How My Last Labor & Birth Went…
(Yes, it went HUGE…like Fucillo Kia Huge)
Almost at the 42 week mark, I was starting to get tense. I knew if this pregnancy went on another few days, they were going to strongly recommend I get induced, and I really didn’t know if I could handle the labor if induced without an epidural. Going to the appointment to get checked I was a bundle of nerves. The midwife checked (yeah I hate that part, I think everyone hates that part-it hurts more than they warn you it does, someone really needs to invent a digital easy-peasy way of doing this…I mean in this day and age really?!) and she said I was 2 cm dialated. Really? I’m not even in labor…cool!
(me & my baby boy, my little ham Anthony a few days before birth-he was very excited for baby to get out already !)
Then she said she could “sweep my membranes” to get labor started naturally and hopefully help me avoid induction. After that painful 20 seconds of my life, I went home and had some tell-tale signs real labor might soon start. I did some homeschooling with Royce and Anthony, full knowing the next few weeks was going to be deemed “winter break” might as well get it in while I can right?
By 8 pm the next night, the contractions were happening more often and more time-able. I found an app on my phone to time them (they didn’t have those a few years ago! Very helpful!) and told Ryan to go ahead and get some rest if he wanted to (one of us should-I knew it wouldn’t be me).
I made myself an iced cold Rebound drink in a tumbler and pluged into Netflix for what was sure to be a long night. So far all three pregnancies had me laboring overnight and exhausted by morning when it was time to push. This time I’d be prepared.
I was so wiped before just drinking water and coconut water to stay hydrated…some people drink Gatorade but I don’t like what’s in that crap. This time Rebound would help me rebound! It has a little bit of caffeine to help me stay awake but all the vitamins and electrolytes to help keep me going and stay hydrated. A great post workout drink yes, but labor is a damn long workout, so I drank it throughout the night I labored, post delivery and all the next day!
Look at all the vitamins in this hydrating tasty lil’ sports drink!
As you can clearly see, this is a heck of a lot better than the garbage that you’d find in Gatorade or Powerade! If you’re needing a post workout drink or you’re pregnant and also want a kick-butt drink to get you through your time of labor…you can order Rebound containers to be shipped directly to your home (as my preferred customer) if you like by clicking here: BuyRebound
Back to baby girl…she must’ve been at a weird angle because the contractions started to feel like an avalanche was pushing against my tailbone: Back labor. I’d heard about it…might’ve even had it with my first born six years prior.
(Me & my firstborn who couldn’t sit still he was so impatient for her to come out that he looks all a blur!)
I feel God blocks some of the memories of labor to enable women to do it again! Back labor was intense…just as you’d imagined it would feel if an eight pound bowling ball was pushing against your inner spine Way worse than the regular labor I had for Anthony (my littlest boy), I really don’t wish back labor on any woman.
By four in the morning, my mom (who was afraid to go to bed and leave me alone like I advised her to…so she wouldn’t be too tired to watch the boys the next day) called the midwife’s number to find out if things were getting close. She spoke to me on the phone, through a contraction, determined that yes it sounded that things were probably getting close and told us to get ready to come on down to the hospital.
Ryan by now was up and ready, I wasn’t at the point of thinking straight but made it to the car after stopping once for another killer back contraction on the way. Thank God I only had two contractions on the 20 minute car ride…nothing like sitting on your tailbone when having a back labor contraction!
When we arrived, I was ushered you guessed it- onto the hospital bed on my back to be monitored for 20 minutes. That was rough, but it was room #5, and 5 is the number for Grace. But being on your back for back labor…no good at all.
Grace, Grace, Grace…c’mon God…I need 5×3…got the room number, now I need grace for the pain to end quick AND grace for no tearing please, c’mon You know You wanna help me past this God. Just an insight as to what was being said in my head…or maybe out loud I don’t remember.
So I thought the rest of the day would go more grace-like. That didn’t happen the first two hours! All I wanted to do during this labor was remain in a squatted as low to the floor as possible or slouched over the birthing ball in a squatting position. Everything else just made the pain worse. We tried the Robozo technique, we tried cat/cows, I tried everything to get her to shift position, she wasn’t budging.
After they checked me…they told me I was only 3 cm dialated. This was at 6:30 AM. I was like WHAT?!?!
ALL THAT FOR JUST 1 CM MORE FROM WHERE I WAS YESTERDAY?!
You’ve GOT to be kidding me!! What is the next 7 cm going to be like if all that was just for 1 CM? I wanted to cry, I really did…I may have done so I don’t recall. (Future birthing women…this has apparently been a repeat scenario for many women since the dawn of time…but don’t despair as much as I did, sometimes Grace just comes later and faster than you thought it would!)
Somewhere after that the midwife I’d seen more often at the center arrived on shift and tried various methods to no avail to help me through some contractions. She suggested we go to the room with the birthing tub if I still wanted to. I definitely wanted to! So off we went…
with me on my knees…facing backwards on a wheel chair.
You fit mama’s don’t judge me! That trip with her speed walking/half running took like seven minutes…the room was that far. If I had been walking in my state with all the stops I’d have needed, we would’ve likely delivered in the hallway!
On route, contractions got stronger. We got there and got me in the tub as fast as I could move. I had two contractions I had to get low for, and they were immediately stronger than all the rest had been. Like freight train vs Thomas the train style. Then I felt that calm before the storm kick in….and mentality started to freak the hell out.
I remembered this calm.
The “can’t move, just float” sensation from when Anthony was born…it meant the fit was about to hit the shan and she was on the verge of busting out of her cell!!! BE CALM, BE CALM, BE CALM. Whew Whew Whew… It’s OK! All is gonna be over soon! Breathe in, breathe out, $#*%, $*&T, S&%*!!
I don’t think I verbalized that I was at this stage to anyone present but I think they knew…during this calm you can’t bring yourself to speak it’s almost trance-like. I remember thinking to myself “Yoouuu better enjoy this calm for the few minutes it lasts because NOT calm is about to go down. I still wasn’t ready. Just kept talking to God…pleading…begging…555, one down, two to go…give me the other two graces I asked for this time please, please, please!!!
One more contraction came and I felt her drop further that time than all the hours before. That contraction ended and within 15 seconds barreled right up on me again and I felt the urge to push. I did… slowly with much trepidation and felt my water break and her move and flip flop all at the same time.
I remember the water breaking the most because I was like WOW cool, finally on the third and last birth I noticed the water breakage when it happened…I guess if it happened on land…and I was in evening attire and in a restaurant it would’ve been a Doris Day moment. So women really DO feel it when it breaks sometimes! Really wondered that after the last two births where I was like, ‘well when did that happen?’.
The urges to push were coming really fast now. To give you an idea HOW fast, I got in the tub at 8 am, started pushing at 8:12 and she was born 8:19 am. That is FAST folks…like only 10% of the population of birthing women get lucky enough to get through the pushing stage that fast! I really thought I’d be lucky if it was just another ten-15 minute pushing session like the last time, so cutting that time almost in half and getting it OVER WITH was like HALLELUJAH!
My midwife was amazing 😊 she helped relax me and prevent tearing (after I yelled for the entire hospital to hear: OMG I’m going to split! AUGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!…Seriously…not sure how women give birth in silence- that ring of fire is no joke ladies huh?!!)
I was definitely ANTI-silent for that part…likely why Katie Holmes said Buh Bye to Tom Cruise. Cute or not…religious or not ya just don’t ask a woman to be silent during that timeframe lol). Thankfully I didn’t tear enough to need stitches again! The things these midwives must hear daily when we are sitting there with an infants’ head sticking out of our vagina! No wonder most older school physicians push epidurals. God bless their patience because I imagine after ten years it gets a little predictable…like a Hallmark movie script, especially after you see a few thousand births and know the general outcome…and are detached from it yourself at the moment too, let’s not forget that part!
Anjali came out with her little nose all squished on one side (it’s regulated itself now lol) all ten fingers and toes, dark hair and a perfectly chubby little body. Cried right away and calmed down just as fast. She was finally out. It was finally done. Planning this to be my last, I almost felt like dramatically saying IT IS FINISHED! Then I thought the midwife and nurse might find that somewhat sacrilegious comparing the pain of birth to the event that ended the old covenant once and for all, so I refrained. For me though, after having 10 months to dread how it could go…it finally being over was a HUGE deal.
(A picture the nurse snapped after it was finished-no I don’t look my best lol, Kudos to those mamas who look like models after birth though! The lady in green was my midwife Barbara…I <3 her)
After Anjali ate, I ate, and cleaned up some and they brought us to a regular room…well it was actually a suite! I had a whole like living room attached to my room, even though we didn’t use it, it was nice because it was a noise buffer to the rest of the hallway/rooms. Didn’t get much sleep, but thankfully this time around, wasn’t nearly as sore as I was the other two births and I got them to discharge us a day early. We spent a very quiet New Years Eve resting at home.
Originally I had wanted to name our daughter “Grace Seiko Strickland”. I once worked with a Seiko who I got along with very well, and her name was so different! When I found out it meant “the Force of Truth” I was like YES! Ryan was like NOOOO. We are not Japanese and it sounds similar to Psycho. It’s pronounced Say-kowe…much like the watch company. We will have to agree to forever disagree on somethings. After a lot of the regular discussion of various names, we agreed to name our baby girl Anjali Grace.
Anjali (which was the name of a few characters in one of my favorite Bollywood movies Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) means gift/offering. So her full name means Gift/Offering of Grace. It sounds so musical, I love it, even though we’re not Hindi, it’s a beautiful name and I hope she’ll be happy with it.
I’m certainly happy it’s different! I grew up as “Christina” with 2-3 other Christina/Kristina/Cristina’s in each class/job I ever worked so I wanted something unique for her.
Gift of grace. That is what she is, and thankfully how her delivery went.
Written for the inquiring minds who wanted to know. Thank you for asking, I figured this was an easier way to tell the story without typing it multiple times. Water birth highly recommended…something about that water just calms you…or maybe it’s because I’m a Pisces? Either way, have learned through all three births not to over-plan for the birth you want, because from labor to delivery… you get the birth you get. This was a hard labor, but an amazing delivery so I feel blessed to end my child-birthing journey on a positive note. 😊
My wish to everyone reading going to give birth this year -I wish you the birth experience you would like to have, a happy healthy baby and a speedy recovery! Happy very belated New Years!