My Natural Birth Story {Part 2}

I believe it was around three or four centimeters dilated that I told my mom, almost in tears, that I didn't think I could do it. I didn't think I would be able to go natural. I had been lying in bed and the pain was getting so much more intense. My mom turned into my coach telling me "You can do this. This is what you want to do. You can do this." And I did. 

It's hard to describe exactly everything I felt. Contractions are brutal as hell. It is literally a wave of pain that builds and intensifies and then subsides. You begin to cherish the minutes between each contraction. I firmly believe God created those minutes as resting periods for our hard work. 

My husband's way of explaining my labor is basically that I was in my own mindset and in a zone. I think he was right. I was in my own world of pain, butterflies and a baby ready to meet her mommy. I say butterflies because I kept picturing butterflies and I'm unsure why. I had a mantra that I'd say in my head during a contraction and although to you it seems silly, for me it helped with the pain. My mantra was that I was a butterfly and I was opening my wings (meaning I believed I was dilating). It helped me visualize that with each contraction I was opening up more and more. I was spreading my wings and getting ready to fly. 

My other mantra: "I am a woman and I can do this. I was meant to do this." 
Hell yes I was. 

For the rest of my labor I did everything to stay out of my bed. If you ever consider a natural labor, remember that just laying there makes things more painful. For some reason being active decreased the pain; although truthfully there isn't really a way to decrease the pain. I walked a million circles around the nurses' station with my mom. During my walks I'd walk through contractions, but as they later increased in pain I'd just hug the wall and rock back and forth and do my own breathing exercise (I never used the ones I learned). I rocked in a rocking chair for a large portion of my day too. The rocking soothed me and during the time between contractions I'd doze off. That couple of minutes of sleep felt like heaven, especially since I didn't sleep the night before. Through those contractions my mom and my husband would massage my hands to keep me from gripping the chair and to keep my mind elsewhere. I feel like I owe them 1,000 massages just to say thank you for all of the ones they gave me.

Unaware photos were taken. 
I also tried the birthing ball. At first I was unsure if I liked it but eventually I realize it helped with the pressure during a contraction. I'd rock back and forth on the ball as my husband or my mom massaged my back and hands or played with my hair. 

Being in your own zone during labor is quite interesting. I'd hear conversations, I'd have occasional visitors and I'd constantly want to chime in. But I never did. I never talked. I could hear, but I couldn't speak. I didn't want to speak to anyone. I just wanted to labor. I'd speak back to them in my mind. At times I even had a sarcastic remark to go with their conversation, but I just said it to myself. I think I may have even cracked a couple of jokes in my bad they never heard them.

Piece of cake. 
Around five centimeters the nurse gave me permission to start using the whirlpool bath tub. Boy did that rock my world. I actually felt like a new person during those twenty minutes of Heaven. I'd rock back and forth and my husband would massage my back and run water over me. He even bathed me once. I managed to speak a bit more during this time, but never enough to tell him how wonderful he was. I cherished those baths and I adored him for taking such good care of me. The powerful jets and the warm water somehow managed to decrease my level of pain quite a bit.

Words can't describe how amazing him and my mom were. I could have NEVER done it without them. 

Sometime late Tuesday night, my doctor said I had to be seven centimeters by a certain time or she'd start the induction. Thankfully I reached my seven centimeters. I was praying so hard to keep reaching the checkpoints my doctor had for me because I did not want the induction to speed things up. Fast forward to a few hours later and my checkpoint had to be nine centimeters, and according to my nurse I was. Now, get this setback --- my doctor comes in to check me herself and I assume I'm approaching full dilation and she gives me heartbreaking news. According to her, I wasn't nine or even eight centimeters, she said I was a tight seven. That was two steps back. 

Being told I wasn't as far as we thought I was was a huge blow for me. That's not something you tell a natural labor patient. She then said they'd start the drip for Pitocin to speed things up. I asked her if I could still keep walking with the Pitocin and her words were "You can, but it may knock you off your feet." Great. Just great. Let's make the pain worse for the natural labor patient.

So happy my mom captured these photos for me. 

Had I known more about Pitocin I may have refused it. Then again, on Monday when I saw the doctor's face regarding my ultrasound all I was worried about was safely delivering my baby. So I guess you can say that the little bit of fear from Monday made me more open to the Pitocin to speed it up - I'm just grateful it was put off for so long.

After the Pitocin I did about eight circles around the nurses station, more than my normal amount. I was determined to not let this Pitocin bring me down, I was going to hurry and get this baby out of me. Prior to my birth, I always wondered how a woman knows when she has to push. I can hardly understand how to do a Kegal exercise so how in the heck would I ever be able to push or know when to push.

Well, let me just say that you know. 

I was enjoying what would be my last bath (about 35 mins after Pitocin) when as I stood up to dry off, I ran naked and dripping wet to the bed yelling I had to push. It literally felt like something was about to fall out of me. It's an uncontrollable pressure where you just want the sensation inside of you to make its way out. I got on that bed, was checked by the nurses and was told I was complete and it was time for practice pushes. After one practice push I started pushing for real and couldn't stop and didn't want to stop. The nurse actually had to hold the baby's head in while we waited for the doctor; which felt like an eternity. The emotions to know that I'm about to meet my baby and I'm about to follow through with my birth plan was overwhelming. I didn't want to wait for the doctor. I just wanted to push and push. Finally the doctor came, and through that burning ring of fire, I delivered a beautiful baby girl. Amazing. 

Pushing. I love this picture because I remember doing this to his jacket the whole time. 
I saw the moment she came out of me in the mirror, but most of all I felt it. I felt every second of birthing my child into this world and it was the best experience I could have ever imagined. Every second and every hour of the pain I felt all day and the night before, was instantly worth it (about 26 hours total labor or about 16 hours active labor). And after she came out all of the pain was immediately gone. All I could feel was love for this beautiful baby. I couldn't feel all the aches and burning from just delivering a baby.

I was amazed by her and amazed by my own capabilities. I was overwhelmed with emotions to finally meet this child that had been growing inside of me. This little girl who was always trying to kick her way out and always hiccuping in my belly. Words can't describe the moment I first saw her, first held her, first fed her or first kissed her. It didn't matter what she was covered in and how dirty she was...I couldn't wait to kiss her. She was all ours and was perfect and she was healthy. She's beautiful in every way possible and literally takes my breath away.

Having a natural labor was the most beautiful thing I've ever experienced. Now looking back my description of it all -- "it's a piece of cake." It's a pain you'll never forget, but it's a pain that goes away. I've never felt more empowered or more of a woman than I do now. I feel like I can conquer anything and that I can and will be able to give my daughter the best of me. I can be strong for her and I can share a bond with her that no one can ever take from me. The whole experience was beautiful and I'll never forget it and desperately hope I can experience it for each of my children. My husband was so amazing throughout it all and I loved sharing every second of the labor with him and my mom. It made it all the more special and I'm so proud of the way he took care of me.

A moment I'll never forget. My heart is full with love for these two. It's almost overwhelming. 

She's that little piece of me and that little piece of the amazing man I created her with and she's all ours. I'd do it all again and like I said earlier--natural labor--"it's a piece of cake." 

Our family. My hearts, my loves and my life. 

I hope you have enjoyed this long post. 
It really is hard to put the experience into words. 
I LOVE to talk about it and look forward to motivating others. 
Look for more tips and sources on natural labor soon!
As well as Little Bit's introductory post. :)
Read Part One here