Doula Jenn’s birth experience with her first born, Patrick. Born at 3:22am on June 20, 2007. This story was written when Patrick was 9 days old.
Labor started on the Tuesday, June 19, 2007 around 11pm. I had just gotten off the phone with my grandmother around 10:30pm, at which point she asked how I was feeling and if I had made any progress. Just like every other time she has called, I told her nothing had changed and that we didn’t expect Patrick to make his arrival anytime soon. Little did we know that 30 minutes later we’d be in labor!
It all started while Colin and I were laying in bed discussing what we would do the next day, as it was the start of his vacation time. We talked about cleaning out the dresser in the guest bedroom and perhaps going on a small day trip. I got up to use the restroom and while on the toilet my water broke. At first I didn’t know it broke, I thought I was just getting a really good pee (for once since I was pregnant), but when I stood up more water came out onto my pad. I still wasn’t positive that my water broke, so I changed pads and then squatted on the floor to see if I’d get anymore leakage and I did. I told my husband to call my birth doula and inform her of what was going on. Within 10 minutes of my water breaking my contractions started. They were 8 minutes apart and they took my breath away. My birth doula told me I should go lay down and get some rest so I wasn’t too exhausted when it came time to pushing. I followed her direction and went to lay down on a heating pad. However, the contractions didn’t let up. They were getting stronger and were now between 4 and 8 minutes. I’d get a contractions every 4 minutes that wasn’t too hard, and then just as it was letting up I’d get a large contractions at 8 minutes. We then called the doctor on call and asked them what we should do. It was my doctor and he informed my husband that I needed to get to Fair Oaks hospital. We immediately called our birth doula back and told her that our doctor wanted us to go to the hospital, so we would leave in 10 minutes and meet her in the waiting room. Colin got dressed and went downstairs to pack up the car. He then called his mother and informed her we were on our way to the hospital and that we would called her after Patrick was born. She wanted to come to the hospital, but Colin and I had agreed that no one would be in the delivery room besides him and the doula. We then left for the hospital. On the way I called my parents and let them know that we were on our way to the hospital.
Upon arriving at the hospital I had to use the restroom, so while I went to the restroom Colin went and checked me in. I had already pre-registered, so when I got out of the restroom they were ready to take me up to labor and delivery. Once we got to labor and delivery I asked for a room with a tub. Once inside the room they asked me if my water had broken and I told her I wasn’t sure, but I was still leaking so they could check the pad I was sitting on. When I told her that she informed me that yes I was in labor, so I couldn’t use the tub, but I could use the shower. They hooked me up to the monitors, asked if I wanted an epidural (which I told her no, I was going for a natural birth free of medication), and then proceeded to ask me 100 questions that had nothing to do with me delivering this baby! After all the questioning was done and I singed my waiver for my doctor to delivery Patrick and for the circumcision I was taken off of the monitor and allowed to move around.
I was in so much pain at this point. Every time I moved, even the slightest, I had an extremely strong contraction. I wasn’t sure what would ease my pain, but my birth doula wanted me to try the birthing ball. I agreed and slowly got out of bed and onto the ball. Once on the ball my contractions were still extremely bad. Since that wasn’t working we decided to try the shower. The shower was the most relaxing thing I’ve ever felt. It was the first time during the labor where I was able to fully relax. With the warm water running over my stomach, each contraction didn’t seem as intense. It was all going so well until the shower bench they had fell into the tub, causing me to fall into the tub, which startled the crap out of me. Needless to say, it sent me into a wave of intense contractions that I could barley get out of the tub.
Once I was back into bed I let the nurse taking care of me what had happened. She didn’t seem at all concerned, which pissed me off. However, I was in such pain I couldn’t even begin to throw a fit about it then. Contractions picked up and at this point they never ended. I was in a constant rolling contraction. At some point I asked for the epidural. I didn’t know how long my labor was going to last, but it had already been three hours and at this point I was in such constant pain I didn’t know how much longer I could take it. I signed my consent form and waiting for the anesthesiologist to arrive. Within an hour I had an intense contraction that sent me sitting straight up in bed. Both Colin and my birth doula weren’t sure why they were so intense. Then I told that I was having a lot of pressure in my rectal area and my contractions were much stronger. My birth doula called the nurse and began rubbing my back hard, which helped so much. The nurse checked me and informed me that I only had a lip left on my cervix and to not push when the urge came. The nurse then called my doctor to see where he was, he was “on his way” he told them. After 10 minutes I told them I couldn’t hold back pushing, this baby was coming out. They told me to hold on as long as I could because my doctor wasn’t there yet. Another doctor that was on the floor came in to supervise while my doctor arrived. He arrived just in time to change into his gown and to sit down. 15 minutes of pushing and Patrick arrived. It was the best 15 minutes of my life. Pushing felt amazingly good. My doctor did some amazing massage techniques which helped relax me and my doula was a great support. At some point during my pushing the anesthesiologist arrived, but at that point I didn’t need to pain medication as the hardest part was almost over.
All in all my labor was exactly how I dreamed. I didn’t expect my contractions to be so strong and so fast, but at least now I know what to expect. I’m so glad that I didn’t get the epidural, because shortly after Patrick’s birth I was up and moving around. He was born after 4hrs and 15minutes of labor. He was 7lbs 3oz, 20 inches long, and as beautiful as can be. His umbilical cord was on 20cm long, so after he was delivered he wasn’t able to be put on my chest right away (not until his cord was cut), which was fine with me because I was so out of breath that I needed that few minutes to regain myself. Once on my chest he did great. He needed some extra oxygen, but besides that he was great. His apgar score was an 8 at one minute, and a 9 at five minutes. After he was weighed and cleaned he nursed for 30 minutes! After nursing we were taken to my recovery room.