I have never & will never feel that there is only 1 right way to have a baby. I’ve had 3 children and 3 entirely different births. Each one I was pretty adamant about not having a plan. I really wanted to go with the flow & not let any little thing “ruin” the experience for me.
Of course, you can’t have no birth plan, & with Lily my plan was pretty cut & dry. Give.me.the.drugs. I planned on having a vaginal delivery with an epidural. The thought of a drug free delivery scared the living crap out of me. The wheels fell off quickly with too many people in the room, horribly painful back labor, being talked into pulling her out with forceps, & vomiting repeatedly because of a bad reaction to the epidural. It was fairly traumatic.
Colins birth was a bit better. Certainly a lot less chaotic. I knew what I was getting into so when I asked again for the epidural I was very aware of how sick I became before. Because of the back labor during Lilys delivery, they had given me a bulbous epidural so I thought this time “don’t get too much of the drug & you’ll be a-ok.” So I didn’t, yet I still experienced days worth of nausea. Yay.
So as soon as we found out about baby number 3, I knew I’d be skipping that epidural. My only “plan” was the desire to deliver Myra as natural as possible. Outside of that, I was pretty open to “whatever happens, happens.”
A year ago today was the day. I woke up at 8am. I heard, or maybe felt, sort of a pop in my belly/lower abdomen area. I thought it was Myra just kicking or moving. Regardless, I had to pee so I got up, walked to the bathroom & as I was going to sit down I felt a gush. Yep. My water broke. How lucky it was on the toilet, right?
I called the birthing center to let them know what had happened. It was going to be a waiting game as I hadn’t had any contractions. Lily & Colin were picked up by my mom & Jimmy came home from work. We were basically just staring at each other waiting for something to start. Luckily, when I called in to the birthing center again for my hourly check in, my midwife informed me that I could go into the hospital now & they could put something on my cervix to get these contractions going. I was down like a clown.
We arrived, I received a very painful cervix check & the pill, or whatever, was placed on my cervix. We walked around the maternity floor for a bit & man oh man, those contractions started & became intense very quickly.
My nurse was so sweet and asked if I wanted her to draw a bath to help alleviate some pain. Fairly desperate for pain relief at that point, I agreed. The thought of having to take my clothes off to get in, then dry off once I was done & re-dress sounded terrible. But, again, the pain. So I got in.
Jimmy: “Is it helping?”
Me: “No, it still hurts the same, now I’m just wet.”
I didn’t stay in long before deciding it was stupid & I wanted to get out before the pain became unbearable.
Now at this point I wasn’t really getting much of a break between contractions.
Me: “I’ve changed my mind.”
Me: “I want something for the pain.”
Jimmy: “I think you’ll regret it.”
Me: *glaring at him through the pain of a contraction*
Jimmy: “You said you really wanted to do this naturally. Remember how sick you got after getting an epidural?”
Me: “I’ve decided only an insane person would do this without drugs.”
So I pushed the Call Nurse button. In came my sweet nurse, & I made it clear that I wanted something to take the edge off. I thought there was a long road ahead so I thought maybe I could just get the intro drug or whatever. 🤷🏼♀️ She & Jimmy exchanged glances. Then she reminded me how much I wanted to do this naturally. I lost it.
“ONLY AN INSANE PERSON WOULD DO THIS NATURALLY!”
So she calmly had me lay back so she could check my cervix. I thought that first cervix check was painful, HA!
Nurse: “4 & a half centimeters dilated.”
Me: “Then yes, I want the f***ing drugs.”
I mean, I was in that much pain & I wasn’t even to the half of way mark? Nope. Not happening.
Just then my doula walked in with a smile. She told me the nurse told her the situation & that whatever I wanted to do was perfectly fine & it would all be ok.
I was fairly certain my nurse was taking her sweet time on purpose but I was too exhausted to say anything. She walked in with the drug. My sweet sweet relief was on its way. I wanted it baaaaad.
Suddenly I found myself screaming. I couldn’t control it. I was screaming my ever loving a$$ off. The nurse looked at me and said:
“Michaela, do you feel like you need to push?”
I couldn’t speak, I just stared at her like she was the most annoying person in the entire world.
The other nurse began to check my cervix again & immediately announced:
“She’s at 9 and a half, call the midwife now!”
20mins. That’s how much time passed between 4 and a half & 9 and a half. The funny thing, once I knew I was THAT close, I didn’t want the drug even if I could have had it (which, obviously, I couldn’t.) I was ready to meet my baby girl. The pain was much more tolerable knowing I only had half a centimeter to go.
My midwife came. I pushed and she had me stand up on the bed with this bar & squat so I did. I ripped my IV out by accident without even noticing. Within 20 mins I was holding my gorgeous Myra Mae Tighe in my arms.
It. Was. Awesome.
I was able to stand & walk to the bathroom after. Stand in the shower on my own. On the epidural you are basically unable to use your legs for a good long while after delivery. In the shower I cried & cried peaking out the crack of the door as Jimmy was holding her, rocking side to side & gleaming down at her lovely face. I was so happy.
Whatever happens to you after you give birth, holy crap. That’s a drug I wish could be bottled up & given to my favorite people. I felt as if I had just won the heavyweight championship of the world. For about 3 weeks I was on a high I can’t even explain.
Everyone deserves the birth they want. Each of my babies births were different. In the end, I got the most incredible gift. There is nothing wrong with having a plan & it going completely left. Having your plan be an epidural, natural, water birth, whatever…in the end you get to say “I did this.”
This is my experience & for me, It will always be the coolest thing I’ve ever done.
What a day,
Photos taken by my doula, Hannah