It all started on a Tuesday at around 1am. I felt a tinge of pain on my lower back. Kinda like a period cramp. I assumed it was something that would just go away, but it didn’t. It just kept increasing and by 6am I figured I was in labor. Resting was the only thing on my mind because I knew I had a loooooooong day ahead of me.
I didn’t panic. I couldn’t afford to panic lol. I mean what was the point? In my mind I didn’t want it to be that day. Why? Well because I was scared lol. I kept asking God, why today? How about tomorrow? I kept all these feelings inside because if I spoke them they would’ve probably caused me to break down and that was the last thing I needed for myself and my baby. I stayed calm throughout the whole day while running errands with my mom, sister, and husband. Around noon we decided to call the midwife to give her a heads of what was going on. My water hadn’t broke nor was there any sign of mucus, but the contractions were coming about 5-6 minutes apart. She told us to stay tight and ride out the contractions at home as long as I could handle.
So my husband and I sat tight and rode out the contractions on our bedroom floor until they became 3 minutes apart. I had to go to the birth center, so we were on our way at around 6ish! I don’t recall the exact time lol. But if you’ve ever been on the freeway around that time, you know there’s traffic. You don’t want to mess with a laboring woman in the car.
How can I describe a contraction? Hmmm. For me, it was a REALLY STRONG period cramp that lasts about 1 minute every couple minutes. I had back labor. Not fun.
We finally got to the birth center and I totally felt relieved! There’s something about being with the women that have been with you throughout your entire pregnancy and finally getting to “graduation day” with them! But in this story, they’re still helping me walk the stage to get my diploma, aka BABY!! I know weird analogy.
The midwives checked how far along I was and let me tell you, that was pretty nerve wrecking! You just don’t want to hear… “You’re only 2cm dilated,” after dealing with pain from 1am-6pm! A couple minutes later my midwives told me, “You’re 8-9cm dilated!” I was so shocked and happy! Like what the heck?! I’m about to have a baby?! FOR REALZ?! After that my husband brought in all my things and got the room smelling like lavender real quick.
A little later, another midwife came and asked me if I wanted a volunteer doula to come in. She had asked me prior at my prenatal exams and I just wasn’t sure. I was iffy about it because you don’t know this person and to meet them on the day that you’re giving birth wasn’t ideal to me, but for some reason I felt like I needed that person there for me. I said YES immediately! Best decision ever.
[She massaged me, cheered me on, fed me, gave me water, and held my hand when I needed it the most. I didn’t know I needed her till she was there right by my side.]
Things were picking up QUICK! The contractions were coming one after the other. By this time, which I’m assuming was transition, I wanted to crawl out of my body. LITERALLY. I’ve never squeezed my husband so hard in my entire life. I felt like I was gonna squeeze the life out of him. I got in the birthing tub because I had initially wanted a water birth. I got in the warm water and it felt amazing BTW. My husband was in there with me and I had a sudden urge to PUSH. It’s weird and totally cool when you have a natural birth. Your body AUTOMATICALLY starts pushing the baby out when it’s time to push. That’s when you know things are about to get real. I told one of the midwives and she was like, “Alright, start pushing!” So the pushing started. For some reason my doula’s voice was the voice I heard the loudest. She was cheering me on giving me so much energy with her back massages! I’m not gonna lie, there were times when I would talk to myself in my head, and say “Why the hell didn’t you give birth at the hospital?! I want an epidural. No wonder women want that f***ing drug.” But like I said earlier, I couldn’t afford to lose control. There was something on the inside controlling me from the outside to keep my cool. There were times where I tried to cry, but all my energy was directed towards going through each contraction. It was amazing to witness the spirit that was inside me during childbirth.
Anyways, back to me pushing. I pushed and pushed, but nothing seemed to be happening. The midwives told me to get out the water and start walking around. My second push out the water, a BIG GUSH of water released down my legs. After that I sat down on a birthing stool and baby’s head was comin’ out. That’s when I felt the RING OF FIRE. I had read about the ring of fire several times in birth stories and kinda shrugged it off. THAT ISH BURNZZZZZZZ, just letting you know. It literally feels like someone is holding a fire stick around your vagina! I panicked on the inside, but kept pushing because I needed that feeling to be over with. I pushed (said the F word somewhere in between) and pushed… then suddenly at 9:05pm I had a slippery baby on my chest (+ some poop)! We had no idea if the baby was a he/she, BTW. So we happily looked, kissed, and talked to our sweet little baby, all while not knowing the gender!! A couple minutes later, I was like, “What is it?!” My husband looked and said, “I think it’s a girl?!” HAHAHAHA! There’s never a dull moment with him. The midwife confirmed that it was indeed a GIRL!
After that I delivered my placenta. And no I didn’t eat it lol. I wanted to, but eh whatever. It wasn’t a big deal to me.
Soon after, I was told I had torn and that I had to be stitched up. That was crazy because I didn’t even feel the tear, but you bet I felt it as I got up to walk to the table to get sown up! Postpartum was hard, let me tell you.
Giving birth naturally was somewhat important to me. I wanted to have immediate skin to skin contact with my baby. I wanted to delay cord clamping. I didn’t want a million nurses and doctors coming in and disturbing me during the most emotional time of my life. I wanted to avoid surgery as much as I could. I wanted my options to be respected and not taken out of context. In case you’re wondering why I chose to give birth at a birth center because I’ve gotten that question many times lol. Yeah I wanted an epidural lol, but I’m so glad I felt every pain of bringing Louisa into this crazy world! Would I do it all over again? HECK YES.