I officially became a mother of two on January 13, 2018 at 5:30 PM!
Emmanuel decided to join us nearly three weeks earlier than expected. My water broke at 3:30 AM. No contractions AT ALL. The doctor said I was 3 CM dilated then, and transitioned to 4 CM after three to four hours.
He was taking his sweet time!
I felt some contractions, but they weren’t as strong as I anticipated at 4 CM dilation. The whole experience was a deviation from when I gave birth to our oldest (contractions beginning day before the birth; water broke the next day, when the contractions were closer together; fully dilated two to three hours after water broke). I was eventually given Pitocin, and, thankfully this time around, I received epidural.
When we reached the final phase of labor and delivery, the doctor ordered to stop administering the epidural. According to her, I wasn’t pushing effectively; I needed to appreciate the contractions more, so I can push properly. I started panicking. I knew how those contractions felt at 10 CM dilation and fully effaced from when I gave birth to our oldest. Thankfully, my husband and I knew this time around what we can do to make it through that phase. We didn’t attend birthing classes (nor did we for our oldest), but I found this Youtube channel called Prenatal Yoga Center which discussed tips on how to make it through labor & delivery. Two things I learned: (1) Open throat, open vagina, and (2) 4 breaths in, and 4 breaths out.
My husband knew about the breathing technique (I told him about it). He was very instrumental in helping me focus on the breathing technique when they stopped administering the epidural. He was very supportive, and proactive as well in letting my nurse know how I was feeling, and asking the necessary questions I couldn’t ask during that time. I also have to acknowledge my nurse at that time (whose name I can’t remember now!) for suggesting ways to help the baby along. She repositioned me to allow Emmanuel to descend on his own, with the help of the contractions (which meant no pushing to allow myself to rest!). She was also the one who suggested I lie on my left side while pushing, which proved to be very effective.
My medical team was about to recommend a C-section (because of failure to descend), when I suddenly felt something like a massive constipated poop after pushing while lying on my left side, with my knees together. I knew it was Emmanuel. My body’s instinct was to lift my right leg to allow the baby through, and I told Ed I could feel his head coming out. Ed immediately told my nurse what he saw, which surprised her, coz she was already preparing the forms to do the C-section! She immediately called the rest of the medical team. Two minutes after the doctors came in, and following the “stop pushing!” order, I heard a flopping sound, and then the distinct crying of a baby at exactly 5:30 PM.
I instantly felt this rush of (surprisingly) relaxation! I never expected to feel that way after VBAC. It was a very humbling and empowering experience all at once. Minutes after Emmanuel was out, I couldn’t describe and remember exactly how painful the contractions were, and how I struggled through them. To this day, I’m still in awe of what my body can endure.
So there it is! That’s Emmanuel’s birth story. It’s completely different from Isla’s, and I think their personalities are as different as it can be as well! I’m really looking forward to getting to know this little boy while watching him grow.