How we got IshaqHow we got Ishaq
The contractions started just after dinner. While cleaning up, I held onto the counter or back of a chair and paused until the cramping feeling passed. I watched the clock and saw the contractions were about 16 minutes apart. Then I spoke with my doula, who told me to count the time between contractions and the duration of the contractions. In this time, it felt as if the contractions slowed down and decreased in strength.
As I got ready for bed the contractions increased again and I felt restless. Hugging a pillow with my arms and knees, I laid in bed on my side, squeezing each contraction into the pillow. Between them, I focused on breathing, keeping it steady and calm. During the contractions, I tried to go with the flow, feel the intensity increase, then release. When laying in the bed become uncomfortable, I got into the tub. Relaxing in the warm water, I almost fell asleep. Until the next contraction came.
It felt like a good long time between contractions although it was actually only 10 minutes. The resting felt good. After some time, I felt I couldn’t get comfortable in the tub anymore so I got up and walked around before getting back into bed. Lying on my side
We labored like this until I was too focused on myself to pay attention to anything else. The tightening feeling and pain seemed longer and stronger, but not necessarily sharper. My husband was relaxed and happy which helped me concentrate. Then he told me my contractions were only 3 minutes apart and we would have to get dressed to go to the hospital.
Now I was barely able to concentrate the job of putting on my socks and grabbing my bag. The contractions took all my energy and attention. In fact, at this point I became really irritable. Little things bugged me, like the bumps on my socks. Finally at 3:30 AM we were standing outside on the porch waiting for my doula to arrive. Standing in the cold night I was distracted and it felt as if the contractions were less painful.
The next stretch was the most unbearable period during the whole labor. With the hospital at least 15 minutes away on the freeway, the drive seemed interminable. I couldn’t sit on my bottom so I tried to prop myself up using the armrests.
When we walked into the delivery room, they were ready for us. The midwife was the one who had reviewed my birth plan with me the day before and the staff was standing by. I drank some water. When a contraction came, I grabbed the table and leaned into it with my shoulder over my arms. A nurse suggested I try holding onto my husband and rocking back and forth, first putting weight on one foot then the other. It seemed to be a better position. Then my water broke onto the floor. Immediately the staff asked me to get on the bed. They got the squat bar for me because I didn’t want to lie in bed. I began climbing into bed. Once I got on all fours however, I couldn’t move. I had read about the all fours position for giving birth and felt more comfortable in this position than how I imagined it would be grabbing the squat bar in front of a roomful of people. So I asked the midwife if I could stay on all fours. She agreed and I relaxed. Then I felt like pushing so I asked if I could. They told me to wait a little bit. So I exhaled through my mouth on every breath to resist the urge to push. Finally they gave me the ‘go’ and I held my breath and pushed. Pushing was hard because the pain was sharp. After a few breaths I felt the baby’s head coming out and then the body. Somehow I got on my back and laid down on the bed. Someone handed me the little newborn and I held him all squishy and slimy on my chest and nursed him a little bit. I didn’t recognize this little man that laid in my arms, yet he belonged there. Now, I was ready to go home.