My husband and I were expecting our first child. I wanted to have a completely natural birth and had read the pros and cons of each method. My husband, on the other hand, kept quoting me the wonders of epidurals and could not figure out why I wanted to go through all that pain. I guess because he's had five kidney stones he thought he was an expert in this area!
My pregnancy was a breeze and I think that was because I tried to eat healthy and exercise regularly (didn't start that until I was almost three months pregnant). When I started having my weekly checks, about two weeks before my due date, my doctor kept telling me that my daughter was very low, so low in fact, that he couldn't check my cervix to see if I was dilated. He said he felt sure I would still be pregnant on my due date, and in fact would more than likely be pregnant two weeks after that so he would probably induce. I guess my daughter was determined to stay put!
My due date came and went. Two days later I woke up at 5 a.m. with a sore back. I then started having wierd twinges, which I assumed to be labor pains. My mom was supposed to fly in from Texas the next day and I felt compelled to call and tell her that I thought I was in labor. So she decided to try and fly standby to make it in that day.
My husband and I waited around for a while, he made breakfast for me and I called work to tell them to start my maternity leave that day. I had worked up until that point. Finally, at 9 a.m. I called the doctor. The twinges were coming roughly every five minutes, but weren't really painful, I just wasn't able to talk through them since I was concentrating. My doctor was on vacation, but the nurse told me to come on in to get checked.
We headed to the office and the nurse practitioner started asking me the routine check-up questions. After about five minutes of this, I realized she didn't know I was here for a labor check, so when I told her, she immediately called the doctor. When she checked me she said I was dilated to about 3-4 cm. and was to head straight for the hospital. Luckily, we had brought my bag with me, so we headed there, and got checked in to my delivery room around 11:30 a.m.
The nurse hooked me up to the monitors, then the doctor arrived at noon, said I was dilated to a 5 and broke my water. I was still feeling pretty good and there wasn't much pain, so I told them I didn't want any medication. My birthing coach showed up a little later, so did my mother-in-law. We just sat around and chatted for a while. My mom had caught the plane in and showed up around 2 p.m., and by then I was started to feel the contractions.
My birthing coach was awesome! As I was breathing the "hee-hee-hoo" I started to hyperventilate, so she breathed out loud with me to slow me down, which helped keep me totally focused. Around 4 p.m. the nurse checked me and told me I was at a 9, but that my daughter was face up instead of face down like she should have been. I was feeling the urge to push like crazy and the nurse had me lay on my side and breathe through the contraction to see if we could get her to turn first.
Finally, she said I could push and that was a huge relief. For every contraction I tried to push at least four times. After an hour and a half of this the doctor finally showed up, said that her head had turned and that she was coming very soon. He seemed to be surprised by how big her head was, but did a really good job of not letting me know that.
After her head was through the cervix he told me that some nurses were going to come in and help me position myself to get her shoulders through. About three nurses showed up. One took a hold of one leg and pulled it out, the other took another leg and pulled the other way so I was basically doing the splits. Then another nurse got on a stool and pushed down on my stomach. I don't remember much because at this point I was just focusing on getting her out! At 6:10 p.m. my daughter was born and the doctor about fell over seeing how big she was. After they performed all the routine checkups they weighed her in at ten pounds, two ounces and she was twenty and a half inches long! I asked the doctor if he had delivered any other babies that big, and he said there was an eleven pound baby boy that had been born earlier that morning, but he came by C-Section.
After she was born I felt the biggest rush of euphoria I have ever felt in my life. What an incredible experience! They gave her to me to hold, and one of the nurses jokingly asked me if I was ready to do that again, seeing how big she was and with no medication. I responded, "In a heartbeat!" It was the greatest experience of my life and I am grateful I did not take any drugs to dilute the memory for me.