We stepped into our birthing room around 10:30am. A nurse capped off an IV and monitored vitals for 20 minutes before we were free to walk around.
This was the sweetest time, walking, talking, joking, and working through tougher contractions. The floor was unusually quiet, only one or two families laboring. We ran into a newborn being wheeled around by his beautiful mom who delivered by cesarean, and we chatted a little while. We passed a room that had a very young woman (maybe a teenager) birthing. From what her friends shared with us in the hallway, she was scared and getting an epidural, and it reminded me of how scared I was during induced labor with our first.
Our nurse wanted us back in an hour to monitor 20 more minutes. By the time we headed to our room, contractions were strong and causing me to stop in my tracks. A simple truth I was holding onto was, "Each contraction is helpful. Each contraction will end." Also, with each contraction I was reaching internally for God's peace. This MUST be where the phrase "labor of love" got its origin, because that's exactly what we were doing!
The most unique feeling in this laboring experience that Espi and I both noticed and talked about later was feeling alone, in a sense. The nurses did their jobs, but there was a lack of warmth, joy, support. I asked for a natural-labor-supporting nurse from the start, but the woman who introduced herself as my nurse really didn't end up having anything to offer in this regard. Much of the time, the hospital help were on-lookers, waiting on the side-lines, while Espi and I worked it out together. And maybe this felt so strange because our second labor experience was so FULL of support and encouragement.
Truly, it was OK, though. I had everything I really needed, good personal knowledge and past experiences, Espi to lean on physically, and God to lean on in every other way--and they were so good and strong for me.
The second monitoring of vitals was difficult. I stood and moved through contractions but was limited by the length of the cords. At this point, I felt like I needed the freedom of movement more than ever. I was seriously considering spending the rest of laboring soaking in a huge jet tub in our room if I still had several centimeters to go. But it never happened, since I was found to be 9-9 1/2 cm, and moments later, the nurse accidentally broke my water! Right then, I remember asking Espi for the time. This boy was going to be here soon, and I guess I wanted to remember how long the pushing took. He said the water broke at 12:30pm.
Now my nurses and doctor were taking positions, getting supplies ready, and watching and waiting. With all the positions I tried to aid labor and bring relief, surprisingly what got me through was standing, simply leaning into and holding onto Espi, seeking God's help and peace, and breathing through it. WONDERFULLY, the contractions were manageable! Now the pushing, on the other hand...
I had spoken with my doctor about not wanting to rush the process once we reached 10 cm; I wanted to be able to read this boy and my body. It was SO uncomfortable to recline on the bed near the end. Partially I stood, and partially I sat against the bed. It was awkward; no position felt quite right. Contractions seemed to ease up some, BUT I wasn't feeling the urge to push, yet. After a while, my doctor showed some concern with the Doppler reading of Baby's heartbeat and asked me to start trying to push. Sitting on the bed with my feet in 'stirrups' about as LOW as they could go to the floor, I weakly tried to force it. Soon after with URGENCY, Doc, Espi (he told me later Doc's reading of the situation made him nervous), and nurses prompted me to push with all I had. Still with no urges, I gave my all and boar down through the most painful part, and with a couple of those this boy entered the world at 1:06pm FACE UP*.
He was wonderful, healthy, and alert! We held him close, loved on him, and I said thank you over and over again to everyone present for helping. Really, what I was feeling was, "Thank you, GOD, that this work is over, and he is here!"**
*We heard from a nurse later that it is common to not feel urges to push when in back labor, when the baby is face up, because the positioning of the baby's head doesn't tuck into and push against the pelvis like "normal."
**I will wrap up Abran David's coming with another post remembering unique and praise-worthy details in the future!