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How Long Were You In Labor?

My expected delivery date was April 29,2019. I was told by two different doctors that my baby boy was going to be two different sizes but they both said that he was going to be pretty long. Around April 25th, I believe that is the exact date but I don't remember for sure, I got my membrane scrapped. Let me just say that it wasn't the most pleasant thing in the world but I didn't want to get induced. Just to brag about my OB really quick, she didn't bring up induction

until I did. Now I think about it it may have been the 26th because that night my boyfriend and I had sex and I started contracting very lightly the next morning.

Prior to that morning, I never experienced contractions, not even Braxton Hicks. So I started moving around a lot, doing circles and figure 8's on my ball. The contractions were consistent and me being an eagered first time mom I figured it was time to go to the hospital. I got checked in and was measuring very close

to 4cm but after walking up and down the hall for an hour my contractions didn't change at all so they sent me home.

Once I got back home I got busy, walking around and kept bouncing on my ball. Around 9 close to 10 that night it was time for action. Thinking back on it my boyfriend was a hilarious character during the process of putting the bags in the car and leaving. He was a nervous reck that shouldn't have been behind the

wheel of any moving vehicle, but we made it there safely.

After being to the triage for the second time that day I was finally checked in measuring at 4 almost 5 centimeters dilated. By the time I got to the labor and delivery room I was at 6cm. During my pregnancy my boyfriend and I took a natural labor and delivery class that was offered at the hospital. And to be completely honest I don't think I would have had an unmedicated birth. The biggest thing I learned from that class was to breathe through my contractions. Never hold your breath, it makes the pain worse and takes oxygen away from the baby.

Secondly I was told to find a rythm. We watched a couple of labor and delivery videos showing different ways that women coped with the pain. Some women hummed and others wanted complete silence but there was one that tapped her hand. During class I thought it was so strange but interesting and surprisingly, my self conscious held on to it and I ended up doing it as well to help with my contractions. Lastly I learned that in order to get your baby out the smoothest way possible, it is best to move.

Now being at 6cm if I remember correctly, the pain was still pretty bearable so I told myself that it was time to move. But as soon as I got up, not even standing up fully, I vomited and peed at the same time. It scared the absolute hell out of me because I didn't vomit once during my pregnancy. My boyfriend thought that my water broke but that wasn't the case at all, it was still fully in tack. After that experience I was terrified to move. I didn't leave the bed the rest of the time that I labored.

So after laying in bed, breathing and tapping through the contractions of back labor for a couple more hours, I was finally at 8cm. I was so exhausted that in between contractions I was falling asleep and I don't know how with them being back to back. There were a couple of times that I fell into a deep sleep so fast that I forgot I was in labor and yelled out of fear and pain because the contraction woke me out of my sleep.

After being at 8cm for about an hour and a half the doctor advised that it was time to break my water to speed up the process. That just caused more pain and about after 30 minutes of the laughing gas giving me no relief, I was begging for epidural. Thankfully for my great support system, my mother and boyfriend and my nurse advising me that by the time the epidural actually kicks in, I would be ready to push. I decided to continue without medication. Being stuck at 8cm for 3 hours total, someone had the idea of putting the peanut ball between my legs and rotate sides every 30 min. After doing both sides I was finally at 10cm.

When they say you will know when to push, that is no joke. It literally felt like I had to take the biggest poop of my life but thankfully it was my baby finally ready to come out. Unfortunately because of laboring for so long with no food, no bathroom breaks and very little water, my energy was nonexistent. After another hour totaling 21, at 7:54 am I had pushed out my 8lb 3oz and 22inch baby boy. I was so tired and in such a shock after my son was out I didn't even cry. All I did was repeatedly say "I had a baby! I had a baby!" It wasn't fully explained but I think because of how long I was pushing my son swallowed a good amount of amniotic fluid and a little got into his lungs, but they were able to suction it out so he didn't have to go to the NICU. I did tear but I wasn't told what degree and it wasn’t no where near as hard to push out my placenta as I thought it would be.

I am sharing this story with you because one, I don't want to forget important details but also because I don't want to scare women away from having an unmedicated birth. Your body was literally designed to carry and deliver a baby(ies). Some may need a little help with the pain and decide to go with an epidural. Some may need more help and not quiet able to push baby out so they get a C-section. And sadly, no matter how bad some women want to naturally bare a child, that isn't always God's plan, but there Is always a child wanting/needing you as bad as you want/need them.

Now being a doula and thinking back over my birth story I see how bad I needed a doula myself. But I am happy that I didn't because I may not be the doula I am today. I can't wait to share with you what I would have done if I was my own doula. We will talk again soon. Feel

free to share your thoughts and similarities.

Much love,

Nala your Thriving Doula

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