*Warning: this is really long...
I had an appointment with my midwife the morning of my birthday, October 5, 2015. When she checked me I was dilated to a 3 and still 80 percent effaced. I had dilated 1 more centimeter since the week before. My midwife said she thought that it would be soon, but not to get my hopes up in case it was still another week or two away.
That night I was having such strong Braxton Hicks contractions that I had a harder time sleeping than usual. They eased up a bit by the time morning came, but I had crampy feelings in my lower belly and lower back. Of course I was Googling early labor symptoms all morning wondering if today was going to be the day. I was hopeful, but trying not to get my hopes up, just like my midwife said.
Around 3:00pm I started getting mild contractions. I went about my chores, trying to be as relaxed as possible to make sure I wasn’t getting the contractions just from over-exerting myself. After feeling several in a row, I started watching the clock a little more carefully to see if they were regular or not. By 4:00, I noticed the contractions were coming about five minutes apart, but were still quite mild. I casually texted Darrin asking if he would be annoyed if I made him come home and it was a false alarm. Of course he said he would come right away, but I told him to hold off another 30 minutes so I could make sure they were still regular contractions.
4:30 came and I told Darrin he should probably come home. If this would be anything like my other births, baby would come fast and I didn’t want to wait too long to get to the hospital. I certainly didn’t want to give birth in the car!
I started dinner for the kids and texted my neighbor that I needed to head to the hospital and would bring Logan and Bennett over soon. Darrin got home around 5:00 and we calmly got our things together, dinner ready, and the car loaded while I breathed and swayed through the contractions that were still about 5 minutes apart. We dropped the boys off at our neighbors house with their plates of dinner.
The ride to the hospital was relaxed, but I was still nervous that this was a false alarm. My other labors came on fast and strong. We decided to wait until my progress was checked at the hospital before we had Darrin’s dad and stepmom come to get the boys. We got to the hospital at 6:00.
At the hospital, they led us to our room and eventually got me connected to monitors. After getting some information, the nurse had to leave for a bit. When she got back, she checked me and I was at a 4. The nurses changed shifts, so I met Des, my nurse for the birth. They had me connected to the monitors for close to an hour before she let me get off of them so I could walk around. She checked me again and I was only at a 4 and a half. What?! I had only progressed half a centimeter in more than an hour? I told Darrin that this might be a long night. That was around 7:30.
Darrin and I started to walk down the hall to go see the babies in the nursery. When we saw a large empty room we thought maybe we misunderstood where the nursery was. It turns out it was just empty J We turned around and I started getting stronger contractions, ones I didn’t want to walk through. We headed back to our room so I could sit on the exercise ball. The contractions kept getting stronger. I was getting nervous that I would have a really long, hard labor. I was planning on a non-medicated birth, but I was starting to get worried that I couldn’t handle it. The contractions got strong enough I had Darrin push on my back through them.
The pressure felt so different than with Bennett’s birth, it was more toward my back. I told my nurse that I felt like I was already having urges to push. She told me my bag of waters was coming down a little so that was probably why I felt that sensation.
The contractions were getting even stronger and I was barely getting any relief between them so I decided to lie down. Darrin stepped out to get some more water for me when I had a strong contraction and pop went my water. It was really loud and exploded everywhere. It surprised both Des and me. Darrin got back and was standing nearby when Des started changing the sheets on my bed. That just bugged me because she kept having me move my legs or body so she could get the new sheets on. Then she had me switch to my left side, which was so miserable. Contractions were right on top of each other and I was yelling through them. I was gripping the bars on the side of my bed through the contractions and thinking I couldn’t do this.
The midwife on call showed up and came up to my face and told me how well I was doing. She moved toward the bottom of the bed and was talking with the nurses when all the sudden I felt his head and said, “he’s coming!” As I spread my legs, I heard sounds of surprise from the midwife and nurses in the room. The midwife said, “I guess I’ll do this one gloved!” and I pushed again. “There’s his head,” I immediately pushed again. “There’s one of his shoulders. Maybe you should put your legs up…” As I started to put my legs up, my body just knew what it was doing and pushed again. (All these pushes during the same contraction) Baby was out! I felt such a quick release of pain that I was relieved. I had done it. He was born at 8:43pm. I had gone from a 4 and a half to him being born in about an hour.
He was a little purple when he came out and they set him on my belly as they stroked him trying to get him to breathe better. I heard someone say something about taking him and I almost started crying and said, “no, don’t take my baby,” I wanted this baby to stay with me. Darrin cut his cord and they took him to the infant bed to check him out.
After a few short minutes he started breathing better on his own, so they placed him on my chest.
That moment was just as beautiful as I had imagined. Finally, a healthy baby that I could just hold for as long as I wanted.