I wrote this the day I gave birth. So it was fresh in my mind. It’s pretty detailed so only read it if you’re super interested haha. It also needs to be heavily edited so take it with a grain of salt.
Haphazardly written but here goes.
So I started getting things that were pretty menstrual crampy Thursday night. Then they paused during the day Friday but I told Andrey he had to cook because I couldn’t manage to do much for some reason. I was exhausted just standing up. Then they picked up Friday night but weren’t too bad. More annoying I’d say. I slept through them (woke up 3 times to pee) but slept from 1 am to 12:30pm Saturday. Then we went to St Lawrence market (for meat) and the cramps started coming every 10 minutes for a minute each, but I could breathe through them. And the pain would just shut off completely after 70 seconds so it wasn’t that bad because there were breaks. Andrey asked me if I should start timing them and I said I wasn’t going to because your first labour was supposed to last for a really long time, and I wasn’t sure they were anything anyways.
We came home and had chicken wings. Then at 7pm I unsuccessfully tried to nap and they kinda went to 9 minutes apart. We went to Loblaws at 10pm but I stayed in the car. On the way home we had to pull over for one contraction because of the bumps, and I thought they were getting more intense but again nothing unbearable because of the breaks in between.
Then… Let’s see. We got home and Andrey started setting up the birth tub (I had planned a home birth because I don’t trust hospitals at all). They started getting intense enough that I had to squeeze my eyes shut, but I was still getting breaks in between them. I was able to be on Facebook (11:30pm). Sitting up helped. Laying down made them take longer but I kept upright to speed things along. Then I think around 12:30 they went from 5-6 minutes to like 2 minutes apart really fast and got pretty intense. I went to the washroom and it was pretty painful but I could still walk in between the contractions. Then I called mom and dad (12:40) because the contractions had sped up so much so quickly. Mom asked if I had called the midwife. I hadn’t yet, you’re supposed to call the midwife when contractions are 3 minutes apart and 1 minute long for an hour, but mine had gone from 5 minutes apart to 2 minutes apart in 15 minutes, so I was trying to wait until they lasted for an hour…. which was probably a mistake. Anyways, I called the midwife (1:15) who was at another birth so she didn’t show up until 2:10am and by that time I already felt like pushing!
The birth tub helped quite a bit but I started making moaning noises with the contractions at around 1. I could still laugh and things in between though, it wasn’t nearly as terrifying as I was led to believe. Then at 2am before the midwife showed up I started wanting to push. I have a hard time getting on my hands and knees because of my ankle replacement and old arthritic wrist damage, and the birth tub really helped me use different positions with less weight in my joints.
From 12:30 to 3:30 it was pretty intense. I would say an 8 in pain maybe? And the pain would go down to a 5 but not really give me much of a break. But enough that I could take some deep breaths and relax my body a bit.
But it doesn’t feel wrong like breaking a bone or something. It’s hard but breaking a bone or surgucal pain is wayyyyy worse. It kinda goes in waves so you can breathe a bit in between. But the last 3 hours did hurt. Well from 12:30 to 2:30 hurt a lot. Then when I started pushing it felt a lottttt better, but still painful. It’s not the pushing that’s the worst part it’s the last part where your cervix thins out that actually hurts.
When the midwife showed up I was around 7 cm dilated (just needed to get to 10).
I got onto the bed for the midwife to check my cervix and then pushed for about 45 minutes and out she came.
And that is my birth story. I think listening to the hypnobirthing cd’s really helped calm me down and that’s what sped up the labour.
I practised deep relaxation and deep breathing every day from 34 weeks on and I think that helped me stay relaxed. I also wasn’t worried at all, it’s not like a surgery, it’s not scary. Women in western society are traumatized by terrible birth stories and it’s horrible. I read that when animals are scared they can stop their labour. Well, when women are scared, their cortisol levels rise and it slows the labour and makes it more painful. I think not being in a hospital really helped things go smoothly. For me at least, the smells and the lights and the sounds, and being hooked up to machines… that would raise my cortisol levels. I stayed home because I wanted to lower the risk of interventions as much as I can. I had 2 midwives with me, and I’m a 5 minute drive from a hospital. Statistically, home births have the lowest risk of interventions (for obvious reasons).
I also have a strangely high pain tolerance (probably from constant pain…. haha – the arthritis and surgeries). The midwives thought the fast labour had to do with that as well. I think it had to do with the deep relaxation practice. I would seriously recommend looking up hypnobirthing and beginning to practice closer to the beginning of the pregnancy. I think it would have helped me relax a lot more if I had started earlier.
Between 11:30 and 1am I got a whole bunch of nice hormones. So then I was kinda high in between the contractions. That was nice. But I think staying super super calm really helped. Stressing out also releases adrenaline which dampens oxytocin (which is what gives you the contractions). I would’ve freaked out in a hospital.
It did hurt quite a bit for a while but as soon as I started pushing it’s way more manageable. And now afterwards I’m sore but like I said, not broken bone sore. Like stretched muscles sore so it ain’t so bad!
Andrey was great. I squeezed his hand a lot. There might have been nails involved at some point. Mom and dad were great to have around too. Mom helped the midwife. Andrey told me he’d buy me a puppy when I was 8 cm dilated. I’ll remember that.
The midwives were also extremely helpful, telling me everything was going well and monitoring heart rates and blood pressures.
I don’t want to do it again for a long time but it wasn’t scary like hospital experiences I’ve had. Being at home was amazing.
Liza (Elizabeth) Korikova weighs 7 pounds and 6 ounces and is 51 cm long. Born August 6 at 3:21am. She’s got a full head of hair. She doesn’t have a middle name yet! My feet are already less swollen and I’ve gone from 122 to 156 lbs to 142.5 today. Female bodies are amazing.
Just gotta get the hang of breastfeeding then everything’s golden. The midwife said stay in bed for a week, then around the bed for another week, then I can start doing things! I already feel more mobile than being pregnant though. I’ll be up and about in no time. I’ve been immobile before and this is not one of those scenarios haha.
That was an amazing experience. I’ve never felt more like a primate before. It was insane. Incredible. Females are amazing.
I’m really happy with this experience. My life used to feel like a series of bad jokes, or just repeated worst case scenarios. If something bad could happen, it would. Changing the way I eat, and therefore lifting the depression and arthritis has changed everything. I’m so thankful.