Mason's Birth Story
Our daughter was two when my husband and I decided it was time for another child. On our first month of trying, we were blessed with a pregnancy. I had morning sickness this time, my joints and back ached, and I was exhausted, but other than a slight scare with early bleeding, everything was relatively normal.
I started having Braxton-Hicks contractions at 28 weeks. They continued throughout the pregnancy, which was a new experience as I didn’t have them with my first. I grew and grew, gaining more and more weight at each visit. At 35 weeks, I weighed as much as I did when I gave birth to my daughter. Everyone kept telling me it was all baby, but it was still scary to step on that scale every week.
My delivery with my daughter was spontaneous labor eight days early. I had an epidural with her, but was going into this pregnancy with the intentions of a non-medicated birth experience. I was hoping that with my previous labor experience, I would feel more in-tune with what was happening and would be able to cope better. And as long as I didn’t have contractions for two days prior as I did with my first, I was hoping it would be fast and natural.
At 38 weeks, there was strong pressure when I would walk or stand, and I had even more Braxton-Hicks contractions. I even went to the hospital one night because I was having contractions that were two-to-three minutes apart for more than an hour. They weren’t painful, but I was afraid that if my water broke, I could really be in trouble. After being monitored for four hours, they sent me home to relax and told me I would probably be back in a couple days.
At 39 weeks, my midwife checked me and found I was dilated to four and was about 75-percent effaced. I was excited because this meant I was almost halfway even before labor began! I just knew it would be any day now. At 40 weeks, I had a non-stress test to make sure everything was OK, and it was. Everything looked fine; the baby was low but just not ready to come out yet. I was told we could look into induction the following week if I wanted to.
I really feared induction with Pitocin. I had heard so many things about how strong and how fast it could make contractions and since I wanted to go without medication, I really didn’t want to go through an induction. However, at 41 weeks, I went to the hospital to be induced. I asked for them to break my water, and agreed that if that didn’t get things going in 12 hours, I would get Pitocin.
They broke my water after 7 PM and the doctor said he would see how I was doing in the morning. For the first two hours, I didn’t have any contractions, but after 9 PM, I got my first real contraction. It was more painful than the Braxton-Hicks, but bearable. Two more came and went and I decided I would try walking a few laps around the maternity ward. My husband and sister were both there, and my husband said he would take the “first rotation.” During the first laps with my husband, the contractions started coming every two or three minutes. I was surprised they were so quick right from the start and was hopeful it meant that labor would move right along. I was uncomfortable walking and wanted to go back to the room.
A few more contractions came and went and while they weren’t any more painful than the first, they were just coming so fast! I kept thinking that one more was over and I could do this when the next one would start again. I tried the birthing ball and felt a sudden urge to push so the nurse checked me. I was only at seven and she told me to breathe through the contractions. I tried breathing through without pushing, but the urge was so strong it was as though I had no control over what was happening. This was what I wanted to be able to feel through the birth, but why was there such a strong pushing urge when I wasn’t fully dilated? The nurse called the doctor and when he arrived, the pushing urges were uncontrollable.
My body knew what it was supposed to do and wasn’t going to wait for the doctor to say I was ready. At about 10:30 PM, I started pushing, even though I wasn’t fully dilated yet. The doctor helped to hold the cervix back while I pushed. Pushing actually felt good! It was such a good feeling to be literally pushing the pain away. Knowing when my body needed to push was so different with this birth than with my first, and it was wonderful! As the baby neared crowning, I feared the “burning” sensation I had been told about, but again, the pressure to push overpowered that feeling and I didn’t even realize my baby’s head was out. As the doctor cleared its mouth and nose, I again HAD to push and out came my big baby boy at 11:57 PM. Mason Vernon Daniel was nine pounds, nine ounces and was 22 inches long.
I was in awe of the entire process and the feelings my body had experienced. The pain was totally gone; it was over the instant the baby was out. As my doctor stitched my episiotomy, I joked with him that it was more painful than the baby coming out, and it had to be because I woke him up during the night to come in! After Mason’s birth, I felt better than I remember feeling with my daughter’s birth. I ate at midnight, took a shower in the morning, and was truly able to enjoy my new son and my family. This was a wonderful birth experience and I hope to be blessed enough to experience another natural birth again in the future.
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