I Was Scared of Labor -- Until I Was in Labor!
In all honesty, I was pretty scared about giving birth. Of course I rationalized the situation by reminding myself that childbirth is a completely natural thing to do, that we were all born somehow, and that my body was designed to give birth. I started reading about hypnobirthing and that definitely helped keeping a positive attitude about it all. I also continued working for as long as I possibly could to avoid sitting at home all day worrying about what was to come. But I just couldn't seem to shake that little voice in the back of my head screaming, “OMG! I’m going to have to push an entire human being out... through my vagina!”
Luckily for me Charlotte was born so sudden and quick that I didn't even have time to worry about that.
I got up that morning to go to the hospital for my 38 week check-up. I briefly considered throwing my hospital bag in the back of my car, but I decided not to because I wasn’t showing any signs of labor yet. I figured I didn’t need it. I was born 3 weeks late and I was only 37 weeks and 6 days along so I figured it could be awhile before I would actually need it.
During my check-up everything went according to plan and everything seemed normal. But my doctor decided to do an internal exam at the end anyway. Just in case. I was so shocked when she told my I was actually already dilated four centimeters and that I wouldn’t be going home that day. I was going to deliver a baby that day! I brought my mom and a good friend along and I could tell they were just as shocked as I was! It was just so unexpected! I tried to call my boyfriend but the reception at the hospital was awful. It took about four different phone calls for him to understand what was going on. He rushed to be by my side.
When we got to the delivery room, I was hooked up to a device that would monitor my contractions. Apparently they were already quite present since they measured around 60%. I didn’t feel anything. To make sure I had a fast, smooth labor, it was decided to break my water and give me some oxytocin. That’s when it started to get less comfortable. In about two hours I went from feeling absolutely nothing to feeling quite painful contractions.
I decided to ask for some pain medication, but to my disappointment the doctor that needed to approve that was being held up at another birth. I had to wait it out au naturel for an entire hour. By the time my doctor finally arrived, it was already too late for an epidural. I got some pain medication through my IV, but that only lasted for about 3 contractions. After that I was fully dilated and was taken off pain medication. Apparently you can’t be on pain medication during the actual delivery. I didn’t know that!
The actual birth didn’t hurt much, it was just really exhausting. I pushed for about 40-50 minutes and I felt like I just ran an entire marathon! Just when I thought i couldn’t push anymore, Charlotte was born!
She was the tiniest little baby I had ever seen. She was only 18 inches tall and just a little over five pounds. She made her entrance by peeing all over me within seconds after being born. A baby with a sense of humour! Haha!
Overall, the experience wasn’t too bad. It was quick, convenient and only painful for a short amount of time. The thing that surprised me the most was that I was never scared. I just gave in to it and went with the flow. And that’s simply the best thing you can do really. Just the tearing and stitching... not a big fan of that. But I’d still pick it over spending an afternoon with my mother-in-law any day!