Childbirth without Pain Control….Never Again.

Alright, time for me to share my exciting birth story with you all! I say exciting because it loud, wild, fast and pretty darn funny. I wasn’t able to set my camera setting correctly, and so the pictures you see above….are not the best quality, but that’s okay;)

As a labor and delivery nurse, I see everything you can imagine when it comes to giving birth. I still was not prepared for the experience I had. It was NOT what I had planned…I was thinking it would be similar to my experience with Crew. Even though I KNOW this is never the case…I still had everything all planned out (forehead slap.) With Crew, I got to the hospital at around 7am after laboring all night. I was dialated to 5cm, got a GLORIOUS dose of Fentanyl(pain medication) that made me believe I had completely stopped all labor. I didn’t feel contractions, my cervical exam, my water being ruptured….nothing. I got my epidural right after they broke my water, and I was complete an hour later. I slept for another hour because I was in zero pain and wanted to let my body do as much of the work as possible before pushing. Pushed for 13 minutes and boom….we had a baby at 12:06 pm! Easy Peasy. This time however….

I went to my OB appt on Friday, I was 3cm, cervix was pretty thin, and her head was very low! Not in labor at all, just the normal braxton hicks. All weekend I was expecting to start contracting like I had with Crew, but never had any consistent UC’s (uterine contractions, which is what I will be referring to them as, here on out.) I had bloody show all weekend, and into Monday, so on Tuesday we check and I am dialated to a 4, cervix is a bit thinner, and baby’s head is still -1 station (you can google that if you aren’t sure what it means, but basically her head was nice and low.) It is officially labor time!

I had dropped Crew off with my mom until Jake and I got settled at the hospital and we had more of a game plan. I texted my mom to go ahead and bring her up and to come hang out in the room as well. Also I had texted my sisters to get on over to the hospital….labor days are fun sister/mom days for us! My mom got there right when they were breaking my water, which was at 3:30…now remember, I’m currently NOT in labor. They break my water and baby’s heart rate looks great, so I decide to walk down to the cafeteria with my mom while she gets some grub. On the walk I realize I’m definitely feeling the UC’s much stronger, still totally okay, but they’re getting consistent, and a lot more pressure. By the time we get back to the room I’m asking why my sisters aren’t here yet, and I’m contracting every 2-4 minutes, consistently. Still fine pain wise.

Finalllly my sisters arrive around 5pm….and I’m in the bathroom peeing, but SUPER uncomfortable…feeling like I need to have a bowel movement (which is baby’s head usually, and not really a true need to go) and just really getting edgy. I wanted to get a picture with them and couldn’t even do that. They took a few boomerangs of me doing a little belly dance and I had to stop a lot and just breathe through the contractions. It was at this point I got a little noisier. Wow. The pressure in my perineal area was SO strong, my UC’s felt like they smashing a brick down along the inside of my pelvis and butt. I finally ask for the Fentanyl….SO excited for the relief, and the high, that’s heading my way. I get the pain medication, feel it hit my system and then smile and relax, ready to float my way through the next hour of labor. Until the next contraction hit and I feel ZERO pain relief. WHAT. THE. CRAP?! I was devastated. High as a kite…but completely feeling my contractions, and a VERY strong urge to push. They check me (which I thoroughly felt) and I’m only a 5, but she is now a zero station, meaning she’s lower.

This is where I request my epidural, also where I stopped seeing as much; my eyes just kind of remained closed, and squity. I had already asked one of my favorite CRNA’s if he would be on call for me when I went into labor (perks of being an L&D nurse), and he agreed…and luckily was still at the hospital. But, before you can get an epidural, you have to have a fluid bolus, which helps prevent your blood pressure from tanking after you get it. It takes close to an hour before the whole bolus goes in, luckily mine had already been going for a bit. Ryan, the CRNA, comes in and has me sign some paperwork, which I barely signed because I. Was. Hurting. Wow. He leaves to go get everything set up for the epidural and I proceed to try not to die. I am not a “screamer,” as much as a “yeller.” So when I would get a UC…I would make gutteral “UGGHHGHGHGHHs” and, “FRICK, THIS SUCKS!” My mom was sweetly reminding me to breath through them, and I told her, “I’m not needing you to ever say that again.” I TRIED breathing through them, and you know what? It didn’t help AT ALL! I just remember snapping that to my mom and she says real matter of fact, “Okay, I understand.” Which really makes me laugh. Hahaha, Jake, my mom and sisters all had the giggles through my experience.

By this time, I’m certain it’s been a full hour since my last dose of pain medication and I tell my sister Katelyn to go ask the nurse for another (even though it did jack crap for the pain, but I’d least I could be high, right?). She keeps telling me that it hasn’t been an hour, and I’m like, “YES IT HAS!” To which she replies, “Maybe it has! I’ll go check!” (Knowing FULL well it hasn’t been.) It’s only been 30 minutes. I need to push, I’m telling them that they need to go tell Ryan to hurry (it’s been maybe 5 minutes since he left, I was positive it was 20) and Katelyn states to my mom, “I don’t know if she’ll be able to get the epidural…I think it may be too late.” NOT what I was wanting to hear, but I totally agreed inside. I’ve seen patients get like this…they’re going quick and there’s not a dang thing you can do. I was in so much pain that they checked me right before Ryan came in to do the epidural and I was still only a 5. Like what the heck, I feel like her head is COMING out. But I sit up, lean on Jake and pinch the tar out of his butt cheek. I was very out of it, and he was standing at an angle and I don’t know what I thought I was pinching…but he informed me that it was in fact his bum:) Ryan did an AMAZING job and the whole process from sitting up, to laying back down was about 10 minutes (which is really quick, especially when a patient is actively laboring). I’m lying back in bed and I’m so excited for the numbing process that’s about to take effect, usually a couple minutes before you feel any relief. Welllllll….guess who’s not feeling any relief? Me! In fact, it was SO MUCH stronger and I could not keep my mouth shut. I was in WICKED pain, incredible pressure slamming into my downstairs with each UC and it was unbearable. They check me again. Fully dialated. In a matter of maybe 15 minutes I had gone complete (complete means you are completely dialated). When you are dialating that quickly…an epidural won’t work. It just can’t, if I had got it earlier in the day, I wouldn’t have felt a thing….but I waited too long. And I will never do that again.

I’m no martyr for natural labor. I could care the heck less if someone does it with or without an epidural. Why feel pain when you don’t have to? My mom didn’t need pain medication for all four of her labors’, just didn’t have any pain. I was hoping I would be like that….nope, my labors hurt. So, by this point, I’m not handling life well. Everyone is getting me ready to start pushing and I. DO. NOT. want to do it. Without pain control?! Ugh. And I had ZERO urge to push!! Everyone says they want to push, that it alleviates the pain of the contraction. Not so in my case. Not so at all. It relieved nothing, and I was positive my rectum was tearing. Which I let everyone know repeatedly. The nurses at the nurses station informed me that they had been laughing rather hard listening to me yell out, “UGHGHGHGHGH, you guys, my BUTTHOLE is ripping!!” If you know me, just ask to see the videos my sisters took. I have no problem showing you, because it’s actually pretty hysterical to watch. I thought about posting the videos for everyone to see because they don’t show anything except my upper body and Jake breaking down in wicked giggle sessions from the things I was yelling out. But….I don’t know…some of the things I say might be a bit too much for some people:D It was definitely not one of those beautiful, peaceful labors you see on TV, heh heh heh.

Now I will say that after watching my labor video…I was very apologetic for being a, “brat patient” and I said hi to everyone who came in the room. I even complimented my nurse friend on her new hair color. I digressed when I had contraction, but I was decently behaved in between them:)

Back to the pushing part. I started pushing and everyone is carrying on about how she is, “right there!” So of course, I’m assuming that her head is about to pop right out! I request a mirror because I love looking at this sort of thing and notice that only about a quarter (the actual coin) size portion of her head is showing when I push. Being someone that works in this unit…I know that that means there’s a decent amount of pushing to go. I don’t even call the doctor until there is a LOT more head showing, when I push with patients. I can’t hardly process this thought when I realize that the pain I’m feeling is only going to get much worse when her approximately 13in head proceeds to pass through.

I hate pushing. Without pain control that is. I swear that EVERYTHING from stem to stern, was ripping. I continued alerting the whole hospital to this fact and can still hear everyone giggling and assuring me that it was not. Finding the strength to keep pushing with each UC was also very difficult. Like freaking bull crap. I’m going through this with no numbing and it hurts and the pain is getting so severe….and I just have to “keep going?” Lord have mercy…that ring of fire is no joke. More like the ring of a boiling hot cheese grater (that’s what it felt like to me.) Not to mention, Knox would kick up sooooo hard when I would push that I was worried my lung was about to get a foot through it! But, because I was moving her down at a slower pace, it actually benefited me greatly and when I finally was able to pass her head and then her little body slithered out…I was tear free. Tear as in, “not torn.” Not tear as in, “tears streaming down my face.” Hallelujah!

I honestly felt such relief from pain when she came out, that I could barely focus on grabbing her. I remember peeking down, and then flopping my head back and just relaxing, realizing that the ordeal was over. Then I got the wonderful baby high and immediately grabbed her and assessed her over. Everyone was carrying on about her hair, and I was shocked with how much she had! My little Knox Monroe was here. 7 pounds, 13.8 ounces, and 19.5 inches long. Lots of dark fluffy hair, with blondish tips, and a smooshed nose. Man, kids are amazing. Pregnancy and labor is amazing….just not the most fun thing in the world;)

I shall finish this post with times. Pushing time…probably sounded like a few hours, it was actually 17 minutes I believe. Labor time; I went from 4cm and NO labor at 3:30pm, getting my water broke at that same time, to delivering my child at 6:47pm. About 3 hours. Wham, bam, holy flipping cow. I have already assured everyone that with my next child, I will not be getting my water broke without a CRNA present to do my epidural immediately following. And should my water break on its own, I will be RUNNING into that hospital backwards to ram myself onto an epidural needle!

I hope you enjoyed this poorly written birth story. I know they’re usually a more beautiful picture than what I painted for you….but, it is what it is:)


1 Comment

  1. DeeRae
    June 23, 2018 / 4:32 pm

    I am OBSESSED with birth stories. Loved yours and the videos the previous days.

    I’m totally opposite. I’ll never do another epidural. Made me extremely anxious not being able to move around. Long pushing, etc. My next two were unmedicated completely. Very fast and furious. Pushed a couple of minutes with baby #2 and though painful ring of fire like you said, I loved being in control. Baby #3 was born 1.5 hours after the doctor told me I wasn’t in active labor and would not even hit active labor for another 5-6 hours. Doctor had actually gone to bed and was rubbing her eyes when she stumbled in asking about the baby”mistake” being paged to my room. Pushed through two contractions. Ring of fire was minimal for him.

    My birth story is on Instagram. #lkbirthstories331 (click the recent tab).

    P.S. My mom said labor wasn’t painful either! She gave birth to baby #4 in the car after climbing over the seat while my dad drove.

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