The pitocin kicked into gear and contractions rushed over me beating down like a wave crashing ashore. I can’t describe what it’s like to go from 17 hours of waiting to contractions every three minutes over and over again. I tried to work with it, moved as I could, showered, moaned, requested the tub – but was not dilated enough.

Eventually I needed some rest. I was 24 hours in and only 2 cm dilated. I asked the nurses for some Nubain and spent the next four hours resting between contractions. I was surrounded by my labor support the whole time: A, my mother, and our two doulas. They offered healing touch and massage to help me work through the pain all night long.  When the relaxing meds wore off I whispered to my doula I need the tub or I need an epidural. The midwife had to check my dilation. My doula told me to relax and make a decision after we knew my dilation. We were all shocked and ecstatic that I was 9 cm. We made our way to the tub room – having a contraction along the way.

A and I made our way into the tub where she held me as I worked through some of my most intense contractions. A was incredibly uncomfortable in the tub, but she never let on and I was able to stay there until I was ready to get out – had I wanted too I could have delivered in the tub but I was too exhausted after 32 hours, that I decided I needed to get out.

I spent my last two pregnant hours pushing. My midwife helped me try every position possible, but in the end we were all surprised to find I was most comfortable and successful on my back — something that I had never expected, but then again I was so tired I just could not kneel or squat or lay on my side. It took all my might just to push. I remember the pushing part was my favorite because it felt so productive.

As I was coming upon two hours of pushing the baby was entering distress. And my midwife told me I had to get the baby out with the next push. I locked eyes with my doula, announced I felt a contraction –  as I had every time, curled inward, and pushed…and pushed as hard and as long as I could. And then I felt my squishy little baby exit my body and enter my world. A announced “It’s a boy.” I cried. My son was placed on my chest and he almost instantly began suckling.

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