Birth Story: Without An Epidural

Every pregnant woman should know that her first experience giving birth is not an indication how future deliveries will be. Subsequent pregnancies are often different and could result in shorter labor times. However, I had no clue that my third labor and delivery would happen how it did!

In February 2018, my friend Cee and I decided to purchase concert tickets for the ‘On The Run II Tour’ with Beyonce’ and Jay-Z. My mother questioned why I even bought the tickets because the concert date (July 28th) was too close to my due date (August 19th). If you know me, Queen Bey is her name and I am part of the Beyhive 🤣! With my last two pregnancies, I was full-term before giving birth so I was not worried.

I was exactly 37 weeks pregnant on July 27, 2018. At 5 am, I had several abdominal pain that woke me up out of my sleep. It felt like contractions! I told Victor that I was having contractions but still three weeks away from my due date. He asked me should he stay home from work, I told him it is probably Braxton Hicks (false labor contractions) and the baby is not coming today so he should go to work.

I decided that I would continue my day as planned. I took off that day because I had a hair appointment at 12 pm. I dropped off the older kids to school and called my mother. She told me to head to the hospital to make sure everything is okay. Around 10 am, I went to labor and delivery at the hospital. A nurse checked me and said that I was only 2 cm dilated and no effacement – she told me to go home and come back when my contractions were 5 minutes apart. REALLY? After I left GBMC, I started to drive to my hair stylist. While driving, my contractions were so painful that I decided to cancel the hair appointment and go home to rest. I picked the older children up from school, made dinner, took a shower and waited for Victor to get home from work.

Around 7 pm, my contractions were stronger and 45 minutes apart. Victor and the children went to bed by 10 pm. I could not sleep at all! I was pacing the room and doing breathing exercises to try to control my pain. ‘Wait until it is 5 minute apart’ is what kept popping in my mind. I can do this. I can do this.

By 11 pm, my contractions were 15 minutes apart! I woke Victor up and told him we have head to the hospital NOW! As I was packing an overnight bag for the children (to take to my parents’ house), I felt a loud pop! TMI: Blood and water was dripping down my legs onto the bedroom floor. OMG! I lost my mucus plug and my amniotic sac burst! I was absolutely terrified and screaming in agony.

As Victor drove to the hospital, I called my parents’ to meet us there. When we arrived, there were wheelchairs outside of labor and delivery. Because I was screaming in tears, Victor called the front desk so they could get someone to help me ASAP. A nurse helped me into a wheelchair and took me to labor and delivery. Victor waited in the lobby with the older children to meet my parents.

After I changed into a hospital gown, the nurse checked to see if I was dilated or effaced. She looked startled and said we need the doctor on-call now because her designated doctor will not be here in time! I screamed, what is wrong?

She said, “Honey, you are fully dilated and the baby is crowning!” I said “WHAT!” I could not believe that I was going to have this baby without an epidural.

Within 10 minutes, a whole team of nurses and a doctor entered the room. The doctor told me to try to relax and not to push yet. As a nurse was trying to put in my IV, I was screaming and told her the baby is coming now! The nurse told me it is just pressure, do not push yet the doctor is not ready. At this time, I stopped listening to anyone. I wanted the baby out. I was screaming uncontrollably because of the contractions. I think I blacked out because I did not remember any more of the story.

According to my husband, I told the nurses and doctors to “catch the baby because I am pushing now!” They allowed him in the delivery room but said he would have to remain at the baby bed. He told me that I delivered the baby so fast that the doctor could not believe it.

Note, the “ring of fire” is the WORST pain a woman can ever feel in her lifetime. It is when the vagina is at the point of maximum stretching around the baby’s head. I felt everything because I did not have an epidural.

On July 28th at 1:59 am, M3 was born at 5 lbs 6 ounces!

Around 9 am, I called my friend, Cee to inform her that I would not be able to attend the concert as we planned. She could not believe it! Luckily, she is very resourceful and was able to sell my ticket in time. Being a wonderful friend, she still went to the concert and FaceTime me so I could enjoy some of Beyonce’ songs. Guess my mother was right, why would I plan to attend a concert when I was heavily pregnant 😜!