I've been thinking a lot about my past birth experiences, and what I'd like for this next one. I'll be fifteen weeks pregnant on Friday, and am flat out shocked at how FAST this pregnancy is whipping past me.
Jessica was four days late. I had an ultrasound scheduled for the morning she was born at 10:00, and started having contractions at 6:28. I remember the time specifically because it woke me up :-). I called my sister in law to ask her what these really odd back pains were, because it wasn't like any kind of contraction I had read about. She patiently told me that I was obviously having back labor. I sat in my little rocking chair for the next two hours, writing down every contraction and how long it lasted. It was snowing that morning, and by the time I got Marc up and we drove to the hospital, it was snowing a lot harder. I got my ultrasound, everything looked fine, and they admitted me. Looking back now, I really loved my birth experience with Jess. It hurt, oh my God, it hurt, and I was vomiting with the pain and so scared - but it was beautiful at the same time. I knew I was so close to this thing that I had wanted for so long, and it was quiet and calm with the blizzard raging outside. My mother, thank goodness, was right beside me, coaching me thru breathing. Marc was there, but I really remember my mom. I got the epidural around two-ish, and after that, I got to sleep for a bit. My regular OB wasn't there, so I had a total stranger as my doctor. I got to nine centimeters with no problems, and then stalled out. Jessie started showing signs of distress, and we decided to do a C-section. She was born at 6:32 p.m. I had a little trouble after surgery, couldn't stop shaking, then my blood pressure dropped, and I passed out. Having no memory of it, I can't tell you much about that part of the day - but my mother still gets teary eyed talking about it. Thru the whole experience - I remember the feeling of her hands on my head. Once I woke up, Jess latched on right away, and it was magical and beautiful and amazing.
With my Samilicious - he was six days early. I had gone into the hospital for a routine visit, and was mildly concerned because he didn't seem to be moving as much as I wanted. I went down for an ultrasound, and while I was waiting, I felt my first contraction. Back labor. Again. They were really mild, so I wasn't too worried, especially where Jess had been late, it just didn't occur to me that I was actually going to go into labor. Marc had met me down at the hospital, and I had my Jess right there too. The ultrasound looked fine, and on the elevator ride down from my doctor's office, my water broke. MORTIFYING. Absolutely mortifying. I waddled to the bathroom to check (on what I don't know, I was soaking wet) and called upstairs (my OB's office is at the hospital). The receptionist told me to come back upstairs, so up five floors in the elevator, soaking wet pants, three year old by the hand, only to be met at the door and told that clearly, my water had broken and I should go BACK DOWNSTAIRS to labor and delivery.
My cousin Becky came with her mother, and her mother took Jessie home with her. Labor was great - the contractions were mild, and I was so happy to have gone a little early (July is not a good month to be pregnant in for me). I was apparently a little TOO happy, as my doctor suggested pitocin to get things moving. And moving they were - I went from not too bad at all to OH MY GOD - THIS IS GOING TO KILL ME. I didn't want to rush into the epidural (why?? I don't know) so when the nurse suggested a narcotic, I went with that. That did nothing for the pain, but did make me so confused and disoriented, I couldn't open my eyes and everything hurt and it was awful... I waited another two hours, just laying there and moaning. Becky and Marc were both there with me, but I remember just feeling so alone and hurt and scared. I finally got the epidural - and while they were putting it in, I had sent Becky and Marc to go grab something to eat. Figuring that I'd get a little rest after the epidural - I was only six centimeters dilated at that point. But once the epidural was in, the nurse checked me and I was ten centimeters and she told me to start pushing.
I don't know about most people, and am not sure if this is normal for back labor, but I had no desire to push, no driving biological urge. My contractions were manifesting as massive leg and hip cramps. It was terrifying, my husband and cousin were having dinner, I had no idea how to push, why they thought it was a good idea... it was awful. He was out in twenty minutes, so I must have done something right, but mostly, I think he just burrowed his way out on his own, I had nothing to do with it. That being said, they delivered him right up onto my stomach, and I got to nurse him right away - and that, that was magical.
So what do I want to do this time? I'm definitely going for VBAC, because the recovery time is so much better. And I'm seriously going to start wearing major pads when I'm 38 weeks, just in case. I want to labor at home for a lot longer this time - because I was at the hospital when my water broke, it all started faster than I think it needed to. I'm going to avoid pitocin at all cost - that stuff was horrible - and if I get pain relief, it's going to be straight epidural. But I'm also reading as much as I can about labor and child birth, specifically back labor and how it's different. Twenty five weeks to go!