I still had no signs of labor starting. No sign of a missing mucus plug or bloody show, the only thing happening was stronger braxton hicks over the last couple days. Nothing worth noting. Somewhere between 8-9 pm while I was sipping on my mama’s pregnancy tea, I started getting some stronger braxton hicks which I ignored since I tend to have more when I drink my tea. They weren’t very regular, just pretty often. I decided that since they were feeling like period type cramps I’d try to sleep and see if they went away.
I put on my hypnobabies tracks and tried to get some sleep with no luck. After a while I decided I’d try a shower and see if they went away. After not going away, I decided to tell Jeremy (my husband), my Mom, and my sister that we should think about maybe heading to Denver (we live in Cheyenne so it’s a 2 hour drive). Of course we were in the middle of a small snow storm, but after calling the midwife and warning her, I decided we’d better take our chances and go in.
We left the house a little after 11:30 pm and I listened to my birthing day affirmation track probably 4 times on the ride. It worked wonderfully…it seemed like the words meshed perfect for my pressure waves and I kept completely calm and quiet the whole ride. I actually started drifting off in between contractions once I got deep enough. The ride was comfortable and didn’t feel like 2 hours! The roads cleared up on the way down, so Jeremy felt better about the drive.
We arrived at Colorado’s only birth center somewhere around 1:30 (I wanted a home birth, but they’re illegal in WY unless attended by a CNM, which is hard to find or afford). I made my way into our room and worked my way through some contractions until I got on the bed to get checked (up until this point I hadn’t had any checks besides checking myself at home before we left and I was still closed up pretty tight). I was happy to know I was at 6-7 cm during a contraction.
I got a quick blood pressure reading and was free to go about doing whatever. I hopped in the tub right off the bat, but the first contraction didn’t feel good, I didn’t have time to get situated and turn my ‘switch’ off so it hit me hard. I decided to get out and sit on the toilet for a couple contractions. I finally had my bloody show.
After that I spent a contraction on my side, on the bed, but it was quite painful. I made my way back into the tub. I was feeling pushy, but not like I had to push yet. My hypnobabies was really helping me get through it. I knew I was hitting transition when I felt like I couldn’t keep as calm as before. I had to moan through the contractions and it seemed like I was having one long contraction.
I felt him slip down the canal and warned them he was coming soon. They mentioned that they thought my water broke somewhere in there and about a second later I felt it break and was like, ‘no, it just broke right now’. After that I felt like I had to push, although it was much different than with my first baby. I felt like I needed to do short little breathing pushes rather than bear down and push the whole time. It was almost the feeling you get when you have to puke and your stomach spasms until you puke. I just kind of went with it at that time.
I really had no idea how long it would last since I ended up pushing for 4 hours with my first (horrible hospital birth on my back with directed pushing). After a couple times of breathing him down, I felt the ring of fire. I knew I better help him along if I wanted it to go away! I reached down and felt for his head. It was funny because I felt the membranes and it was soft/squishy and at first I freaked thinking my skin was coming along with it or something! Then I pushed the rest of his head out and took a break to breathe and pushed his body out. It’s crazy how the body knows when you need a quick break so you have time to focus and breathe!
The midwife must not have known that I was holding him and trying to guide him up between my legs because she was behind me guiding him out in the other direction. I yelled that she was hurting me…it felt like he should come forward not backwards at the angle I was at. She let him go and I grabbed him and pulled him to my chest.
Tristan came in to see his brother and said, ‘you had him in the tub mom?’ He was pretty excited about his brother being out of my belly and kept asking to see my belly since it was ’empty’ now. He was born at 2:29am (March 6th), just an hour after arriving at the center! Sure beats my 18 hour labor with Tristan! Jeremy was great too, rubbing my shoulders and back during my pressure waves… but it all went pretty fast that I really didn’t have time to think about things or use my oils I brought.
It was the total birth experience I wanted. I got to hold him in the water until we made our way to the bed and waited for the placenta to come out (8 minutes later). They put it in a bowl and covered it with a blanket since Tristan kept looking at it wondering what it was. I got to stay and hold him while he cried and after a while we decided to let Tristan cut the cord. Jeremy helped him and he was more than excited to cut his brother’s cord.
I was getting some bad contractions again…it really sucks because you think that you’re done and now you can rest, but the after contractions were even worse for me. Probably because I wasn’t concentrating and going into hypnosis anymore, so instead of being calm, I would tense up during them. I ended up loosing a lot of blood. I took a lot of Shepard’s Purse and I was having plenty of contractions, but after quite a while when it wouldn’t stop, we decided on a Pitocin shot. I lost a lot of blood with Ttristan too and it took me 2 days to be able to walk without being light headed… so it was pretty much the same this time.
After bonding in the bed a while, I had to get some stitches. I had 2 tears along my episiotomy scar tissue that they had to patch up for me. During that we had Avery weighed beside the bed and got his footprints done. He was 8lbs 5oz and 20 inches long. We skipped all newborn procedures so there wasn’t much else to do. Once I got fixed up and relaxed a little, I decided to get my herbal bath and try to pee (having to use a wheelchair to get there since I couldn’t even stand up yet!) I tried to pee for what seemed like forever and just couldn’t get anything out! Decided to sit in the bath and brought Avery in to lay with me. He still had no interest in nursing, but we tried a few times. I was still busy rubbing in his vernix. Tristan came in and spent some time with his baby brother too.
We ended up staying the full 6 hours afterwards just because I was too lightheaded to do much. They even had to wheel me out, because I couldn’t walk yet. Wish I had my home birth, but with the situation it was the next best thing! At least I didn’t have to fight to get what I wanted from a birth!
*Photography by Carolyn Spranger Photography.