Labor of Love (and a little pain)!

Published 04/01/2014

From the First Laidy:

Now that I have done the “knocked up” and the “pregnancy recap” posts, I figured I should post about the big day – the day that I gave birth to the most amazing little boy named Luke Donato McGowan!

The day after my official due date, Ryan and I chatted about how it could be a while and we agreed not to stress about our baby’s arrival.  I went to bed around 11 pm that night but couldn’t fall asleep.  About 90 minutes later I started having contractions.  Right away they were 4 minutes apart lasting about a minute.  We stayed in bed for the first couple hours and then moved downstairs for the rest of the night.  We walked around the house and moved in all kinds of positions to manage the contractions.  I tried laying down but that did not help at all, what did help was when Ryan squeezed my hips – a technique we learned in one of our classes.

I went through a period in between contractions where I would get the shivers because I was so cold, but then would get hot and start having convulsions – they SUCKED!  Oh yeah and to make things even worse I got sick a couple times! :) Eventually that all passed and around 7 am I decided that we needed to get to the hospital!  As soon as we got into the car the song “Best Day of My Life” by the American Authors came on!! :) Things became surreal and intense!  I told Ryan that we had waited wayyyy tooo long!!! (In other words, I was in “transition!”)  As I walked into triage my contractions were about 2 minutes apart!

After checking in, I was asked if I still wanted to go to the Alternative Birthing Center.  Here is where I paused. I knew in my head that I wanted to do the ABC but if I was only a few centimeters and I was experiencing this much pain, then there was no way in hell that I was going to go through with it. BUT if I was further along then I would go for it.  When the nurse examined me she announced that I was 8 cm!!!  “Whoa!” or “Holy Sh*t!”  Not sure what I said…“Call my mom!” I told Ryan.

It felt great that we stuck to our plan of laboring at home for as long as we did. Now in the ABC I was checked again and measured at 9 cm at 7:45 am! I was so excited and thought “ha this kid is going to be pushed out of me in no time!”  WRONG!!!! I then stalled to the point where my contractions were up to 10 minutes apart. Until about 10 am I was in the most pain I had ever experienced in my entire life. I screamed and yelled and prayed. I asked for an epidural, drugs of any kind, and then for a c-section, because I didn’t care how he came out at this point I was just in so much pain! Lucky for me I had a great nurse who never coddled me.  She gave it to me straight: if I did get any medication, it would either slow things down or might not even kick in before birth.  So medically I received nothing, just a lot of encouragement and support.

Finally it was GO time! After 1.5 hours of pushing harder than any kettlebell workout imaginable, Luke came into this world!  The funny part here was as his head (finally) emerged, his eyes were open and he was facing Ryan.  At this moment Ryan was supposed to help with the delivery but froze in awe and had to be reminded of his duties by the midwife.  I wish we got a picture of his face at that moment!  Luke was placed on my chest immediately.  At that moment I felt only love, absolutely no pain at all!


I am proud of myself for getting though it (even though there were times I didn’t think I could) and am SO PROUD of my husband!  With the love and support Ryan gave me I was able to deliver our child. I honestly could not have done it without him!

As I mentioned in the previous post, I feel the classes Ryan and I took with Kaeli Sutton were the best thing that we could have done. As she stressed in class, it was my/our birth and we should decide how things were handled.  While her class helped prepare me mentally, I believe that staying active in my pregnancy enabled my body to deliver naturally.  Now 2 weeks postpartum I feel great!  I have tons of energy and our little man is eating and sleeping like a champ!  I’m hopefully not speaking too soon because we will never know what Luke has in store for us! All I do know is that we are very lucky!

Thank you everyone again for all of your help, support, and most of all the outpouring of love that we have received!  We are truly blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing people like all of you!

-Much Love
First Laidy!



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