Monday, November 9th, 2015, I woke up at 2am with a mild ache in my lower back. I was 3 days past my EDD so I knew labor was imminent. I got up to go to the restroom and afterwards spent some time just walking around my bathroom seeing if maybe I had just slept in the wrong position and just needed to stretch. After 10-15 minutes of walking, I managed to find a comfy position sitting on my birthing ball while resting my head on the side of the bed. At some point during this time my husband, John, rolled over and noticed me awake and asked if I was okay. I told him I thought I was in the beginning stages of early labor and to go ahead and get some rest and that I would wake him if I needed anything. After about 20 minutes, my back was still aching and I had noticed that at points in time, it would get a little stronger, would peak, and then would fade. The second time John rolled over to check on me, I told him that the pain wasn't subsiding and it was getting worse and hard to get in a comfortable position to rest. He suggested that I call my doulas, Katy and Kayla, to give them a heads up and let them know just what I was feeling. I called Katy, and as soon as I mentioned the band of pain in my lower back that would intensify, she mentioned that the baby could be posterior and it was her skull up against my spine/tailbone that was causing the pain. I was exhausted, so she recommended that I try and rest if I could and let her know how things were when I woke up.
I managed to fall asleep and woke up about 8/8:30 am with the ache now much worse than before. When I text Katy, she recommended I do Miles Circuits to try and get baby to flip if she was posterior. John set me up with a bottle of water and the TV remote to get into my first position and made a run to Chick-Fil-A, to grab what would be my last pregnancy craving, (chicken biscuit with American cheese, hashbrowns and an orange juice...and don't forget my CFA sauce!!😉) I tried to relax and settle into the first position and possibly even rest a little more but with each contraction, which were inconsistent at the time, I would cringe with this terrible pain in my lower back.
By the time John made it back with food, I was getting into the second position of the Miles Circuits. Katy was texting me checking in and I updated her letting her know I was attempting to time contractions and that they were around 5-6 minutes apart. The pain was almost exclusive to my lower back.
It's now about noon, and the intensity of my contractions was really picking up. I was beginning to have to focus and breathe through contractions while John was able to assist in squeezing my hips.
The timing now was all over the place. I would have a few 4-5 minutes apart and then go 12 minutes without one. During the times where there were large gaps between, I was able to get some last minute things together for the hospital. I would try to lie down and rest but I was in too much discomfort.
Around 2pm, contractions became more consistent averaging about 4 minutes apart and lasting for around a minute and a half. John was so amazing helping me through each contraction. Katy would text me and ask if it was time to head over but we were working so well together we decided to wait a while longer to have anyone come by. At one point, "Deal or No Deal" came on TV and neither John or I had seen it before but suddenly found ourselves sucked into it. Figuring out how the game worked took my mind off of the contractions (to an extent) and made the time pass. We did some belly sifting, bouncing on the ball, and trying to eat when I felt able to. Between 3:30/4, I attempted to try the Miles Circuits again, but contractions and the back labor became so painful that I couldn't bear being in the position any longer. I was able to do abdominal lifts during contractions for a little while and finally at about 4:30, John made the call to Katy that she and Kayla should head over.
When they arrived, shortly before 5, I was kneeling by the bedside in tears. The pain was so intense and I was beginning to feel there was no end in sight. Katy applied some oils to different spots and I remember Kayla asking if she could pray for me. I just remember crying out to God to give me the strength to keep going.
Contractions now were close enough that we decided we should head to the doctor since we did have the 1 hour drive to Touro. I text my midwife and gave her a heads up we were preparing to leave. She informed me that the tub room where I had planned to attempt water birth was unavailable. I remember thinking, "Well God, I know that this is a part of Your plan and I'm not going to second guess it".
Before we loaded into the car, John and I decided to travel alone and let the girls follow behind us. Katy was able to tie a rebozo around my hips and insert a wooden spoon into the knot so that I could turn it during a contraction to give me the same effect that I had when my husband was squeezing my hips.
This drive was LONG!! I've taken the Causeway to New Orleans many, many times, but this drive felt like it was never going to end! One hour and one wrong turn later, we made it to Touro about 6:30. My plan leading up to this night was to park and walk into L&D to help my body progress. Well, that went out the window and I told John to grab the first wheelchair he could find!!
After about 30-40 minutes in triage and finding out I was 4cm and 80% effaced, we were placed in the L&D room where Katy and Kayla were waiting for me. The time at this point seemed to fly by. I was able to use the shower head with hot water on my back for a while, spent a few contractions leaning against the back of the bed and nothing was helping me. Tisha, my midwife, asked if I would be interested in sterile water injections to try and ease the back labor. After talking with my husband and doulas, I consented. Based on my personal experience, I do not feel that they helped at all, but when talking with my doulas and midwife postpartum, they all felt that I was better managing my contractions. I lost track of time around this point.
It was around 9:30pm I would say when I felt the need to pee, my husband came into the bathroom at this point as I was experiencing another contraction. I was done. I was exhausted. I was ready to cave and was pleading with my husband to agree with me that it was time to get the epidural. I must have said 20+ time "I just want the epidural! I just want to rest". He reminded me of all of the reasons I wanted to birth this baby naturally and that he knew I had it in me but that if I wanted the epidural, all I had to do was give him my "codeword" and for the life of me, I could not look him in the eye and get that word out! Katy came into the bathroom at this point and asked if I wanted my midwife to check and see how I had progressed. I did and so Tisha came in, checked me and I received the news I was hoping for! I was 9cm and complete! Immediately after being checked, I started feeling the need to push.
John and Katy helped move me from the bathroom to the bedside where I was able to get in a position on the birthing stool. I have no recollection of time, it honestly felt like it was 10 minutes between moving to the stool and baby being born but it was more like 45 minutes looking back at photo times. 10 pushes give or take and at 11:15 pm, we welcomed our beautiful Mackenzie Rose Griffitt into the world! She weighed 6lbs 1oz and was 19.25in in length.