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Abraham's Birth Story - Part 2

Quick Recap

I went into labor overnight, headed to the hospital the next morning and had a terrible experience with the resident OB assigned to me. This resulted in labor stopping completely. I headed back from for another 10 hours while labor picked back up and presented to the hospital for the second time at 7:20pm where I was found to be 6cm dilated.

What it’s like to labor at the hospital.

After this initial check I tried walking around the room and bouncing on my birthing ball (the birthing ball was WAY too intense for me at this time). I decided I needed a little relaxation time and decided to get in the bath tub – this particular hospital did not allow you to birth in the water but allowed you to stay in the water for comfort up until it was time to push.

The water felt amazing. I felt weightless. I breathed through each surge and rested in between (Chris was actually worried I was going to fall asleep in the water I seem so relaxed). I stayed in the water for almost 2 hours and then began to feel uncomfortable and sick. Back to the bed I headed.

I alternated between standing bent over the bed, all fours position on the bed or side lying (very little time here as it was the least comfortable but sometimes my legs felt they needed to rest). The OB left me to labor on my own with a nurse stopping in every 30 minutes to see how I was doing.

At around 10:30pm the OB suggested he check my progress, I consented. He performed the exam and let me know I was 8cm. I continued with my breathing and alternating positions – though by this time I was most all fours using the elevated head of the bed to rest my upper body on. I continued like this for another 2 hours and then the OB came back.

He again asked if I was okay with him checking my progress and I agreed to another exam. This time I was 8.5cm. My waters still had not released at this point and my OB suggested artificially rupturing the membranes to finish out this first stage of labor. My this point I was becoming exhausted and just wanted to meet my baby. I agreed to the rupture.

This is when things went from an 8 to a 10 on the comfort scale. With his head now pushing directly on my cervix the intensity of the surges was high. The OB came back 30 min after the rupture and I began vomiting when he entered the room. I think he was going to suggest another check but quickly realized I was in the transition phase and new things were going to escalate quickly.

The second phase of labor.

Not long after I finished vomiting and felt the undeniable urge to begin pushing. The resident OB called his attending OB into the room to supervise the birthing process.

I got myself back into the all-fours position, leaning over the back of the bed, and began bearing down. Even in the intensity of the situation it was amazing to me how instinctual the whole process felt. The OBs stood back in the corner of the room and just observed. They did not try to coach my pushing. They only periodically came a little closer to see babies’ position and backed up.

The only advice they gave was when I continued pushing without a surge and they suggested I conserve my energy to work with my surges for the last few pushes.

Not long before his head began to descend down the birth path, I had the oh so dreaded experience of pooping in labor. People tell you that you won’t know if you poop – and this is likely true if you have an epidural – but I knew without a doubt. I stopped mid-push and asked the nurse to do something about it. She reassured me that it was fine, and I remember telling her I would not push anymore if I wasn’t wiped/cleaned. Likely not my proudest moment, haha.

Soon after I began to feel his head descend. It was slightly alarming to be at first that I felt the head descend and then go back up, but was told this is completely normal and I would be holding him in my arms in the next few minutes. I pushed with my next surge and his head emerged. This was honestly the most satisfying experience of the whole birth process. Not only because I knew it was almost over but because it actually felt slightly pleasurable.

Next surge I pushed with all my might and out came his shoulders and then body, while my OB quickly caught him and immediately but him to my chest.

The Golden Hour

I began to lightly cry. I felt so overtaken with love, joy, strength, empowerment. I felt like a superhero. I had just made it through a 26 hour unmedicated birth and it was the most spectacular experience of my life. At this moment, I already knew I wanted to have at least one more child because of how amazing the experience was and how much I loved this little human I had only met 2 minutes ago.

Our golden hour was beautiful. We looked into each other’s eyes and you could feel our bond. Chris was beaming with pride, both for his son and my bravery. We fawned over him for the first 30 minutes or so and then began working to get him latched to the breast for this first feed. We successfully fed a little over an hour after birth and spent the next few hours enjoying the post-birth ecstasy.

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