29 July, 2020
I did not expect to go over my estimated due date by a week. I felt anxious and wondered if labor was going to start on its own. I was willing to go past 40 weeks, but physically I was really uncomfortable. Almost every night I had prodromal labor, getting my hopes up that Hazel was coming soon. A few days before the birth, I had all the early signs of labor except for diarrhea. At one point I said to Blake, "I've never been more excited to have diarrhea!" Trying to be patient, I made baby bibs, blankets, and continued my normal routine.
Late afternoon, July 28th I tried to take a nap. I was having mild contractions about 7-11 minutes apart. I timed them for one hour and then decided to ignore them and not get my hopes up.
Later that day I was still pretty uncomfortable. We decided to go out for ice cream and the driving around was so uncomfortable I could hardly take it! I went to bed around 9:30PM and was jolted awake by a really strong kick from Hazel. I was only asleep for 45 mins so I tried going back to sleep but I just couldn't get comfortable. I could hardly lay down without Hazel kicking like crazy. She had been extra wiggly the whole day, but it became so bad I had to be on my hands and knees leaning over a chair. I felt so annoyed I couldn't go back to sleep.
Blake timed the contractions and started communicating with our doula Meagan. I was managing them pretty well, and Meagan said she would take a power nap until I needed her help.
About 20 minutes later (around midnight), the contractions seemed to pick up and I had to focus and breath through them to cope. They were about 4-5 minutes apart and I felt an urge to have a bowel movement. I told Blake it was a sign of transition and he needs to take a video of me to send to Meagan. After she saw the video She said she would be right over!
"Please help me! Oh my God, please help me! Is there something you can give me to help?! I don't know if I can do this!" I felt so desperate, I couldn't believe the intensity. My whole team was very encouraging. None of them ever doubted me. They reminded me of my affirmations I had posted and would say things like "You ARE doing it. You're doing so good. You're so strong. You are doing such a great job." Meagan, Chris and Blake were great about helping me change my higher pitch pain cries into lower tone coping moans. They also helped me relieve tension from my face, hands and shoulders. And although I didn't feel like I was in very much control, Blake said he was so amazed and impressed in how I handled it all.
Transition lasted a little over two hours. After pushing in the tub, Chris had me move to the toilet. I pushed for a little bit there (which I felt was easier because I wasn't floating away) Holding onto something helped. After a few contractions I could hear Chris and Hope discussing something, but I wasn't sure what. They wanted me to move to the bed next. I got a little worried that Hazel was going to get stuck like Jane did. And HOLY COW, walking with all that pressure was impossible! I can’t believe I was even able to make it from the pool to the toilet, and then to the bed.
"Please don't make me lay on my back!" They did, but I knew they were not trying to torture me. Chris knew what we needed to do to get Hazel passed my pubic bone. My bum was on a couple towels being raised in the air while Hope and Meagan supported my legs. Blake was at my head comforting me. A few times during pushing I would ask, "Is she going to come out? How much longer? Like an hour?"
Chris: "Yes, she's going to come out. She's so close, Feel her head!
Me: “It is going to take an hour?”
Chris: “No. She's coming very soon, less than an hour."
Watching the uncut footage of this portion of birth I thought I would be yelling, but I was actually very quiet and focused. I remember holding my breath to push harder and it was much more efficient than when I was trying to breath through them. Chris had her midwife forceps (her hands) helping to open my pelvis a little more to let Hazel pass the pubic bone. Hazel was a little asynclitic which is why I had some back labor.
Occasionally during the last few pushes I would yell out of exhaustion. I didn't even notice what was going on down there between Chris pulling, baby coming, and tearing just a tad. The intensity was all the same. And finally, Hazel. Blake 'caught' her. I got the experience I dreamed of; My baby put right onto my chest, my whole family together and in my own home. It almost seems like a dream. “I did it! I can’t believe I did it!”
My take-away from Jane and Hazel's births is how much more I value the power of CHOICE and trusting my intuition.