Thursday, March 1, 2012


I was already 4 days past my "due" date when the contractions... er *pressure waves* started. I had prepared for my VBAC by learning hypnosis for childbirth, and was convinced my *birthing time* would be relatively quick and easy. I listened to a very sweet woman's voice on my hypnosis tracks ensuring me I would have a fast easy comfortable birthing time, so I was really looking forward to it. Fast, easy. Comfortable.
No matter how much you convince yourself a normal healthy pregnancy can go to 42 weeks, the clock really starts ticking once you hit that due date, and since I wanted to have a VBAC, not another cesarean, I was well aware that my chances decreased with each day past that due date.
I was getting a little neurotic, a little panicked that maybe, as much as my pregnancy was totally normal, there might be something wrong with me where actually, my body would NEVER go into labor- er, have a *birthing time*. Thats a little like what happened with Akiva, my water broke but then... nothing happened. So this seemed like a possibility. I might be pregnant. For. Ever.
So when I had pressure waves at night I was very excited and boy did they seem easy- even comfortable! I guess I really had hypnotized myself! Until they stopped in the morning, and nothing happened for the rest of the day.
So, frustrated, feeling huge, feeling very hormonally emotional, feeling like my body had played that "psych!" game, I called my amazing doula, Mandy, who brought me another hypnosis CD called "Baby Come Out", or "come out baby" or something like this. And again, in the middle of the night after listening to that nice woman on the cd, I had some more contractions!- sorry- *pressure waves* which culminated in a sort of popping sensation and something like what I thought could totally be my water breaking! wasn't.
This was OK, because at least something was HAPPENING, and at least I wasn't even 41 weeks yet, and I was very excited anyways that my pressure waves were so easy and comfortable. Even when they had started to not be so comfortable, I felt like actually, it was just pressure, a big hug, as that nice woman in my hypnosis liked to say. I was very excited for my totally natural unmedicated easy birthing time, even after hours and hours if it was looking like it wasn't going to be *fast*.
I'll spare you any description of the hours spent all day listening to my hypnosis tracks, doing my best to stay comfortable, or how my when my water did actually break, it was about 10 feet outside of my OB's office, so I had to walk into a waiting room with my massive, overdue belly and sopping wet pants, grimacing through my *pressure waves* terrifying a newly pregnant couple who was waiting there for the last appointment of the day.
NOTE: if you are in labor and your water hasn't broken, don't leave the house without a fresh pair of pants. Obvious, right? Not to me. Yes, I had to sit in wet pants in the car the whole way home...
I finally checked into the hospital late that evening, after about 10 hours of contractions, and I wasn't at all close to having the baby. It was really, in all honesty, no where near comfortable anymore. It was agonizing. I might have been able to see 8 hours, even 10 hours of this as comfortable, but when I was looking at 20+ hours this was going to turn uncomfortable at some point. Really uncomfortable. Fucking insane, actually. And it did. I had a much welcomed epidural, and after about a total of 20 hours of contractions, my birthing time was no longer fast, it wasn't easy, but with some drugs that I felt totally guilty taking, it was finally comfortable.
My OB suggested turning the drugs off so I could push, and this seemed like the right thing to do, but it since I ended up pushing for 3 and a half HOURS this was easier said than done. I have heard stories of women pushing for 3 and a half minutes. Of babies seemingly falling out of their bodies while in a taxi or the shower. I knew that my chances of having that happen were slim, but I did not expect to spike a fever, have the baby's heart rate skyrocket, and have the head of labor and delivery march into my hospital room to pull the plug on my whole VBAC. Well, actually, my amazing OB fought for me. And I began to ignore the nurse who was counting ONE TWO THREE FOUR....! as I pushed, but I actually DID like my OB yelling things like "you're so strong! that's it!" and I would ask Mandy if she thought I could push the head out with the next push- and she always said "yes!" Like, 20 times. And sweet Matt's gentle voice quietly telling me I was amazing...finally the head of labor and delivery who came in to tell me I needed another c-section left, and I did push Saskia out, and it was one of the weirdest and most intense things I could ever imagine.
I reached down and put my hands under two tiny armpits and pulled her to me, huge cheeks bright red, her little eyes darting about, my sweet love.
Welcome to the world Saskia.

*** I do still maintain that hypnosis for childbirth is absolutely worthwhile and one of the best things I could have done to prepare for having my baby. I strongly encourage women to have drug free births, the fever I spiked was most likely a result of the epidural and if it wasn't for my outstanding OB literally arguing against the hospital, that epidural would have directly resulted in another c-section for me. VBACs have their own issues, and my hypnosis did help me tremendously!***