It was 9 days past my due date and I was in the closet sobbing because my mom was leaving the next day and my aunt cousin and sister were leaving shortly after. I was SO done being pregnant & I couldn’t believe that there was a strong probability my mom wasn’t going to be there for my sons birth. My mother in law told me to drink castor oil that evening as a last resort to try to induce labor. I was 4cm dilated 80% effaced & I had done 2 membrane sweeps and EVERYTHING else imaginable to try and get things moving along. Benjamin was very cozy in there- so my mom bought some hot chocolate and a bottle of castor oil & we prayed to all the powers of heaven that it would work! I remember waking up in the middle of the night and crying again because I realized it didn’t work. I was so absolutely gutted. A few hours later I woke up and felt stomach pains like gas and so I got up and thought I had to go to the bathroom. As soon as I stood up my water broke. It was INSANELY strong & such a weird feeling. I started screaming and woke Luke up “MY WATER BROKE ITS HAPPENING” I ran out to tell my sister and mom and I literally didn’t think I’d ever been happier. Contractions started almost immediately and I hopped in the shower listening to some music and dancing like an idiot because I was just giddy with excitement. We were going to meet our baby!!! A couple hours later we loaded into the car because the contractions were very regular and close together about 2 minutes apart. We got to the hospital & the pain was intense. I literally had to stop everything to get through each one. We got checked into our room & my aunt, cousin, sister, mom, and Luke were there with me almost through the whole labor. It wasn’t what I planned at ALL but honestly, I didn’t even know what was going on in that room. I was 100% focused on getting through each contraction. I didn’t know who was in the room or what else was happening.
I jumped in the shower and the hot water helped so much. I’m pretty sure I was screaming every time the peak of a contraction would hit. It’s so funny because after the contraction was over I felt completely normal. Such a strange experience. Anyways, I planned a water birth so they started filling the tub and I was SO ready. I was about 6 cm dilated and I felt ready to push pretty much as soon as we got to the hospital. I don’t know if that is called back labor or what but it felt like I needed to push a fire truck out of my ass. (TMI? Oh well haha!) Anyways, they needed 20 minutes of monitoring both me & baby before I could get in the tub. This is when things started getting excruciating. I had to lay completely still for 20 minutes and it was SO hard. The nurse kept coming in to check me but they weren’t able to get a clear reading and Benjis heart rate would drop with each contraction. After hours of this happening, it became clear that I was going to have to stay on that bed through the rest of labor which was not what I planned at all. I was mentally prepared for a water birth & I honestly felt at that point that I couldn’t do it anymore. I was in transition (the hardest part of labor) & I seriously begged God to end my misery. I told my mom & Luke that I think I needed epidural and Luke told me that I could do this and I wasn’t going to get drugs. (I told him beforehand that no matter what, he couldn’t let me cave) I know that may sound cruel but it was truly what I wanted in my heart & he knew I would have regretted caving so close to the end. (I don’t think there is ANYTHING wrong with getting drugs or having whatever kind of birth you want. I just have always known that I wanted my birth to be 100% intervention free if at all possible. All births are amazing & beautiful.)
I literally thought I was dying at this point and I was like oh my god I HAVE to be ready to push at this point. I was DONE. It was hard for me to tell when I was ready to push for real because I had been pushing for hours with every contraction. Remember, fire truck! The nurse checked me and said I was 9.5 cm and that I could start pushing. I could’ve kissed her. Up to that point they wouldn’t let me move but when they said I could push I said “PLEASE let me stand. I HAVE to stand” so they did. My midwife Lynn who I had met with for most of my check ups, came to the hospital just to deliver my baby even though she wasn’t working that night. Right at that moment she walked through the door and I started crying and yelled “LYNN HELP ME!”. Her arrival gave me some energy to keep going.
Pushing was the most hazy part of labor. I won’t go into too much detail because I don’t want to terrify future moms (HA!) but wow. I don’t even have the words. It was hard as hell. I was pushing and pushing and pushing with all my might and I kept asking “is something happening??” Yes it was. But it was just taking time. I felt him crowning and I knew this was the moment that I had to dig in deep and give everything I had and then dig even deeper. I took a deep breath as I felt the next contraction and I pushed like I had never pushed before. I was shaking from exhaustion but I knew I could give up- it was now or never. (In hindsight I wish I would’ve ate and drank more because I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours) I squatted down and pushed like my life depended on it. All of sudden I knew it was over. Luke caught my baby & I heard his cry along with everyone cheering in the room. They put him in my arms and I can’t even describe the relief, joy, pride, and amazement. I sobbed “MY BABY!” And Luke and I couldn’t believe how damn cute he was!!!! We both cried together and he told me how proud he was of me and that I was his hero and he knew I could do it all along. The experience brought us so much closer together & that moment of Benjamin on my chest & our first time as a family was better than I ever imagined. It honestly felt like a dream, it still does sometimes! I can’t believe I have a baby! Luke was the best labor partner in the universe. He was right there the whole time supporting me through every contraction & every push. So was my mom… I couldn’t have done it without them.
Everyone told me I would forget all the pain afterwards and that is most CERTAINLY not true. It took me a couple weeks to feel like I would do it again. But wow was it all worth it. I am so happy that I was able to carry a life and bring him into the world, and then have the privilege of being able to sustain him with my just my body for months afterwards! Labor and motherhood change you- you lose so much judgment and have so much more grace for people and yourself. None of this is easy- pregnancy, birth, parenthood. No matter how you do it, it’s HARD. I love reading birth stories & I wanted to remember mine so I thought I would write it out. 6 weeks postpartum, I’m finally starting to feel like I’m getting the hang of things. The torturous first couple weeks are over, and it’s starting to get more fun. Benjamin Grey Durnwald was born on February 10, 2019 at 3:20 pm weighing 8 pounds 2 ounces and came out with his eyes WIDE open ( he hasn’t closed them since 😂 ) I truly didn’t think I could obsess over someone so much. Benjamin is so curious and definitely has a personality! We are in trouble 😂 he loves attention & loves the ladies.
Parenthood hasn’t disappointed- both with how difficult and also with how rewarding.