One of the best things I ever did for myself was figuring out how to power through a med-free birth. Never in my life have I felt so strong and unstoppable.
In honor of my daughter’s 1st birthday today, I’d like to share with you a story I wrote to my daughter about the day she was born, a day where she one-upped me on getting things done quickly…
My Med-Free Birth Story
To my sweet daughter:
I was due with you on February 21st but when that date came and went, I feared I’d be induced again. I felt huge but I was happy to wait as long as I wasn’t pushed to induce.
Your grandma was set to come down on the morning of Tuesday February 24th so I finally stopped wishing for labor and prayed you’d hold off another couple days so Grandma would be here to watch your brother and I could have a (more or less) stress free labor.
Well at around 8pm on Monday Feb. 23rd a friend texted and asked how things were labor-wise. I told her things were at a standstill and had been since Friday! Just as I sent that message I began to have what I thought were braxton hicks. I went up to bed around 9 p.m. but by 10 p.m. my “braxton hicks” were becoming more bothersome.
I was in denial that I was actually in labor since I wanted so badly for Grandma to be here before you came! I tried to doze in the guest room but by 1 a.m. I began to suspect it was true labor. I got in the bathtub to try and help relieve some pain as I watched an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy”.
Breathing Through Birth
By 3:30 a.m. I knew you weren’t going to hold off. I called Grandma and told her I was in labor. I was afraid to go to the hospital lest I be talked into getting an epidural (something I definitely did NOT want!) so I continued to labor on my own. I attempted to write you a letter in your journal but the contractions were coming too close together…
At 4:45 a.m. I decided it was probably time to wake your dad. He didn’t seem too surprised when I said I was in labor.I sent him downstairs to get me some water and a banana since I knew the hospital wouldn’t let me eat again until you were earthside.
When he came back upstairs, he saw my contraction timer.
“Does that say your contractions are like 4 minutes apart?!”
Heh, yes, yes it did. He began to scurry and went to wake your brother. It was time to go to the hospital!
The contractions started to get more intense at that point, so much so that I couldn’t be bothered to change from my Dr. Who slippers into real shoes as I trudged out into the cold, snowy night.
As we got about halfway through our seven minute drive to the hospital I realized I’d forgotten my wallet. Much to your dad’s chagrin, I made him turn around. Apparently I must’ve thought they wouldn’t let me in without my license and insurance card! Labor makes your brain go all sorts of wonky.
At 5:45 a.m., we finally pulled up to the drop off spot at the hospital and a valet came out. I could barely speak as I tried to explain there was a toddler in our van and that he’d have to take me up to the maternity floor while your dad went to park the car.
He quickly wheeled me up to the 7th floor as I yelled “I’m in labor!”
The nurse looked up from her desk blankly. “Obviously..” she replied with a slow, sleepy drawl.
She then proceeded to ask me all sorts of annoying questions, including asking at least twice if I was sure I hadn’t been there earlier in the day.
Of course I was sure!!!
During her questioning, my water finally broke. It was at that point they realized this was the real deal and that you were most definitely ready to make an entrance!
They quickly wheeled me into a delivery room as the nurse yelled out “meconium in the water!”
Things really got kicked into high gear at that point. I started to scream as their panicked energy became my panicked energy.
The nurses yelled at me to stop screaming but I couldn’t help it.
They hadn’t even put an IV in yet!!
“Stop pushing,” they yelled (there wasn’t even a doctor in the room yet!) but there was no stopping you.
My abs began to contract around you as you were pushed down and out. One final hug as the one of us became two.
And then there you were, delivered at 5:54am. Only nine minutes after we’d arrived to the hospital.
They whisked you away before I could even catch a glimpse of you. I had but a moment to worry before you let lose the most beautiful cry.
You were okay. I knew you were okay.
And after they cleaned you up a bit and made sure your lungs were healthy, I got to see you.
My beautiful dark-haired angel.
Your dad and brother were finally allowed in and I felt genuinely radiant as they walked over and I got to introduce you to them.
I regret your dad not being there but honestly I wouldn’t change a thing. Words cannot express just how incredible and strong I felt afterward.
Plus the look on Grandma’s face as she walked in was priceless. Needless to say she wasn’t expecting to arrive only three hours after my phone call to see that not only were you here but that all was well and boy oh boy was I ready for breakfast!