I am trying to decide exactly where I want to start my birth story. I was a pretty inconsistent blogger through the bulk of my pregnancy (and by inconsistent I mean only posting once) and so I am going to do a brief summary of being pregnant before jumping into my birth story.
I have heard many people tell me that they “love to be pregnant” or “they love their pregnant bodies” I however was not one of those people! Being pregnant was a lot of hard work and most of all exhausting. My first trimester was not too horrible. I did get extremely nauseous in in the morning, especially if I worked outside in the heat; however I did not throw up at all so that was a blessing. The second trimester went by pretty fast, but the third trimester was where I grew a whole new appreciation for pregnant people. My body was so sore. I could not bend over what so ever, and I mean not at all. Poor Morgan had to pick up everything I dropped on the floor, pick up all of Penny’s poop, and he even shaved my legs….I was one lucky girl to have him throughout the pregnancy.
My due date technically would have been March 14th if you were doing the mathematical calculation, but based on ultrasound it was changed to March 21st. So I was thinking that Levi would for sure come early. I could not see any possible way he could come any later than March 21st but boy was I wrong.
I also took a Hypnobabies class and decided to do an all-natural home child birth. I know most people think this sounds crazy, but I have the biggest phobia of needles, and I would rather take on any amount of pain if it means no epidural and IV. I could wright a whole post just on natural child birth, but I do not want to get into that, nor do I want to bore you with those details.
I started to have contractions at the beginning of March, but these were not your normal contractions. When I would have a contraction I could feel my stomach get really tight with pressure and then it would relax and loosen. This would be the way that most contractions feel, but the only difference was I felt no pain what so ever. These contractions went on for over a month, and the whole time here I am thinking that Levi is going to be born any day now, but he just wasn’t coming. When I got to my due date my midwife tried rubbing different oils on my belly, but that just was not starting labor either. Every time my midwife checked me I was not even dilated to 1cm.
The contractions continued for about another week, when we decided to try to induce labor naturally by the consumption of castor oil. Let me start by saying castor oil is the most disgusting thing to ever touch my mouth. I took it at about four o clock, and nothing was happening. In fact I felt completely normal. I went and took a nap, and still nothing was happening. That night Morgan has a dinner with other students that were being hired to work for Deloitte We decided to go, since nothing was progressing with my labor. For those of you who are not aware castor oil causes people to have lots of bowel movements, and the theory is by having bowel movements if causes your body to dilate. So we are getting to the end of dinner when I began to have regular bowel movements, and my contractions were all within three minutes apart, and again I remind you I feel no pain from any of these contractions.
I get home and call my midwife, and tell her my progress. She tells me to get some sleep, and to caller her back when the contractions hurt badly enough that I have to breathe through them. At about 10:00 p.m. Morgan calls my midwife back and tells her I can now feel a slight amount of pain, however in the progression of this 30 second call the pain got 10x more intense and I told him to tell her to come over ASAP. She was there at 11:00 and I had already dilated to a three and my contractions were 3 minutes apart. I was lying on my bed, and I remember just trying to focus on keeping my body relaxed. I learned in my hypnobabies class that the more you can relax your body, the faster it can progress though labor. My midwife got the tub of warm water ready so that I could labor in the tub, she had this set up within an hour of her arrival, and then she came to check my progression again and I had dilated to a six! Once I was in the tub the contractions were getting more intense. I was lucky to have 5 midwives/doulas there to apply pressure in different places. I would have never guessed that applying pressure could relieve so much of the pain. I had one midwife on each leg, one pushing on my hips, Morgan holding my head, and my mom holding my hand. I was very blessed to have so many people helping me through out my labor. they would coach me through the contractions and remind me to relax. I am the kind of personality that does really well with positive encouragement. I just thrive off of people cheering me on. I am really lucky to have so many people in my life who believe me, and encouraged me all the way to the end. I was going to need all of the encouragement I could get because once I got in the tub The contractions basically never stopped; it was like an hour of straight contractions. It would get really bad and then it would loosen a little bit and then it would get really bad again. I remember just saying that I wanted a two minute brake. I remember thinking that you usually have at least a minute of relief in between contractions, but not me. I threw up at some point during this hour, and I remember being very concerned that I was going to poop in the water, but I never did. Hahaha I know that is grouse but I want to remember all these details. After being in the tub for an hour, I got to the point where I was just like I cannot do this anymore and that is when my midwife checked me again and said it was time to push.
I got out of the water and pushed for like thirty minutes, and then Levi was born at 3:30 in the morning. My whole labor from start to finish was only 4.5 hours. (This is starting at the time I could feel any pressure/pain/discomfort)
At this point in time I thought the worst was over, I had survived child birth; but boy was I wrong. Personally I think the most painful part of the whole experience came 2 days later when I was awoken at like 4:00 a.m. because my milk came in. I remember wakening up my mom, and she helped me go and stand in the warm shower to try to relive some of the pressure, but this was not helping. I was so engorged I did not even know how so much milk could fit in such a small space. This is probably too much information, but I feel it is important. Nobody ever talks about the milk coming in, and this is an entire experience in its own. I had constant milk dripping out of me. I know they make pads that you can use to line your bra with to absorb the milk, but these pads would only last me about three minutes before I was leaking through. Every night when I went to sleep I took one of the giant Egyptian cotton beach towels and I folded it into quarters and then I would wake up and it would be completely soaked with milk. I remember Morgan waking up one night and asking me if I had just pulled it out of the washer because of how wet it was. I went to the doctor to have a check up, and he said I was one of the top ten most engorged he had ever seen. This made me feel good because I felt more justified for all the pain I was feeling. I could write a whole post just about my breastfeeding experience but I will leave it at that for now.
Overall Everything went perfectly, I was really proud of myself for having Levi all natural. So many people told me that I would not be able to do it, and they said things like “you’re going to be begging for the epidural” so to all of those people who questioned me and did not believe in me I just want to say “I did it! And you were wrong!”
Morgan and I are now living in Dallas, and I am no longer working so I therefore have a lot more time on my hands. I am excited to become a regular blogger, so look forward to more future posts from me!