Those last few weeks are crucial.
They are also excruciatingly slow to pass. By 37 weeks I was ready to have Sebastian. I had pubic symphysis my entire pregnancy and was tired of being in pain. Every day I would hope and pray that he would come. My midwife, Aliza, was hopeful also. I had been measuring big my entire pregnancy and had gone early with Rowan. Still the weeks crept by. I had one bout of false labor at 37 weeks and 5 days. At the hospital I was a one, with no effacement at all.
I requested my first check from Aliza at 39 weeks. I had progressed to a 3, 80% and -1 station. I was elated. Maybe he would come over the weekend! Since it was Labor Day weekend it was optimal time for us. John had Saturday, Sunday, and Monday off paid. We hoped and walked and had lots of sex. I bounced and did nipple stimulation. Nothing helped. By Sunday I had lost hope that it would be that weekend. On Sunday I started swelling pretty badly. Monday came and while I had minor contractions I wrote them off. I did not want to get my hopes up. I took a nap with Rowan at 2 like normal. Looking back I’m very glad I did. I woke up due to contractions at around 5. I still wrote them off since I was so terrified of it being false again. I texted my mother since she was already in town at a friends house for Labor Day. I warned her to stick around in town a little longer so we could see what happened. That’s when I started throwing up. It was weird. I wasn’t in pain from the contractions, I hadn’t really eaten. I assume now it was just nerves. I had John call Aliza anyways since she said throwing up is a good thing when it comes to labor.
She wanted us up to the hospital (which was a 40 minute drive) as soon as we could get there. My parents booked it over and we left quickly. My contractions continued the whole drive, which I was very thankful for. I was still not in any pain. We got to the hospital and were transferred to l&d triage. The nurse checked me and I was still only at a 3. I was pretty upset. She said she could definitely see on the monitor that I was contracting so she wanted us to walk around for an hour and then be rechecked. We practically sprinted. The hour passed pretty slowly but we meandered back to triage. Of course our luck, the nurse was called to assist with a birth and we had to wait for an additional half hour. She finally came back and checked me. I was at a 4! So definitely labor!!
We were finally admitted at around 9:00 pm. I got into my room and they drew blood. I also got a saline lock placed for emergencies. That turned out to be a good thing since I ended up needing fluid. Sebastian’s heart rate kept dipping. After all of the procedures John and I started walking. We walked for hours. Every half hour we were placed back on the monitor so they could check on Bash.
Eventually I started getting sleepy and took a nap. The nurses set up the pool. The at around 3am I had been having some seriously strong contractions. Nothing painful yet but I wanted to see where my body was at. I asked to be checked and I was at a 5. Slow slow slow going.
At this point I think is where it hit me that I was going home with a new baby. And that my body was doing it. Really doing what it was supposed to. Just writing this is making me tear up. It’s such an empowering feeling.
We continued to walk for about 2-3 more hours. Nothing neck breaking. Just a leisurely walk with the most important man in my life. At around 6am my contractions were starting to have a little bite to them. John made me go back to the room to rest and get checked. The nurse checked me again and was super pleased to say I was at a 7. A 7. 7!!! Transition?!? And my contractions didn’t even hurt at this point?!? I was elated!!! The nurses started filling the pool. I requested a labor ball to bounce on to try to speed things up.
At around 6:30 Aliza showed up and we talked for a few. She asked me if she could break my water at my next check to speed things along. I agreed and was checked for the last time at around 6:45. I was at a 9. My contractions were getting a little harder at this point. About at a 6 on the pain scale. Aliza broke my water and it gushed for ever. I got back on the ball and bounced. My water gushed and I almost got John’s shoes. I got in the tub at 7 am. It was amazing. The nurses and Aliza were baffled at me. They said they wish all of their natural births were like me. I laughed and cut up in between contractions. It was easy. Then it wasn’t. My contractions started to get pretty painful, around an 8 on the pain scale. Aliza checked me and I was at a 10 but had a cervical lip. During my next contraction Aliza manually pushed aside the cervical lip as I bore down. Agony ensued. I think this is where I started screaming. This continued for 30 minutes. I tried every position I could think of in the tub and couldn’t get any relief. The pain was immense. I was scared. I started screaming harder and begging to be done. John was cheering me on and holding me up. Literally.
He was amazing. I could not have gotten through it without him. Once I hit my stride the pain subsided a smidge. I finally started pushing correctly (you would think-second baby, knows how to push) and he came quickly. All at once his head came and I didn’t tear. Thank you Aliza for the breath coaching. it didn’t burn nearly as bad as I thought it would. One more push and his body slid out into the water. I was facing the wall and they started to scoop him out. I protested and flipped myself around to do it myself. Amazing how the pain completely went away. I pulled him up onto my chest.
Sebastian Ryker was born at 7:36a weighing 8lb 3oz and 20 3/4″. I sat in the tub for over 10 mins waiting for the cord to stop pulsing.
John cut the cord. They moved me to the bed to deliver the placenta. That took forever also. Aliza repeatedly massaged my stomach to get it detached. Finally everything was done and I was kicked back with my new baby. I had energy and felt amazing. He took to breastfeeding right away. His latch was nice and deep. We got to eat immediately. I have never been so hungry in my life. My best friend showed up to congratulate us. We were transferred to recovery and eventually big brother got there.
He still doesn’t know what to think of him. We stayed in the hospital one more night. Now that we are home I can say that my recovery has been immensely easier this birth than with Rowan’s medicated birth. We aren’t sleeping much, and Rowan is skeptical, but we are settling in. We are immeasurably happy.
- Jessica B.