june eloise joined our family on june 25th at 9:17am! she is 8lbs 3oz, 20in long, and has a gorgeous head of hair. i am so happy to have this sweet babygirl in my life, and i’ve been soaking up these precious early days.
for me, all those details of childbirth get fuzzy so fast, i want to make sure to get it down before its gone, so here is her story, as detailed as i can remember it–
a couple days after i was due, i was told i’d be induced that following sunday, but i requested that they check me on monday instead and schedule the induction after that. i wanted to avoid being induced, so thursday i tried everything in the book to get labor started on its own (castor oil, twice).
saturday morning i started feeling mild contractions, ten minutes apart. the contractions got progressively stronger and closer together throughout the weekend, but when the doctor checked me on monday morning, i was only at 5cm, so she told me i could go home and wait around or to the hospital and wait around.
i opted for home, and i’m glad i did. i was able to eat, be with family, take showers, lay in my own bed, and watch almost the entire first season of downton abbey. that night though i was staring to get into more intense labor, so we decided to go ahead and go in, so they could monitor the baby and make sure the heartrate was ok.
when we got in, i was really disappointed to find that i was still only 5cm, after being in labor for the entire day! i’m glad that we went in though because things progressed over the night. i had a really wonderful nurse (all my nurses were great at this hospital actually!) who understood natural childbirth, so she did a lot to make me comfortable–brought me a birthing ball (which helped so much!), made a comfy little pillow nest around me when they had to keep me in the bed for monitoring (this happened on and off, just to check on the baby), didn’t make me stay in bed any more than i had to.
the contractions began to get harder to deal with around maybe 3am or so. i couldn’t remember anything i’d learned from the bradley method books and the lamaze breathing wasn’t really working (the deep breathing yes, not that he-he-ho stuff! i couldn’t do it right when i was in actual pain), so then i tried moaning, which sounds weird, but was so effective! it helped me control my breathing and kept me from panicking, which was the biggest struggle for me.
around 6 or 7 that morning i think is when i went into the transition time. the doctor came in after i had a bad contraction and found i was at 9cm, so told me i could push whenever i felt ready. those transition contractions were tough–i could usually start out handling them well through breathing/making noise, but these got stronger where the other contractions tapered off, so i did find myself getting a little panicky toward the end of those.
i had truly underestimated the transition/pushing stage; when i got there, i tried to stick with what had been helping me cope with pain, most of the time though i was panicking and screaming like someone was murdering me. luckily this was a short stage! i’m fuzzy on the details of it, since i was deliriously tired at this point, even falling asleep between contractions, as painful as they were. my doctor came in and i remember her saying something about pain and pushing and that i can push whenever i want.
i thought she had said something about how i needed to just get serious and have this baby OR if i lean forward i can get an epidural (she did not at all say either of these things, bryan later told me), so i thought i’d try to lean forward just to see if it would even be possible to lean forward, and that is when i felt it was time to push.
the doctor had left the room just then to go use the restroom but she was going to be back in just a minute so the nurse said it was ok to go ahead. she underestimated however how quickly i was going to push that baby out–the head was out with one push (at which point i remember the nurse calling out for the doctor again and again), and the shoulders were out with another, so the nurse actually ended up catching the baby before the doctor got a chance to run back.
natural childbirth was a completely different experience from last time, and i’m grateful it was possible for me to do it that way; i know i couldn’t have made it through without bryan being there by my side, keeping me calm and focused. all of the waiting and pain was worth it when i held that sweet baby in my arms!