Bodhi’s Birth Story
by his mom, Katherine
by the doula, Teresa
On the morning of July 24th, I woke up for another bathroom run. It was still dark outside and thought nothing of it as I crawled back into bed. I wasn’t due for another four days, and as this was to be my first child, I figured I would make it to 40 weeks and maybe beyond.
She told me later things started around 7am.
About an hour later, I woke with what felt like menstrual cramps, a sensation that I had blissfully forgotten. It faded away, but a while later, I was woken up again. This stop and start lasted for about two hours. The sun had risen, while I rocked myself to ease the cramps. I decided to wake DH. He started timing the cramps on a handy smartphone app he had downloaded a few days before. The timing was weird and irregular – not anything like what we had been told to watch for, so I chalked it up to very strong Braxton Hicks. Well, after another hour, I wasn’t so sure.
At 11am they called me. I suggested it may be early labor. Keep busy, hydrated, try the tub and rest when you need to.
We called our doula, who recommended we stay vigilant for next few hours, but that it could be labor. We soon called our midwife, who gave us similar advice. I decided to get in the tub and turn on the water jets. The cramps eased, but soon were replaced by what I now know were contractions. The intensity grew quite dramatically and I started implementing some of the pain management techniques that DH and I had learned in our Birthing from Within class. But it wasn’t long before I looked at DH and said it’s time to call the midwife and tell her we’re on the way to the hospital.
She had taken Guina’s Birthing from Within Immersion series.
As soon as I got out of the tub and tried to dress, the contractions hit me like truck. I could barely talk through them and I had to stop moving to ride them out. It became a race to see how much I could accomplish between each hit. Kneeling at the sink, can I make it to closet and put on that dress? Waddle to the closet, slide the dress on, stop, here it comes, lean into the wall. God***n it… ok, I can make it down the stairs if I go right now. Whew! Ok, maybe I can make it to the couch. No, damn it, here it comes, lean into another wall. Where is DH!? Ok there are my flip-flops, by the door, get them on and get into the garage… hurry go, go, go! Collapse into DH, as he’s holding the car door open, need to get into the back seat and kneel.
She called me to tell me to head to meet them at 12:40pm.
The swaying of our SUV helped, plus DH was a bit panicked so I focused on him and the drive. It took my mind off the contractions. We took the long route to the emergency room entrance by accident, DH cursing up a storm. I wanted to laugh, but sort of muffled chuckled instead. We arrived and I was swiftly placed in a weird wheeled chair, but not an actual wheel chair. The wheels were rickety like an old shopping cart, but sweet, sweet, Jesus, the rough vibrations were a salve to my ever-widening cervix. I should have told him to take me on a tour of the whole hospital – it felt so good.
Once I was dropped off in the L&D room, my birth plan went out the window. A very pleasant nurse handed me a gown, to which I rudely responded, “no I’m not going to wear that,” followed by a start of a contraction, which was then followed by “f*ck it, give it to me.” However, based on the numerous pictures taken, I apparently decided being completely naked was the new birth plan.
At this point, I entered a hazy state, where I only existed in two forms, pain and sleep. Soon the room was filled with the hustle and bustle of nurses, my midwife and doula. The rubber tub was inflated and filled with water. I had arrived at the hospital at 5 cm. What?! You mean I labored all on my own to 5cm? Really? I did that? Ok, now give me a drug. I need a BREAK!!
An exam at 1:24pm showed she was already dilated to 5cm.
I arrived 1:30pm to meet them in room 11.
Anjli, her midwife arrived at 1:40pm.
My awesome doula, supportive DH and attentive midwife all tried to talk me down. Ah, poor innocents, they hadn’t figured out that I had made up my mind and the whisper of the word epidural had already started to take form in the shattering fragments of my weakening will.
A second exam was given by Anjli because I felt Katherine was moving along faster than she would be expected to be.
Anjli found her to be dilated to 7cm with a bulging bag.
And although we tried to encourage her to try the tub first- she resisted and instead at 2:05pm she received some Fetanyl.
Kat, a wonderful woman is our nurse. She begins to fill the tub at 2:30pm.
They relented and I was given a mild, short lasting narcotic. And I slept. I’m sure you’ve had dreams where you find yourself falling… well that’s what it felt like as soon as the narcotic wore off – a massive shock to my system as the next contraction hit. How did they become so strong? I tried to activate my mind to help survive each one. They guided me to the water, in which my water finally broke.