We arrived at the hospital about a quarter to midnight and upon being checked, discovered I was four centimeters dilated. I had to wait at least 30 minutes to get registered thanks to the computer system’s reboot every night at midnight. NOT FUN sitting in triage that long with a belly band on monitoring contractions and unable to get up and move around. NOT FUN AT ALL. Stupid computer system.
We finally get registered and are guided to our L&D room by our nurse- I had been planning to use the labor tubs the new facility boasts, and was quite disheartened to learn that there were only two and they were both in use. Because I was determined to do this one naturally, I became slightly fearful because the water played a big part in my natural birth plan. I reminded myself that fear was not a welcome labor companion, not only because it is not of the Lord, but because of how it physiologically affects childbirth (fear=increased pain), and prayed that God would help me get rid of the fear and rely on Him rather than a tub.
We are encouraged to walk the halls and we do- poor Will probably begins to develop a backache as we walk because my method for coping with contractions was to stop walking, put my arms around his neck, and hang slightly down. He is a good man.
Because I did not have an epidural and did not have to be hooked up to an IV, I was free to move around as I chose except for fifteen minutes out of every hour. My water broke within an hour and a half of my admission, and I alternated between walking, using the birth ball, and sitting on the bed. My L&D nurse, Wendy, was amazing and never once acted as if I couldn’t do it naturally. She didn’t ask me if I wanted medication and was involved just enough to give advice when asked but not so involved that we didn’t have privacy as I labored. I progressed pretty decently, and hit nine centimeters around 4:30am. I was thrilled, as at that point, I was definitely at the place where I wondered how much longer I could do this (yes, I am aware that as labors go, it had not been that long, but in the moment, it was feeling LOOONNNNGG). I was stuck at 9cm for awhile, as it turns out that when my water broke, it did not break fully, and there was just enough cushioning Asher’s head that it kept him from putting enough pressure on my cervix to dilate fully. Wendy suggested we allow the doctor to break the rest of the water, and Will and I agreed. Sure enough, within 15 minuts of Dr. Robison breaking my water, I was ready to push.
Now my labor had been pretty smooth up until this point aside from some back labor (smooth does not equal no pain, but it had been a solid, nicely progressing labor, and by the grace of God, I was doing it naturally!). When it came time to push, things changed slightly. You see, when I had Eila, I became scared when they mentioned pitocin (pitocin=liquid hell) and upon hearing that they were going to give me pit, decided I needed an epidural to deal with it. My epidural didn’t fully take and left me with a “hot spot” in my left hip, which literally left me feeling like part of my body was on fire. With Eila, however, the epidural took enough that I didn’t feel much pain during the pushing phase.
In Asher’s case, I definitely felt a variety of sensations and none of them very pleasant. I yelled that I was ready to push and needed some help- my nurse came in, the baby nurse was there, and for some other reason (hopefully not due to the panic in my voice), two other nurses came in. The doctor then came back in, and we got ready to push. Apparently, they decided the baby needed some oxygen (and perhaps that I did too) so an oxygen mask was put in front of my face.
There I am, surrounded by four nurses (literally two on each side in VERY CLOSE PROXIMITY) with the doctor at the foot of the bed and Will at my side by the head (but I couldn’t see him 😦 only the nurses and doc) and they are all telling me when to push. I begin feeling extremely claustrophobic and can’t even feel my contractions anymore in the midst of being told when to push. I just know I want that baby out and I pushed and pushed. I pushed for 8 minutes and at 5:33am, Asher had arrived, all 7 lbs 12 oz and 20 inches of him. Apparently, he had his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck twice and it also has a knot in it (the doctor shares a little later that if it had gotten pulled too tight that he probably wouldn’t have made it…). I am so thankful that God protected my little boy.
Unfortunately, given the way that I pushed (when not having a contraction part of the time apparently), I tore. Let’s just say that not having any pain meds while being stitched up in a sensitive area is TERRIBLY UNCOMFORTABLE AND PAINFUL. The numbing med applied did not help enough. But, it was worth it.
I am so thankful that I was able to do it naturally, but I give all the glory to God on that one! My son, Asher Benjamin Adair, is simply amazing.
You know what is even more amazing though? Another birth story that is to be celebrated, not just at this time of year, but every day of every year– my Lord Jesus’ story. A story of a God that loves us so much that He would take on human form in it’s most vulnerable state, a little baby born in a stable where animals lived and defecated rather than a clean hospital room with washed blankets and disinfected everything, laid in a manger from which animals ate rather than under a nice warm lamp to be cleaned and then given to his mother to cuddle..all to grow up to die on a cross because of all of our sins. How He loves us. Now THAT is a birth story.
Merry Christmas to all of you, and may God bless you as you celebrate the birth of our Savior.