Clementine | August 8, 2018 | 1:58 am | 8.9 lbs | 21”
Tuesday, August 7
6:00 am- I woke with mild cramps. Excitement poured over me as I thought, “This could be it!” I was 40 weeks and 5 days. I had an appointment for fetal monitoring and an ultrasound to check the health of the placenta- completely routine as I was past my due date. Results were normal and I decided to have Kim, one of my midwives check my cervix for dilation for the first time. 2 centimeters! Ha!
Little do you know before giving birth, you can read every internet article, every book, everyone else’s birth story but you will NEVER know what birth is like until you actually experience it.
8:00 pm- My contractions were strengthening and becoming closer together. I called my doctor’s office for some assurance. The on-call provider was Dr. Adams. She said if I thought I needed to go to the hospital, then go for it. I had a huge fear of giving birth at home but also didn’t want to go in prematurely.
8:30 pm- We got to the hospital.
I was checked by the hospital OB and was still only 2 cm dilated. How? At this point I was kicking myself. I thought I shouldn’t have gone in so soon. I was terrified of not progressing fast enough and being persuaded into an induction- basically all I could think about. I felt my contractions getting stronger every minute. My mom, sister and niece arrived soon after, around 9:30 pm or so.
10:30 pm- I thought I was terrifying my almost two year old niece, so my sister took her home.
For the next 2.5 hours, I did everything I could think of to get through the contractions. Sat on the floor of the shower, bounced on my ball… The only thing that really got me through, was knowing that a contraction does in fact come to an end. Getting through each one was so incredibly difficult at that point. I remember bouncing on my ball, having just thrown up, saying to my mom, “I think I need an epidural. I don’t think I can do this any longer.”
“You’ve made it this far- just wait and get checked again,” my mom told me. I had moved to the bed and was laying on my side, crying through the contractions and thought there was no way in hell I could move to my back for the nurse to check me.
Wednesday, August 8
1:00 am- I rustled the strength to roll to my back and the nurse said I was 8 cm! As I was lying there, I could feel the baby descending. It felt like I was about to have the largest bowel movement of my life. I kept saying “SHE’S COMING OUT!” The hospital calls Dr. Adams to come in.
1:30 am- My nurse has the on-call hospital OB paged because baby was making her way.
1:45 am- She was really coming out. Ever heard of the “fetal ejection reflex?” It’s real. Dr. Adams rushed in minutes before the baby’s head was born. Relief- I thought it was over. Dr. Adams said, “Ok, you need to push her shoulders out.” I was exhausted. It felt I was emerging from a car accident. I thought my work was done. It wasn’t. I had no idea how but I mustered up the strength for one push. Her shoulders and body were out.
1:58 am- The moment I had been waiting for my entire life. Clementine was born. Every emotion you think will rush over you, does. The most out of body experience on the planet. The female body is absolutely phenomenal!
The next few hours were a complete blur. I have a whole new respect for women who have experienced childbirth, especially unmedicated birth. I’m not sure I could ever do it again. I can say, my husband loves me more now than he ever did. I also feel like there is nothing I can’t do since giving birth.