It’s been a long time coming, but I finally have gathered my thoughts and would like to share…
First things first. My Top Five Things I couldn’t do without during labor:
1- Goody No-Slip Hairband- because hair in my face drives me crazy.
2-Support- My support team was headed up by my husband, Keith, who was there encouraging me the entire time, never leaving my side. We also had awesome Christian doulas who gave us childbirth classes and accompanied us in the delivery room. They helped us A LOT.
3- A sense of humor. We had fun during labor. When it stopped being fun, and Keith’s jokes weren’t so funny, we knew that the birth of our daughter was very near.
4- Focus Cards- We used Bible verses as our focus points and cut out pictures from magazines to go with them. Here are a few:
5- Our faith in Christ. I’m not a super preachy blogger, but my faith as Christian is what sustains me on a daily basis and it was my belief in Him who created me, who created our child, that helped me during childbirth.
And now the details…
As most of my readers know, I was due October 30th, and our baby was born November 10th. ELEVEN DAYS LATER. Eleven very long days. One of those days, November 6th, I had false labor for 12 hours, brought on by castor oil. Don’t ever do the castor oil thing- no matter how many grandmothers tell you to try! It is not a pleasant experience!! The day AFTER the false labor ordeal I found myself quite discouraged. Keith took me to the theatre that night to cheer me up. We saw Camelot.
Early Saturday morning my water broke at 3 am. We almost immediately called our doulas (birth coaches), who instructed us to try and get some rest and to start timing contractions. We were to check in with them every hour.
I suddenly remembered that I left clothes in the washing machine overnight so I ran them again at 3:15 am. A very odd choice, I know. I never realized how loud the washing machine was until then.
Keith kept track of those early contractions with a stopwatch and I eventually ended up in the living room for an hour and a half so he could get some rest. I timed those contractions with Contraction Master, a cool online timing tool. All you have to do is hit the spacebar at the beginning and end of each contraction. EASY.
We left for the hospital once my contractions were more regular and closer together. We arrived at about 10 am and it was a pretty funny experience walking in. The old women at the reception desk start to ask “Can I help you?” before looking up, but once they see the ENORMOUS pregnant woman with her husband, carrying THE BAG, the boppy, the cameras, they just start pointing towards the labor and delivery wing.
The labor was uncomplicated, 14.5 hours from beginning to end. I didn’t use an anesthesia, although the nursing staff did ask. I was more afraid of the needle in my back than the pain of contractions and I developed a bit of a holistic approach to life in general while pregnant. Apparently the no-epidural route is not one frequently taken in our area and every medical professional seemed rather surprised by my decision.
I must admit that there was a moment when I thought to myself, “I am never doing this again,” meaning childbirth. Fortunately I got over that pretty quickly! But all in all, childbirth was a very empowering and miraculous experience that I am forever blessed to have been a part of.