I know, I stink at updating... sorry!!!
Let me begin with something I should have said in the beginning: I have a very specific religious belief. Part of my belief is that when you pray for something, you need to actually believe it will happen. Not maybe, not hopefully, but definitely will. Even something like a pain free childbirth. Just like the author of this book, that's what I had prayed for. Keep this in mind as I finish the story.
Anyway, I have to rave about the first nurse that was in L & D when we got there. She was wonderful, patient, kind and very supportive of allowing me to have a natural child birth. I absolutely adored her.
And I was heartbroken when I hadn't yet come anywhere near pushing when her shift was over. At that point, I was at 7cm and had been in labor for nearly 24 hours.
My water bag was bulging and the next nurse on staff kept insisting that all I needed was for my water to break and I would go straight to 10cm and could begin pushing. Problem was I specifically did NOT want my membrane to be ruptured artificially. So the entire time she took care of me I was extremely uptight and scared she'd try to talk my OB into doing an AROM, throwing my body into contractions it wasn't ready for.
At 7am, after nearly 31 hours of labor, the nursing staff finally switched again. The next nurse, while not as completely wonderful as my first nurse, was so much better than the previous nurse. Before she had a chance to check my progress (something they did at the beginning of each shift) my doctor arrived. He checked and, thankfully, he did not feel my bag of water. At one point during the numerous trips up and down the L & D hallway, I had made a trip to the bathroom where my doula and I both thought my water had broke due to what we heard, but I didn't feel anything, so we disregarded it. Fortunately, we were correct and it was a membrane rupture.
He was happy to see that my water had broken on it's own, but I was only at 9cm with a small lip still present on the right side. He left and said he'd be back soon to deliver my baby.
Well... it didn't exactly happen that way.
By 2 that afternoon (while under the care of yet another nurse who I could NOT stand) I was still at 9... still had a lip. The doctor said he'd like to give me a little bit of Pitocin to finish out the dilation and effacement. After 38 hours of labor he was concerned about my exhaustion level.
My doula and I decided to kick things into high gear so we did a ton of exercises, faster paced walking and even stair climbing. I also had a mini break down where I sobbed about the labor being nothing like I expected and taking forever to progress.
By 6 or 6:30 I was in transition having intense contractions combined with stomach cramps with barely enough time to breath in between. I was also bleeding heavily which scared me beyond belief.
At this point, my nurse decided to throw a hissy fit because I insisted she let me off the bed to go to the bathroom (I only had intermittent monitoring, but at one point I had an intense stomach cramp and needed to go to the bathroom then, monitoring or no). By some sort of miracle, my wonderful, awesome first nurse was back on rotation, although she wasn't my nurse and was scheduled to be off that day. I told Husband to go get her and I asked her if I could have another nurse. I couldn't stand the other nurse and did not want her present while I was pushing.
Being the wonderful, awesome nurse she was she switched patients with the nasty nurse and came in to help me deliver. She went above and beyond the call of duty, doing everything in her power to help me not tear. I don't think I could have done it without her there with me.
The pushing was the hardest part. I wanted to give up. I was tired and I didn't have the energy to push as much or as hard as I needed to. It felt like it took forever. I was sweating, crying and completely exhausted physically and emotionally. It was 7:30 at night and I had been in labor for 43 hours. I kept asking why I was pushing if the doctor wasn't there and begging my mom to just let the baby stay in me.
After only 34 minutes of pushing, my son was born. It felt a lot longer than that, but in retrospect it was a very short time for a first birth.
After 43 1/2 hours of labor, 34 minutes of pushing and more contractions than I wish to count, my son was born on November 8, 2008 at 8:04pm weighing in at 6lb 3oz. I did tear, but only a tiny bit requiring only 2 stitches.
And yes, my entire 43 1/2 hours of labor was pain free. There were times it was intense, but it was never painful. The recovery was, by far, more painful than the labor.
Now my pregnancy journey for this baby is over. The path of motherhood, however, is just beginning.