So in Pt. 1 we got through early labor at home while the hubs slept. And now we have finally arrived at the hospital at exactly midnight.
I was only dilated to 3 cm 🙁 The nurse said we could walk around the halls until 1:30 and then they would check me again. Contractions continued to be strong but manageable the entire time, though I was sweating like crazy and my feet were killing me. J kept running to get me wet, cold paper towels for my neck and forehead and I tried to keep drinking lots of water in case this was finally it!
When 1:30 rolled around, I was only barely a 4 but the nurse said since I was progressing she was going to recommend I stay to the midwife.
The next few hours of labor are super hazy for me. I got in the tub and I think I may have fallen asleep. J says it was hard to tell when I was sleeping and when I was just focusing so I’m guessing I was probably napping between contractions. After a couple of hours I moved to the birthing ball, where I stayed until contractions started to get extremely hard to get through and I moved to the toilet. I went back and forth from the ball to the toilet for the next couple of hours trying to get comfortable. I had a lot of pressure in my low back which made it really hard, coupled with the shakes, to find any sort of comfort or rest between contractions.
This part is still hazy so I’m not entirely sure what I was doing. I do remember that at this point my vocalizations changed. Earlier, I had been moaning through contractions because I wanted to moan, not because I needed to or because my body was just doing it. Now, I felt like I needed to roar through them or I wouldn’t make it. Because of the shakes, I could not relax. I remember several times moaning “Peace” to myself, trying to get my muscles to calm down and stop shaking, but it did not work. Marathon contractions started to pick up around now too and it was a miserable 4 hours from here until I started pushing.
Somewhere in this, I started asking why I wasn’t getting a break between contractions. My husband and I had taken a natural childbirth class and I vaguely remembered learning about double peak contractions in class and was thinking it had something to do with malposition so when I heard “posterior” mentioned, I immediately got in the bed in the exaggerated side lying position we had been taught in class. I couldn’t stay in this position long since lying down seemed to make my contractions worse, but the midwife came in to check on me and said this was her favorite position for posterior babies. I was so proud! Sometime around this time, she must have flipped because she was anterior at delivery.
Around 4-5 a.m.-ish, I felt like I was falling behind my contractions and I started getting really upset. Between the shaking and the marathon contractions, I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath and I went to the midwife crying because I still wasn’t in transition and I didn’t think I had the energy to get through transition and pushing. But apparently I had missed the memo – this was transition!
An hour later, I was beyond miserable. My body was screaming to push with every contraction but my brain was telling me not to. There was so much pressure that I was basically hanging from the squatting bar with each contraction because it was the only motion that felt mildly productive and it felt like that’s what my body wanted me to do.
Afterward, I told my husband I felt like Mankey in Pokemon Snap, if you played the game, you get the reference :).
After being stuck at 9cm for two hours, close to 16 hours into labor, my fears of not having the energy to push resurfaced. J asked if I wanted to think about having them break my bag of water, but I really hadn’t wanted to so I asked if I could get back in the tub to see if I could gain some control and get ahead of the contractions. I had zero relief in the tub though, flipping side to side since lying still was miserable. Nothing seemed to help so I didn’t stay in the water for very long. It was decision time.