If you haven’t already read it, be sure to catch up by reading Part 1.
Since I was stuck at 7cm, I had to make a decision. The recommendation was that I have my water broken. It was important to me to have a natural labor and to minimize interventions, so I was not thrilled with this idea. There were so many thoughts going through my overtired brain. I was concerned that having my water broken would make the labor more intense, and I didn’t know if I could handle more intense. In fact I was wondering if I should consider an epidural instead so I could get some SLEEP! My family kindly reminded that we did eventually need to get the baby out, and if it got more intense because the labor was progressing that was a good thing. I was also remembering that there is usually a 24 hour window after your water breaks to have the baby, but I concluded that it shouldn’t be a problem since I had already been in labor for about 24 hours. So I finally decided to take everyone’s recommendation and have my water broken. I trusted the opinion of my family and the nurses. The nurses had been fabulous and even hand-picked the nurse to take over when their shift ended. I was blown away by how they went out of their way to make sure that I had the birth experience I wanted.
So the on call doctor came in to break my water. I had him wait until I finished a contraction to try to make the process as smooth as possible. The procedure didn’t take long, and it didn’t hurt (although later I did discover he slightly scratched the top of my son’s head). All of a sudden I could feel the warm water flowing out, and that’s when it got crazy!! I stood up and headed to the bathroom, and water seemed to be pouring out of me as nausea got the best of me (apparently there was food in what I would have assumed was an empty stomach at this point). It wasn’t pretty– and let’s just say we were glad we didn’t have to clean up that bathroom. Since I was a mess anyway, it seemed like a good time to try out the shower. It had a bench to sit on, and the warm water felt amazing. Remember how I mentioned I didn’t have a good sense of time during labor? I thought I was in the shower for about 15 minutes, but my husband told me later I was in it for over an hour!
Shortly after I came out of the shower something changed, and I told the nurse that she needed to have the doctor come in because I was getting ready to have the baby. Sure enough, she checked me and I was at 9 1/2 cm! She called the doctor (the one who was on call for my doctor because it was after 10:00 at night) and told her to hurry. I was continuing to breathe through the contractions as I waited for the doctor. When she arrived she instructed me on how to push. For some reason it was difficult for me to transition from the breathing I had been doing all along to the breathing for pushing, which is more breath holding than breathing. The discomfort had become pretty intense at this point, but fortunately the actual pushing part didn’t take long– maybe 15 minutes.
It was a weird experience. I could actually feel Parker wiggling around trying to get out. Then he came shooting out all at once, and I looked down and there was my baby! I couldn’t believe it! They gave him to me right away, and Clint cut the cord. I was exhausted and being stitched up (I had a tear- second degree I believe), but holding my baby boy for the first time made it easy to tune all of that out. He was crying, so I was trying to soothe him, but the nurses actually discouraged me because apparently the crying helps clear out the lungs. Oh, and he pooped on me multiple times… ah, welcome to motherhood Jennifer. After a little while I offered him my breast, and he started nursing right away, which was wonderful.