I was 40 weeks 3 days and dying to have the baby!!! I had actually just hurt my ankle a few days prior and was feeling pretty down because I was anxious about my ability to birth naturally with a twisted ankle. I went to see Dr. Manger Tuesday, October 13th, and she adjusted me and did pressure points. Well, it definitely worked! I went to bed Tuesday night and stayed up all night with the usual heartburn. 👿 By 3am Wednesday, October 14th, I started to have tummy/back cramps which I had been getting for a couple weeks but by 5am they were more intense.
I woke my husband up and I started pacing the house telling him I think this was labor and to get the car packed. Then, I got in the tub and soaked for a while listening to my hypnobabies but the contractions did not subside after getting out so I called my doula Katy Soong. At that point it was 6:45 am. My contractions were about 5 mins apart lasting 45 seconds for about an hour. I asked Katy to come over and she arrived around 8:00 am along with her partner Kayla Mundt. I was so relieved when they arrived! They immediately made me feel so comfortable and at peace! For some reason I wanted NOTHING to do with my husband. I did want him in the room near me, but I did not want him touching me, poor guy! He was so sweet though and was helping with everything! We tried some maneuvers to get the baby to flip because Katy suspected he was posterior due to the horrible back pain I was experiencing. Unfortunately I could not do the moves for long because of my ankle, and I felt like I was going to tire myself out. We decided to try some side lying in the bedroom and Katy let me breathe in the oil Release which really helped relax me. I pretty much breathed that oil in the rest of my labor! I'm now OBSESSED with it and highly reccomend it for labor!
By 11 am contractions had been 3 minutes apart lasting 1.15 minutes for an hour and I began to vomit. Katy made the call that it was time to leave. We got in the car and I was side lying in the back seat with Katy rubbing my back the entire ride.
We arrived at the front of Touro at 12:00 pm. I remember crawling out of the back seat and checking my underwear at the front door of the hospital (real classy I know 😝😫) and I saw my mucus plug had come out. FINALLY!!! I was waiting for that thing for what seems like a century! We got checked in at triage and found out I was 6 cm!!! "What a relief," I thought, "I can DO THIS!!!!" They did not have a tub room open :( so we got a regular room and I did more side lying in the bed and sitting on my birth ball. I tried squatting but it was too painful. I then spent most of time in the shower swaying back and forth with Katy and Kayla spraying the water on my back and front. The contractions were really intense at this point and I really had to focus through them. I was repeating my hypnobabies scripts over and over in my head while moaning. I think I did about every suggestion in Ina May's books to get through them which all worked wonders! My main coping technique was moaning down, "hiiiiiiii hooooo," over and over and also singing.
At 2:00 pm I asked to get checked and I was 8.5-9 cm and Dr. Perret said my water had broken. Everyone kept saying he would be here so soon!!!! I was extremely exhausted but kept on moving along. We continued with exercises. I did some more side lying, hands and knees, shower, standing, leaning, rocking, swaying, etc. I had to be moving the entire time and wanted silence between contractions. Anytime my mother or husband spoke I hushed them. lol I feel so bad looking back but they didn't mind and we laugh at it now. 😬
They checked me again (not sure what time) and I was still a 9-9.5 the nurse said 😫 which was very discouraging. I had labored for almost 15 hours and stayed at a 9 the last five hours. I began asking for pain medication around 6:30pm. They were suggesting I switch to the now open tub room but Dr. Perret thought it best as well to get the epidural because of baby position and size because she suspected he would be a big baby and that I would have a long pushing stage. I just could not deal with the back labor anymore. It was debilitating and I was so fatigued from no sleep the night before that I don't think I would have made it through pushing without getting it. I got the epidural around 7:30pm with Katy in the room with me. I was so scared! She was an amazing comfort and I just looked in her eyes and she calmed me to where I was able to stay completely still while it was placed. "This girl knows what she is doing," I thought! She really helped me center myself each time I felt anxious.
At 8:15pm my water broke naturally (apparently I had a fore bag and hind bag) and meconium was present. I began pushing at 8:30pm and pushed past a cervical lip at 9.5 cm. Dr. Perret was great. She has a very straightforward demeanor which I love and she helped me through each contraction. She told me his heart rate was dropping to the low 80s during pushing, but if in between contractions I could breathe in the oxygen and get it back into the 1-teens I could keep laboring but if not we would be looking at a cesarean. She kept saying "slow and steady wins the race Jess," which for some reason really kept me going each push.
Finally at 11:04pm after 2.5 hours of pushing my baby boy was born!!!! Griffin James Russell. 9 lbs 7 oz big boy!!!!! He was crying like crazy and he sounded great and the meconium did not get into his lungs. Praise The Lord 🙏. He was placed directly on my chest for the next 2 hours and he cried and cried and cried! Poor baby was probably exhausted too. Unfortunately I had a 4th degree tear 👎 which I am recovering from at home but I'm already feeling great a week after his birth! I'm just taking it easy with my amazing Husband and Mother taking care of me. I wouldn't change a thing with my birth and I really enjoyed the entire experience. The amount of power our bodies have is just amazing and it was so spiritual to feel what my body is capable of ! I can't thank my team enough and I can not wait to have another baby! 😃😃 Thank you so much to my husband, mother, Dr. Perret, and my awesome doulas Katy and Kayla!!! I couldn't not have done it without all of y'all's support 😘