A few of you have asked me to share Charlie’s birth story, and I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and write it out! It’s crazy how some of the details are already getting fuzzy. This was my first unmedicated birth (and out of hospital birth) and I was pretty nervous about how much pain I would be in.
Around 5:30am on March 1st I woke up with some light contractions. I had contractions often for several months, so I didn’t think too much about it at first. However within about 20 minutes I decided to wake Austin up and have him time them. They were about 4 minutes apart, but I still wasn’t sure I was in labor. It didn’t take long for them to ramp up, however, and I was calling my midwife and doula by about 6:00am letting them know that labor was starting. We got ready and finished packing our bags, all the while my contractions were starting to get a little stronger.
We were at the birth center by 8:30 and I was having to sit and breath through each contraction. (So thankful for prenatal yoga for preparing me!) Around maybe 10:30 I got in the tub where I expected to deliver, but was disappointed that the water didn’t give me the relief I was hoping for. My doula arrived (all the way from Arkansas!) around 11:00 and I was in a lot of pain by that time. My contractions were only about a minute apart at that point and I kept thinking, “This BETTER be transition!”. I thought I was prepared for the worst possible pain, but the pain I experienced was still worse that I imagined. I was dialated to a 10 and although I wasn’t having strong urges to push, we decided to have me try to see how it felt. It (just barely) felt better to push so I kept it up, however my midwife discovered that his head was having trouble getting around my pubic bone and it was also pinching my cervix. She decided that it would be best if I get out of the tub and try to push on a birthing stool. I did not want to move because I was in so much pain, but I managed getting to the stool between contractions.
Contractions were right on top of each other by this point and my midwife needed to be holding back my cervix as I pushed. (Yes, it is just as comfortable as it sounds…yikes!) The stool didn’t have the results we were hoping for, so I moved to the bed and laid on my side. I pushed there for 20-30 minutes, grabbing on to Austin as hard as I could with each push. I was so overcome by pain, but there was really nothing to do at that point except keep going. He presented with the largest part of his head instead of the smallest (thanks, kid), and also had shoulder dystocia, so that added to the difficulty in pushing. Finally at 12:34 Charlie Oak was born!
I know a lot of moms have that euphoric feeling right away, but I was still just recovering mentally and physically from such a hard delivery that it took me a few minutes to come around and be able to focus on him. I probably said 4820583292 times “THAT WAS SO HARD!” and “I’M SO GLAD THAT’S OVER!” I had to get a few stitches, but after that I was finally able to rest and relax with my boy. Jack and Quinn as well as our parents came in to meet him after a couple hours which was a very special time. By the 4 hour mark we were already going home! It was so nice to be able to recover at home with an herb bath and rest in my own bed.
This birth was by far the most difficult thing I have ever gone through physically, but I am very thankful that it was a short labor and that I had a great night sleep the night before. The support I received from my midwife, doula, and husband made such a big difference in my experience, and I couldn’t be more grateful for each of them. We’ve been getting used to our new “normal” since then and trading sleep for cuddles. We love this boy to the moon and look forward to seeing all he becomes.