I gave birth to Jet on a Friday afternoon, my contractions started on Wednesday evening. I began feeling a kind of tingling feeling down below similar to a light cramp before getting your period. I started timing them and they varied from 15 to 20 to 30 minutes apart. Obviously, there was not a consistent pattern but I knew this was the start of my labor. I went to bed and those feelings did not cause an issue while sleeping.
The next day I did not feel contractions in the morning but they sure picked up in the evening. I was over my aunt’s home for Thanksgiving dinner and whenever a contraction would come along I would get on my knees, bend over placing my elbows and head on the seat breathing slowly, stating my positive affirmations in my head while PJ rubbed my lower back. The contractions were very manageable. I was still eating, and having a great time with my family in between contractions. I thought I would be able to sleep when we arrived home but … that did not happen. Little did I know I was not going to sleep in a long time and I was not going to have a full night’s rest in months.
It was uncomfortable to sit up, and to lay down so instead I went into my tub to relax. Time was a blur from this point on until the nurse stated the time Jet was born for the record so I have no idea how long I spent in the tub. I had the shower on for the most part to have the water pressure press on my back. When I felt that the contractions were closer in time I had PJ time them. Once we picked up the pattern that the contractions lasted about 60 seconds and the contractions were 3 to 4 minutes apart we started the countdown. The plan was if this pattern continued for an entire hour then we would leave to the hospital. Sure enough, the pattern continued and I was out of the tub, changing, and ready to head to the hospital.
Since it was our first time experiencing this we thought we were going to the hospital, I was going to get checked, and sent home. I really did not think I was far along. I had that thought because I was not in any kind of pain. The contractions were a bit uncomfortable but there was no pain. In between contractions I would act normal. I would smile, laugh, and talk to PJ. I got the feeling the hospital staff did not view me as a priority because I was so calm. We waited a while for a room to become available. To push through the contractions, I would walk. Walking helped tremendously when I no longer had a tub at my disposal. Once I was checked, to our surprise I was 7cm dilated! PJ and I were in utter shock.
We could not believe I had made it through most of my labor. We were thrilled because we knew the time to meet our son was sooner than we anticipated. The hospital staff began to prep the IV’s but I chose not to have any which they respected without any questions. I asked for a hep-lock in case of an emergency there was easy access to my vein. Everyone I met and worked with were all amazing at meeting all my birth plan needs. I am super thankful I did not have any trouble with that so I could solely focus on me and my baby.
We made it to the delivery room and once my water broke, the contractions got more intense. They were not painful but the pressure became sharper. I needed PJ to rub my back every contraction now. During these kinds of contractions, I used an eye mask to block my vision and to truly focus on my breathing and affirmations instead of being caught up with the distractions of a hospital environment. The eye mask worked wonders. If I could suggest one thing to take in your hospital bag it would absolutely be an eye mask.
After sometime I finally got the urge to push. I used a squat bar to push the whole time. I was literally nodding off in between pushes when I got the chance to rest because my body was apparently exhausted. I doubt this will make sense but I honestly was not tired, my body would just fall asleep in between each push! It was an odd experience. The nurse told us it was normal.
Once Jet and I made it far enough where the nurse had to call the doctor that is when things got real. Very real. Maybe too real for me? Time sped up the second the doctor entered the room. My doctor told me to push, I did, and Jet was out. I could not believe it. I thought it was going to take a longer time but I only needed one more push and just like that the beautiful, tiny person we created was on my chest.
To have Jet on my chest for the first time was an experience I hope I never forget. I immediately felt like his mother. I know that may sound silly so let me explain. I had this vision of meeting him for the first time and being cautious. I thought I would be scared to hold him because he would be so fragile. However, once he was on my chest everything felt so normal, so right, it felt like I have known this child for years. I was no longer afraid. Instantly I felt an attachment to him that is difficult to describe. Within seconds, and without thinking I knew I would kill or be killed for this baby. It is an insane sense of love that comes over your body. I found a new definition, a new level of love the day our son was born.
I also found a new level of strength. I feel so empowered after giving birth naturally. I feel like I can do absolutely anything in the world. That experience showed me how powerful my mind is. It was all a mental game. From the start I used positive affirmations and slow breathing techniques and I promise you the experience was not painful. I say that Jet’s birthday is the day my life started because everything done prior to his delivery is gone. That Mary, that person is forever entirely different with his birth and I could not be happier. My mentality, my perspective, and my life choices have all changed because of our little boy. I will be forever thankful for my mother bringing me into the world, PJ’s mother for bringing him into the world, and PJ for being my partner throughout this journey. Best day ever.
I would love to read any of your questions or delivery stories! Delivery stories sincerely bring me joy!
Please note: My choice to deliver my son in the manner which I did by no way means one way to deliver is better than another. So long as baby and mommy are healthy, that is an amazing delivery story to me. My only intent is to share with you the drug-free birth experience that I was blessed to have.