My husband and I had everything ready. We had taken a natural childbirth class and prepared the nursery. Now, all we had to do was wait for the arrival of our sweet boy. Our due date came and went. I tried to remain positive and patient, but I feared induction and was so ready to meet our son. I researched all the natural induction techniques I could find. After days of eating pineapple, spicy food, and walking, I still had no signs of labor. My midwife group wanted him “out” by 42 weeks so they set an induction date for 41 weeks, 4 days.
Induction day arrived and I felt a peace about it, even though it was far from what we had planned. I began Pitocin the morning of June 26, 2014. Then, we waited. I had contractions but they were not productive. Our little guy’s heartbeat remained steady and he was a champ the entire day. After a day of Pitocin and no labor, I was taken off everything and given time to rest. Around 3am the next morning, after talking through risks and benefits, our midwife inserted Cytotec vaginally. By 8am I began to feel “real deal” contractions. I was put back on a low level of Pitocin and began to have regular painful contractions. They were close together and sometimes right on top of each other. I was having a hard time getting focused and we went through several relaxation techniques we had learned in class. After several hours of painful contractions, I welcomed a visit from my dear friend Kate. I needed a change of pace! Kate arrived at 1pm and things felt as though they were stalling a bit and she encouraged us to walk more. We started walking around the labor and delivery floor stopping every ten steps or so to work through a contraction. My husband and I did the “labor dance” and when the contraction was over we would keep walking. When our lap was finished, I asked the midwife to check me for the first time since that morning. I was feeling as though I couldn’t continue if I hadn't made any progress. My midwife, Stephanie, checked me and said “well, you have progressed some…”, then said “I think you’re about 7cm”. When I heard the number I thought “I’ve got this!”. Happy tears came and I went into “let’s have this baby” mode. Stephanie said that nothing would stall labor at this point and said it would be a great time to get in the tub.
The next few hours were a bit of a blur. I spent time in the tub working through contractions. Kate dimmed the lights and put on music. The atmosphere was calm and positive. I eventually transferred to the bed. I wasn’t incredibly comfortable in the bed but the contractions were so intense that I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else! My wonderful support team was so encouraging and soon more people started coming into the room prepping for delivery. I figured if they thought I was about to push a baby out I probably was! After an hour of pushing, our sweet boy was born at 6:17pm. I had immediate skin to skin contact and soaked up the overwhelming joy of becoming a mom.
Looking back on my birth story, I am so thankful for our outcome. Things could have gone very differently had I not had such a supportive birth team and birth setting. My midwife stayed with me for the last 5 hours of my labor (once I was 7cm). My husband was supportive of my desire to have a natural birth and encouraged me the entire time. My friend Kate offered new ideas, encouragement, and wonderful lower back massages throughout my labor (much like a doula would). I also had a fabulous labor and delivery nurse who took the time to read through my birth plan and was respectful of my wishes.