Charles Joaquin was born at 9:15 am on November 28, 2006 at Sharp Mary
Birch Hospital in San Diego, CA. He weighed in at 8 pounds and 4 ounces and 20 and half inches long. It was really an amazing birthing experience considering it was at a hospital, and I'm so thankful to have had it go the way it did.
Two weeks prior to his birth date, I started feeling signs of pre-labor. I was having Braxton-Hicks more and more often along with menstrual type of cramping. I had lost what I thought was my mucous plug and I was sure that labor would come any day. Each time I went in for my weekly appointment I had dilated a little bit more and my Doctor stripped my membranes. I was walking as much as I could to get labor going and each morning that I woke up still not in labor was a disappointment.
Finally on Sunday night, November 26th, his actual due date I started getting contractions that felt quite different and were much more regular. There was a bit of pain with each contraction that I openly welcomed because it was a sign that these were possibly "real" as opposed to all of my pre-labor. I tried to go to sleep and they kept coming at about seven minutes apart. I knew that was still quite a bit apart, but I also knew that this was something real. I couldn't sleep anymore and I was kind of in a dazed state. I pulled out my ipod with my Hypnobabies (self- hypnosis) and tried lying down on the couch. Finally at 1am I called my doula and told her what I was feeling. She told me that they were still far apart and to try and rest as much as possible. I just couldn't lie down anymore so I started on my birth day projects. I made some cookies and got some snacks ready for Dan for the hospital. While I was working in the kitchen I noticed they were coming much closer together, but were not that much more intense.
Finally at about 4 am I decided to take a bath. I brought in my Hypnobabies and lied down in the warm water. That was when they pretty much completely stopped! While my body was enjoying the break, I was so utterly frustrated, I had no idea what was going on and I wanted to be in real labor already!! I got out eventually and fell asleep on the couch, with still no regular contractions.
The next day,Dan went to work and I went about my day totally disappointed with the fact that I wasn't in fact in labor. I had a Doctors appointment later that day so Dan came home early and drove me since I was still getting contractions, just not very regularly. They also still felt like they did the night before, some pain, but nothing I couldn't handle without concentrating through. The doctor told me I was about 3 cm and 50% effaced. She told me she was on call on at the hospital Wednesday and if I wanted to I could come and they could try inducing. I had no intention of taking her up on her offer, but thanked her. By the time we got home I was exhausted so we decided to take a nap and see what happens. I woke up at about 5 pm and the contractions were back and regular and getting more and more intense. I was so excited!!! But at the same time I didn't want to set myself up for more disappointment.
I used my birth ball and hypnobabies for the next few hours while Dan timed my contractions. They went from about 7 minutes apart to about 5 by 11 pm that night. He started to doze so we pulled out the sleeping bags and camped out on the couch. I had notified my doula that I think it was coming soon and kept going on the birth ball and with my ipod. I took a bath and did my best to relax and focus on my hypnosis. I don’t remember how long I was in there, but it was hard because I could barely fit and it was difficult to stay warm. At about one or two I thought I was ready as the contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart. I called my doula and she encouraged me to rest at home a little longer. I was so glad I did. While listening to my hypnobabies I managed to nap on the couch for about an hour. I remember kind of dreaming my way through the contractions it was almost surreal. When I woke up, they were much closer and stronger. I stood up to go the bathroom and I felt a sort of pop, I assumed it was my water breaking, but there wasn’t a huge gush like I had heard it described. The contractions were then definitely getting stronger and were about 2 minutes apart. I called my doula and we were on our way to the hospital and arrived at about 4:45 am.
When I arrived at triage, I kept myself in hypnosis, but I was still able to hold conversations and was obviously fully conscious. They didn’t seem to believe I was in labor and took their time with me. Finally when the nurse checked me she seemed surprised to report that I was 6 cm and in active labor. She made a call to the Dr on duty and I heard her trying to explain that I was using hypnosis that that I was in fact in active labor and that I really was calm and collected. Finally they sent me on my way to the delivery room.
Once there, things got way more intense. I had to moan my way through the end of each contraction. I can’t say it was pain free, but it was manageable. I paced and rocked around for a couple of hours. They kept trying to put the stupid belt around me to time my contractions and keep track of the heart rate. It kept sliding off and the nurse would have to come in and fix it, very distracting. I was going to try and use a squat bar, but I just didn’t want it. I wanted to be on my side. I finally made my way to the bed where I landed on my side and didn’t get up from then on. I felt him coming down the birth canal and I felt like I was ready to go, but they kept telling my I wasn’t dilated enough. I remember a primal groan coming out of me with each contraction. I pleaded to let me push as my body started bearing down without my permission. Finally I remember my doula asking rather firmly if they could check me again. Sure enough I was ready. I felt me body take a little break and they within minutes the contractions were back again.
The nurses told me to wait, that the room wasn’t ready yet. Yeah right. I was ready and this baby was coming out now, if the room is ready or not! The on call Dr came in and asked me to get on my back. I refused. I knew I just couldn’t. I was afraid it would slow me down and I was ready and comfortable in the position I was in. I heard him say he was worried I would kick him in the head. My doula promised him she would hold my leg if he let me stay on my back. He sounded peeved, but obliged. I should have still kicked him. They set up a mirror and I saw my baby Joaquin join the world at 9:15 am. Pushing wasn’t so bad; I don’t remember much pain after I got into bed. It was more just very intense pressure.
Joaquin was placed in my arms and started nursing right away. After I delivered the placenta the rest of my family arrived. I recovered quickly so we only stayed at the hospital over night. By the next morning I was tired of being stuck in a bed and was ready to get out and about. Like I said, the birth was actually pretty great considering I was at a hospital. Of course there are things that I wish would have gone differently, but I had a wonderful, drug & intervention free birth and an awesome kid to show for it!
Happy Birthday Joaquin!!!