My daughter’s birth was a very intimate experience for me and my husband. My daughter’s life doesn’t amount to a day’s blog. I don’t want the whole world to feel ownership over her and her story, but I am so very happy to share what my experience was like.
So here is the story in memorable moments.
I started labor at around 5pm.
I gave birth at 1:36pm the next day.
That is more than 21 hours of labor.
I dilated all during labor. My OB said I had at least a week left, but it was only 5 days.
My contractions averaged 90 seconds long with 5-8 minute breaks. This is longer than normal, for both contractions and breaks.
EV was born at 7lbs, 3 oz and 19.75 inches long. That is pretty perfect.
I had zero pain medication, even though I was in a hospital.
We stayed for 48 hours after birth so they could check EV for jaundice, but when we came home, she was perfect.
After lots of research, I decided to have a medication-free hospital birth.
I hired a doula when I was about 7 months pregnant. It was one of the best choices we made!
We took a birth class at the Birth Center rather than the hospital. It focused a lot more on the experiential side of birth than the technical side.
We decided to labor at home for as long as possible. That made a huge difference.
We asked for informed consent on our birth plan. Everything the hospital staff did was explained to us and had to be permitted by me or Jimmy beforehand.
We delayed cord clamping for around 3 minutes. Jimmy cut the cord. I feel like this improved EV’s health, but it may have rendered less than normal test results in the beginning.
What I Did
I screamed, I cried, and though it was rare, I smiled. I was very, very loud!
I took baths, laid down, showered, got on my hands and knees, and unfortunately when I was monitored, sat upright, during my contractions.
I focused on aromatherapy and the touch of my doula and husband.
I threw up four times.
I took off all my clothes and every woman in labor should do the same thing!
I managed to sleep in between some contractions, and had crazy mini-dreams.
When I remembered, I prayed. But it was so hard to remember!
Pushing felt better than not pushing.
I felt my girl descend, and that was so incredible and fascinating!
What I Felt
The pain was the worst I’ve felt in my life. Now, I don’t remember it to it’s full extent, because that is what mother’s brains do!
I was incredibly hot, especially after the contractions.
Even though I pushed through it all, I felt weak. And completely exhausted.
I could not wait to see my daughter. I was very disappointed that dilation took so long.
Late in my labor, I finally felt like I could make it to the end.
After everything, I felt empowered, proud and completely blessed by God!
What I Thought
I can’t do it
It’s too painful
I don’t want this
I know people who have done this
My daughter is doing this with me
This is what is supposed to happen
I am strong enough
Hard does not equal bad
My cat, Neptune jumped on my back during a contraction and wound up scratching Jimmy up!
The cat also failed leaping across the tub and got soaking wet!
I heard a newborn cry in the delivery ward, and found new strength.
We called a nurse to see if I could shower with an IV, but she took her time getting to us, so I got in the shower anyway and I think it annoyed her. Oh well!
Jimmy was incredibly supportive and excited to be a dad. Our doula said she hadn’t attended another birth where that was more true.
When I told my doula I was scared of the pain of pushing, she told me that it was like having a job to do. I said, “It’s not scary?” And she said, “No, it’s not scary.”
The doctors took two phone calls when I was pushing.
Jimmy saw her head and said “She has your hair!”
The complete rush of emotions (and oxytocin) when I finally saw her was overwhelming. Every parent says that, but there is truly nothing like that in the whole world.