After witnessing the many beautiful, peaceful, family centered births of my clients it was hard not to have high expectations and plans for my own. With my oldest, we chose to induce at 41 weeks because I couldn't deal with the discomfort any longer. As anyone familiar with births knows, one intervention leads to another - I was induced with piton, which lead to an epidural, and he was born with the assistance of forceps which lead to a long recovery. I wanted better this time, for Maisie, and for myself. I longed for spontaneous labor because I KNEW I could handle it. I wanted no pain medication because I KNEW it paved the path for more interventions. I saw a Webster Certified chiropractor for 9 weeks before my due date to help with positioning and avoid the discomforts I dealt with before. I practiced hypnobirthing with the Hypnobabies home study course. I meditated on birth affirmations. I researched labor positions. I built a labor playlist, and gathered various essential oils to help with calming, centering, anxiety, and promoting labor. I expressed all of my wishes to my OB, and he was completely on board with everything I wanted. I did everything I could to insure the birth I longed for would happen. It may seem silly to some, but after needing so much assistance to conceive both of my children- I wanted to prove that my body wasn't broken and could very well do what it is biologically capable of doing.
Sometime during my second trimester I began having dreams about the day I would meet my baby. There were three dreams that repeated multiple times. In the first two I went into labor spontaneously and the third I was induced.
In the first dream, labor began, and I woke up with my husband handing me a swaddled baby boy. No one would tell me what had happened between labor and now, and my photographer had chosen not to photograph it. No reason was ever given. In the second dream, I checked into the hospital in labor, my husband walked into the OR while I followed him - I told him I would be right back, and left. When I returned, he handed me a swaddled baby boy.
My third dream was the only one where I actually "labored." I was induced in my kitchen, (It's a dream, remember?) my OB walked in around 5pm and said "I'm so sorry I haven't checked on you since we started this morning! Lay back and lets see what's going on" as I laid back he saw that the baby was crowning, and being born. I adamantly told him that I could NOT have my baby yet since my birth photographer hadn't made it to the kitchen yet, and asked my husband to call her.
It was almost 7am on July 4th, I had been in confirmed labor 2.5 hours when the anesthesiologist walked in to administer an epidural. He asked my photographer to step out of the room, since protocol is to only have one support person present during the placement. Because my contractions were so intense at this point, I had trouble staying in the position he needed. I leaned on Trey for a while, and then the nurse switched places with him. She had just came on shift, and started talking me through contractions in a low, calm, soothing voice - much like the woman who records Hypnobabies tracks. This helped put me back to my calm center that I so greatly desired. I didn't stay there long, and repeated the cycle of extreme pain, self doubt, and then calm breathing. I could feel the catheter for the epidural moving down my back towards my hip (something that I didn't feel during my first labor), and then back out. I asked multiple times if we were near finishing, and of course, got the typical reassurance of "he's almost got it!" After what seemed like hours, I asked to stop, I couldn't take laboring in such an awkward position any longer. As the anesthesiologist packed up his things, I told my nurse that I needed to push. She suggested moving back into the bed (I was still sitting over the side) so she could check my cervix to see how far dilated I was. I couldn't find the energy to lift my own legs, and Trey helped pull my left leg onto the bed.
Surprisingly, everything following happened quite a bit like the movies. As Trey lifted my leg I yelled "I need to push NOW!" As I felt my body pushing on its own and screamed for Trey to grab Tiffany (our birth photographer) since she was still waiting outside. He walked around the curtain towards the door when the nurse lifted my right leg just barely onto the bed and I felt my body begin to push again, and yelled desperately for Trey to come back. He walked to my bedside as Maisie crowned.
*Photos courtesy of Tiffany Roberts Photography