Zoey Evelyn McCusker
Born August 18, 2009 at 8:29pm
7lbs 6oz, 20 inches long
I first want to say that I feel very blessed because I had a mild pregnancy, a smooth delivery and a very wonderful baby girl. Here is that story...
I went into labor at about midnight on August 18, 2009. Thankfully, I was able to sleep through most of the early labor. When I woke about 7:30am my contractions were about 10-15 minutes apart. I had a doctor's appointment on this day at 11am so I called my doctor at 9am when they opened to let her know I was having contractions. She said to just come in at my appointment time (since it would be within the hour that we would leave anyway because we live 45 minutes from the hospital) and she could check me then.
When I got to the doctor's office I was afraid that it was false labor, even though I was pretty sure it wasn't. They took my vitals and then monitored my contractions. They were about 3-5 minutes apart. My doctor said I could go straight to the hospital or grab something to eat first then go. Since we lived so far away, going back home wasn't an option.
Stephen and I decided to go to Arby's that was across the street. It was mostly so Stephen could get some food in him, I wasn't really hungry. I snacked on some fries and drank some sweet tea.
Then it was time to check into the hospital at not quite 2pm. Thankfully, we completed the pre-registration so this part was easy. The lady we talked to didn't believe I was so far along in labor, she said I was too calm. She also didn't think I would be able to complete the delivery without the help of an epidural. Stephen and I just looked at each other and laughed - she didn't know me very well.
I got to the hospital room and settled in and then it was time to wait. They would take my vitals and put me on the monitors for fifteen minutes every half an hour, other than that I was able to move around freely. I was thankful so I could walk, do squats and sit and do my crosswords. I could not imagine being tied to a bed because of an epidural. In fact even when I was lying with the monitors on my back hurt. I couldn't imagine how bad my back would hurt the next few days if I was sitting that way for hours unable to feel the pain.
By 6pm I had dilated to 4 cm. My doctor was about ready to leave for the day so we decided she would go ahead and break my water, hopefully to help speed up the delivery. It was after this that the contraction became harder. I had to focus more on relaxing and staying calm, but I was still able to accomplish this fairly easy.
It was a steady increase of pain over the next couple of hours, but still mostly bearable. At a little after 7pm the doctor checked me and I was 6 cm dilated. Soon after they said that it usually goes a little faster from this point on and to let them know if I felt the need to push. Not 20 minutes later I felt that need and let them know. At this point, the pain was pretty bad. I was losing my control, which was making the pain worse. However, in hind sight, she was ready to come by this point, so this is not surprising.
The doctor came in and checked me again and I was 9 cm dilated. She said there was still just a sliver left to go. After another few minutes she said I could probably push past it. They got the room set up (which felt like forever) and then it was time for me to push. It seemed fast and slow at the same time because I had to catch my breath to try and push her out.
I pushed past that little sliver left on the first push. It only took about 15 minutes for me to push her out. Over about 4 contractions and 16 or so pushes her head was free. It felt like my pelvic bones were separating, which I suppose they were. It was a lot of pressure and I was screaming to let some of it out. When her head came through it was such a release. I did it!
I heard her cry, but for only a second. Stephen cut the umbilical cord and then they placed her on my chest and I wrapped my arms around her. During this time, Stephen had his arm around me, supporting me, so I leaned back on him, holding our daughter, it was a very wonderful moment. Stephen told me that all I kept saying was "You're finally here Zoey, you're finally here." I vaguely remember it.
I held onto them both as they finished up down there. I tore, but minimally. The doctor said an episiodimy would have been a lot worse. While she was lying on me she pooped-a lot. It was really cute. I'm just thankful she waited til she was on the outside.
Once I was all stitched up, I let go of my baby girl so they could clean her off and weigh her. She weighed 7lbs 6oz, was 20 inches long and had a 13 inch head. They also told me when she came out that her arms were under her head making the 13 inches actually more during birth.
I breastfed her just after that. It was not as difficult as I thought it would be. We mastered it fairly quickly in only about a day.
We could not believe how calm and alert Zoey was. She barely cried at all and she was constantly looking around and at us. We were very proud of our little girl. In addition, I was wide awake too. I did not feel groggy or even tired. I just enjoyed my first moments with my husband and my baby girl. I accredit this, at least somewhat, to my drug-free delivery. I was very happy about it.
I did not regret anything about my labor and delivery. I think it went very smooth. I was in labor for 20 hours. I was mostly asleep through the first 5 hours, I was at the doctor by 11am, I was in the hospital by 2pm, my water was broken at 6pm, I was 6 cm by 7pm, I was pushing by 8:15pm and she was born at 8:29pm.
I also was able to deliver my baby completely naturally and drug-free (no epidural or pain killers). I am very proud about this. I used hypnobirthing techniques to prepare myself. Mainly, it was about displacing any fear, staying calm, and breathing deeply.
I was able to keep the pain bearable until the last hour or so. Once they checked my cervix when I started a contraction and my back tensed up and caused me lots of pain. I screamed then and couldn't stop. At that point, my control broke, but she was ready to come so with all the commotion at that point, even that pain was a means to an end. I will say, I would rather be able to feel the pain for that hour and have the next 5 hours to spend in an alert state with my family.
I have a wonderful, supportive husband, and beautiful, alert baby girl and I feel great even just after labor. I could not ask for more. Thank you God for all that you have given me. I feel eternally blessed.