Labor began for me twice. The first time was on the afternoon of July 9th and lasted until the next morning when labor ended abruptly. Then I had contractions off and on until Saturday morning July 13 when I awoke with contractions that were closer together and painful enough to get me up to walk around. So when I say I was in labor for 60 hours, this is the start time even though I had been in early labor for several days. The contractions continued to get closer and closer together and I wanted one last nice meal so my husband and I went out for Thai food. I was able to sit through the meal but still had to breath through the pain. My parents were in Capitola and we called them to come since my mom was going to doula the birth.
I labored at home until midnight and then my contractions were 3 minutes apart and 1 minute long and had been that way for two hours. The hospital recommends you come in at 5:1:1 (contractions five minutes apart, one minute in duration for one hour) but I prefer 3:1:1. That way mothers are further along in dilation. This is also the recommendation of many doulas and midwives.
When I went to the hospital I got the news that I was only 3 cm dilated and unless I wanted an epidural I wouldn’t be admitted. They gave me a high strength Benadryl and sent me home to sleep for a few hours hoping I would be rested and more dilated when I returned. I went home and slept, but not well, between contractions for two hours and then labored at home until 1pm. At that point contractions were one minute apart, 1:30 minutes in duration and had been for over an hour.
When we arrived back at the hospital I was still only 5 cm dilated and they recommended some fentanyl to relieve the stress on my body so I would relax and dilate. Fentanyl should last for 45-60 minutes but with my heavy contractions only lasted 20 minutes. At this point I was losing strength and my contractions were painful but starting to get more erratic. My doctor told me that I would need augmentation or possibly a C-section if my body wasn't able to continue labor. With my knowledge of Pitocin and how painful it makes labor and how much pain I was already in, my husband and I made the decision to get an epidural so the Pitocin could work. Once this all started to unfold I was able to take a nap, but only fitfully, and then around 11:50 pm my water broke. It was like an explosion in my pelvis and I was ready to start pushing!
The nurse was going to do a few pushes with me then get the doctor, however after one push the baby was progressing so rapidly that she wanted me to breath through the pushing until the doctor got there. I pushed for about 20 minutes then Zara was born at 12:22am on July 15th. She weighed 8 lbs. 1.3 oz. and measured 19 inches long. She was able to latch immediately and mom and baby are doing well. Zara got her first adjustment about one hour after birth and some cranio-sacral the next day.
The birth wasn’t my plan or preference, but I got two great gifts. I didn’t push very long at all and my water broke naturally. Sometimes the baby decides for you!
She is healthy and I am blessed.