It took forty eight hours to delivery my child. Not only to mention I was a week past my due date when we decided to get induced.
I walked into the hospital with a birth plan to go all natural, meaning no drugs. Now mind you in the birth plan I gave myself grace and added “no drugs… for as long as I can stand it.”
I went through every emotion the human body can have during this process. I vividly remember saying “I love having a natural labor, I don’t see why more people try it” all the way to “ I completely understand why women plan C-sections with heavy drugs.”
See, my labor was long and it was hard. I had to work to get that baby out. From standing to sitting to bouncing to walking to praying to begging. It not only took everything I had mentally, it also took every drug possible.
We started with a 12 hour drug that would “ripen my cervix” (I know.. it’s about to get weird just hang tight) then we went to a 12 hour drug that would stretch me out and allow me to dilate, then they broke my water, and finally they gave me Pitocin- the mother of all drugs.
The drugs they gave me had an intense slow burn. They caused the highest level of pain to take place. A pain that happened out of nowhere.
When those moments of pain came I worked through it. I sat in it. I kept my mind right. I kept my focus. I watched the thoughts that came into my brain. I allowed myself to feel it. I allowed the pain to take over my body, but only for a moment. As soon as the pain left I allowed myself to rest. I didn’t think about the next awful thing that was to come. Even though I only had about 3 minute’s relief in between the pain I allowed myself to laugh and to enjoy the relief.
I finally got to a point where I physically and mentally could not do it anymore. It was too much. Nothing was working to relieve me. I was exhausted. I had been fighting the fight for almost two days and I needed a break. I. Needed. Help.
I turned to my team, the wise counsel I had specifically chosen, and I didn’t just ask them to help me I begged for them to help me. They immediately jumped on board. Little did I know they had already came up with a plan for me behind the scenes.
I remember this part so clearly. I was completely naked in the shower. Vulnerable. I had my sister Taylor, my Douala Jessica and the love of my life Devin surrounding me. Water was hitting me from above, Taylor was spraying my back with another facet, Devin was massaging me and Jessica was talking me through breathing exercises. My hair was held back by a scrunchie that Taylor had taken off her wrist and wrapped into a bun on top of my head a day prior to this moment.
Tears were rolling down my face and I was beating on the wall through each contraction. I was blacking out and way past my pain threshold that I planned for. It was time. It was time for help. It was time for my wise counsel to come in and give me some relief. And they did, quickly. They were prepared for a moment that I didn’t even realize could happen. They had eyes to see things that I couldn’t.
I can honestly admit that I felt defeated. I felt like I lost the game. Everyone could see the disappointment I had on my face as I was about to accept the pain relief. They were all there cheering me on but it wasn’t registering until my nurse looked me in the eye and said “Listen. You’ve gone a long time on your own. Now it is time to get help. You did NOT lose this. You are WINNING. The goal is to bring this baby into the world- so let’s do it. You. Are. STRONG.”
After having her speak this over me I looked around and saw everyone with determination in their eyes. It was the pep talk everyone needed. We all knew. It was time to get help from something more than what anyone in the room had to offer.
I accepted the drugs and honestly took a much needed nap. I don’t even remember falling asleep but I woke, four hours later, to my nurse checking my vitals. I looked around in the dim room and saw my entire team sleeping on chairs and couches. I wasn’t the only one who needed a moment of rest.
Everyone started to come to right as my nurse was seeing how far along I had progressed. I was expecting bad news. I was expecting her to tell me I still had more to endure but she looked up at me with excitement and said “Lindsey, you’re 10 centimetres. Its time. We are getting this baby out tonight.”
Before I knew it I was sitting up in the bed with Taylor and Devin holding each leg. I was honestly finishing a quick snack right before they told me to start my “practice pushes”. Which, lesson learned, there are no practice pushes in labor. They are always the real deal.
The pushing process was hilarious and hard all in one. In between pushes my nurse and my midwife kept reminding me that I was very close to having my first glass of wine. My sister kept telling me she could see the baby’s head and that he had hair. Devin’s eyes were locked on my eyes the entire time because there was no way he was looking anywhere else.
The drugs wore off while I was pushing and I could feel everything. The relief was gone. In between pushes my midwife was stretching me out to "make room". It was awful. I didn’t have any relief and I wanted to quit. I wanted to stop pushing. I wanted a break. It hurt too badly. It was all too much. I wanted to sit there in the pain I was in because I thought it was only going to get worse and it was already so painful I didn’t want to feel what the next level felt like.
Little did I know it was almost over. Just like the moment in the shower my team was there. Ready with options and support. I was told that they could turn the epidural up and the pain would go away but it would take longer. I looked at my midwife in the eye and said “No. Don’t do it. I’m ready to see him. I’m ready for this to be over. Let’s just do this. I can do it.” So we did. For an hour and a half. And then all the sudden he was there.
The energy in the room shifted. You could feel another life had just entered. Another soul was ignited. He laid on my chest so slimy and gross. It was an instant connection like they said. I knew I was his and he knew he was mine.
Tears flooded everyone’s eyes watching him and I bond. It was everything everyone said it would be, and more.
Labor was over before I knew it and the only thing I regret from that day was not getting the behind the scenes stuff on video. I’m not talking about the gross delivery part. I’m talking about the hard parts that seemed like it would never end. Those parts, those moments, had so much jam packed into them. There was support. There was team work. There was strength.
In those moments I realized that maybe in life everyone needs a group of people that are hand chosen to help get us through the hard stuff. People that are more knowledgeable than us. People that can see things that we aren’t able to see. People that know our blind spots. People that will cheer us on, tell us when we are taking on too much, remind us when we need rest and jump in when we need help.
Those people are there. Waiting to be asked by you. If you haven’t found them just know they are coming. They aren’t far away. I promise you will find them. And when you do it will be the best moment of your life. We aren’t built to do hard things alone.