It’s already been a week since our sweet Ruby girl came into this world 11 days late. Last week at this time I felt overcooked, exhausted, so emotional and done being pregnant. Induction wasn’t what I had planned but it seemed like our best option as my doctor didn’t want me to go past 41 weeks pregnant. I on the other hand wanted one of those natural peaceful childbirths that appear calm with a touch of “bad ass I-am-woman-hear-me-roar” sort of vibes…. well I definitely got the roar part down.
So here is how it all happened in the way it was meant to be.
We drove down the freeway in the middle of the day on July 23rd, driving the speed limit in no real rush, happy to be skipping peak traffic hours. We had waited 10 days past my due date for labor to begin on its own, but it just seemed like our baby girl was happy to stay put for a while longer. My doctor didn’t feel comfortable letting me go on being pregnant any longer and honestly I was okay with that. I was so ready to meet our baby girl. Sam and I talked about how weird it was to be driving to the hospital to have a baby while not in labor. I was calm but still a little nervous about induction. The last time I was induced was 6 years ago when we had our oldest at 36 weeks and that was because of a placenta abruption so things were very uncertain and scary. Labor and delivery is a unique experience every time so I took comfort in knowing that this time would be different and that the choice to induce was the right choice.
Part of me (a very small part) was sad that my body didn’t go into labor naturally like somehow it didn’t know how to do it this time and then another part of me (the much bigger part) was happy to know that we would be starting a new chapter in our life holding a healthy baby soon.
Once we received our room at the hospital we got situated and met the midwife who checked my cervix and told me I was at a 4.5! Woohoo I thought this will be easy. At 7:00pm I started getting 1 drop of pitocin an hour and quickly worked up to 14 drops an hour until my water broke at 2:30am. Before I go on I need to explain that this time around although nervous for the unknown I was much calmer and had the best support system with a doula named Annely Allen (thebumpcoach.com), Sam and my mother.
Annely made our hospital room smell like a sanctuary with essential oils. I held a peppermint scented washcloth that helped keep nausea at bay and she helped me remain comfortable during those early labor contractions. Even though I was laboring on pitocin I was able to rest a bit and sleep during some contractions while we rotated my body hugging a peanut ball in-between my legs to help open up my hips for birth. I can not recommend the assistance of a doula enough.
On July 24th at 2:30am my water broke and immediately I felt a ton of pressure and my contractions became very painful. I had my doula, mother, and husband Sam pressing into my legs to relieve some of the pain. I endured about 4-5 of these intensely painful contractions and after my nurse checked me and said my cervix was at a 6 I felt like giving up. I cried and said I can’t do anymore and that I wanted an epidural.
The anesthesiologist came after what felt like forever. I had endured almost 4 more huge contractions while boisterously asking, “where the heck is the anesthesiologist!” No really I was the woman you do not want to hear while checking in but seriously there was no quieting me down at this point. I had to choose one person to stay with me so I chose my doula and my mom and Sam left the room. At this point mentally I was fearing the contractions and pain and Annely was the one I trusted most to get me though it…after all she’s the birthing professional.
The next few moments were animalistic in nature. I assumed the epidural stance on the bed and held as still as I could waiting for the sweet numbing relief to wash over my lower half but it never came. Instead I held onto my doula through grunts and groans, trying to remain still. After several attempts to get the epidural in place we called it off since the anesthesiologist said my back was too tight. I’d never been told that in my previous births (I’m pretty sure I was cursing her in my mind), but things moved so fast during Ruby’s labor that I didn’t know I was in transition at this point.
Transition is the shortest but most intense part of labor. I have felt it before but only under the influence of an epidural. I had no idea that my nausea, fear, pain and irrational thoughts meant my baby was ready to come. I assumed I had hours left of hard labor but my cervix opened from a 6-10 in probably 30 minutes. Those moments of transition felt unbearable mostly because of the need to hold still for the anesthesiologist… I was relieved when she stopped trying because then I could do what my body wanted to do and that was push my baby out!
My doula noticed my symptoms of transition and said to my nurse “glove up” this baby is coming. My nurse looked quite frightened at this thought since they were the only two people in the room. Sam and my mom were no where to be found and at the moment I could care less if I was the one to pull her out. I saw the season 2 finale of Handmaid’s Tale ha ha!
I laid back down on the bed and over the course of just minutes my husband, mom and the midwife ran into the room and Ruby was born. Sam said he could see her head crowning when he came back into the room and he wanted to remember our last birth so he grabbed the camera and shot some pretty incredible photos. My mom held my hand, my doula grabbed my leg and I don’t even remember really pushing I just felt her arrival. She was finally here. I didn’t cry at her birth like I thought I would. I tear up now writing about it because I’m so happy to be through with that journey and so proud of myself and my body for what it accomplished. I did something I never thought I could do.
In complete honesty natural childbirth isn’t for everyone and if this was my first child I’m not sure if I could do it again this way. But the pain was temporary and my recovery has been a lot smoother.
I’m the mom that will always tell you you are a bad a$$ however you give birth or become a mother: c-section, epidural, surrogacy, adoption, unmedicated….it’s all a miracle and you are amazing mama!
Ruby weighed 8 lbs 5.5 oz and was 21 inches long. We struggled finding a name for her for quite some time and then Ruby came to us and it felt right… Jean was my grandmother’s middle name and we loved how it fit with her gem of a first name. We are so blessed to have completed our family on July 24th 2018 with our sweet girl Ruby Jean Powers.