Today meet Sanz, who blogs at From the Mrs.! Today she is sharing her all natural birth story.
Off we go!
The days leading up to our baby girl’s birth were becoming very challenging and frustrating. I was physically and emotionally spent. I watched as my sister-in-law and a college friend both delivered babies before me, when both were due after and I was convinced it was never going to be my turn. Obviously, that is a bit irrational, and I knew it would be my turn soon, but each day I was becoming more and more discouraged. My greatest concern was that I was going to end up with a medical induction and that was not the experience I wanted.
I had an induction scheduled for 40 weeks 6 days but then I changed it to 41 weeks 2 days. I wanted to give the baby more time to come on her own. But, I was losing my confidence as each day passed. I didn’t feel like I could go beyond 41 weeks 2 days because I started to worry about something happening to her. I kept having thoughts of her dying in the last few days and that I would never be able to live with myself if something happened to her all because I waited too long. Also, my husband had two weeks off from work and there was no way to change the vacation time. If the baby didn’t come soon, he would be headed back to work with only a few days left off.
On Wednesday, I was 40 weeks 4 days. We had plans for every single day to keep us distracted. Wednesday we went grocery shopping and I took Mowgli to play practice. That evening was a normal night, except that maybe I had a bit more energy. I cooked a big dinner, the kids had a bath, we put them in bed and we went to bed around 11:00. At 12:07 I woke up with a contraction. Eight minutes later I had another one. Eight minutes later, another.
I got out of bed and packed my bag, got dressed, woke my husband, and called my sister. My husband loaded the car while I paced around the house having contractions.
My sister arrived quickly and we were off.
But not before we stopped for gas.
I got out of the car for another contraction at the gas station. LOL!
The contractions were quickly getting closer together. By the time we left the gas station, they were 3-4 minutes apart. We made it to the hospital in about 20 minutes, since it was the middle of the night and there was no traffic.
In the hospital parking lot we took a few moments to talk and pray together. The Mr. prayed for safety and peace for all of us and then we walked into labor and delivery.
My biggest concern about having a natural hospital childbirth was how to handle it with the hospital staff. I didn’t want to put the staff on the defensive or have them feeling annoyed by me. I had read about birth plans, but I didn’t feel like that was the route I wanted to go. I felt like a birth plan would be more divisive than anything or make me seem demanding and annoying. I simply told the nurse, “This is going to be an unmedicated delivery so I’m going to need to be able to move around.”
That was all I had to say and they made it happen. I agreed to an IV, just in case, which the nurse locked off so that I could move about. They put me in the room with a tub, in case I wanted it. But, it never even interested me.
There was not a single offer for medication. Not once. I agreed to lie on the bed for a while to have the baby monitored, but as soon as I was too uncomfortable to be in the bed any longer, I simply got up. The nurse removed the monitor and let me be.
We arrived at the hospital around 1:20 a.m. and I was dilated 7 centimeters. After checking, the nurse said, “I can’t believe how calm you are for 7 centimeters.” I told her thank you and that I really made an effort to mentally prepare for this. I was committed to make it. I had read that introverts are typically quiet during natural childbirth and extraverts are typically more vocal. I figured I would probably be pretty quiet, and I was, until the very end, anyway. I remember being the same way when delivering Mowgli.
The doctor arrived soon after us. I was happy the nurses took me seriously when I said I expected delivery to come quickly. When the doctor came, he walked in, smiled and asked, “What would you like me to do?” I felt so calm and at peace at that point. I felt like we were on the same team and he was there to help me accomplish my goal. I went to a group practice that had five doctors. There were two that I really liked and I was hoping I would get one of them. This doctor was one of the two.
Each time a contraction would come, I would wrap my arms around my husband’s neck and plant my face in his chest while I rocked my hips and breathed deeply. It was the only position I wanted to be in. He tried squeezing my hips and pressing on my back, but it was very uncomfortable. Everything I had read about naturally relieving pain didn’t matter, my body took over and was able to find the most comfortable position.
About 45 minutes after arriving, I asked my husband to get the nurse to check my progress, I was dilated 9 centimeters. I was still pacing the floor at this point and grabbing onto my husband for each contraction. He was a wonderful support. The only thing I asked him to do was talk to me through every single contraction. And he did. He told me I was brave and that he was proud of me and that I could do it. He said the same things over and over and over. It was all I needed.
The nurse had just checked me and was still in the room when I hit transition. I was standing by the bed and I shouted, “My water just broke and I HAVE TO PUSH!” What happened to everyone else at that point is foggy. I just know there was chaos and commotion.
According to The Mr., the nurse yelled for help and pressed a button on the wall. Then everyone came running in.
The nurse shouted at me to get on the bed.
I shouted back that I couldn’t and I HAD TO PUSH!
We went back and forth about getting on the bed. I felt like I couldn’t move or do anything other than stand where I was and push!
She said, “I don’t care if you are on your hands and knees, we need you on the bed!”
The Mr. lifted me to get on the bed and I was shouting, “I have to push! I have to push! I have to push!” I also kept yelling my husband’s name over and over and over. I don’t know why…perhaps it was because with my other natural delivery I lost him in the confusion and wasn’t aware of where he was until it was over. I think I was trying to keep track of him.
The Mr. says as soon as I was on the bed he saw the baby’s head.
The nurse told me to go ahead and push and I felt the ring of fire as the head came out. I felt relief for just a moment but then I needed to push immediately again. The nurse told me I had to stop and I yelled to her that I couldn’t. She said, “You have got to slow down, the cord is around the baby’s neck. STOP!”
Then I gave one more push, felt the ring of fire again as the baby’s shoulders came through and then complete relief as she slipped out and I knew it was over.
I must admit, in the final moments of labor, I did say those words that many women say in natural childbirth, “I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this.”
But I did.
She was born 2 hours and 26 minutes after I had the first contraction.
She weighed 8 pounds 13 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long. She is our biggest baby. (The others were 7/13, 8/1 and 8/5).
The Mr. didn’t take photos or video of anything until afterward. We talked about it in advance and I told him I needed and wanted him in the moment and not fussing about the camera. There would be time for plenty of photos later. He did a wonderful job in supporting me. He kissed me on the forehead and said, “There’s no way I could have done what you just did.”
The Mr. took his job of selecting her first hair bow very seriously. He first choose blue, then switched to pink. 🙂
I was on an adrenaline rush for about the next 12 hours and slept little. The rush of endorphins after delivering a baby naturally is unlike any experience I’ve ever had in my life. I was in shock and did shake a bit, which is normal, but I felt so completely thrilled that I had accomplished my goal and that we had our baby girl here safely.
When it was time to move to the women’s center, I was able to get up and walk there on my own. I commented to The Mr., “Look at me walk! I haven’t walked like this in months!” I felt amazing and better than I had felt for so long.
I did not need any pain medication after delivering and was able to report zero pain to the nurses in the days following. I stayed in the hospital until Saturday morning just to have the help of the nurses during the night and to have some extra time to rest. I could have come home earlier, but I knew that my world was about to change and that I should just take it slowly and not rush things. My husband has always stayed at the hospital with me the entire time, with all of our babies. It’s been a special time for us to have together. This time he did come home for the final night so that he could relieve my sister of her babysitting duties. I am grateful for that time we had together, just the three of us.
Our first visitors: our boys and my sister’s family.
I cannot deny the hand of God in life. Delivering a baby is a spiritual experience and bringing a new baby into your home creates a special feeling. It strengthens my belief in God and in my role and purpose. Emotions run high after having a baby and I have had a lot of time to think about my priorities and my weaknesses. I plan to take it easy the next few weeks and really savor these tender moments with my little people.
Do you have an amazing birth, pregnancy, or adoption story to share? A story where the hand of God was mightily on you and your baby? I am looking to begin featuring these types of stories on this website on a regular basis! If you have a story, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.