I felt pretty dang good for most of the laboring, until things started to pick up a few hours later. I got checked sometime again... probably around 2 pm? I was then at an 8, and I felt a little discouraged. Cervical checks are great sometimes, but then they can be frustrating as well.
Around 2:30 pm (?), I started feeling a little nauseous and contractions started hurting a lot more. I was still getting breaks, but during them it was pretty intense and I couldn't concentrate on much else. Luckily, I had four marvelous women and a great husband surrounding me in the birthing tub, rubbing my back, squeezing my hips, and massaging my hands and head. I don't recall who was doing what at any given moment or how long they were around, but I do remember Charla's awesome back massages and Austin's reassuring words. Analiesa arrived sometime around this time, and I forgot to mention Melissa but she was there from the beginning! When Ani arrived, she immediately got down on my level and helped me keep my moaning low and deep, to help open my cervix and conserve my energy. Melissa helped in the tub for a while, then moved on and took amazing care of Atticus during the remainder of the birth. I remember her going over there and looking up and she was feeding him snacks and he started laughing at whatever show he was watching. It was a really tender moment and it helped me get through the next contraction knowing he was being well taken care of and he wasn't being traumatized by being there (something I only kind of was worried about).
|Atticus woke up from his nap and wanted to see the action. He wasn't impressed.|
|This is pretty much what I did through every contraction... leaned against the side of the tub and dropped my head down. It really helped me focus.|
|Listening to "Birth Day Affirmations"|
In addition to having my amazing female-powered doula-ing support group, Tim was (of course) a great birthing partner. He didn't hesitate to hop right in the tub when I asked him to. Being able to lean on him really steadied me as I moved into transition (or as Hypnobabies calls it.... transformation)
I felt really peaceful and calm during this time, though everything was getting super intense. I just remember diving into myself and letting each contraction roll over me like a wave. I had read something in "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" in the days before the birth that talked about a laboring woman going under the contractions, like how you go under a wave or it will push you over and you will flounder trying to get back up to the surface. That is how it felt, as long as I concentrated and dove deep, I was able to handle things without feeling overwhelmed.