Warning: this is not for the faint of heart, and men beware.
I went into labor eleven days before I was due. I woke up at 2am and stood up to go to the bathroom when my water broke. Shortly after, the contractions started (quickly becoming 2-3 minutes apart) and we were on our way to the hospital. They set me up in a room, hooked me up to the monitors, and checked my cervix, only to find out that I was already dilated to 7cm. I continued to progress quickly (my mother’s were all very quick as well), which affected what I was able to do. I didn’t want an epidural, but I don’t think there would have been time for one even if I had wanted it. After a while I did ask for meds through the IV in order to take some of the edge of the contractions off, but because labor was moving so quickly, in reality, I wasn’t able to be given very much, resulting in an almost medication free delivery. Not everything continued so grand though. I was experiencing a tremendous amount of low back labor pains, which prompted me to ask whether the baby was face up or face down. The doctor thought she was facing to the side and didn’t seem too concerned.
At the time, it felt like so long had passed before I was allowed to push, though in reality things did keep moving right along. It was when the baby would have been considered crowning when the doctor realized she was a breech baby, and he was seeing her butt instead of her head arriving first. It took me a bit to come back to reality and clarify what I thought I heard. What now?! I did NOT want a C-section. That is major surgery and I did not want to go through it or have to go through the recovery from it. I wanted to cry and said I didn’t want a C-section. My doctor reassured me that he thought I could still push her out this way, but we should move to the OR just in case. I also heard him ask for a forceps, and I tried not to let panic set in. They unhooked everything from me and moved it out of the room, but when they tried moving the bed I had another contraction. The doctor sat back down and told me to push through it. We moved about another foot when I had another contraction and I ended up delivering her at that time, before we ever even made it to the doorway.
There was a point at which it felt like I was being ripped apart, which was also a big concern of mine. I wanted to avoid tearing or an episiotomy as much as I possibly could in order to try and speed the recovery process. From about week 32 on, we were doing the perineum stretch/massage regularly (though not quite daily to be honest) in order to try and prevent any tearing. Somehow I gave birth naturally to our breech baby girl without a single tear, even though she came out folded in half with her feet up by her head! The doctor checked me on the inside and only found scratches, which would quickly heal on their own. Baya was born at 5:17am, just over three hours after my water broke. She weighed in at 6lb 5oz, a healthy and beautiful baby girl! While genetics played a major role in the speed of the labor and delivery, I also believe that being so active throughout my pregnancy attributed to being able to get through that delivery as well as I was able to. I give God the credit for how well things went for being in that situation though, and I have reason to be thankful for so many things!