Hello again! I didn’t want to leave you hanging so here is part 2 of Hunter’s birth story. If you missed it you can find part 1 here! We left off with Brian and I driving to the hospital it get checked and see if I was really in labor.
Now, the hospital is only 10 minutes from our house and in the time it took to drive there I had two contractions. My biggest fear at this point was that it wasn’t true labor and they wouldn’t omit me. I was also a little scared because these contractions were pretty painful and if this wasn’t real labor I didn’t want to know what was! I also had two contractions from the time it took to walk from our car to the 5th floor of the hospital.
We checked into Labor and Delivery and found out that the midwife I had been seeing, Tracy, was on call but would be done at 7:00am (it was now about 5:00am). They led us to a room and the nurse told me she could tell that I was having a lot harder time getting through the contractions than I did when she talked to me on the phone. She said that because I was over due I would definitely be omitted no matter where I was at in the labor, I was definitely going to have this baby! Tracy checked me and I was 4cm dilated and 100% effaced. Quite the change from Wednesday and she was pleased. After that things got a little blurry. They officially omitted me and got an IV going. Then the next shift of nurses took over and I met Amanda and Connie the two women who would help me bring this baby into the world.
Immediately they guided me through contractions helping me to focus and breath. I knew these ladies were going to be awesome when I got a little panicking about having a blood draw (since I usually faint when I feel normal) and Amanda grabbed my hand and had me tell her about our baby’s room. She knew just what to say to keep me calm and focused.
I told them I was having pain in my back when I contracted so they suggested I get into the big Jacuzzi tub. It felt pretty good to be in the warm water with the jets but the contractions were getting more and more painful. I don’t know how I knew how to do this but I started making low moaning tones each time I had one. I had read that contractions were like strong menstrual cramps. Uh…..no! Much more painful. They definitely felt like waves of pain, I could start to feel one come on and it would build to almost an unbearable level and then come back down. I labored alone for awhile in the tub. At one point Brian came in with tears in his eyes. He said it was so hard to know that I was in so much pain and not be able to do anything about it. I reassured him that this was pain with purpose and I would get through it. Amanda came in and did some guided imagery with me and also massaged my back. The contractions were still very painful but it helped me to get through each one.
Now, I had never said that I wanted an undedicated birth. I didn’t know how labor would feel or what my pain tolerance was. My “plan” was to see how I felt and then decide if I wanted or needed some type of help. After laboring in the tub for about two hours I asked Amanda if I could be checked and possibly get an epidural because I didn’t know how much longer I could handle the pain. She said sure.
I got out of the tub and into the bed. I’m not even sure how far a part the contractions were but I remember it was hard to move or do anything once they hit. Connie checked me and said joyfully that I was 9cm dilated and assured me I was having this baby soon. At this point it was 9:00am. They even started getting “the cart” out which they said meant we were close. Knowing that it would be soon I thought I could do it without the epidural and I think at that point it was too late to get one any way. The midwife, Carlene, who actually grew up in the neighborhood next to mine, came in to check me. She said yes I was at 9cm but I could tell by her face that it would be awhile before I moved on to the next stage of labor…pushing.