I woke up to use the bathroom at around 5:30 am on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 which was very normal as I was using the bathroom every 40 minutes or so. As I walked to the bathroom, I felt liquid running down my legs and realized that it wasn’t urine. “Rob, I think my water broke!” I used the bathroom and the liquid continued to come out. It wasn’t a large gush but more than a slow trickle. I put on a pad and walked back to the bed. At this point, Rob went downstairs to get the Birth Center Handbook and we called in to let them know. My contractions started at 6:00 am and we began timing them. I knew right away that I felt them mostly in my back. I got in the shower, the hot water really helped with the pain.
I breathed through each contraction, texted my sisters, Rob called his mother, and I called my parents. My parents arrived at our house at around 12:00 pm but my dad didn’t stay long! He dropped my mother off and said to keep him posted. By then my contractions were very intense and I got into the shower again. I spent a lot of time rotating from the shower to sitting on the toilet. It was easiest for me to manage the pain in those positions. There was NO WAY that I could lie in the bed. The contractions were WAY too intense there. When Rob applied counter pressure on my back, it felt awesome.
After keeping in contact with The Birth Center for several hours, the midwives told me to come in. After laboring 8 hours at home, my contractions were coming consistently and gaining intensity each time. The contractions were very intense (although still very manageable.) We arrived at The Birth Center at 2:00 pm and I had a contraction in the waiting room (Peggy helped me through it!). We moved and I was so excited to finally be there in the water birth room! Katie Mansur was the midwife on duty and met us at the birth center. She immediately checked to see how dilated I was and I was 4 centimeters. I must mention that I had the ultimate birth support team: Robert, my mother, my mother-in-law, both of my sisters, my best friend Nayyirah, and nephew Aiden!
I labored in and out of the shower (about 5 times), on the toilet, and on an exercise ball until I was checked again at about 11:00 pm. I was only 6 centimeters dilated and was not progressing much and we all realized that I was getting close to my water breaking’s 24 hour mark. Katie (the midwife) told me that I would have to transfer to the hospital and I was heartbroken. My birth plan was to labor naturally at the birth center in the water birth room. Katie explained that once I was transferred, I would start Pitocin to make my contractions a little more productive, causing me to dilate further. I was terrified of receiving Pitocin without an epidural and was assured that I would still be able to receive one. (Natural labor and contractions was manageable, I was positive, based on my research, that contractions caused by Pitocin, combined with being confined to a hospital bed, would be a lot more painful). I was also concerned with my ability to successfully breastfeed after receiving the medications. Rob helped me get dressed and we left The Birth Center at 12:00 am on March 1, 2012. We did not have a Leap Day baby!
Once we arrived at the hospital, everything happened so quickly. Katie explained everything that was happening along the way. I was given an IV, started monitoring the baby’s heart rate and my contractions, started a very small dose of Pitocin, and received the epidural. I met Dr. Cooksey, who consults with The Birth Center, who sat up the bed to bring Noah further down. After about an hour, I was told that I had only progressed to 7 centimeters and that Noah was occiput posterior (which caused my horrible back labor earlier in the day) and part of the reason he was having difficulty making his descent. A cesarean was mentioned and again, I was heartbroken. Robert and I got a chance to discuss whether we wanted to go forward with the cesarean or not and after nearly 24 hours of natural labor, I was exhausted and ready to meet my son.
I had begun feeling the contractions again and had to receive a spinal for the surgery. I was wheeled to the operating room, Rob came in and sat hear my head (he looked adorable in his scrubs), and oxygen was placed on my face. The rest is a blur. I heard the doctor mention that Noah was as low as he could possibly be and was stuck (which explains the bruise on his forehead). I heard him cry… the best sound I have ever heard. I was stapled up and wheeled to recovery. Katie, our midwife met us in recovery and she helped me nurse for the first time. She stayed with us the entire time, and I am so grateful.
I am incredibly thankful for my husband, my birth support team “TEAM NOAH,” my midwife, the nurses (Peggy, Justine, and Katie), the rest of the staff at The Birth Center, and my healthy son. Happy birthday Noah.