more on Chris’s birth —
So then we knew we were staying. Roger sacked out on the pull-out couch and napped for the earlier part of my labor, during which I was able to sit in the rocker for a while, recording some things in my baby book, and walk to the nursery and look at the new babies. This was after being monitored for about 1 1/2 hours on the monitor. His heart rate stayed between 110 and 170 the whole time, which is normal. My contraction numbers were about 15-25 no contraction – up from there to about 80 – mild to severe contraction. They left me off the monitor for a few hours, I believe, during which was when Roger napped the most. I remember when I was in the rocking chair it was about 5:00 a.m. and I was just starting to have to use my first level of Lamaze breathing, and the contractions were from between 2-4 minutes apart.
I believe about 5:30 or so they put me back on the monitor to check everything, and it was shortly after that they examined me and discovered I was either 90-100% effaced – I think it was 90 at this point, and 3 cm dilated. The contractions began getting much stronger at this point gradually, and before they got too severe they took the monitor off and said why don’t I try to get some sleep in between the contractions (!) I thought that was amusing but did try it. the only thing is when the contractions started they sometimes started hard and I wasn’t prepared. They got severe about 7:00, I believe, when I really needed Roger there to hold his hand and have his encouragement. He rubbed my legs and back a lot.
I switched from my left side to my right side a lot since they said switching would help my back. I thought maybe he was face up because my back hurt so bad, but he wasn’t. It’s the strangest pain – it takes all your breath and it’s really true that it takes all your concentration to get through it using the breathing, without panicking. When those kind of pains started, they examined me again, thinking I must be in or close to transition, perhaps, imagine my disappointment when they said I was only at 3cm still. But I was 100% effaced. Roger stayed by me the whole time now (about 6:30 he’d gone down for a bagel with cream cheese) and helped me through, along with a nurse that helped a few times when she came in to check my signs — blood pressure, pulse, baby’s heartbeat, number and size of contractions, et cetera. After probably an hour or so – maybe 8:30? – I started thinking maybe I couldn’t make it without something for the pain. But then I felt a pressure which is a sign that it is probably time to push. Roger called the nurse, who called the doctor, and then he said it was time to push! I was so amazed that I’d gone from 3 cm – 10 cm so fast, and so happy to be able to push, and so scared to push, all at the same time!