Miles Emery Green
My contractions started on the morning of April 9th, but I didn’t think much of them because I had been having them on and off the previous week. Dan (my husband) was very hopeful and waited at my foot for me to throw him the line "this is it". Even though I was very tired of being pregnant, I was scared to death to admit that this really was it, and that I was really going to do this by my strength alone. 8:00 pm came around and I finally ask Dan to call his mom to pick up Kavai (my son). Paula got a heads up at 6 and told us to call back when things picked up.
I still felt very much in control at that point so after a bath Dan and I decided to watch a movie. It felt nice to snuggle into a chair and knit and watch a movie in between contractions, like there was really nothing to worry about (which there wasn't). We made it more than half way through the movie until I felt like I needed Dan to coach me a little. I tried lying in bed but that seemed to make it worse. Bradley Method out the window! I decided to leave for Menomonie about 11:30 pm or so. Time started to lose meaning around then.
The half hour drive from Eau Claire wasn't as bad as predicted. Dan was great at balancing his focus on driving smoothly and coaching me. When I saw Erin waiting to walk me to the door, I had the urge to cry because getting to the birth center meant it was really going to happen. I was really going to have the baby naturally! Ah! I choked back the tears when Paula greeted me and we headed up the stairs.
I laid in bed for Paula to check me and I was about 4 cm. I told Paula all the pain was in my back and she suggested walking around and swaying my hips. I did that for awhile and when I got a contraction, Dan or Erin would put pressure on my spine. Sometimes they hit it just right and it brought lots of relief but no one was very consistent on where they put pressure and eventually it didn't help at all. I was sick of standing so I got in the tub. Dan kept pressure on my back while Paula poured water over me. That felt real good for a short time. Things were getting intense and I broke down in tears. I just didn't want to keep going, but then I would snap out of it and get through the next few contractions. I repeated doing that a few more times then decided to get out of the tub.
Everything after that is a jumble to me. Things started to get really intense and I started to scream my way through contractions. Dan tried coaching me to relax but I would just scream louder! There was no way I could relax at this point. I started to admit out loud that I didn't want to do it anymore and the thought of going to a hospital sounded really nice! Paula reassured me that I could and was already doing it. She checked me and I was 8 cm. I told her I wanted to go to the hospital and get meds. Paula chuckled a little and said it was much too late. She suggested I walk around and sway some more so that's what I did. It felt nice to actively do something. I hated lying in bed or sitting in the tub! I admitted I was scared to push and just kept screaming I didn't want to do it, and Paula kept saying "you are doing it".
Paula had me walk down the stairs with her and at the bottom I leaned on her and got through a contraction. I went right back up the stairs two by two. It felt great to do that! It empowered me and gave me something to do in between contractions. It felt like I was helping things along rather than lying in bed doing nothing. Then my legs started to shoot with pain and I could hardly stand it. Paula asked me to let her know when I felt the baby move down and closer but I never felt anything but the pain in my back and legs.
Without anyone telling me to do so, I started to push. I never felt an urge, I just decided to try. The sensation of pushing was a good distraction from the pain and I was excited to finally be in that stage. I ended up on the floor with Paula in front of me ready to catch and Dan to my side still holding counter pressure on my back.
I stopped my complaining and screaming at this point and really got serious about doing the work. The sensations were new and I wouldn't describe them as pain anymore just a lot of pressure. I could finally feel the head getting close but only a few of my pushes really helped the baby move down. Paula suggested moving to the bed, but when I stood up things kicked into high gear. With Dan in front of me to lean on and Paula behind me to catch, I pushed that baby out standing up in only a few contractions. After suctioning him, Paula handed him to me and I laid him on the bed. The umbilical cord was in the way and for a second I thought girl, but when I moved it out of the way I laughed and told Dan "It’s a boy!" We both smiled. I was ready to just fall into bed and go to sleep with my new baby and Dan, but I forgot about the third stage of labor…the placenta! It took another 3 hours for the placenta to arrive which I didn't expect. I tore a little so then I was stitched up. After that, the baby and I took a nice herbal bath together. After family came to visit we got to go home and finally rest. Piece of cake! I would definitely do it again!