A Positive Labor Story
With how many scary labor stories there are out there, I feel the urge to share a positive perspective from a first timer's point of view. The following post will include some sensitive information, so if you are easily grossed out I suggest you STOP reading here.
At 39 weeks pregnant, I lost my mucus plug. This is mucus that seals the cervix and protects the uterus from bacteria. I was super excited after this happened, but I quickly learned that losing your mucus plug is not a sign of immediate labor. This can happen as early as one to two weeks before labor and the mucus plug can actually regenerate.
The night of losing my mucus plug, I decided to go on a bike ride to get things moving. Crazy right?! However, I rode my beach cruiser my whole pregnancy and loved getting the exercise. Shortly after this nightly cruise, I experienced heavy bleeding and was instructed to visit the emergency room. Upon evaluation, I was only 1.5 cm dilated and was sent home. All throughout the night, I was having contractions every 7-8 minutes. The contractions became painful once we arrived home. Of course!
The next morning, as instructed, I did a walk in appointment with my obstetrician at 8 am. At this point I was dilated to 4 cm and 70% effaced. I was then admitted to the hospital. They allowed me have contractions throughout the morning. At this point, my contractions occurred every 3-4 minutes for about 2 hours. With every contraction I was getting sick, so I was given Zofran. This helped tremendously!
Shortly after my obstetrician broke my water, gave me an epidural, and started Pitocin. Almost minutes after the epidural, I could not feel any painful contractions! The epidural wasn’t painful, and I had a nurse that did an amazing job of discussing what an epidural was, the risk, the benefits and the sensations I would be feeling. If you are debating getting one, ask your obstetrician about it. Reading articles and doing research online is just a headache. Whatever you decide, it’s your choice!
An hour after receiving the epidural, I was 100% effaced and 10 cm dilated. We were all anxious to meet our little guy! Rather than beginning to push, they let his head drop naturally. Another 1.5 hours passed and they had my obstetrician come in so I could begin pushing. I pushed through about 8 contractions for a total of about 20 minutes. You read that correctly, ONLY 20 minutes of pushing. I used just about as much energy as I would exert on my nightly bike ride! Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration. It was a little more energy than that, but the same amount of time. Towards the end of pushing, my obstetrician did have to cut me a little bit (episiotomy). She informed me that she normally doesn’t do this, but for me it was the best option. I guess nowadays they usually allow you to tear naturally. I think I ended up with two stitches. As soon as the cut was made, I had one last push and we were greeted by Grayson.
This was by far the best day of my life! Seeing him for the first time was extremely emotional. Even the hubs had his heart-strings being tugged. I instantly felt more connected to both my husband and Grayson. Grayson cried for a few seconds when he came out, taking air into his lungs for the first time and I have never heard a more beautiful noise. The instant they placed him on my chest, skin to skin, he stopped crying and grasped on to my finger. The water works continued!
I could not have asked for a better experience! I would relive this experience a thousand times over…even with the sleepless night of contractions. Giving birth was scary for me to think about and I had tremendous anxiety about it, but my experience made me look at it in a whole new way.
Everyone has different opinions on methods used for labor. I think it’s important you make your own choices so you can enjoy the experience. "Whenever and however you intend to give birth, your experience will impact your emotions, your mind, your body and your spirit for the rest of your life” -Ina May Gaskin
I would love to hear more positive labor stories! Feel free to share in the comments below.