If you haven’t already, checkout Part 1 to get an understanding of my prayers and hopes for my Son’s birth and any future births.
At my last Doctor’s appointment, I was in the middle of my 39th week, 4-5 cm dilated, plug starting to dislodge and cervix beginning to thin out. The doctor said my cervix felt mature like that of a woman who had given birth before. I attributed it to drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea and taking Evening Primrose Oil. I can go into benefits of both in a separate post. So, I was excited and ready to get the show on the road! Three days before my due date, I had early labor symptoms. From about 1:30 am to 5:30 am, I had contractions on average 5-7 minutes apart. Living only 10 minutes from the hospital, I decided I wanted to wait until they were about 3 minutes apart before trying to leave. I set up in my living room, rubbed essential oils, bounced and stretched on my birth ball, my Labor and Delivery (L&D) playlist going, lights low, and my birth affirmations in front of me. I can say it was more uncomfortable with lots of pressure and tightening than it was pain. I knew for sure it was contractions, and they had a rhythm. They tapered off around 5:30 am and I went to bed. I was glad I waited it out, because I didn’t want to be turned away at the hospital. Or even worse in my mind, be admitted, stall and then “need” a whole bunch of interventions. Also, I had asked God that when it was time to go, let my water break, so that I knew for sure, this was it!
The night before my due date, my mom had already come into town and she, my husband and I watched a movie then went to bed. I posted this on my Instagram, I was so excited!
I asked Sam how he wanted to be woken up if my water broke. He said, calmly. Okay I can do that! Well, 1:45 am I woke up to a POP that felt like a kick, but I knew it wasn’t the baby. Then a couple seconds later I felt some leakage and then a gush. I push Sam to wake him up and not so calmly told him “I think my water broke”. Then I tried to roll out of bed quickly because I was freaked out that I was going to flood the entire mattress. It is SO hard to get out of the bed quickly when you’re that pregnant! So, yeah sorry again Babe for not gently waking you up. I go to the bathroom to check and we call the Hospital and they told us to come on in. My amniotic fluid was clear so we weren’t in a crazy rush to get to the hospital. Plus, I wasn’t in pain, and the hospital was only 10 minutes away. I went to my Mom’s room to wake her up, and calmly told her my water broke and that we were taking our time to get ready. I went back to my room, changed clothes, and did my brows. Even that was on my prayer list; if you know me you already understand hahaha. On our way out, I made sure we grabbed the Redbox we watched, because I was not going to pay any late fees! So we dropped the Redbox off on the way, and headed to the hospital.
It was about 3 am when we made it to the hospital, so no valet and I didn’t want to be dropped off without Sam. We parked in the garage on like the 4th floor, not realizing we had to go back down to the first floor to get to the right elevator. We even passed a Hospital employee who was pushing a long line of wheelchairs. We didn’t even think to ask him if we could borrow one. I clearly remember telling Samson, “Ok it would be great if you would come before lunch time, so Mommy can eat!” I just knew I couldn’t go hours and hours without eating. I have to eat, I’m ALWAYS hungry and I didn’t want to be a starving hangry Mom meeting her baby for the first time, lol!
By that time, with all that walking, the contractions were starting up. They felt like menstrual cramps and I would stop walking when they came and then start again once it stopped. The Nurse said, I was doing really good, which made me feel great! I was able to still carry conversation, answer a million questions, smile and take a selfie. While in Triage I was already 5 cm dilated. The Nurses were shocked at how well I was doing and told me if I continued like this I might not need an Epidural. Yes!! We get wheeled into the L&D room, the lights are dim and we start unpacking things and getting comfortable. Had my oils, put on my headphones and started to get in the zone. By this time the contractions were getting stronger. I just kept my eyes closed and listened to the music. At one point my Mom was reading the monitor and said, “Ok, Desirae another one is coming, it’s coming, it’s coming”. I just kept my eyes closed and I think I put my finger to my mouth and shh’d her, saying, “I don’t want to hear about another contraction coming”. In my mind I was like I need to focus, I feel it, I don’t need a reminder and I don’t want no one talking. After that everyone stayed pretty quiet. The rest of this is kind of blurry to me.
As much as I wanted worship music on my playlist, I made the mistake of putting on a song that has sentimental meaning and takes me “in”, touches my soul, makes me cry, wanna just lay on the floor. That song for me was “Always” by Danielle Munizzi. When that song came on, I was humming it, tried to sing along and then I think I started crying while singing. I ripped those headphones out my ear! So I lost my groove, focus, and the contractions got stronger and stronger. I asked for Nubain, an IV drug to take the edge off. They checked me again and I was 6 cm dilated. It worked to take the edge off and the pain became manageable again. Even though I wasn’t pain free, I did have relief, could focus, and moved into the “zone”. My next dose was due a couple hours later around 8 am and it definitely started to wear off by then. By that time the pain was so strong, and I didn’t know how far along I was. I started asking for the Epidural. I wanted to sit up, then I wanted to get on the birth ball, then I was moving side to side saying “I’m so hungry, I’m so tired”. I was loosing my ability to focus. It felt like forever and I kept saying, “Did y’all hear me? I want the Epidural”. The Nurse finally came back in to check and see if I had progressed. I was 10 cm and too far along to get the Epidural. Blessing in disguise, because I soon started to feel the urge to push. The Nurses started prepping the room and told me to wait. Um, yeah right! I felt like he was coming and it felt better to push. So, I started secretly pushing a little bit. At some point I was given Oxygen I think because of my blood pressure, however Samson’s heart rate and stats remained steady.
My mom was supposed to step out at that point, because I originally just wanted Sam and I. However, we could NOT have done it without her. Thankfully, she stayed calm and was an excellent coach with the Nurses. She also kept my cup close to my head so I could sip water in between contractions and pushing. Sam was able to focus just on me as a strong, yet quiet comforter. We had a rhythm. Sit up, push through contraction, lay back, sip water, relax, then do it again. Once the Doctor got there, it was the on call Doctor and honestly, she was AMAZING!! Patient, calm, steady! She worked on stretching the opening, to ease Samson out, to minimize tearing. She let the Nurses help me try different birth positions. I was so against having to lay flat on my back the whole time, it did not feel good at all. I knew some gravity would help as well. The best position ended up being the Tug of War; sitting up in a reclined position with the Nurse and Mother pulling on opposite ends of the a knotted sheet/rope during contractions. I also had the mirror up top. I didn’t think I would want one, but it helped to see the progress. There was also a Paramedic student in the room. I tell you, when you’re in that moment, all dignity goes out the window. The President could’ve been in there and I could care less, I just needed that baby out! So with the Nubain worn off and after 2 hours of pushing (felt like 30 minutes), Samson Cole was born, with eyes bright and wide open, crying, ton of hair, chunky and perfect! 11:19 am right before lunch like I asked him! We were able to do the immediate skin to skin, and I sang to him a song I made up during pregnancy about him. He looked right into my eyes. Then when Sam came around after cutting his cord, he said, “Hey Buddy” and Samson turned his head and looked up at Sam… no lie! We were all like, wait did you see that!?
I was able to continue holding him while the Doctor delivered the Placenta. I remember thinking or saying, “I thought they said the pain goes right away!” Oh my gosh! The way she had to push down on my stomach, Lord have mercy! I was just holding on tight to Samson and for the first time trying not to cry. I think there are a couple pictures of me looking like, what the heck!? They did a quick eval while I held him and I was able to nurse and he latched well. When they told me he weighed 8 lbs I couldn’t believe it! I, Desirae, pushed out an 8 lb baby, my first baby, all natural? I instantly became my own Shero. To this day, I often think, if I could go through L&D natural I can do anything!! If I can handle the pain of childbirth I can handle any pain. My pain tolerance just went up several notches! Even when breastfeeding started out with the extreme toe curling type of pain, I kept telling myself- you made it through childbirth, you can do this! There was a moment while pushing that I about came undone, and I started to scream and my Mom told me to “Stop, just blah blah blah”…and I did. So, that proved to me a lot of it is in the way you think. I had more control than I realized.
So in the end, no I did not end up with my pain free, water birth in the birth center. We never even gave them my typed up birth plan! Yet, it was the perfect birth experience for me and no one can take that away from me. I am so proud of that day, I grew so much more confidence in my abilities. Becoming a Mother is seriously one of the biggest, best accomplishments I have in my life. I am so honored, blessed and eternally grateful for the opportunity to be that little boy’s Mommy. I love him with everything in me and more! I still feel like I had the Supernatural Childbirth, because it all worked out in my favor. That experience was a testament for me of God’s grace and mercy, even through our Plan B, C or D. It all still worked out for the best in the end and I wouldn’t change one thing. Samson and I made it through safe and that’s what was most important. God knew what we needed and how we needed it. For my first birth, it was perfect for me.