By 5:30, the pain was so bad that I really began to doubt my ability to have a drug-free birth, as I had planned. The showers weren't helping. I couldn't stand to be touched or talked to. The good news was that by now I was completely dilated and effaced.
At that point the doctor arrived and the pushing began, with all present urging me on. I had always thought that the cheerleading would be unnecessary, but at times I was so out of it that I could not tell when a contraction was happening!
It wasn't too long until crowning, and with a brief timeout to unwrap the cord from around our baby's head, our first son, Joseph, was born at 6:42 a.m., weighing five pounds, six ounces. For our second baby, Brian, the doctor had to turn him and use forceps, but at 6:57, he too was born, weighing five pounds, two ounces.
Am I glad I had a natural birth? Yes. Making it through gave me a real feeling of empowerment. If I could handle that, I can handle anything!
Lamaze Childbirth Educator Response
I'm in awe of your confidence, in yourself and in birth, as you moved through prodomal labor at home. Carbo-loading, hot showers, backrubs -- you trusted that when the time was right, labor would kick in big time.
Your confidence was also impressive as you went about convincing the nurse that you needed to walk and move and rock and be in the shower on all fours and not hooked up to the monitor continuously. Your story rings out the news that birth is active. And oh, the importance of simple pleasures like brushing your teeth!