When I was pregnant with Charly, I firmly believe we went to the hospital too soon. I'd had regular contractions for weeks, and we kind of just arbitrarily decided to go in one night, even though I wasn't really in (too much) pain. The biggest negative result of this was that getting the epidural was just a BAD experience. They talked me into getting it right when we checked in, so I wasn't in terrible pain and I was VERY AWARE of the
The point is this: I wasn't going in prematurely again. Even though getting my epidural was rather traumatizing with Charly, I was still planning on getting one for Parker's birth. BUT I wanted to be begging for it before I got it -- just so that a mega-needle to the spine would seem like no big deal. Because of that, I wanted to labor as long as possible at home, because I knew those nurses would just want to get me all epidural-ed up the second I got into a hospital gown.
Make sense? Okay, so where were we? Ah yes, the "whoa" contraction.
The first thing I noticed about this "whoa" contraction was that it wasn't in my belly. It was in my hips. Very distinctly in my hips. And you guys -- it HURT. I couldn't keep quiet. I couldn't hold still. I started the timer, squirmed and said "oooooh" enough times to make Maddy curious, and endured my first, but certainly not last, minute of misery.
***side note: It was only after a week or so, after getting surprised looks when I told people I had felt the pain in my hips, that I realized that might not have been exactly normal. Some Google searches led me to discover that hip labor is certainly not normal, that it usually has to do with how the baby is positioned, and that most women find it more painful than contractions felt in the uterus. Awesome. side note over***
So how to describe this intense pain? It felt like the baby must have been laying sideways in my pelvis and then stretching out as much as he could. My hips seriously just had this achy, pushed to the limit feeling that didn't quite go away even once the contraction was technically over. On top of that, there was the achy pain like a really bad cramp, but in the wrong place. It was in-TENSE.
Since I had known that I was going to be laboring at home as much as I could, I had looked a bit into pain management techniques and different things I could do to go as long as possible without medical intervention. The ones that made the most sense to me were movement and vocalization. So after that first
For the next several contractions, I did different things to help take my focus off the pain. I swayed, walked, stomped, stretched, bent, did some Zumba, etc., just to stay moving.
Okay, okay...I didn't do Zumba. But it would've been cool, right?
And guess what, guys -- it helped! All the moving actually helped! The theory behind it is that if you're just laying/sitting still, your focus is going to be on the pain and it's going to seem even worse. By moving, you can feel active and in charge, and you can focus your mentality on the progress you're making. Or...something.
And when there was an especially bad one, I made noise. Usually just a drawn out "oooh" or "aaaah" or something equally weird sounding. Sometimes I'd give myself a lovely pep talk that made me want to punch myself. Stuff like that. It all actually really helped too; I think the people that wrote my book would say it "gave me an outlet for my pain" or a "way to expel bad energy" or OMG I JUST REALIZED I READ A HIPPIE BOOK.
JK, I realized that a long time ago.
But anyway, these things must have worked, because I labored at home for about 3 hours. Maddy fell asleep. I watched some TV, moved and vocalized like a hippie, laid down occasionally (it wasn't very comfortable), ate a little bit, and really just tried to kill as much time as possible before putting things in motion to go to the hospital. And then, around 1:30, this happened:
and I thought to myself, "Yeah! Yeah, that IS enough!"
Why that thought didn't occur to me sooner, I have no idea.
So I went upstairs and told Dallin how brilliant he was.
We called our moms (mine was meeting us at the hospital, his was coming to stay with the girls) and my sister, who wanted to be at the hospital as well. My mom was like "Oh, call me if you get admitted!" and I was like, "Mom. Let's just assume that I'm getting admitted, mmmkay?"
The first contraction that Dallin was awake for...well, I think it freaked him out a little bit. Maybe it was because I was making weird noises and probably twitching or rain dancing or something by that time, but he was concerned about me and it was just about the sweetest thing ever.
Also, if I was rain dancing, it was working, because it started to rain. Just thought I'd throw that in there.
I asked Dallin to put some water in the bathtub for me to sit in while we waited for his mom to get there. Something about the heat sounded appealing at the time, but once the tub was full, I decided it didn't sound good after all...so that was a nice waste of water. Maybe I just subconsciously wanted to waste water so I didn't feel so "one with the earth" anymore. It's also entirely possible that I was exercising my right to be a fickle laboring woman.
And THEN, I made a fabulous discovery. I discovered that the footboard on our bed was at my hip height, and if I leaned over it it put a good amount of pressure on my hips. That pressure along with some deep breaths got me through while we were waiting, and while I was doing all that strange stuff, Dallin threw the last minute stuff into our bag and got the car loaded.
And then Dallin's mom got there, and it was time to go. I waited for a break, headed downstairs, asked Dallin why in the heck he was taking a picture of me...