"It is said that when a woman goes into labor she leaves her body and travels to the stars to collect the soul of her baby, before they return to earth together..." - Anonymous
My first pregnancy was filled with excitement and determination! I was a firm believer in my body's ability to birth a baby unmedicated - after all, my mom had done it, and her mother before her...thus I did my research, took the classes, and avoided labor induction. When the time came and I went into labor, at 41 weeks and one day, I spent many hours at home, working through my contractions and attempting to remain calm. When I felt it was time to head to the hospital, we made the long drive from Kuna in the middle of the night, and went straight to the labor and delivery triage area to be assessed. The triage nurse checked my cervix and told me I was only two centimeters dilated and I could go walking for an hour or go home. After walking for a grueling hour, I was rechecked and found to still be two centimeters, and we were sent home. After laboring at home for another 24 hours, yes 24 hours, we went back to the labor and delivery triage area for a recheck...four centimeters. When I told them I was planning on an unmedicated delivery, they told me I should probably go home, but when I started crying, they admitted me, purely out of pity I think. Once we were settled in the room, my labor began to pick up. Contractions became stronger and closer together and I stayed in the jacuzzi tub for a good majority of the time. My night shift nurse talked to me about allowing the doctor to break my water, to speed things up, to which I agreed. I was seven centimeters dilated when the doctor on call that night broke my water, and things really kicked into gear!
From that point on, I lived in the jacuzzi tub until I felt the urge to push, to which my nurse insisted I get out (I was stubborn and it took three nurses to get me out of there!). I started pushing on the bed, with my mother and husband by my side. At some point during my pushing, it came time for the nurses change of shift, and I was greeted by my dayshift nurse Holly. Holly came in and immediately helped me change positions to make my pushing more effective. She helped me remain calm and focus on my body and my baby. After four hours of pushing, I pulled my baby out of my body and brought her to my chest. We had done it - after 41 weeks and three days, she was earthside. It was the most surreal and spiritual experience I had ever had. The pure beauty and exhilaration I felt were more powerful than anything imaginable. It was everything. The hormone high I experienced for the next 24 hours was incredible. I felt amazing. I felt strong. I felt confident. I felt like I could conquer the world. I had birthed my baby! That empowerment was life altering and has made me the person I am today.