Our 3rd Baby Boy was due September 23, 2014. We were hoping for the 24th though. A couple of days before my due date I had several very strong contractions in the middle of the night. I stayed in bed and slept to conserve energy. They lasted for about 2 hours and to our surprise, nothing else happened. My other two boys were either on their due date or a day late. This little guy was in no rush.
A week later, still nothing. Nine days later, we were out eating dinner and I had a strong contraction. They continued every 15 min or so while we ate and stopped at SAMs. By the time we got home they had stopped, but we decided this was a good reason to go to bed early. Around 1:30-2 I started to have contractions while I slept. I tried to sleep as long as I could, but eventually I couldn’t handle laying down anymore. I labored in our living room on the ball for about 2hrs, timing the contractions. They were about 7-10 min apart. I woke my husband up about 4am and we started to prepare for going to the hospital and childcare.
We got to the hospital around 6:30. I was a 6 when we got there. I labored in the room and walked up and down the halls for quite a while. This labor was so different in that anytime I sat on the birth ball or the bed my contractions would slow down and almost stop. It took away my back pain completely, too! So I used it as a break whenever I needed one! As soon as I would stand up I would have a very strong contraction though.
With each labor and birth you get more knowledge of what helps you handle the pain. In my first birth I later realized that while I had taken an excellent natural birth class (Bradley), I wasn’t applying the key concept of relaxing. I was tensing up for most of that labor which only increased my back pain. In fact, the last 3-4 hours of my first labor I never had a break from back pain. During my second labor I resolved to focus on relaxing specifically. It helped so much. While I definitely had back pain, it was only during contractions. Two things I learned during my second labor that were invaluable to me, ice packs on either side of my back helped take away pain and walking helped distract me from back pain. So I applied those both to this third labor. We walked up and down the halls many times and wrapped a cloth around my waist to hold the ice packs in place.
Back to the labor, since I hardly slept that night or the night before, I was very exhausted. That part reminded me of my first son’s birth. I was getting to the point of not being able to go on, because I was so tired. I laid down for about 30 min and tried to sleep (I was already falling asleep between contractions). While in my first labor I had fought against the tiredness and got determined to push through, this time I followed my body’s lead and laid down to “sleep.” That actually helped the contractions to become more regular and stronger. After that, around 11:15 or so, I was checked again. I was only a 7.5! That really discouraged me, because I just didn’t feel like I could go. The nurse and doctor both said baby was extremely low and if they broke my water he would most likely come very quickly. We had always been adamant of not breaking my water, but my exhaustion was high and I trusted the nurse and Dr. They were completely right!
The Dr. broke my water at 11:30. I had a couple of contractions, not really any stronger than before, while on the bed. My Dr. then said baby would come quicker if I were standing and that it might help my back pain. So I stood and leaned over the bed. I pushed for two contractions and baby was here! Born at 11:50. The funny thing is, I never had an urge to push. The pressure was just so strong that it was like he was just coming out. I think standing and using gravity helped with that! He was the biggest of all the boys- 8lb 14 oz.
10.5 hrs of active labor, 10 minutes of pushing and no medicine! We were so thankful God provided a good birth!
Unmedicated childbirth is never an easy thing for me. However, with the strength and help of God, the support of a great medical team, my husband, learning more tools that help me and being in tune with my body, I’ve grown in knowledge and the confidence that I can do childbirth naturally.