Marlo's Birth Story, part 2

LABOR, 40w3d

Unlike my son's labor, (which took 12 hours at the hospital plus 3 hours of pushing) Marlo came fast. For five weeks, I walked around dilated to 1 cm and only progressed from 50% effaced to 60% effaced. My labor started around 7:30 pm and we got checked into labor & delivery at 11:00 pm. Internal check revealed that I had dilated to 5 cm and I was so glad to hear that but disappointed I wasn't any farther. Aaron and I tried several different positions to get comfortable and the nurse tried to find a vein for the IV bag of fluids. I expressed my wishes to go without, but since my doctor wasn't on call for delivery I had to go by what the on call doctor ordered. Nurses poked and prodded and blew a vein and the dug around other locations and called in reinforcements. Finally they got the port in my left hand and between the pain of needle sticks, a male resident doctor, and my labor slowing down I became discouraged.

I tried dancing with Aaron for a while and it was nice to be out of bed but I was exhausted. I grabbed a pillow and hunched over a bench in the room to sleep between contractions. I stayed there as long as I could - the gravity felt good on my belly, but my knees couldn't handle the concrete floor and then I struggled to get up.

I remember refusing an internal exam from the resident doctor. He had huge hands and the thought of him examining me made me want to close up the labor shop. When he left the room the nurse explained that he needed to assess whether or not the baby and bag of waters were too high to break my water. I didn't care that it was a teaching & learning hospital, I just didn't want to be touched. The on call doctor finally came in and introduced herself, examined me and broke my bag of waters.

I was a loose 6 cm 1:30 am. I immediately went into transition and felt so out of control. My sister had come to check on me during her lunch break and got to witness the chills and vomiting that accompanied the changes my body was preparing for. (I think it might have solidified her stance on never having children!)

At this point, I remember pushing against every contraction. It was my way of applying counter-pressure against the contractions. They had me in bed and lying on my back and I could not get comfortable. I put as much weight as I could on my left hip and swayed back and forth to ease the pain. The nurse sat at my feet and would check me after every couple of contractions. I finally dilated all the way to 10 cm but still had a lip in my cervix, just like I did with Grant.

I remember the "ring of fire" when Grant crowned but once I got past the lip with Marlo, I couldn't stop pushing. The nurse and resident kept telling me to stop pushing but that's an inhumane thing to tell a mama in labor. They frantically paged the doctor and the resident was in place. Baby slipped on out and was caught by the resident as the doctor walked in and gowned up. They placed my beautiful baby on my chest and Daddy got to cut the cord. I kissed her beautiful face, wished her a happy birthday, and named her Marlo - in honor of my grandmother Mary Louise.

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