I started having pretty regular contractions starting Tuesday night (March 19th). This wasn't the first time I had regular contractions so we didn't think anything of it. I woke up pretty regularly through the night and would think, "I'm having a contraction" but then I'd fall right back to sleep. Johnny had a rough night so my mom took him that morning and let me go back to bed for a couple hours. I woke up at 8am and realized that I was still having regular contractions. I called me doctor to see if they could fit me in to be checked. (I did not want to go to the hospital unless I knew I was in labor. I had already gone a couple weeks before and was sent home so I didn't want to do it again). They had a 9:20am opening and so my Mom, Johnny, and I went to the doctor. At my previous appointment, I had already dilated to a 3cm almost a 4cm. When I was checked on the morning of the 20th- I was at 4cm. Combined with my regular contractions, the doctor decided I was in labor and should go to the hospital but it would be a good idea to stop and get something to eat first.
We met up with Marcus at University Mall, had something to eat, and then Marcus and I headed to the hospital while my Mom took Johnny back to the house. We got to the hospital around 11am and the doctor came and broke my water at 1:15pm. About an hour after he broke my water, I started having stronger contractions. They were strong contractions but endurable on the pain scale so Marcus and I decided I wasn't going to get an epidural this time and try going natural. As I continued to progress, my contractions continued to get stronger and I had a lot of back labor. But the nurse showed Marcus some ways he could push on my back and legs to help ease the pain.
A little after 5pm, I started to go through transition which the nurses had warned me was going to be the hardest part. And they were NOT kidding. For the next hour and 40 minutes, I was in constant pain. It becomes such a mental game. You have to tell yourself you can get through the pain and not break down. All I did for that hour and 40 minutes was repeat in my head, "I can do hard things!" The nurses and Marcus continued to push on my back and legs to help the pain. At that point, I didn't feel like anything they did helped the pain but having them close and trying to help really allowed me to not go crazy and get through all the contractions. The nurses also really helped by saying lots of comforting words and giving lots of encouragement.
Dr. Parker walked into my room at 6:40pm and as soon as I saw him I said, "I have to push!" He responded with, "Well I'm here so we can start pushing!" They got everything ready really fast and I was able to start pushing. The pressure of Claire coming down the birth canal and the extremely strong contractions felt unbearable. I remember thinking that if I had to push for more than a few minutes, I was going to die! Thankfully, I only had to push for 5 minutes and she was out.
When Johnny was born, the cord had been wrapped around his neck so they had to take him and do some vitals before we could hold him. But as soon as Claire came out, Dr. Parker suctioned out her nose and mouth and then they laid her on my stomach while the nurse wiped her down. She was beautiful and perfect and I was SO glad I was done being in labor! I had to have an episiotomy (which I'd also had with Johnny) and being stitched up felt like it took forever. Part of recovery from labor is shaking uncontrollably. They say it's really normal after your body has been through so much and then all of the sudden it's over. But once I got some pain medicine to help with the discomfort of pushing out a baby, I was finally able to fully relax and enjoy the fact that I had a beautiful baby girl.
I was induced and had an epidural with Johnny. With Claire, I went into labor on my own and went without medication. Recovering from the unmedicated birth was SO much easier and quicker than recovery from Johnny's birth. It was so awesome to be able to get up and walk shortly after giving birth to Claire. I get really sick when coming off of anesthesia so it was so nice to not have to deal with that this time. I could definitely see myself doing my future deliveries unmedicated. But that is several years away so I'll cross that bridge when we come to it :).
Oh it's so good to have her here!