Prepare yourselves, there was no short way to write this.
We got to the hospital and they immediately (without checking me) took me to a room. I was so worried that it would just be indigestion and they would send me back home again. My other midwife who had just gotten on call, Roni came in to check me and pronounced that I was at 3 cm. Uggg! I had heard they didn’t admit people until they were four and I couldn’t do the ride back home again. She was actually pretty please with the progression and announced that I was in true labor and could be admitted. I immediately felt a huge weight being lifted off of me. All those weeks of wondering if I was or wasn’t, were over. I was and Barclay would be there soon…or so I thought. I looked around the room and noticed that there was no Jacuzzi tub for the water birth that I was so excited about. We asked and they said that since there was a huge ice storm coming, the pressure drop had sent so many ladies into labor that we had gotten the last room. One without a tub. I was so upset but knew there was nothing we could do about it. I had asked my midwife if I could deliver in the small tub they had in the bathroom and she said she didn’t see a problem with it. I started walking around, sitting on my ball, screaming my head off with pain. I did this for hours and hours and it just felt endless. The problem I was having is that my contractions were not regular at all. I was having horrible, endless ones for maybe an hour and then it would taper to only every five minutes. I never felt like I had a good break to collect myself for the next one (this was my whole plan about how to make it through). I took baths in the small bathtub but the water was so cold and it was so small it barely covered my belly. I started to feel completely out of it and remember biting my arm and pulling my hair. Noah would try to help by massaging me or talking to be but it just made it worse and worse and worse. My who family had arrived that morning and were anxiously waiting in the waiting room. Around noonish, they broke my water. I was told that I had a LOT of fluids because they could barely feel the babies position through all the fluids. I was expecting a huge gush, but really there was hardly anything. They said the baby’s head sealed it so well that all the fluids were behind him. They were right. I like to say that Barclay surfed out but that gives the idea of ease, which wasn’t the case. But he sure got baptized with fluid as soon as he came out.
By 6 pm, I was still only about a 5. I remember looking at the window in my room and thinking about jumping out of it! I was so out of it that I couldn’t communicate or distinguish time. My nurse finally asked me, “Honey, why don’t you want an epidural?”. I told her I really wanted to deliver in the tub. She said that really wasn’t possible in that small bathroom and I decided that was the only reason I was holding out. I was so tired too after being up for thirty six or more hours. She said that someone was going for a C section and the epidural would be unavailable for almost two hours if I didn’t get it. I barely knew what I was doing, but said yes please. I was so proud of myself for being open and not beating myself over the head about not doing it natural. To tell you the truth, I probably would have done it earlier if I had been able to function clear enough to think straight. I was so thankful that I didn’t really understand or know how an epidural works, because I was unaware of what was happening. I got stuck three times! She just couldn’t get it right. It was pretty awful because my legs felt like they were being electrocuted the first two times they stuck me and my legs were jumping around and I was so scared I would move and get paralyzed. We discovered after the second stick that this was an intern! The teacher finally stepped forward to help her. I was pretty upset but too tired and in pain to care or say anything. It took a while for it to take affect and it felt really weird. I had it only on my right side, so I had to lay on my left to let it drip over. That was a weird feeling too. Finally I was numb and couldn’t feel anything. Not a pleasant feeling at all, but a whole lot better than the whirlwind contractions that had me screaming for almost the past 24 hours. They hooked me up to pitocin to speed things along, as well as some monitors. It was crazy because my contracts read exactly like I felt them (even with the Pitocin), irregular. I was having huge mountains of hard contractions one on top of another. Some of my contractions were three minutes in length! And then it would go to almost nothing. My midwife had already by this time delivered TWO babies from the practice. I was so jealous because I was still there. I finally got to seven centimeters. My mom (who has had 7 babies) told me hundreds of times, as well as any of the staff who would listen to her, that when I got to seven I would shake and have the baby in twenty or so minutes. Well, sadly, this wasn’t the case. Because I still had another twelve hours or so till I had him. The epidural was nice because I felt I could nap a little bit since I was exhausted, also I was able to have my sisters and our parents come into the room to visit. Noah at one point ducked out of the room to deliver a contract to be signed downstairs to a client (talk about dedication!). I think that the whole hospital was thankful I got an epidural because I’d been screaming bloody murder for hours and hours and hours. I was progressing so slowly, and I would just watch the clock move. I was so sure that would have that baby on February third, but as the night went on, that seemed like less and less a possibility. Throughout this, I never once thought about the possibility of a C-section, but was told later by my nurse and midwife that they thought I would surely end up with one. Finally, after almost ten hours of having the epidural, I started to feel my legs. I requested that they take me off the epidural so that I could feel to push. They did and I was soon fully aware of my lower half and the pain. I was so focused that at this point, I was barely even screaming, just going somewhere in my head. I was finally a 9 and a half and I was so excited to push this baby out! It had been more than two days of labor. Right when I was near pushing, my midwife was pulled out of the room. Another client from the midwifery had shown up ready to push. She told me to hold on while she ran to deliver the other baby. I was so upset! I had been there all day and night and I wanted to have my baby. And those of you who have had a baby know that telling a pregnant woman not to push is pretty awful. It probably worked out well because I just let him move as much as he could down without having to exhaust myself. Well that lucky lady had her baby in less than an hour and I finally started pushing at about 4 am. Previously the midwife had turned the baby because he was face up which is more difficult to deliver and was the cause of lots and lots of back labor. By my little boy had plans of his own and had returned to the difficult position. I pushed for over two hours before Barclay came into the world. It was extremely painful but not nearly as much as contractions. I could feel him moving down and stretching me, and then he would move back up again. I had a mirror and was watching the progress. I finally asked for it to be taken down because it seemed like it was impossible and I wasn’t about to watch my body split in two. I had Noah (who had been the sweetest thing on the face of the earth) on one leg and my sweet nurse Stephanie on my other leg. Those two hours were blurs. I was in another place mentally. Strangely, that place was Target. I had them laughing so hard because I would say, I’m in the jewelry section now, and the next contraction I was on the aisle with dog food, etc. For some reason it helped me have something to think about while I was pushing with all my might. It’s weird because at that point I knew that I HAD to get him out. I couldn’t quit and I had no other option. At that point I was having a huge contraction, followed by a small contraction. The small one wasn’t worth pushing through. I labeled these contracts as my Target contractions and my motorcycle contractions (for the small one). I don’t know why but I had everyone in the room laughing hysterically. I loved watching Noah. He was right there and enjoying the process of it so much. He was so encouraging and so enthralled. I truly didn’t know if he would get to the place where he was nearly as excited as me about this baby, but it just took him a lot longer. I witnessed the whole process that day. When I was pushing, the nurse and midwives kept commenting on how big he was. They estimated him at over nine pounds. When I finally pushed Barclay out, I felt the biggest sense of awe about what my body could do. When they pulled that baby out of me and set him on my chest, I couldn’t believe it. I immediately started sobbing and declaring my love for this baby. Noah was sobbing and so was the midwife. It was by far, the most rewarding and miraculous thing I have ever been through.
Even though my labor was long, hard, and painful. The moment Barclay was born I knew he was worth every minute of it.