Welcome back for the third and final entry of my labor story, hope its been fun to read the details of something so personal and special to me. I love writing the labor stories because I get to relive these days as I write it, and it will be a record for each of our kids to read one day. If you are just joining, click here for part 1 and part 2.
So here’s where it gets good. The ever loving night that something finally happened!! Early in the morning of August 10th I was sleeping on the couch and David was on a twin air mattress next to me. My very pregnant self could not possibly get in and out of bed if I were sleeping on the air mattress! I got up to use the bathroom at 4:00am (like every third trimester mommy does) and I remember feeling soooo much pressure I had the thought “I can not believe my water is still intact with how much pressure I am feeling right now! Jesus please!” Then I got back settled and was drifting off to sleep when pop, there it went, fluid gushing everywhere. Felt like a huge water balloon gently breaking inside me. Sounds so gross, and it was, but it was the most gloriously beautiful gross moment I have ever experienced!!
We texted our doula and told her the water broke. She said just to get ourselves ready and drive straight to the hospital, she would meet us there (as opposed to coming to our house like she had with our previous two). I stood in the shower In my dripping wet clothes for what must have been 10 min trying to figure out what to do! I didn’t have contractions yet but could feel them brewing, so I figured I better take a quick shower while I had a chance!
So David and I woke up my parents and let them know what was going on and took off for the hospital. I rode all the way there sitting on a towel and wearing a size 5 diaper! It was epic. We arrived about 5:30am and got checked in and settled in our labor room. Contractions were coming pretty strong now and were just a couple minutes apart.
I did some various positions with the help of our doula to try and progress things. We tried something new this time at her suggestion that I had never done before which was pure gold. Pure gold, I tell you. During the contractions I would sit on the toilet and she had David sitting in front of me pushing up hard on my tummy with both hands and tucking the baby in and down. He would push for the intense part of the contraction only to work with it and move the baby. It hurt like #%&* but I am not kidding you folks I could feel that baby moving through me with each one. I could literally feel his head pushing fluid out of me as he descended down the birth canal. It was so effective that we sat there in the bathroom adjacent to the labor room for quite awhile doing the same thing with each contraction. David asked me after it was all over to try to explain what it felt like. The best I could describe was that it felt like he was pushing a baby through my pelvis! My challenge was to acutely feel the pain and make myself relax through it. A woman’s body is made for this. God is brilliant. Its just a matter of understanding how to work WITH your body and not against it. If I braced myself against the pain and resisted it, the contractions would not have been near as effective. So ironically at this stage in labor you have to WORK with all your will power to RELAX!
Well it wasn’t long until my body started another contraction just as the previous ones, but before that contraction was over I was pushing whether I wanted to or not! The long awaited urge to push is so strong you can’t not do it! Its like your body goes on autopilot! So once again, you get behind your body with all your might and work with it. This time instead of working to relax you are working to push as hard as you’ve ever pushed anything. Its hard work but nothing to be scared of. With my first baby I pushed for almost 4 hours. I was expecting to have to do this for a long time.
Well after about 2-3 pushing contractions with Tara (doula) and David in the bathroom with me, Tara was all the sudden very urgent about asking me whether or not I wanted to have this baby on the toilet or in the bed! I had to make a decision! I said BED! and out we came. My mom and friend Stacie were outside the bathroom chatting with our midwife Lin and all the sudden everyone is running everywhere and grabbing cameras and all the nurses are rushing in. I made it to the bed between contractions and they put me on my side and held up my right leg in the air. I pushed hard through 2 more contractions and his head came out! Then it was like one more time through and his body came out, face down like it should (or close enough)!
What a truly incredible feeling. There is nothing like it. Holding that baby on my chest and hearing him cry. Everyone is rubbing and wiping him down and checking his vitals and all I can do is leak tears of joy and relief. Nothing compares.
Then I asked for my apple. Because I always eat an apple after pushing out a baby. But that’s neither here nor there; here are some more pics, courtesy of my dear friend Stacie Wood. (You know your friend is a dear friend if you want them at the hospital as you birth a baby in all of your glory. Sarcasm intended on the glory part).
Well they put this child on the scale and folks he weighed 10 lbs and 7 oz! I am not kidding you. Everyone was so shocked. Most of all me, because the pushing part went so fast if I had to guess I would have said he was 8 lbs! I didn’t tear, had no cuts and no stitches. Natural delivery with no pain meds, no epidural. So over the next several hours as we are celebrating and taking pictures, I am putting it all together in my head and my heart.
I remembered Tara telling me on the phone several days before that half the work was done. The contractions I had been timing for a week prior, though they came and went, were still effective. They had a cumulative effect on my labor. If I had not had all those days of contractions, or if I had gone ahead and had my water broken to start the process, this labor would have likely been what I feared. It would have taken a huge toll on my body.
God knew what he was doing. All those days of waiting, confusion, disappointment all made sense now. I thought each day that went by was dooming me to experience my fear of having a large baby that would do more damage to my body on delivery. But it was the opposite. God was using each day to accomplish his plan. And his plan was perfect.all those days were the very reason the labor went so smooth and quickly.
I’m not saying every time it works like this. What I am saying is that trusting God is always a win. He knows best. He works for our good and His glory every time. Even when it doesn’t make sense.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6