Sunday the 24th I woke up around midnight to some mild cramping. Briss came to bed around 2 am and I told him that my body was probably getting ready for labor in the next few hours or day. I could not fall back asleep though so I got up around 3:30 am. I cleaned the house and watched some Buffy before I fell back asleep. I was awakened at 7:30 by a painful contraction. I told Briss and said I think we should go to the mall and walk around so I’m not just sitting at home waiting. As a family of 3, we walked the mall for almost 2 hours with my contractions picking up to every 30-45 minutes. We went home and Kaellyn took a nap and I got a half hour nap as well.
Around 4:30 my contractions were about 7 minutes apart and 30-45 seconds long. But I felt fine in between them. So I didn’t know what to do. They want you at the hospital if you have 5 contractions in an hour lasting one minute long about 5 minutes apart. I wasn’t there yet but with how quickly things went with Kaellyn I started to get nervous. I called my friend Brittany who suggested I stay home for another hour and monitor them. I then called my mom who suggested I try to rest. I tried to lie down but it made the contractions unbearable. I could not be on my back because it triggered my sciatica and made my back and uterus feel sharp, stabbing pains. So I sat on the exercise ball and on my hands and knees rocking during the contractions and it felt amazing. While I was on my hands and knees Kaellyn crawled through and announced, “Mommy tunnel” it was hilarious and had Briss and I laughing for several minutes.
I decided to drop Kaellyn off for the night just so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting her to the house on time. So I said goodnight to my only daughter at 7 pm. Briss was hungry so we drove around looking for food and he decided on Arbys. The car ride was pretty miserable with the contractions and I just wanted to walk around. We had some trouble with the hospital and parking and checking in but we finally got it. I got checked in at 7:49 pm. They gave me a bed and waited for the doctor.
The doctor checks me and says that my waters have not broken yet and I’m 4 centimeters dilated. I was devastated. It was only going to get so much worse and I wasn’t even halfway there yet and I’d been having contractions all day. I felt so defeated and wanted to leave to finish laboring at home. Of course, they wouldn’t allow that. Instead, they gave me a nice labor room with a labor ball, a labor tub and a nice view. All that stuff would’ve been great if I could use it. Instead, they stuck an IV in me, a blood pressure cuff on my other arm, and 2 tight cords around my belly for my heart rate and baby’s heart rate. I also had a monitor inserted inside me in case they needed a 2nd reading. It was awful. I needed to walk and move and labor and instead I was weighed down and strapped to several machines. I could only pace next to the bed while pulling the IV and 2 other monitors. I felt like the Ghost of Marley weighing me down. I wanted to rip everything off and labor naturally. But of course I couldn’t. The doctor came in and asked if she could break my water to hurry things along. I agreed because I wanted things to progress quickly.
After my water was broken the belly monitor moved and the baby’s heart rate dropped just a bit. My main nurse Brittlee made me get in bed and lay down. It was the most awful feeling ever. If I thought laying down earlier hurt this was a million times worse. My sciatica flared up and left my right leg unable to move and the pressure from my belly on my spine was unbearable. If I couldn’t lay down on my back while pregnant why did they think I could do it in active labor? I was in such misery and uncomfortable it’s no wonder her heart rate dropped she was uncomfortable too. Brittlee couldn’t get the heart rate up so another nurse came in and checked it and said it was low but steady and therefore nothing to worry about. She also said I could get up and move. It was heavenly.
I sat on the ball and Briss rubbed my back which was wonderful. Having a soft, loving touch made me relax and calm down a bit. After a while I got tired of sitting on the ball and was in a lot of pain. I also started to get frightened of birth and thinking I could not do it. I asked about pain management. I didn’t want an epidural but I knew there was something else she had mentioned. Brittlee explained what it was and it sounded horrible. I asked Briss what he thought and he said, “you don’t need it, you’re doing fine” and that was the encouragement I needed. If he thought I was handling it okay then I knew I could do it. So I took deep breaths and rocked on all 4’s on the bed.
As each contraction became more intense and I became more frightened of childbirth I said a prayer. I told God to “tell Brielle that it was time to come into this world and the she is welcomed and loved.” The next contraction came and I just repeated, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” several times over. I opened my eyes and saw my bracelet that said, “do or do not, there is no try” and then I knew it was time. All of this happened within seconds of starting the prayer.
The doctor arrived and Brittlee said I needed to get on my back. I told her, “I can’t” and she replied with, “well you have to”. I wanted to kick her! She did not understand that I felt that if I moved I would die. And that is not an understatement. I heard Briss in the background say, “yes you can” and once I heard his clear, confident voice I knew I could get on my back. I found my way onto my back and through sheer determination to get out of the pain I pushed and Brielle was brought into this world. They laid her straight on my chest and I was able to rub the vernix into her skin. After a while they took her to get her stats. She was
Brielle Victoria Miller
Sunday February 24th 2013
Born at 9:38 pm
6 pounds 12 ounces
19.5 inches in length
13 inches in head circumference
She doesn’t have as much dark hair as Kaellyn but what hair she does have is dark. She’s a perfect little newborn and I’m so relieved that childbirth is behind me. I’m also so grateful to have been able to have 2 all natural births with very easy recoveries.