I had myself mentally prepped for a long, hard labor. I was hoping that because my mom and my grandma had quick labors that I might have the same luck, but I never thought it’d move along as nicely as it did.
About 4:45 am on Sunday, I was awoken by strong cramping. It wasn’t super painful and I attributed it to gas from the Mexican food I had eaten the night before. About an hour later they were strong enough that I thought I better get up and try to relieve this pain. When I was finished, as I turned on the sink to wash my hands, my water broke as I watched in the mirror.
I was so shocked that I had to make sure I hadn’t just peed my pants. Sure enough, it was clear amniotic fluid. I immediately (well after wiping it up) walked back into our room and told Josh that I thought my water had just broken. Trying to take the advice from our childbirthing class, he grogily told me to get in bed and rest because we were going to have a long day. After about five minutes in bed I knew that I couldn’t just lay around. So we both got up, started some laundry, watering the lawn and milling about the house.
By 6:30 am my contractions were about 1 minute apart. After I took a shower and could barely dry off and brush my hair I knew we should probably pick up the pace and head to the hospital. Josh hurried to turn off the water and load the car.
We got into our car about 8:20 am and started heading towards Boulder. At this point my body was shaking and my contractions were about 30 seconds apart and lasting for nearly 2 minutes. Josh seriously thought at times that he was going to have to deliver our daughter right there in my new car.
Luckily we made to the hospital. After four stops along our way to our room for contractions, we made it. I got into my gown and got hooked up to the montors for my inital baseline. This was the last time I smiled for a while.
My midwife Marilyn arrived shortly thereafter and asked if she could check me. Of course I said yes, but I was afraid she’d tell me I was like barely dilated. To my relief that was not the case at all! The look on her face was priceless. I was 8 cm dilated and 100% effaced. Ella was at +1 station. I could not believe it! I hung out on a birthing ball until my bath was ready.
I spent about 15 minutes in the bath until I had to push. Like I could hardly stand not pushing as I was getting out of the tub. I was so excited that it was time to push because that meant Ella was almost out. I started on a birth stool, then decided the squat bar might be better. In order to let me rest between pushes thy tied a sheet around the bar for me to pull on. No one told me how hard pushing was. Everyone said you feel relief, which yes, I did, but it was by far the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done! Luckily after a half hour or so of pushing and just six hours of labor, Ella arrived!
I was in a state of shock, exhaustion and overwhelming love. Finally our baby girl was here! She was unbelievably alert and just looking up at me. She is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. She spent the first hour or so on my chest cuddling and nursing. Right before we moved to recovery, they took her, weighed and measured her and handed her right back to me.
I am so proud of my body. I have a whole new appreciation for the power it has and the strength that I had. Labor was the hardest thing I think I’ll ever do, but the moment that Ella was placed on my chest was worth the pain and the exhaustion. I don’t know it if was the Evening Primrose Oil, Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, staying active, good genes or a combination of all of them, but I could not have had a more ideal labor. It was fast, the pain was totally manageable and I came out of it with a perfect baby, no drugs, no tearing, no stitches and no hemmroids. Woohoo!