If you didn’t read part 1 it’s here
We got into the delivery room and it was pretty big with a huge tub, birth ball, and rocking chair for me to use. I was feeling a little nauseous, so I ate some crackers and then Beth wanted to monitor me. I got in bed and got hooked up to the monitors for about 10 minutes (worst part of labor was having to be in bed not moving). My mom, Lo, and David liked being able to see when a contraction was coming and tell me when they peaked. After that, I was free to move around the room. At that point I really just wanted to get in the tub (it ended up being my life saver and I spent most of my labor in there). The tub didn’t make the contractions go away, but it helped me relax a lot and the warm water did help. The next time Beth checked me was around 10-10:30 and I was at a 6. Downside of the tub, it had slowed my labor down.
I decided to stay out of the tub for a while to get things moving faster. I tried the ball for a little bit, but I didn’t like it so that got scratched pretty quick. I ended up just walking around the room and leaning over the sink for the most part. So far, the contractions were bearable and pretty easy for me to just breathe through, but I knew transition (dilating from 7-10) was the worst part and I was coming up on it. I had been wondering just how bad the contractions would get and I think everyone that was in the room with me would agree that transition and the contrations that came along with it hit me like a mac truck. At about 12:30, Beth came in to check me and I was at a 7. She had to monitor me again and during one of the contractions Kennedy’s heart rate dropped a bit so she had me turn to my side and wanted to monitor me a bit longer. Well, this would be ok if I had an epidural, but I didn’t. So, I was stuck in bed, on my side, and starting the hardest part of labor. This is when I started crying. I just needed to be able to get up because it hurt so bad not moving. We called Beth in and she got the monitors off me and I went right back into the tub.
This is when I zoned out and I really don’t remember most of what was happening. I remember completely falling asleep in between contractions only to be woken up by the next one. I remember my mom holding one of my arms up on one side of the tub and David holding the other one up on the other side. I remember David breathing with me and getting me to calm down enough during contractions to start breathing during them. I remember being in more pain than I could have possibly imagined (seriously, the contractions up to this point were nothing looking back). I remember that this is when I started saying, “I can’t do this.”
At some point I wanted to be checked again. I needed to know there was progress. I had totally lost track of time and apparently not much time had gone by since the last time Beth checked, but I HAD TO BE CHECKED. I was at 7.5 (Beth may have been saying that just to make me feel better, but I never remembered to ask her). I was laying in bed again, not able to move, so I started falling apart and telling David I couldn’t do it and I needed something. I asked Beth what I could have and she mentioned Stadol. She said it would take the edge off the contractions, but it was an IV so I’d be more limited as far as movement and it would affect Kennedy and she’d be drowsy. I asked David if he would be mad at me if I got the epidural and of course he said no. I never actually said nevermind I don’t want anything, I just dropped the conversation.
I got back in the tub for a little while, but I ended up getting out and doing more contractions leaning over the sink and leaning over the bed when Beth was using the doppler to check Kennedy’s heart rate. While I was leaning over the bed I started pushing and I remember I just kept saying, “I’m pushing.” This is when my water broke. I heard it, but I never saw it. There was a little meconium in it (normal since Kennedy was late) so Beth said that the NICU team would be in the room for delivery. I don’t know how long I stayed leaning over the bed. I don’t even remember everyone coming into the room and setting up for delivery, but they all ended up in there. I had actually planned to try to use the squat bar for delivery, but I was shaking so badly (normal during transition) and so tired I don’t think they gave me the option. I started pushing right at about 2:30pm and she was born at 2:58pm. (I have to agree with all the people who say it feels good to push. After spending so many hours trying to just ride out the contractions and let my body do all the work it was a relief to be doing something and I didn’t even feel the pain of the contractions anymore.)
Right after she was born, the NICU team grabbed her and started clearing her lungs (Kennedy’s apgars were a 7 – from the meconium and a 9), so David was going back and forth checking on Kennedy and then checking on me. He was crying and I thought it was so sweet. Lo was going back and forth taking her picture and then showing her to me. I don’t remember hearing her cry. I ended up with a small internal tear that Dr. S said didn’t really need to be stitched, but he put one in anyways. They brought her over to me and she was wide awake and perfect. I finally got to meet the little girl I’d been carrying around since last August and the 16 or so hours of labor were totally worth it.