“I need to get an epidural…”
No one was more shocked than me to hear those words leave my mouth. My nurse’s jaw dropped to the floor when I said that, but it was true I needed to sleep. Jimmy and I discussed it and did not want to take a narcotic to get me to sleep. I couldn’t be certain that my body would respond well to the narcotics. I had heard horror stories from other moms.
Once the anesthesiologist got there I began to get a little nervous in my decision but knew it was the best decision for me and for Fischer. We both needed to rest. It turns out that getting the epidural was a very smart move when it came time to push. I was able to get a few hours of sleep and woke up refreshed and excited to continue this part of our journey. I think Jimmy was more relieved to sleep than me because five minutes after lying down he was sawing logs. The epidural made me so itchy that was the one thing I did not like about it. The adrenaline was still pumping and making me shake uncontrollably.
My midwife came back in at 6:00 am, since I was now awake, to check me before her shift ended. I should mention that for the last 12 hours I was the only woman in labor on the floor so every one was very attentive and supportive of anything I needed and they were all anticipating Fischer’s arrival and learning his name. I had only progressed to 6 cm, so much for relaxing to help speed things up. So I thought…
My midwife was so sad that her shift was ending and she wouldn’t be present for his birth. She promised to call in and check on me through out the day and to come meet Fischer the next day when she was back on. One of the other midwives in our practice came in at 8:15 am to see how I was doing and to see if I was any more dilated. We were lucky to get both midwives we fell in love with through out our prenatal check ups. We were all astonished to find out I was 9 cm! I went from 6 to 9 in two hours! The epidural was working after all. She said she was going to let me labor him down for a little while and to call her when I felt a ton of pressure in my bottom, that would mean I was ready to push. I was very pleased with the fact that even though I had the epidural I was still able to move my legs and turn from side to side and feel the pressure of each wave.
I texted my family that they could all come up and give us one last kiss before I start pushing. I was told after the fact that my Mom had left to go let her dog out when they called and told her I was at 9 cm; Fischer was at +1 station and would be pushing soon. Poor puppy, she didn’t know it would be another 4 hours before Fischer was actually born.
At 10:30 am I wake up Jimmy, yes he is still sound asleep, to go get the midwife I am ready to push. She comes in to check and me and sure enough his head is right there, maybe an inch from crowning. They start setting everything up and I look at Jimmy, he is looking out the window and won’t look at me.
I ask him “Are you nervous? Why won’t you look at me?”
He turns around and there are tears in his eyes and he says, “I am more excited than anything, this is it, what we have been waiting for”.
I lost it right there and started crying too. I can’t believe I was about to meet my son, our son for the first time. It was not just a dream after all.
She puts her fingers in me and asks me to push so she can see how well I can push. She is amazed at how well I can push on my first attempt. She assures me to do everything I just did every time I feel a wave coming on. Fischer is right there and should be coming out really soon. I turn on my side to do side lying pushing. This was the best position for me and where I was able to get the most power out of each push. Jimmy held my leg up for me every time. After about two hours and my midwife telling me again over and over “He is right there, it won’t be long now” I was starting to doubt if I could keep doing this. Something is wrong, he is taking way too long. I don’t know at what point Jimmy decided to start looking down there but I am glad he did cause he was so encouraging through each wave. My midwife could see I was getting discouraged and decided to wheel in the mirror to give me some motivation. I can’t even describe the feeling of watching my son’s head crown through each push and then go right back in again. It made what I was doing so real. It was time to try changing positions so we brought up the squat bar for a little while. No change, he would crown and go right back in. I think at the 3 hour mark, 1:30 pm, of pushing the Dr. came in prepared to do a vacuum extraction. She wouldn’t do it though since he wasn’t in distress. His heart rate was still cool as a cucumber. The nurses and Dr. were amazed that he was so calm. The Dr. stayed for a while because she had never witnessed and side lying birth before and wanted to be there for the delivery. This reassured me of our decision to go with a midwife since they know how to birth babies. My midwife was great at stretching my perineum through each push and to put hot/wet compresses on me when I was resting.
The hypnosis worked between waves because I was able to tune everyone out and I even dozed off a few times and woke up to push again. Pushing was an amazing experience. I don’t know what came over me but through each push I sounded like an Amazon woman grunting and making some pretty primal sounds. It felt so good to make those sounds through each push and gave me so much more power behind them. I literally breathed the baby down just like HypnoBabies teaches you by exhaling through each push and not holding my breath. I could hear the nurses and midwife whispering that they had never seen someone push like that and couldn’t believe how well it was working. Even though I had been pushing for almost 4 hours now I was still able to give 4 or 5 good pushes with each wave.
It is now 2:30 pm and the Dr. decides to use the vacuum to get him out. Even though he isn’t in distress I am starting to lose my cool a bit. She tries 3 times but his head is just not going to come. Jimmy said that was the hardest thing to watch and will never get that image out of his mind. I decide this is it I am giving it my all and I am not going to stop pushing until he is out. Finally his head comes through. One more push and the rest of him is here! He was born at 2:51 pm, June 11, 2011.
When they placed him on my chest I couldn’t help but cry happy tears. It was the single most amazing moment of my life so far. He let out a little “eh” and that was it. His eyes locked on mine and we just cuddled for hours. Jimmy did end up cutting the umbilical cord and was shooting video and taking still photos at the same time. He was one proud Papa. My midwife explained that his head was turned to the side, looking over his right shoulder and that was why it was so hard to push his head through. There was no way to tell until he was delivered. This is why I was thankful for the epidural. There is no physical way I could have done that without one. I had a very small tear that required two little stitches. Everyone, including myself, was astonished that I didn’t completely tear or need an episiotomy.
His birth was long and a lot of hard work but completely worth it. I strongly feel I could not have made it that long without the use of my hypnosis cues and Jimmy as my coach. I would do it again in a heartbeat if it meant I got Fischer at the end. Being a mom is so much more than I ever imagined. He is the best baby and so loving.