The birth of my fourth child was my second birth in Israel. This was also my first pregnancy that went past it's due date, so it was a whole new ball game. It's amazing for me, now, to see how each birth can be so different! I had a bit of a hard time with my previous birth, so I was very anxious about this coming birth; but at the same time I had more information up my sleeve! Since it was my second birth in Israel, I knew that I needed to own my own feelings and be strong with them, so that they would take me seriously in the hospital.
On Friday when I was forty weeks I went to the monitoring center and they told me they could strip my membrane, I decided to wait until Sunday to do this step. I also decided I would not go into labor on the Sabbath, but G-d had other plans.
I woke up on the Sabbath at around 4:30 AM with strong contractions and even though I told myself that I would believe in myself, I still waited about an hour and a half to wake up my husband and tell him that I was in labor- he took me very seriously. He went to go get a neighbor and our neighbor was like "Oh, yeah, you have time" while the whole time I was thinking "Ha-ha that's nice of you to think that!"
I grabbed our bag to go and then we went to go wait for the taxi we called. (We were comfortable breaking the Sabbath for baby's arrival :) I called my Doula at the same time, to meet us at the hospital. I had previously used a different Doula at the last birth, but because it hadn't ended up so traumatic, and I was not thrilled with her help, I chose to take a different one, this time. We got in the cab and had a contraction-filled, but thank G-d quiet, cab ride. When we first got to the hospital, the cab driver actually dropped me off at the wrong spot, he saw that I was having a contraction just as I opened the door, and asked "Wait, where are you trying to go in the hospital?" We answered "Labor and Delivery!" so he said excitedly "GET BACK IN THE CAR!" He drove us to the right spot where I got out, at around 7:30am, and started by going to the triage room.
The midwives that received me, first went to do an internal exam and said, "O.K., let's check you out- Do you think that you're close?" They were then shocked to see I was already 8 cm! My doula arrived at that moment and I asked her to massage my back, because I was feeling a ton of pressure. The midwifery staff gave me laughing gas and asked if I was interested in an epidural. I told them, "Why not?" but in the end, there wasn't even enough time for it! My husband helped with holding the laughing gas to my face, I was happy to keep him involved in the birth. I didn't feel like the laughing gas did much, except psychologically, it made me feel like I was getting something to help with the pain. The midwife was very sweet and supportive, she kept saying "At Allufa!" (Translation: "You're a Champion!") and pretty soon, I was ready to push.
I had a beautiful baby boy, thank G-d by 8:30AM!
Right after I gave birth, while I was still on the birthing table and had already delivered the placenta, I ecstatically folded my body in half and already felt such a huge difference! I shouted, "I'm not pregnant anymore! I can bend down!!!"
I could not believe I had the baby within an hour of reaching the hospital- and it was such a different and positive birth experience! I felt very listened to and taken care of by my husband, Doula and the midwife!
I went into this birth with a whole different mindset than my last birth. In my last birth I had my daughter without an epidural, (she was number 3,) when I had planned on getting one! I now knew there was a possibility that I would not have time to receive an epidural, so I was less scared of the pain since I had done it before. This outlook was the key for me to be open to a different kind of birth!