I never really had a fascination with birth until I had my Sophia. Her pregnancy was a strange first pregnancy. I had gestational diabetes with her and dilated early with her, which happens I know. At 36 weeks I went to my appointment to find out I was 4 cms dilated, my midwife had told me to go home, get a shower, do some walking and come back into the office in a couple of hours. I went back in about 4 hours later and was 4-5 cms dilated. She sent me over to triage where I was monitored for about an hour and within that hour went to 6 cms (mind you this was all pain free, I had been having what felt like braxton hicks). They decided to admit me, no interventions were used, I was just being monitored, since I was having steady “contractions”. I slept through the night with them, woke up around 6 am and found out I was still at 6, so they decided it was best for me to go home and wait it out.
A week later I had been having some fairly mild contractions and lost my mucus plug, I called into my midwife who said to come in and get checked. I did as told and was still at 6 cms. At this point they asked me if I would mind being induced. Being uninformed and excited I said yes. They took me in around 11pm and broke my waters, hooked me up with pitocin and away we went. I had fell asleep because my contractions were still not very strong, so they kept upping and upping the amount of pitocin. 7 am rolls around and they check to see how I have progressed, only to find out that they didn’t really break my waters. As soon as they broke my waters I instantly went into hard active labor! The contractions were so strong and so close that they were talking about cesareans. The nurse I had was an amazing amazing woman! She is really what saved me here. She had me get in the tub, all kinds of different positions. We were on the birthing ball, side lying, squatting, all 4’s, you name it, we tried it! Finally they got a little farther apart and we were just breathing through them. Around 11 am I had had enough. I asked for an epidural. I felt instant relief and fell asleep for about two hours.
When I woke up they had checked me and I was complete! Now for the fun part! I started pushing! Only problem was, I couldn’t feel anything. My legs were dead weights! I pushed and pushed and pushed. We tried squatting, tug of war, all 4’s. At this point having a cesarean was brought up again. I was determined that this baby was going to come out! I started pushing even harder! 2 hours and 20 minutes later, precious little Sophia was born. Weighing 7 lbs 11 oz and 21 inches long! I had never been more relieved in my whole entire life. She was here and she was beautiful! I had the entire room around me bawling right along with me!
From that moment on, I had become more curious in labor and deliveries and hearing everyone’s story. I had read articles online, asked everyone I knew that had a baby their story, it was just all I wanted to talk about. I always thought that I would go back to school to achieve my RN.
Then there was Evelyn. Now her pregnancy was easy! Besides having a big belly and chasing after a toddler! I didn’t have gestational diabetes with her, and I never asked for internal exams until my 39 week appointment. No surprise I made it to 4 cms without any pain! As I left the office I knew that the baby would be here soon (we chose to not find out the gender this time). That Saturday I had set up a mani pedi and then we had my husbands cousins baby shower. I went looking pregnant as ever..getting all the questions, when are you due, what are you having?, ect. Had a great time at the shower, was feeling great! When we got home it was Sophias time to nap, so I lay her down and rested for a bit. When she woke up we went for a long walk. By the time we got to the playground I was having some pretty intense contractions. I sat down for a little, drank some water and they went away. Later that night I was giving Sophia a bath and started having some more contractions. I had a feeling this was the last time I would be bathing Sophia alone. I put her to bed and the contractions kept coming about 4-5 minutes apart. Around 10 pm I decided to make a call into my midwife to let her know what is going on, she said to labor at home as long as I felt comfortable. 11 pm I decided to try and go to bed. As soon as I laid down I felt a huge monster contraction! I jumped out of bed and called my husband home from work. We sat on the birthing ball for a little until they had started getting closer together. At about 12:30 we had decided to head in.
When we arrived I could barely walk, and I could not talk through them. We checked into triage and my midwife came in, saw my contraction patterns and checked me and I was 6 cms! Was admitted and into our room at about 1:15. The only thing getting me through these contractions was to sway. I had my head on the counter right by the nurse and I swayed and swayed and swayed. Around 4 am I could no longer sway, my legs were exhausted. As I was reaching into transition I felt myself losing control and I had asked for an epidural. As I laid down after receiving the epidural, I felt with every breathe I took, the pain just leaving my body, until I fell asleep. An hour goes by, I wake up, get checked and I am complete! Time to push! As I go into pushing I am worried I will not be able to push correctly like last time and it will take just as long as it did with Sophia. I start pushing and my midwife immediately stops me and says “Jackie, that wasn’t a push, deep breath in and try again!”. A couple pushes later I was being handed an oxygen mask and told to lay on my left side. My eyes get bugged out and I am almost freaking out, because the baby’s heart rate wasn’t where it should be. A couple minutes later I try to push again and am handed oxygen and rolled onto my side again. I really start to worry, but we go back to pushing, and 20 minutes later another beautiful baby is laid upon my chest! The midwife yells out “what is it?” and all I could manage to cry out was “I don’t know, I can’t see!”. My husband answers her and yells out “It’s a girl!”. Evelyn weighed 8 lbs 6 oz and was 20 inches long. Another beautiful blessing to add to our ever growing family!
Now both of my births were amazing! They were beautiful! But it wasn’t until I had Evelyn that I really realized what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be a doula. As I reached transition with Evelyn, I lost control and the only thing I could yell out was epidural! Instead of my husband and nurse going ok, I needed someone to get me back into control, grab my arm and tell me “I can do this!”. It was then that I became a real birth junkie! I started to become obsessed with it and reading anything I could get my hands on. Knowledge is key, but so is support physically and emotionally, which is where being a doula comes into play!