Wednesday, October 24, 2001
Enzo's birth story
October 1st was our due date. Despite thinking I would go early the date came and went. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions on and off for a few weeks and had been monitored twice a week due to being diagnosed with gestational diabetes so we knew things were starting to happen. We just did not know when everything would kick in. We had an appointment with our midwife on Friday Oct 5th. I was nervous that she would want to start talking about inducing since I was then 5 days past my due date and because of the GD, but luckily she didn't. She examined me and told us I was 1-2 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. She told us the baby was doing fine so she did not think it would be necessary to induce just yet. This news was a huge relief to us. I had a feeling that things would get going that weekend anyways and induction wouldn't be an issue.
After the appointment John went back to work and I went home to wait it out. I was unable to indulge in sweets throughout the last part of my pregnancy because of the GD, so I wanted to make the brownies as a celebration treat after I gave birth. I had just recently been joking with John about letting me eat sweets. I told him that as soon as I was able to indulge I would go into labor. Needless to say, after baking my brownies I frosted them and then snuck a piece into my deprived mouth. A little foreshadowing perhaps? Yes it was indeed.
Friday night I went to bed around midnight. I woke up at 3:00 am to John finally coming to bed. I sleepishly said to him "What good are you going to be if I go into labor coming to bed this late?" One hour later at 4:00 am I woke up and said to John, "I think I am in labor now."
I felt my contractions instantly in my back. They were already 5 minutes apart and very strong. We called the midwife and she said to keep timing them to make sure they stay consistent. I got into the bathtub. I expected to be home laboring for a long time. I had all these things in mind that I would do: take a bath, shower, sit on my birth ball, have John massage me, use my heated rice sock and use my newly learned relaxation techniques. So I started with the bath. The contractions kept getting stronger and I was not feeling any relief from the bath. I was fidgety and I couldn't get comfortable. I kept getting in and out of the tub and my contractions were averaging between 3-5 minutes apart.
Around 5:30 am I got on my birth ball and called my mom to let her know my labor had begun. She told me to call her back when we were ready to go to the hospital. The birth ball was not doing much for me so it was back to the bathroom. I found that I was unable to relax and ride through the contractions like I had hoped. I was tensing up with each one. I got in the shower to try and relieve some of the pain I was experiencing in my lower back. While in the shower I started to feel a slight urge to push. This freaked me out quite a bit and I told John to call the midwife back. He helped me out of the shower first and then while he was on the phone with her I started vomiting. This is when I knew for sure that I was in transition and it was time to go. I don't know what happened to the early phases of labor that I never felt but this was transition for sure. My contractions were now about 2 minutes apart and we told the midwife we were coming in. It was now 7:00 am. It had only been three hours since my labor began.
We luckily only had a 3-minute drive to the hospital. It was the longest three minutes I had ever been through. I had in my hand a wet purple washcloth that I had brought from the house. Little did I know the comfort this would bring to me for the next 5 hours. John pulled up to the front door and got me into a chair inside while he went and parked the car. Soon after he came back a hospital employee approached us and asked if we needed a wheel chair. I took him up on the offer. He brought us into the registration area and I had to sign a few quick forms. Can you say HELL!!!!
John wheeled me up to labor and delivery. I did not want to seem weak to the nurses so I made John leave the wheelchair outside. I was determined to walk myself into the labor and delivery floor. A nurse met us and brought us into a room. Because I had tested positive for Group B Strep I knew that they would need to give me antibiotics. My midwife came in at 7:30 am, checked me and told us I was fully dilated. We were shocked! I had only been in labor for three hours. Little did I know what was to come.
They started my IV. During my pregnancy I had been so concerned about which labor and delivery room I was going to get. I wanted the biggest and best room with a Jacuzzi, thinking of course that I would be spending hours there in labor. It didn't pan out that way at all. Here I was ready to push, and it was all happening so fast. There was no need for anyone to have to tell me when to push. The urge came on so strong there was no stopping it. By this time it was clear to me that I had back labor. Every contraction brought the most excruciating pain I have ever felt in my life dead center in my lower back.
I tried several different positions. They started me out by leaning forward against the back of the bed, next on my side and then squatting. Finally they suggested pushing on my back. I could not believe my ears. A midwife suggesting I try pushing on my back? This was the last position I ever expected to give birth in, but it turned out to be the magic trick. For some reason it was the position I ended up pushing the most effectively in and that is where I stayed.
The pain I was feeling was incredible. Each push felt like vice grips squeezing my lower back. For hours the nurse, midwife and John cheered me on. They kept telling me how close I was getting with each push. This went on for hours and I started to give up hope as it neared 11:00 am. To encourage me, they would hold up a mirror so I could see the head emerging. It was amazing to see the top of a tiny head filled with so much black hair. It gave me the incentive to keep going.
At 11:00 am my midwife said, "This baby will be out by lunch time." Noontime came and the baby was still inside of me. At this point it had been almost 5 hours since I had started pushing. I was beginning to think this was all a dream and my baby would never be born. My midwife told us that she would need to call in an obstetrician to assist if the baby did not come out soon. I knew what this would mean. An episiotomy, vacuum or foreceps or possibly even a c-section. I wanted nothing to do with any of these things. This was the ultimate incentive I needed to get my baby out. I knew my midwife wanted me to have my baby naturally and I had faith in my body that I could do this on my own. I was the one in control.
I gave it my all and pushed with every once of energy I had left in me. With the encouragement of everyone in the room and the love and good vibes of John I pushed the head out. Everyone said, "You did it, now just push the body out." The next thing I knew I felt the most incredible sensation I have ever felt as my baby's body was born from my body.
"It's a boy!" I heard John say. All of a sudden our son had been placed on my chest. He was wet and fresh from inside of me -- flesh to flesh just as we belonged. I just stared at him and held him tight. I don't think I said anything at all. I was in shock that the birth was over. I finally looked up at John. We both had tears in our eyes as we said to each other "We have a son."
He was born at 12:25 pm on Saturday October 6th, six days after his supposed due date. He weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces and was 21 inches long at birth. My labor was 3 hours long and I pushed for 5 hours. It was a 100% natural, drug-free birth.
My midwife and nurse were amazing. They let my body take control and they only intervened by massaging my perineum which I am thankful for because it meant I did not need an episiotomy and I only tore a little bit. I am grateful I was able to give birth the way I wanted to. I am most thankful to John. I feel very lucky to have someone in my life to support me the way he does. He was right there to comfort me and help me push our child out into this world. His words of encouragement and his energy helped me deliver our child. We gave birth to our son together.