When did you realize you were really in labor?
Had pretty consistent contractions 4 minutes apart a minute for 24 hours. During these, I had to brace myself and stop breathing. Went to the hospital, three people had to check my cervix because it couldn’t be reached. The doctor said it wasn’t time and sent me home. They monitored me for an hour, to measure contractions and heartbeats. How do I know when to come in? I waited and until contractions started hurting more. So much so I was just not interested In keeping track on times. Went to the hospital again. Two different people had to check my cervix. Guess what? Only 4cm apart. I almost cried. They monitored me for an hour, contractions and heartbeats. Then I was emitted. So I guess I was in labor.
What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
I didn’t go natural. I tried. I went into the tube, but I the water didn’t seem to help. I think at that point I panicked. I could feel my legs tremble with every contraction. I asked for the epidural, so they wanted to put an IV in me. So I had to lie on my back again. Eeeek! It took an hour and 6 blows in the veins to get the IV in. Once the anesthesiologist came and did his magic, I was quite thankful. But guess what only 5cm dilated. I knew things were slow for me, somethings seemed a bit rushed, but the nurse I spent the majority of time with was an angel.
What was the most helpful thing you did to prepare for childbirth?
Reading this book called “The Birth Partner” by Penny Simkin. Talking to friends and family about their experiences helped me understand that every birth is different.
What surprised you about your birth?
Despite pre-labor/false labor being the worst of it, and being absolutely confused on when active labor would start, it was a very smooth and comfortable experience.
What pain relief strategies worked best?
Breathing, standing, leaning. Extreme pressure at the side of my hips and buttocks would have relieved a lot of pain, but I didn’t have anyone to preform it, before I got the epidural.
How did it feel to hold your baby for the first time?
Surreal, because it’s the most unbelievably amazing and beautiful thing.
What did you name your baby, and why?
Marcos Ulices. It took us till our last day in the hospital to decide. Mark is my father’s name, and Marcos is sort of the Spanish verse, which comes from my husband. Ulices is a really sweet amazing friend of mine. And it was the one name my husband and I were sold on.
What advice can you give to other mamas who want to go natural?
Please try it, go into labor with every intention to try, but don’t beat yourself up if you choose to use an epidural or if other circumstances arise. If we had a second I’m going to try to have a natural birth. They say the second time might be faster and easier. We shall see. Also, I recommend a doula if you go natural.