I've been meaning to write this down and I have had a couple requests so here we go:
I had been having braxton hicks for about two weeks, sitting at a 3 for about two weeks and she kept dropping lower and lower. I thought for sure my hips were going to give out. I was hoping that Millie would wait until my mom arrived on Oct. 12. Thank goodness she did and then just for fun she had us wait around for 5 more days. I have never hit my due date before, when I did it was pretty discouraging.
On Oct. 17th I was having contractions throughout the day and they were really strong but very inconsistent. I knew that I would go into labor that night or maybe the next day. At 4pm my contractions started to be about 10-15 minutes apart. I called my OB to see if I could head to the hospital because my babies come fast. She said to wait a little bit longer.
At about 5:30pm the whole family and I were sitting down to dinner and about every 8-9 minutes I had to excuse myself to go in the other room to scream into a pillow. It was time to go. By the time Braden and I got to the hospital it was 6:15pm. I walked in smiling and happy because my contractions were still about 5-6 minutes apart. The nurses looked at me like I was crazy and showed us to our room. I started to have a strong contraction upon entering the room so I sat down on the edge of the bed and as I did I felt a pop. My water has never broken on its own before (another first). But I knew with my others after the OB broke my water, it was not long before I was holding my baby.
I had Braden yell into the hall that my water just broke and then the nurses started taking me seriously. I hobbled into the bed, got all the monitors set up, and the nurse began to ask me all the registration questions. She checked my progress and I was at a 5. I knew I didn't have much time so I asked for drugs right away. I was nice at first but my contractions were getting stronger and closer together very quickly. As time went on, I was not so nice.
The nurse kept saying, "Leah, you are halfway there. You can do this without drugs." And I, not so kindly, said, "I don't care how far along I am, this hurts like hell. GIVE ME THE DRUGS!" Honestly, I was not mentally prepared to have a baby without drugs. I was scared. Really scared. The nurse did her best to satisfy me by trying to hurry the anesthesiologist along, but my contractions were so on top of each other that we all knew it wasn't going to happen. No one dared to say it out loud for fear of my reaction.
The anesthesiologist actually made it into the room and starting prepping the needle and whatnot. But with the sounds she heard me making, she started packing up- she knew. I was closing my eyes through most of this to deal with the pain, so I would catch glimpses of my hospital room. It was just chaos. Nurses trying to get IV's in me in between contractions- not happening, Braden's look of horror as he watched me turn into a crazy beast, an anesthesiologist that knew her being there was pointless, and me squeezing the rails of the hospital bed so tight I thought for sure my hand would break or the rail would.
Okay, I had to deal with it. I had to face reality. Drugs were not going to happen. I was going to delivery this baby naturally. I tried to give myself a prep talk to boost my confidence, but there just wasn't time. My contractions were basically a constant and the pressure in my hips was so intense. I started screaming, "I need to push!" The nurse of course says, "You need to wait for the doctor. Just a minute, she's on her way." Um, no. My body was taking over. It's such a crazy thing. In this moment, my mind and body felt like they were completely separate beings.
Finally, the doctor comes in the room to check if I'm okay to push. Yes, she says I can push. Well thanks for your permission. The next 5 minutes were the most excruciating, the most intense moments of my life. I pushed, screamed, cursed, groaned- everything a wild animal does, if they could talk. I tried really hard to be quiet. I didn't want to be "that girl" in labor and delivery. But, once again, the body and mind were not connected. I remember saying,"Just pull her out!" over and over again. Psh, I don't know why my OB didn't.
With one last painful push, Millie was out! At 7:13pm she was in my arms. That's less than one hour. Braden and I both just balled. Exhaustion, fear, relief, joy, love. Too many emotions to comprehend. And Millie was here- healthy and beautiful.
I did it. Without drugs. Don't I feel amazing? Don't I feel empowered? No and no. I felt traumatized and utterly exhausted. It was a frightening experience for Braden and I. I never ever planned on having a baby without drugs. I don't feel the need. For those who do it without drugs by choice, good on yah. Do I want to do that again without drugs? NO. But when we have more (yes, more), I may not have a choice.
I will say, the recovery time was amazing. I felt so great after a little nap and some awesome grub.
Congratulations if you have made it this far. That's a long birth story. I will end with a quote from one of the nurses who was at the nurses station listening while I went through all of that, "You blasted that baby out of you!" Indeed, I did.