In October of 2011, I found out I was pregnant. It came very much of a surprise to us but we were incredibly excited. Dion was apprehensive at first since we were not married. However, he had planned on asking me to marry him in June of 2012. So, we decided to get married right away at the courthouse. We wanted to make sure our little girl was born into a family with a married mommy and daddy.The first few weeks I had nausea but disappeared once I hit the 13 week mark. I continued to exercise and ran between 40-50 miles a week. I had to stop running for about a month due to some pain in my calf but continued to exercise on the elliptical until the pain went away. Then, I was back on the treadmill again. Everything had been pretty ‘boring’ and uneventful until I hit the 31 week mark. I went into preterm labor and stayed in the hospital for a few days so they could monitor me and the baby. They gave me steroid shots to help the babies lungs and prescribed me nefidipine to help control the contractions. I was put on bedrest until 36 weeks. Once I was released, I went back to exercising everyday.
By the time I reached 37-38 weeks I was starting to get eager to meet my little one and was feeling really agitated about people asking me why I haven’t had the baby yet (definitely not something a 9 months pregnant woman wants to hear!).
Then, on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 7:45AM, the day before Noémi’s due date, I was walking to our bedroom to get my phone when all of sudden I felt and heard a pop. My water broke! I called everyone to let them know I was having the baby. At that time I was jumping up and down incredibly excited that I would soon be holding my baby in my arms. My contractions hadn’t started yet so I felt great and totally ready. My husband came home and we made sure my bag was fully packed and headed to hospital.
In my birth plan, I decided that I did not want an epidural or any pain medication but I wanted to keep the option open if I really wanted it. So, on the way to the hospital, I told Dion that if I said “Zephyr” (the name of our dog) 3 times that meant I REALLY needed the epidural.
By the time we made it to the hospital my contractions started and I needed a wheelchair to be taken inside. Dion did not want to risk my falling or not being able to stand on our way in.
We got checked in and was excited to see my favorite midwife! She was wonderful at every check up and encouraged me to continue my natural approach to childbirth. I had requested a water birth with no interventions such as an IV, continuous monitoring, or pain medication. I really wanted to feel childbirth as people had hundreds of years ago – as natural as possible. When I came in the door she told me she had lit a birthing candle for me the night before because she thought I was ready for birth and wanted to be the midwife on staff to deliver the baby.
Once I made it to our birthing room my contractions slowly started to get more intense to the point I started covering my face so my husband could not see my agony. My midwife gave me the option of being checked to see how dilated I was so I decided to wait until I was ready to get in the tub. Around 12AM, my husband and I walked around the hospital to get things moving and then after I would be checked and get in the bathtub. She checked me after our walking around and I was at 5cm. I was halfway there!!
We got in the bathtub and the midwife told me they were going to fill up the birthing tub and I could move when it it was filled. I was in the tub feeling some incredibly strong contractions and about 20 minutes in I asked her to check me again because I felt like I needed to push. She checked me and I was at 9cm. In only 20 minutes, I went from 5-9cm! She told me to do whatever felt natural for me and if I felt like I needed to push I could. In between contractions, Dion and I talked and even laughed a little bit in which my midwife told me we were doing great working as a team. Most people don’t laugh while they are in labor!
A few minutes later, I got out of the tub and was told we had no time to get in the birthing tub because I was too far along to make it. I had to push on the birthing bed. It was about 1PM when we moved to the bed. The next contractions were so intense I felt like my body was going to rip apart. Even though I told Dion I wouldn’t scream, I couldn’t help but scream into the pillow. The pain was so intense. At one point the nurse told me that my sister was here and asked if I wanted her to come in. I told her that I needed her and to send her in. She stood at my head and talked to me in between contractions. I can’t remember all we talked about but she said I said some pretty strange things.
At some point my midwife left the room (at the time I thought it was my nurse) and asked the nurse to tell her when the baby had moved farther down. The only thing I could think of was, “NO!! How much longer?! She can’t be leaving!!” I was getting really exhausted from the pressure pulsing through my body. Finally, the midwife told me that she was crowning and to feel her head. That was the strangest feeling in my life – I was watching my baby come out of my body. When I saw her head, I started pushing like crazy because it burned so much! Noémi’s heart rate was getting very slow during the contractions so my midwife kept telling me to push harder. We needed to get her out now! Finally, I had one super strong contraction and I pushed her out completely. Her hand came out with her head and it looked like she waving at us. haha!
The cord was wrapped around her neck so it had to be cut right away instead of letting it pulse for 2+ minutes as I had requested in my birth plan. NICU was called in right away when she was pulled out because her heart rate was so low for awhile but in the end she was fine.
She was washed off and laid on my chest. Noémi was so calm and looking around taking in her new world. She was so beautiful!
Even though I didn’t get the waterbirth that I wanted, I couldn’t have asked for a better delivery. My midwife was AMAZING and I had two of my best support systems – my husband and my sister (I would have had my mom there but since the labor was so short she missed the birth by an hour).
My labor started at 8AM and ended at 2:53PM – only 7 hours. It was intense and incredibly painful but worth every moment. Noémi Sophia weighed 6lbs 2 ounces and was 18 inches long – my little jelly bean.
btw…I didn’t say “Zephyr” once!