I am a firm believer that baby’s pick their birthday (unless modern medicine has to interfere) and that was definitely the case for our little lady. For about 2 weeks leading up to Charlotte’s birthday, I would literally tell mark, “I feel like a tampon is coming out of me” – well, little did I know, that was her head. Charlotte was very engaged, and I knew once I went into labor it wouldn’t be a very long one. Now before I get into this story, I must preface by saying, I have a potty mouth and in labor I held nothing back…so basically, now’s the time to prepare yourself.
The Monday before Charlotte was born, I had my routine doctor’s appointment and my doctor was concerned about the size of the baby being too small (I was only measuring at 36 weeks when I was 39 weeks) so she ordered an ultrasound. At my ultrasound, you could see that baby girl was indeed very head down. In fact, the ultra sound tech said “I cannot believe you haven’t gone into labor yet. When you do she’s going to fall right out of you.” My fluids were measuring pretty low too, so I knew that by my next appointment on Friday, they were going to start talking about inducing me which was something I really wanted to avoid. After all, I was pretty convinced that she’d come when she was ready.
That said, I started to try and get things going on my own. With Austin, acupuncture did the trick so I figured on Wednesday, I would give it a whirl. If any local ladies are super pregnant and want to go into labor, reach out to Ruth at Blossom Healing Center in Sebastopol. She’s put me into labor both times.
I went to acupuncture on August 1st at about 12pm. That evening, my mom came to town and we went to dinner. During dinner I was having lower contractions but since I had a ton of false labor leading up to this point I decided that I was going to ignore them unless I couldn’t ignore them anymore. We went home and I could tell that the contractions were pretty consistent so I told Mark that he should get our bags ready. I knew I wanted to labor at home as much as I could because the last thing I wanted to do was get to the hospital and have them turn me away. So we walked around the block, I rested (as much as I could), and hydrated liked crazy. By around 11pm I decided to get into the shower to help me relax. When I got out of the shower my contractions really started to become more intense. I would have to stop and take deep, deep breath through each and every one of them. Mark and I knew we’d better go to the hospital because of how engaged her head was.
We arrived at the hospital at 12am and they set me up in a triage room. The doctor came in and checked me (which btw SUCKS!) and I was only at 4 centimeters. Apparently Kaiser won’t admit you until you are at 6 centimeters so the doctor told me I could labor in the triage room for 2 hours but if I didn’t progress, they would send me home. I literally said to her “I am not getting back in that car – I will labor in your waiting room if I have to.” The next two hours became very intense, especially because my goal was to do this birth all naturally (I know, I am crazy but I did it with Austin so I knew I could do it).
At around 1:30am another couple was put into the triage room with us (I was NOT happy about this but obviously didn’t have a choice). The woman was in there for heartburn and her husband was with her. Let’s just say that I am sure she decided she wasn’t going to give birth naturally after hearing me in labor.
Soon, my contractions really started to become intense. I started crying to Mark and even told him I couldn’t do this. My entire body was shaking uncontrollably (apparently that was when I was in transition). I was so uncomfortable and all I wanted and knew I needed was to get into a damn shower (they don’t have showers in triage rooms). I looked at mark and said, “you need to get me out of this damn room and into a shower!” By this point, it was 2am so he grabbed the nurse and asked her to check me. She did and I was measuring at 6.5 centimeters so that meant I got to be admitted and I got to have my shower!
I literally crawled on all fours out of the room because I was having really bad back labor. On my crawl out I looked at the lady and her husband who were in the room with us and said “I am SO sorry you had to hear all that.” Then, I was put into a wheel chair in the hall way and taken to my room.
As soon as I was in the room the nurses insisted that I have an iv put into my hand for emergency purposes. I refused! I was so uncomfortable and out of my mind that the last thing I wanted them to do was poke me with a needle. So my sister in law (she was with us during this whole process) asked if I could just get in the shower first and after my shower they could put the iv in me. They agreed to that. Thank you SISTER!!
While in the shower I was finally able to get into a rhythm of breathing and “relaxing” between contracts. I did feel like giving up and didn’t think I could do this many times but at this point in the shower I decided to close my eyes and I visualized both of my grandmothers and I said to them “ladies, help me in this moment, give me strength to do this” I swear it was the most surreal and calming point in my labor.
Then, within 20 minutes of being in the shower I had the feeling of needing to take a huge crap! I yelled out to the nurse that I felt like I needed to push but she knew they had just measured me and I was only at 6.5 centimeters so she instructed me to “om (like in yoga), and breathe down with my contracts.” Yeah that didn’t last more than 4 contractions when I literally yelled out “I need to push!!! I have to take a shit!! The cute British nurse said ever so calmly, “okay honey, come out and let’s check you.” I jumped up on to the bed, then she checked me and said “Wow! You’re at a 10! You can push!!” I knew I needed a damn shower to get me to a 10. It literally took all of 40 minutes for me to get from 6.5-10 centimeters because I was able to relax and have productive labor.
So here is where it gets good or actually HUMILITATING! Since I was having so much back labor the last thing I wanted to do was be on my back so they instructed me to get on all fours (think cat and cow yoga position) with my ASS facing the doctors and my head by the top of the bed. I was MORTIFIED! I mean they had a ton of bright lights on me and yes even in that moment I was having a hard time letting go of humility.
As the first contraction came and I pushed, I immediately knew what happened with that push…I yelled out “OMG! I just shit the bed!! And it SMELLS.” My doctor yells back to me “This isn’t a beauty pageant honey! Push your baby out!” As my next contraction came I pushed and this time it literally felt like someone was taking a thermometer up my butt so I of course yell out, “who is sticking something UP MY ASS?!?”. Again the doctor yells to me “No one!! That is your baby! Push!!!!” Apparently when you are pushing your colon shrinks so that’s why it felt like someone was taking my temp. I had no idea what I was feeling I just knew I wanted her out. So with that I gave one last push and in under 10 minutes of pushing, baby Charlotte came into the world at 3:13am. From what everyone, said she came out with a smile on her face. I believe she was sort of laughing at my commentary on her way down my birth canal (you’re welcome baby girl). The cute British nurse looks at me and says “I’ve been a nurse for 13 years and that was hands down one of the best births I have ever been a part of!” We all just started to laugh and I immediately started to apologize for my dramatic laboring behavior. Charlotte barely cried and within the first 5 seconds of meeting her I felt like I had known her my whole life. It was an experience I will remember as long as I live (and I am definitely sure the nurses and doctor would say the same).
And to my husband and sister in law, I couldn’t have done this without you guys on my team. Thank you so much for your encouragement, support, and laughs throughout this journey!