Eli is my second son. The birth of his older brother, Gabe, completely rocked my world. After Gabe was born, I started planning for my next birth. I knew there had to be another way to have a baby and avoid all of the medical interventions I went through the first time.
The first thing I did was leave my current OBGYN and go in search of another doctor. I have certain expectations for a doctor, which include spending more than 2 minutes talking to me in the office and remembering my name. That’s not too much to ask for, right? Surprisingly, it didn’t take me long to find someone that I meshed with. I found an MD in a small clinic in a little town that is now our family doctor, pediatrician and my gynecologist. Its nice to be able to see one person for all of the medical needs for the whole family.
I also prepared for the birth of Eli by allowing myself to become comfortable with birth. I don’t even know how many babies I watched being born on YouTube! I watched both medicated births and unmedicated births. It allowed me to see the differences in the two. I watched to see how the woman in labor was reacting, what the nurses and other support staff were doing, and just studied the room in general. I came to the conclusion that I can deliver a baby medication free, I NEED to deliver a baby medication free. Maybe I needed to prove something to myself, I don’t know, but it was something that I was determined to do.
After becoming pregnant I had a lot of questions for my new doctor. Switching doctors also means switching hospitals. I had already given birth to one baby, but I had so many questions. I needed to know what the C-section rate was for the hospital, at what point the doctor would advise an induction, and how comfortable the nursing staff was at delivering a baby with no medication involved.
She was honest with me, which is what I wanted. I am definitely in the minority. Not many women these days request a medication free labor and delivery, but the nursing staff at the hospital was fully prepared for me.
Eli’s due date was April 13th and I work as a tax preparer. My third trimester of pregnancy was also my busiest season of work. Some people called me crazy, maybe I was! I was also rather uncomfortable a good majority of my third trimester. I had some serious pelvic pain that made walking horribly painful, the only way I could find relief was to move more and push through the pain. Thankfully the pain went away after the delivery.
I went to the hospital for one ‘false alarm’. I was having weird contractions and I couldn’t tell when one stopped and another one started. Once I got to the hospital and got checked in, they stopped though. That’s ok, I wasn’t ready that night to have a baby, I needed a few more days to get ready.
Easter Sunday was typical. We started the day by going to church and then we went to a family member’s house for lunch. After we finished eating I decided to play with my contraction app on my phone a little and keep track of the Braxton Hicks contractions that I was having. I remembered to keep track, but I really didn’t focus on the results much because of all of the activities going on.
After lunch I got treated to new toe nail polish by the sister in law :). Then went to Grandma Marcum’s house for dinner. All the while I was still tracking the contractions. I became more and more aware of them as the day progressed. I didn’t anticipate that I would still be tracking them this late in the day. My mom told me that I would ‘know’ when I was in labor. The contractions would change and it would be very clear.
I wasn’t convinced I was in labor, even when my contractions were steady and getting closer together. They didn’t hurt. They didn’t feel any different than the ones I’ve been feeling for 6 weeks now. I didn’t have the aha moment that told me that I needed to mentally prepare myself for what’s coming.
Dinner was over and we drove the 40 minutes home. About half way home I checked my timer and my contractions were 6 minutes apart. Whoa. This is serious. We get home and I call my mom. She lives an hour away, but I knew we had plenty of time. My contractions still didn’t hurt.
Mom was on her way over and it was getting late so Jairus and I decide to get Gabe to bed. He’s not really ever been one to put to bed easily, this night was no exception. After fighting for a good while, we give up. I stress to Jairus a little that mom needs to hurry or I’m going to have to go to the hospital alone. Moments later I decide that I needed to get to the hospital NOW. We pack Gabe up in the car with his pajamas, stuffed animal and a movie, mom will just have to meet us there.
I’m on the phone with my mom, letting her know that we were going to go ahead to the hospital, she can come get Gabe. Just then I had a realization, my mom didn’t know ho to find the hospital! YIKES! Ok no biggie, we’ve got plenty of time we’ll just drive around and get names of the streets that she’ll need to turn on. While I’m on the phone with her I have a contraction and stop talking. She sounds concerned, ‘what was that? If you can’t talk through your contractions, you need to get to the hospital now!’. Ok ok, we’re getting there mom!
By the time we walk into the hospital, my contractions were roughly 2 minutes apart. We checked in at 10:21pm.
Grandma shows up, Jairus gets the carseat moved over and everyone is settled. Ok its, showtime! I finally have the ok to get into the laboring tub. I specifically remember having a nurse look in my face and tell me sternly ‘do NOT push while you are in the water’, she wasn’t rude about it, she was just very serious and wanted to make sure I knew how serious she was about it.
I don’t know for sure how long I was in the tub, but I know it wasn’t very long. I wanted to use the birthing ball so I hopped on that next. That thing wasn’t very comfortable at all. I got up off of the ball and I feel like I needed to push. My doctor wasn’t there yet and I was progressing rather quickly, so they had the doctor ‘on call’ come in and check on me. Great, I go to church with him, that’s a little weird!
Luckily my doctor came in just in time. She got her gloves on, sat down, and gave me the ok to push with my next contraction. I took her seriously and at the earliest opportunity I pushed with all of my might. After maybe two pushes Eli was born!
We weren’t even in the hospital for an hour before Eli was born. My labor was painless and my delivery was quick. I felt empowered! I was superwoman! I had just proved to myself that my body was capable of having a baby without excessive medical intervention.
I DID IT!!!!