Tag Archives: labor

Baby’s Birth Day!

2 May

It’s a girl!  Baby girl arrived a few hours after my last log update!  I really was in labor, so I will continue on describing my day.

I posted the first half of labor day at about 2:15pm here (Part 1 of labor day).  After I did that, Fernando came upstairs and took a nap. I decided around 3:30ish that I wanted to take another nap.  I was debating between napping and doing some sort of activity to speed up my labor, but the nap won, and I am glad of my choice.

I don’t think I slept very long; it was probably about a half an hour. I don’t remember what I did right after nap, but I had a few contractions during my nap and they were quite strong.

At around 4:30pm we were all talking about what our plans for the evening should be. I decided that it would be nice to just go to the hospital and see what the status of my cervix was. I wanted to know if I was still just 3cm, or if I was 4cm and could stay home until things got more intense, or if I was on the way to having a baby soon. At 5:00pm we started getting the kids ready to leave. We determined that a good plan of action would be to get everyone dinner close to the hospital, and then evaluate after dinner how I felt. We collected our last minute hospital bag items, and headed out the door around 5:30pm. During the drive, I had about 2 strong contractions. We got to Chick-Fil-A a bit before 6pm. I had another contraction right as we got out of the car, and I hugged Fernando. When we got inside Chick Fil A, I realized I could not eat. I saved tables while everyone ordered. During dinner I had a few contractions, and with one of them I said, “Ok, I need to go to the hospital. I don’t think I can stay here any longer.” Even though contractions were getting more intense and a bit more frequent, I remained until everyone was finished with dinner. I joked with Rebecca as we were leaving that if I’d had the baby at Chick-Fil-A, maybe she would get free food for life.

Fernando and I left the restaurant and Mom and Rebecca took the kids to our friends’ house, which was only a few blocks away. We arrived at the hospital and got buzzed in to the birth center. I said, “I’m in labor and I just wanted to see if I needed to be admitted to the hospital yet.” I felt a little silly because I waltzed in to the birth center and I know I looked like I was not in labor. However, right when I was on my way to a triage room I did have a contraction and had to stop walking two feet from the door. 

We got settled in triage and the nurse determined I was 5.5/6cm. I wasn’t surprised or sad at the news, but I did have to ask to clarify if I needed to stay. The nurse laughed and said, “Oh yes, you are staying!  I’m sorry if I didn’t explicitly mention that!” I wasn’t sure how I felt about being admitted. In my mind, I was thinking  about the fact that I had progressed about 3cm since my last appointment. With as slow as labor had been during the day, I was expecting to give birth the following day, Sunday, or even on Monday. The nurse also said that my midwife was on her way over. I felt kind of bad because I thought, “oh! She doesn’t have to come quite yet! I don’t want her to have to sit around waiting for me and my turtle-slow labor!”

We moved over to the birth room around 7:30pm. I was surprised that Mom and Rebecca hadn’t made it to the hospital yet, but I found out they stopped at the store on their way over(!). I remember thinking how big the birth room felt with just me and Fernando. We still hadn’t grabbed our suitcase and the lights were really dim. Mom and Rebecca arrived around 7:45pm, and our birth photographer arrived right after we got in to the birth room at about 7:35pm. It took me awhile to get the birth room to feel homey and comfortable. I determined that I liked having the lights pretty bright. Aunt Lori arrived a bit after 8pm with a coffee in hand for Fernando, and I was getting monitored from 8pm-8:20pm. Right when Aunt Lori arrrived, we started talking about some family things that were happening, and in the middle of her narrative, I got a very intense contraction, and I think I cried – tears of joy from being overwhelmed from the story, not from the pain – but either way it was very hormonal. After that specific contraction, nothing was a game to me anymore. I officially entered intense labor mode, and my contractions picked up to very frequent

I remember during this time that I went to the bathroom a lot. For some reason, the bathroom is a strange place for me during labor. With Emmanuel, I had painful contractions every time I squatted to go to the bathroom. With this baby, I immediately had a contraction right when I entered the bathroom… it wasn’t even when I was going to the bathroom. All of my contractions by this time were felt in my pelvis and cervix. Every contraction by this time during this labor felt like those painful contractions I had with Emmanuel only during the time that I would go to the bathroom and squat. I tried to lay down on my sides and my back during this time, and I discovered that contractions were worse in those positions. My last laying down position that I tried was with a peanut between my knee around 8:40pm and as I laid down during that contraction and began putting the peanut between my knee, I said, “Oh heck no!” and jumped up in agony.

I was very desperate to find something to relieve the pain from the pubic/pelvis/cervical pain during contractions.  I decided that standing up and leaning on something allowed me to survive the contractions, but I was very upset that nothing had improved how I felt during contractions. I didn’t want to just survive a contraction, I wanted to thrive during contractions! I had never had such difficulty getting through contractions before. With Hadassah, my contractions were textbook typical, and I felt them in my stomach. With Emmanuel, they were a bit more difficult, as I felt them in my stomach, plus I had back pain, and I had severe pain when I squatted, so to avoid the severe pain, I avoided squatting! With this baby, I didn’t even notice any discomfort in my stomach or back, I was just experiencing pure pain down below.

I was thinking about the differences in my contractions a bit before 9pm when I remembered that I felt relief with Emmanuel once Fernando started doing counterpressure on my back. Some birthing knowledge came to me from the corner of my brain about other places to do counterpressure. I told Fernando to squeeze my hips…When he did that during a contraction, I felt my first bit of relief. I went from having quite unbarable contractions to being able to get through them. The counterpressure did not fully relieve my pain, but I was able to manage. 

At 9pm, the nurse came in to monitor the baby again. All I could think of was how I was not going to lay down.  I did not care what they said! Luckily, the nurse just asked me if I preferred to be monitored on a wireless device, and I said yes! I labored standing up while being monitored, and contractions were coming very frequently. After I was done being monitored, I told the nurse I needed to get in the tub asap. Since contractions were difficult, the only thing left to do in my repertoire for dealing with contractions was a soak in the tub. The nurse went to prepare the tub while I labored. 

My midwife came to check me at 9:30pm, and I couldn’t believe I was only 8cm and she said the baby was at 0 station. I told her I wanted to go in the tub. The good news about being only 8cm was that I knew I could go in the tub, because if I had been 10cm I knew they wouldn’t let me in the tub.  I looked at the nurse and midwife standing side by side as they told me how dilated I was, and they had a weird look on their face and told me I couldn’t get in the tub. They said that if I got in the tub I would have the baby in the tub (which is against their liability rules). I looked at them, uncomprehendingly. I still had 2cm to dilate. How could I have the baby any time soon? I was going to die if I had to keep laboring how I was laboring!

A little after 9:40pm, I got in the bed and started laboring on my hands and knees. I remember some time around this time, my midwife asked me if I thought I would birth on my hands in knees. I told her I probably was, but I didn’t really understand why she was making me decide so soon. At 9:45pm, my mom and sister started rubbing my back. I didn’t realize it at the time that Fernando wasn’t around – he had gone to the bathroom. They were actually doing a really good job, but at some moment I needed Fernando specifically during a contraction and I yelled out, “WHERE’S FERNANDO?!?!!!!!!” I was really annoyed to find out that he was in the bathroom! 

At 9:55pm I felt like I wanted to start pushing. My midwife let me get through my contraction and she checked me and I was only 9cm dilated. I couldn’t believe I wasn’t 10cm, and I felt like there was no way I was going to make it through to the birth. 

From 10:00pm until about 10:15pm I was doing anything and everything I could to get through the contractions. I was counting, humming, and writhing. I was feeling a little tired being on my knees, and I realized that I had no choice since part of the bed had been removed. Rebecca came by my head and asked if I wanted my bag of waters broken. I said I wasn’t sure and I was so scared to get it done since my labor had been slow and I still wasn’t 10cm. I asked Jana in between contractions at about 10:15pm  what breaking my waters would mean. She said it usually shortens labor by about 30 minutes. I wanted to die when I heard that I might have to endure more than 30 more minutes of labor, so I decided to have her do it after my following contraction.

At 10:18pm Jana broke my water. I started really flipping out and the nurse firmly said to me, “Rachel, you are in control.” and I got myself under control. I immediately felt some slight relief, but I also immediately felt like pushing. After that contraction that happened when my midwife broke my water, I got a few minute break. With my next contraction, Jana told me not to push since I still wasn’t 10cm and had the cervical lip. She told me just push enough to take the edge off. I said, “baby is coming!” I felt like baby was still far up but that I was having the productive pushing feelings. She checked me after that contraction and said, “Oh, yep! You are ready to have the baby!”

I still wasn’t sure how long it would take to bring baby down, but after a contraction I could feel baby’s head start to come out. However, everyone said they couldn’t see anything, so I felt really far away from my goal. In another contraction I really needed to know specifically how my progress was going and I felt like no one was communicating clearly with me. I said, “WHAT IS GOING ON?!” and baby’s head was halfway out, but I didn’t realize it at the time. With the next push, I did realize that baby’s head was finally out. I felt relief in knowing that all I had to do was get the rest of the baby out. I had finished the most difficult part.

On my next push, I expected it to be easier, but baby was not coming out! I pushed with all my might and needed all the coaching from the nurse to push the rest of the baby out. She finally came out at 10:24pm, just minutes after I got my water broken. I discovered the reason pushing her body out was so difficult was because her fist was right next to her head.

I just stood on my knees for a minute and I kept telling everyone I didn’t want to know if it was a boy or girl yet. I wanted to turn around and see my baby first and get comfortable. As I was looking at the wall, my chest felt really weird, like I had gotten the wind knocked out of me. I had to calm my body down before I could finally turn around.

When I turned around and saw my baby, she was so dark! I just thought, “Who are you?! How did you get in my womb?” I couldn’t believe how dark she was! I later realized that she looked black because of her lack of oxygen! Now she is pretty pink looking! They handed her to me and the blanket was around her bottom, and I opened it up and saw she was a girl!

After giving birth, it seems like a major thought that I always have is, “Oh! That was so hard!” It’s something that I kept repeating, and her birth was definitely the hardest of the three. I also remember thinking immediately that I would never be able to go through labor and delivery again, although a week later, I think I can do it! Each little bundle of joy is worth any discomfort!


1 day till due date

18 Apr

Well, today MIGHT just be baby’s birthday!  If not, I am pretty sure baby will at least be here on his/her due date.

I woke up this morning around 5am. I don’t remember if I went pee or if I had a contraction that woke me. All I know is that I had three pretty intense contractions in a row and decided that maybe I should start timing my contractions and that maybe labor was starting. I looked at my phone and saw it was 5:33am. I waited for my next contraction. And waited. I gave up on waiting for a contraction and just relaxed in bed like I normally do. Finally at 6am I had another contraction. I didn’t grab my phone to time them, but I had 3 contractions in 15 minutes. I decided to get up to go pee again and tell mom that I was maybe in labor. As I was peeing, mom was carrying a crying Emmanuel up the stairs. I quickly wiped and noticed that I didn’t have a chunk of mucus plug, but I did have lots of mucus when I wiped, if that makes sense. It wasn’t a chunk, it was just like a lot of cervical fluid. A lot.

I went to attend to my crying baby. Usually if he is crying in the morning, he says that he is so sad and it is because he wants mommy. But this morning he said he had an owie. Oh great. I latched him on and when I asked him where his owie was, he pointed to his ear. Oh brother. Not an ear infection!

I didn’t feed him for a super long time, and I don’t remember if I had any contractions while nursing him or not. I just remember he popped off suddenly (I think he had overheard something enticing), and he said, “Mommy! I’m HAPPY!” Sweet baby…

I grabbed some coffee, the kiddos were running around, mom was chatting with dad on the phone, and at 6:45am I was just thinking about how funny it was that I might be in labor, but I hadn’t gotten to tell anyone the story.

I went to the bathroom at 7:15am, and I think at this point I still hadn’t explained to anyone that I thought I might be in labor. I saw that I was having a bloody show, and yelled out excitedly, “There’s blood!!!!! I’m in LABOR!” Right as I was screaming, Rebecca came out of her room totally asleep, and I repeated my exciting news. The next few hours were quite humorous. I only had about 3-4 contractions an hour. I sat down after my excitement to drink another cup of coffee, and I was chided by mom and Beck for not rushing in to the shower first. I drudgingly abandoned my cup of coffee and showered first, since I was the priority person of the day. I spent a lot of time wandering around the house aimlessly while I was trying to get ready. I was trying to text my VIPs that I was in labor while getting ready and packing some of my last minute items in my suitcase. I knew I wasn’t ready to go to the hospital, but I knew I just needed to get ready and then spend the rest of the morning laboring. Rebecca and I had made appointments to get manicures and pedicures at 9:30am. I was planning on canceling the appointment, but then realized that with only a few contractions an hour, I had plenty of time to get my nails done. 

After we determined that we were going to keep our appointments, we rushed around looking for mom’s car keys… since we were unable to find them we took our van. We arrived at the nail salon 5 minutes late. There were 3 people working, and 3 customers already getting worked on, even though they had only been open for 5 minutes. I sheepishly mentioned that we were here for our 9:30am appointment, and sat down to wait our turn. I figured that they wouldn’t honor our appointments, but within two minutes we were in the pedicure chairs. It was nice to get that done, but I was a little bummed when I realized that I had only had 2 contractions in about 2 hours of the whole mani/pedi experience. 

We arrived home and ate lunch. I had a pickled egg and cereal (for breakfast I’d had 2 scrambled eggs). I ran up and down the stairs 10 times in hopes to get something moving. In the early morning, I figured that things would get moving by midday, and that it was possible that I’d have the baby in my arms by 3pm or 5 pm. However, it was almost noon and things had slowed down, and I started thinking that baby probably wouldn’t arrive until the late evening.

After lunch, I decided to get my double electric pump out and I pumped for 20 minutes. I only had one contraction during that whole time. After I finished, I put Emmanuel down for a nap, and I had one good contraction while he nursed. I decided that I did want to nap, and I thought, “Oh well if it makes the contractions even more spaced apart.” I felt pretty helpless that things weren’t really moving. I took about a 45 minute nap but got some really great contractions during that time. In an hour of time, I had 5 really strong contrations. I’ve had maybe 2 or 3 since then, so I guess when I look at the numbers things are progressing, but it still seems very slow to me. 

I’m not timing my contractions officially yet. I’m just trying to count how many I have each hour. I am hoping that things pick up soon! I do think that once they get going that it will almost be baby time!

Would you rather…?

25 Jan

Yesterday I took the two kiddos out and used the double stroller for the second time ever. Suffice it to say, I got in a major battle with the stroller, who kicked me pretty hard in the shin.

All last night it was throbbing and hurting. I climbed in to bed several times to feed Emmanuel with an extra sting of pain as I folded my leg to sit down. All I could think of all night long was how I’d much rather go through labor and delivery than suffer from my kicked in shin. I wonder how many ladies would agree or disagree with me. Since having two kids without pain medicine and labor and delivery being advertised constantly as ALWAYS horrible and terrifying (disclaimer: I am a firm believer that every labor is different and some indeed are more difficult than others), I have formed a habit of deciding if I’d rather experience X-pain or labor.

For example:

1. Kicked in shin or labor? Labor.
2. Knee surgery or labor? Labor again.
3. Sinus surgery or labor? Yep, labor once again.
4. Whacked elbow on refrigerator door or labor? Yesterday was not my day. I don’t know how I did it but I majorly whacked my elbow on the refrigerator door. I say I don’t know how I did it, but I think the fact that it was somewhere around 2am had something to do with it. Anyway, it hurt like crazy for about 2 minutes then it was fine. So, I’d have to say I’d vote for whacked elbow here.
5. Bite my cheek or labor? Tie. As long as it is a pretty good bite that gets so swollen you keep biting it for days.
6. Migraine or labor? I don’t count this, since I had to suffer several migraines during pregnancy to get to the labor.
7. Pregnancy or labor? Hands down, labor!
8. Break a bone or labor? Laaabor!
9. Get a piercing or labor? Well, everything I have pierced wasn’t bad, so I choose piercing. But if I had to choose between some piercings I don’t have (like tongue) and labor, I’d choose labor!

So, I’ve noticed a trend. In many cases of categorized “unpleasant” things, I would choose labor.

The above things have all happened to me. If you’d like to throw a suggestion at me to answer which I would rather do, let me know, but I can only answer it if it has happened to me.

Baby Emmanuel’s Birth Story!

3 Dec

Ok, 6 days post partum and I am finally able to post (or at least start writing) a detailed description of labor day!

As my last pre-labor log mentioned, I had a busy day on Tuesday.  My mom was driving out to my house and had a 10 hour drive ahead of her.  I woke up that morning and she had left me a voicemail saying she had ended up leaving at about 7am.  I was a bit sad as she had told me she was hoping to leave by 6am.  I talked to her on the phone at mid morning.  I really wanted to chat more with her and help her pass the time while driving but since i was sick, my voice was shot and talking was pretty exhausting for me.  I did say, “Well, I could probably go in to labor right now and you would probably still make it for the birth!”  At that time she was about 5 hours away.  I did mounds of laundry, took care of Hadassah (it takes so much longer to accomplish things with a toddler!), and did general cleaning.  I really just wanted to rest during Hadassah’s nap but I felt like I just could not spare the time.  I was expecting mom around the 3 o’clock hour and gave her a ring to check on her ETA.  She was close, but about 45 minutes away.  I was sitting on the couch during this short conversation, looking at the last pile of clothes that needed hung up.  I just sat there and thought, “maybe I will just have to welcome mom to this instead of to a pristine house.  However, I considered how I spent all day cleaning and how all my work would be in vain if she arrived to find this disorganized mess to greet her.  I mustered up the last bit of energy I had and put every last thing in its place.  I made a final call to mom and she was just a few miles away.  She finally arrived a little after 4pm.

We spent a few minutes greeting each other.  Hadassah showed her some new tricks (like walking), and then we sat down to eat.  I was slow going in eating, as is customary when I am trying to keep Hadassah watered and fed, while reheating my food ten different times.  I was just finishing up a second bowl of chile around 4:40 when I had a contraction.  It felt like a Braxton Hicks contraction but slightly more intense than any I had before.  I just stopped eating and talking, closed my eyes and bowed my head.  I think mom was talking to me and didn’t realize what was going on.  At the end of the contraction I explained that I was having a contraction.  I think we joked about how funny and ironic it would be if I went in to labor right now.  I kept eating and as my bowl was almost empty I had another contraction.  When it was over we continued talking, and mom mentioned how she should probably unload the car before it got too dark, and just in case I did go in to labor that evening.  She had brought out a bunch of meat and wanted to at least stick that in the freezer.

She went out to the car to unload, I stayed with Hadassah and sat on the couch.  I felt like I just needed to sit and relax.  My back was really hurting from standing and cleaning all day, and as mentioned before, I was just exhausted.  Hadassah was toddling around and walking in circles and chatting.  I had another two contractions, and Hadassah for some reason wanted to be hanging all over me during the contractions.  Dad called mom’s phone but mom obviously wasn’t able to answer, and then he called my phone immediately after.  I told him I was having some contractions and that mom was unloading stuff in case I was starting labor.  I texted Rebecca at 5:14pm and said, “mom’s here for 20 minutes and I start getting intense contractions.  I just might be starting labor.  Keep you posted.”  To which she responded, “No way, how exciting.  Does it hurt so good” to which I laughed out loud.

I heard mom open the door to drop off some things and I was having another contraction with Hadassah hanging over me and I realized I am FOR SURE in labor, and needed mom to be finished unloading NOW so she could take Hadassah and I could relax.  I yelled down to mom exactly all that and asked her to hurry.  I watched Hadassah walk around and all I could think about was how badly she needed a bath.  I was contemplating bathing her when I got another contraction and realized it would not be safe for me to bath her while I was in labor.  Mom finished unloading whatever she needed to unload around 5:30 and I told her how I really wanted Hadassah to get a bath.  So she did.  I continued to have a few contractions and my stomach hurt badly.  I went to the bathroom a few times while mom was bathing Hadassah and I had a very slight tinge of blood on the toilet paper.  Here I realized that things were actually happening, and that once again I was for sure in labor (I had to keep telling myself I WAS in labor because I wasn’t very convinced).

Bath time was over, and I kept saying to mom, “I don’t know what to do!”  I was trying to problem solve.  It was almost time for Hadassah to go to sleep.  Did we put her down and then wake her in the middle of the night later to drop off at Mike and Amber’s?  I was rather sure I was in labor but felt that I might need to stay at home at least several more hours.  Mom kept saying, “let’s just start with timing your contractions.”  By a little bit before 6 I decided it would be best to get Hadassah to Mike and Amber’s house.  I also asked mom, “maybe we should throw the suitcase in the car, just in case?” and she said that was a very good idea.  I called them and said we would probably be over in 45 minutes (it takes about a half hour to drive there, so I was imagining it would only take 15 minutes to get ready to go).

I had packed up most of the suitcase the week before, since there was a night I was so uncomfortable I could have bet money on the fact that I was going in to labor that night (but I obviously did not).  I had grossly underestimated how long it would take me to get out the door.  Packing is one thing.  Packing during contractions that (I did time them) were coming every 3 and a half to four minutes is another story.  It took us an entire hour to get the final few things together and load up the car.  We headed out the door at right about 7pm.  I texted Fernando that we were dropping Hadassah off.  I thought that maybe I should text my text-list of people that I was in labor, so I programmed the numbers in mom’s phone so she could easily text the list of people with updates later.  I was nervous doing this task in between contractions, because I didn’t want to mess anyone’s number up!

During the drive I was debating whether we should end up going to the hospital or not after dropping Hadassah off.  My wonderful mom, who was thinking much more clearly than I was, wisely said, “Why don’t we see how you feel after we drop off Hadassah?”  We quickly dropped Hadassah off.  I used the bathroom and stayed in there until my next contraction passed.

Mom and I went back out to the car and had a pow-wow.  “What should I do?”  I thought.  “Ok,” I told mom. “We are on the same side of town as the hospital.  Why don’t we go, and they can at least check me if nothing else.”  I felt really good about my decision.  I realized that if I went home first and then back up to the hospital immediately, that would be an entire hour more, and it was already 7:40pm.  I knew Fernando got off of work at 7:40 and would be able to answer the phone any moment.  We basically drove right by his work as I was on the phone with him.  I told him we were going to the hospital and that he should just go straight there, and that we would literally be arriving only a few minutes before he would.  The timing seemed pretty perfect and it made me so happy.

In my L&D room, somewhere around 7cm

In my L&D room, somewhere around 7cm


We arrived at the hospital at right about 8pm.  I had called on the way over so they had my stuff ready to go.  I got into the triage room and all I could think about was how much better I felt in the triage room compared to when I was in the triage room with Hadassah.  With Hadassah I was writhing around and could not stay in the bed, and I kept making the monitors come off.  This time, I was able to sit peacefully in the bed.  My contractions also slowed down sitting there in the bed.  I went to the bathroom, and every time I sat on the toilet I had a contraction which was really uncomfortable and had back labor.  Fernando got to the triage room at about 8:15pm and mom had to leave.  A nurse came in to check me and I was almost 7cm.  I thought, “wow, that was easy!”  I asked Fernando if he had called off work for the next day, and he said he wanted to wait.  I said, “what for!?” and he said he wanted to make sure we were staying.  I was like, “honey, I know I look fine and happy, but I’m 7 cm.  It’s hard to believe, but we aren’t leaving here without a baby.”

The nurse came in again and mentioned how she would call our midwife, Jana, but that she didn’t work on Tuesdays, so she might not be able to deliver me, and Dr. X. might be the one delivering me.  I wanted to cry.  I already hadn’t seen Jana since my 36 week appointment due to scheduling, and then some doctor that didn’t even work at her practice might deliver me!  However, I was arguing with myself and telling myself to relax, because Hadassah was also born on a Tuesday and Jana delivered her.  And Jana has never been in the office on Tuesdays.

Several minutes later the nurse came back in and informed me that Jana was going to be able to come in for my delivery.  I was so happy!!!  We started the process of moving to the L&D room.  I first went to the bathroom (contraction!) and then went in the hall.  Fernando was on the phone with someone (I don’t know why he was talking on the phone while we were moving from one room to another!) and of course I had a contraction and just fell over on to the wall.  We walked out of the triage area to find mom.  As she was coming I plopped on to a chair for another contraction.  We got in the L&D room probably around 8:45 or 9pm.  We were sitting on the couch talking for a little while.  I was so thirsty, so I was drinking a ton of water.  I also could barely talk and my throat hurt a lot, so I got some tea.  I threw my clothes on really quickly to take my last belly picture of my pregnancy and then got back in the gowns.  I decided to write Emmanuel a little letter because I wanted him to know exactly how I was feeling hours away from his arrival.  Probably around 9:30ish the nurse came in to hook me back up to the monitors.  Around this time Jana came and she said she would come and check me around 10:15pm.  I had some bad contractions in my back.  With Hadassah my contractions were all in my front, and this time they were everywhere, including my back.  I also felt some bad pain in my pelvis during some contractions.  The nurse brought by a birthing ball around 10 and Jana also suggested I try hands and knees.  Nothing felt comfortable at all and I decided I was much more comfortable laying on my right side during contractions.  Jana came and checked me and I was about 9cm.  By 10:30 I remember looking at the clock thinking that things were getting really intense.  Mom predicted that the baby would be here by 11pm.  I was thinking the baby probably wouldn’t be here until the next day.  I mentioned something to Jana and she also thought the baby would be arriving before mid night.  I don’t know why it was so hard for me to believe.


My favored contraction position

Right at about 10 or 10:30 mom said, “hey, let’s Facetime Rebecca!” which I thought was a cool idea.  I was on the birthing ball at this point and mom and Rebecca were chatting.  They were talking about their birth experiences and I don’t remember exactly what they were saying, but they were making Fernando laugh while he was giving me a massage during a bad contraction and that made me angry and I told them to shut up.  I think that was the only mean moment I had during labor.

The last part of labor is fuzzy according to exact times and sequences, but I’ll try my best to describe the last part of my labor.  At around 10:30pm, I asked Jana about getting the bathtub ready.  The nurse said there were lots of natural labors going on tonight, so she had to check to see if it was available, and also if it had been cleaned if it was in fact available.  Fernando continued to massage my back while I had contractions and they were just getting less tolerable and less tolerable.  Jana said she could make a hot pack for me, which felt good.  It was during this time I also had intense pain in my pelvis in the front.  Jana, at some point, also showed Fernando how to do counterpressure on my back, and she pushed on my sacrum.  All I can say is that was the most relief I had felt in a long time!  I finally felt like I could manage during most of the contractions.  At a little past 11pm I asked about the tub.  Jana said the tub was available and was clean.  I got pretty happy.  But then Jana said she had to check to make sure I was not 10cm.  If I was 10cm I couldn’t get in the tub.  So, she checked me, and I was indeed 10cm.  She suggested that I could get in the shower if I wanted to.  I had a few more contractions in the bed and then headed to the shower.

I was in the shower for several contractions.  It didn’t feel great and I said, “I just want to be in the tub!!!” in a very whiny voice, I am sure.  I desperately asked Jana what else I could do to feel some relief, and she said, “besides having the baby, you could try bearing down.”  I didn’t feel the need to push, but I decided to bear down on the next contraction.  I felt a tiny bit of relief.  I did that for two more contractions.  On that second contraction I started feeling too hot in the shower and said, “I have to get out of here.”


Our sweet baby!

I got back on the bed in a somewhat hands and knees position and had a contraction.  Once again, I decided to bear down to help with the discomfort and my water broke (yay!) and Jana said it was clear (phew!).  I immediately said, “uh-oh” because I knew this meant that things would get more intense, and I still was under the impression I was going to be in labor for hours.  I put my head at the head of the bed and got on my hands and knees.  With my next contraction I felt Emmanuel’s head starting to come out!  And WOW I felt it! (With Hadassah I didn’t really feel much during crowning and her coming out)  After the next contraction I thought his head has to be almost out, but it still wasn’t.  I think it took probably two more contractions and then his head was out.  Those were the longest and most intense minutes ever!  They felt like forever.  I did indeed feel the need to get him out of there.  It was a “bittersweet” feeling.  I was thinking, “I don’t want to do this!” but I knew the only exit was out!  During the pushing stage I realized my mom was still on FaceTime with my sister.  I thought they had hung up an hour before.

After his head was out, I knew that the hard work was over!  I just waited for the next contraction and got his shoulders out, and it was immediate relief!  They passed him through my legs and I turned around with the help of a nurse and snuggled my little boy!  I remember thinking he had much more

A happy reunion!

A happy reunion!

hair than Hadassah had, which made my heartburn worth it.  He also had really long and thick fingernails, and he had dry cracks all over him as if he were an overdue baby.  He looked like a little old man!  And for some reason I thought he looked like a monkey.  I also said he was furry (maybe that is why I thought he looked like a monkey).

Even though I felt way more with this birth, I barely even tore, and at 6 days post partum I have not had any swelling really and haven’t felt any pain (except when I cough, since I am STILL sick).  It didn’t take Jana very much time to sew me up at all!  I was so happy that Emmanuel did not have to go to the NICU like Hadassah did.  It was such a sweeter experience to have my baby with me immediately after for several hours!  Now I have 8lb 2oz and 20 inches of sweetness to enjoy