Continuing her birth story…
Sorry to leave you all hanging with what happened but it was just so much information so I thought breaking it up into two posts would be better. I am sharing a video of highlights from Madison’s birth and chatting about the experience with Michelle.
Let’s get to it.
My natural birth story
You saw the few days leading up to my labor. Now back to the rest of the story…
By 1pm on Saturday things changed very quickly for me.
Jax trying to comfort me 🙂
By 1pm on Saturday my contractions were very intense and getting harder to talk through. They were also forming more of a pattern and coming every 4 minutes. My contractions went from 10 minutes apart (in the morning) to about 7 minutes apart (around noon) to 4 minutes apart. And around 1:30pm they were coming 3 minutes apart!!
I couldn’t get over how hard and intense the pain was. The hardest thing I ever experienced in my life.
Labor is definitely serious business.
Throughout the whole day I kept complaining that my lower back hurt and I always felt like I had to go poo. Plus I was going pee all the time. I also had two bowel movements before leaving for the hospital which I think helped in the end as every pregnant women fears going poo while pushing (I do not think I did, well at least no one told me I did).
I admit it was scary at times because the pain was so bad and I wasn’t sure if I was strong enough to handle them. But thankfully with Michelle, my mom and Gary there all coaching me as I was resting on my left side on the sofa.
And Jax was there too, helping me get through each one.
My support team kept telling me this is it. That I will be holding my little girl soon. And that I CAN DO THIS! It was amazing how the positive words of encouragement from my support team REALLY HELPED with the level of pain in the contractions!!!
As 2pm started to approach I told Michelle I wanted to call the doctor to see if I should come into the hospital now or not. My contractions were extremely HARD (other moms out there understand how painful these can be) and especially now having less time in between them to recover. Michelle talked to the nurse and she said it is up to us if we wanted to come in or not.
I looked at Michelle and Gary and said it’s time! Let’s go.
The car was already packed so all we had to do was get me to the car. Harder than I thought.
As Gary drove to the hospital Michelle sat in the back with me continuing to cheer me on through each contraction. I was gripping the back seat so hard. Gripping things really helped me get through some of the contractions.
My breathing for each contraction was all over the place.
One minute I felt I was able to control it while other times I caught myself holding my breathe or breathing too quickly.
We finally arrived at the hospital a little after 2pm. We live about 10 minutes away.
They brought me a wheelchair and I was wheeled up to the birthing center. This was a bit awkward going through contractions while going through the hospital lobby. I tried to keep my head down (as you saw in the video). I tried not to make a scene.
Once I got upstairs a nurse came to check my cervix to see how far along I was.
I was 6cm dilated!!! I was so happy to hear that and thankful I was able to stay at home as long as possible before coming to the hospital as that was important to me.
They immediately rolled me to my own private birthing room. Thankfully I was blessed to have an AMAZING NURSE! Kike, thank you!! She too had 3 natural births so she was a great addition to my support team.
After they did a few tests and paperwork I was good to go. We forgot ALL our stuff in the car (the birth plan, the essential oils, any food) but things were happening so quickly we kinda forgot about it all. And at that point I did not really care. Gary and Michelle were able to tell the doctor and nurses about my preferences and no one had any issues.
My contractions were still about 3-4 minutes apart upon arriving at the hospital. I kept resting on my left side because it felt the best at the moment. I continued to push through contractions. All I wanted to do was lie down in bed to rest. I know this was not the most ideal position to keep things moving along with the contractions. But it felt good. I felt I could control them.
After awhile I realized I had to pee. So Gary helped me get out of bed and head to the restroom. My nurse said that sitting on the toilet will probably feel good as it also helps open everything up. She was right. I sat on the toilet for 3 full contractions.
After that I decided to try to stand and lean over a chair to see if that position felt good. I did that for awhile. I completely lost all track of time by this point. The contractions and pressure were getting VERY intense.
Then all of a sudden my WATER BROKE!
It was like what you see in the movies (which I found to be funny as people say it doesn’t happen like what you see in the movies).
I was just standing there and then all of a sudden a pop and a huge gush of water came rushing out of me. It didn’t really hurt, it just took me by surprise. I screamed as it happened because it scared me. I was nervous and embarrassed. There was water everywhere!! Michelle went and got the nurse. The nurse reassured us this is normal and everything was going great and that I still needed to keep going until I am fully dilated, but that I was close!
Now more gushes of some seriously intense contractions followed.
Looking back I cannot believe the sounds and noises that came out of my mouth. It’s a little embarrassing now to think about, but in that moment of pain you really don’t care. You just do what feels good.
I was starting to get shaky and really wanted to push. Gary kept telling me no, just keep breathing.
The nurse came back into our room to see how we were doing as I let out another LOUD SCREAM. She could tell I was getting close but not there yet. She told me to get down in a low squat by holding onto a chair. She said the more we can get her down into the birth canal the less pushing I would have to do.
So I grabbed a chair and squatted down low. This position felt good for about 2-3 contractions. Then I went to all fours on the floor in so much pain. My nurse said I could get on the bed and be on all fours. So that’s what I did.
Gary and Michelle helped me up into the bed. I got on all fours and continued to swing my hips back and forth. Doing anything to get things progressing so I could push. All I kept saying is how much it hurt and I couldn’t do this much longer. Gary and Michelle kept coaching me and telling me I didn’t have much to go. That I was so close!
After 5 1/2 hours of intense contractions, it was go time. I was FINALLY fully dilated and ready to push. I was so happy at this point.
After just 26 minutes of pushing — Madison was welcomed into this world.
Our delivery went great. It was a beautiful experience as it was just me, Michelle, Gary, my nurse and the doctor in the room. I was able to put all my energy into pushing. Pushing was a whole other ball game that I will never forget. You think pushing would be easy but it required some skills 😉 You had to push in a certain way to really push the baby out. Think being constipated while being under water to hold your breathe and then push. Thank goodness I was strong and was able to maintain my energy to keep pushing.
What happens after delivery
There was no pressure to cut the cord early and Gary got to cut the cord!
I wore my pink handful bra during my entire labor! The best as it was so comfortable.
And they immediately put Madison on me for skin to skin time. At this point I was overwhelmed with so many emotions. I could not BELIEVE I was finally holding my baby girl after 9 months!
My doctor told me that I needed just one stitch!
So he stitched me up and told me that everything looked great and that I did an amazing job and then left the room.
They did not rush us out of the room. They allowed us to stay in there for a few hours to continue to build our bond with our baby girl. As I held Madison the nurse cleaned me up. This was not the glamorous part of labor as there is a lot to ‘clean up’ afterward. I still had some minor contractions which I was not expecting. I did not realize there would be some pain still post labor. It of course dies down over time.
The wild part is that you lose like 15 lbs or so immediately and all this pressure is GONE! But you still look like your pregnant. It takes a while for the belly to get back to normal.
After the nurse cleaned me up I started to nurse Madison for the first time. I had no idea what the hell I was doing 😉
Gary holding Madison for the first time.
For the most part Madison did great. She nursed for a good hour. One thing the doctor mentioned when she came out was how awake and calm she was. She was healthy and alert. Her eyes were wide open looking around at her new world. I feel so blessed and know I am biased when I say this, but she is the cutest 🙂
We had to say goodbye to our nurse as a new nurse was coming on shift. The new nurse wrapped Madison up and did her measurements, and then she took me to the restroom to go pee and continue to clean me up. Let’s just say there was a lot of blood. I put on their panties and pad and was ready to go. Having someone else clean me was a little different and awkward, but after what I looked and sounded like all through the contractions I did not really care anymore. All I cared about was my baby girl!
I got in the wheelchair and we were all moved to the other side of the birthing center–our room for 2 days. The hospital keeps you for 36 hours. It was nice having all the nurses to help those first few days, but when Monday came around I was ready to go home with my little girl!
Thoughts about labor:
I am truly blessed and feel so grateful to have had a wonderful pregnancy and labor. Labor by far is the most challenging thing I have ever experienced. I do feel having a great support team to get me through it helped tremendously. I admit there were days during my pregnancy where I didn’t feel like myself. I didn’t feel like walking or working out, but staying active and eating a well balanced real foods diet while pregnant was well worth it in the end.
I also think by staying active throughout my entire pregnancy enabled me to head into labor with a strong lower body and core. All my squatting and pelvic work helped with those final few hours of contractions and pushing!! Since I didn’t get an epidural, I felt every single thing. Every single contraction. But I was able to move around to focus on getting my body ready for pushing.
Left: 5 days postpartum – Right: 10 days postpartum –> belly getting smaller and back to normal
I truly believe I was able to do what I did for my first birth because I focused on staying active and strong during the whole pregnancy. Towards the end of my third trimester I focused on meditation and using certain essential oils to help me prepare my body. I feel all of this will help me with my post-natal recovery which I am doing great! I will share more postpartum updates soon.
That is my natural birth story.
If you are new to my pregnancy journey you can click here to read about my weekly recaps here.
– essential oil roll on blend – I did this for a good week and I felt it did help with reducing the bleeding a little
Thanks for letting me share my experience with you.