just a little noise is good. His cry was quiet and he stopped immediately when he was on me. 

Peter came and kissed me. As I was getting my stitch I closed my eyes holding my baby. He looked up at me. I looked back confused. It had all happened so fast. The nurses took pictures for us. Peter was the first to feed him. He was six pounds thirteen ounces, twenty one inches,  his Apgar scores were eight, he got all shots, hearing test, eye goop, and heal test.  It all finally hit me when we were getting ready to go home. This is my baby. 

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