Editor’s note: We believe that all birth stories and all birth experiences matter. This post is part of an ongoing series of birth stories submitted by readers and fellow bloggers, featuring a diverse range of women and their birth experiences. This is Vikki’s story, an unmedicated hospital birth that might have been a car birth if the hospital had been just a little farther away. If you would like to share your own birth story, please visit this post to learn how. ~Olivia
From the day I heard my due date, I had a feeling I was going to go beyond it. I don’t know why but I just had this feeling. As my due date approached, I did everything I could think of to get labor started on time – I feared going too late and being induced.
The day after my due date, February 28, 2016 was a Sunday and it started like any other Sunday – your Dad and I went to get coffee down the street and for a walk in the park. I felt you hanging low, but I didn’t think you’d arrive that day. Your dad and I had a very mellow afternoon together – we ate pizza for lunch, made lactation cookies to take to the hospital and relaxed on the couch watching TV.
At about 3:30pm, I felt what I thought was my first contraction. Was that a contraction? I think so, I said to your Father. How was I suppose to know what they feel like! It was an incredible sensation…not painful yet, just a new experience for my body. I was so excited it was happening.
I called your Tutu, my mom. During our 8 minute phone call to let her know the contractions has started, I had 2 of them and she said, oh boy they are coming quick! I agreed, but they were so mild I didn’t think you would arrive until the next day. After I finished on the phone, your Dad and I relaxed as much as we could. At some point I took a shower – I knew it would probably be my last for a while. The water felt amazing and I didn’t want to get out! I also Face Timed with my best friend because she had mentioned wanting to see me in labor. We laughed and both couldn’t believe it was happening. I’ll never forget that call.
I spent the next 2 hours trying to watch TV to distract myself and failed miserably. The contractions were too strong. I was so happy to be home and I got in every position imaginable – on the ball, against the couch, on the floor, in bed. Nothing was comfortable. I breathed through them as best I could – I tried to remember everything we had learned. I moved around the house when I needed a change. We were getting so excited and nervous for your arrival!
Contractions are hard to explain. Because I never had pain medication, I felt each one fully with my whole body. They are so powerful, I couldn’t open my eyes, I couldn’t speak…all I could do was feel. I tried to stay present in each moment and relax when I could. Each contraction was longer and more intense then its predecessor.
About 6:30pm. I was in a good deal of pain and couldn’t believe how quickly the contractions were coming – about 2-3 minutes apart. Our doula didn’t think I would be in active labor this quickly and assured us we still had hours to go. However, I felt such an intense amount of pain and pressure that I told the doula I didn’t think I could manage it anymore. That was her signal we were getting close.
About 7pm, I went to try to go to the bathroom and found a lot of blood. We realized then we had to go to the hospital. Your dad and I suddenly got very nervous and quickly decided to hurry out the door – the faster we could get there, the faster we would be safe in the hospital setting.
But fast doesn’t work when you are in labor….I was barely able to walk at this point, so we slowly walked to the car and I had two contractions down the hallway. I got in the car and Dad rolled all the windows down as I was so hot and sweating profusely. We arrived to the hospital at 7:28pm – it was just about a 10 minute drive, thank goodness! When we arrived, Dad ran inside and let everyone know and soon came a bunch of nurses and the emergency room doctors. They put me on a gurney and quickly raced me up to labor and delivery – I knew you were ready to arrive!
Luckily my doctor was already on the phone with the nurses when we arrived, so before we knew it, she was on her way too – this entire time we had forgotten to call her! We got up to the labor room and I hung on for 15 more minutes while I waited for the doctor to arrive. The pain was excruciating!
Before I knew it, Dr Yamaguchi had arrived, put on her scrubs and checked me. I was 10 cm and ready to push! There was no time for pain relief, an IV drip, or even to check in to the hospital! Though pushing felt like a relief at that point, the pain was almost unbearable. I kept crying and saying, I can’t do this! The doctor and nurses looked at me and said, but you are doing it! I was doing it! Everything was burning and then just like that, 3 pushes later, you arrived!
You were plopped on my chest and I couldn’t even fathom what had happened. You were officially born at 7:58pm, only 4 ½ hours after labor had started and 30 minutes after we had arrived at the hospital.
It was the sweetest moment of my life and I could hardly believe you were here. I was in utter shock and totally in love. You were the most gorgeous thing I had ever seen! We laughed and breathed in the moment while my body finished contracting. Your cord continued to pulse and Daddy cut it once it was done. We cuddled, you ate, I ate and we smiled. And just like that, a piece of my heart was free to move around outside my body.