Updated: Mar 30
It was the morning of Tuesday, May 28, my due date. By this point, I was overly anxious for our baby boy to arrive. I had had no signs of labor up until that point. It was Travis's last day of work before he had a few days off. Before he left for work that afternoon I told him I decided that I was just going to be very patient and let this baby come when he was ready. After he left for work, I tried to keep busy. I went for a long walk around our neighborhood. I washed clothes, did some cleaning around the house, and finished packing our Labor Day bag. I chilled on my birth ball watching Desperate House Wives waiting for Travis to come home. Shortly after, I started to feel a cramping ache in my abdomen. They kept coming every so often. Not wanting to get too excited, I decided to take a warm bath and see if they would stop. After about 2 hours of aches, I decided that these were contractions. They were very mild, so I still was not positive but I was very hopeful. I got into bed and watched another episode of DHW. Travis came home and I told him that I thought I might be having contractions.
He immediately asked, " should I get the red wine ready!?" We had some wine and lay in bed attempting to go to sleep. I did not sleep much that night, not because I was in pain but because I was super anxious. The next morning I woke up and noticed I was having a lot of bleeding. I figured this was what was referred to as "loosing your mucus plug" or "bloody show" but, just to be sure, I called my midwife and asked to make sure that that is what was happening. She told me to go ahead, come on in so she could check me out, and make sure everything was okay. We loaded up the car, car seat and all since we were not sure that we would be returning home that day.
We made the 20-minute drive to the birth center and arrived there at about 2:50 pm. All the while, I had continued to have contractions through the night and up until that point. When we arrived at the birth center, we met our midwife Jean there, she checked my cervix, and I was 4 centimeters dilated. We were ecstatic to hear that we really were in labor. This was the real thing! She instructed us to go back home and use our breast pump to get some "good” contractions going and come back in about 2 hours. The contractions up until that point were not painful. As long as I was up and moving, they came and went. For me it was all about finding a method of dealing with the contraction and sticking with it. What worked best for me was hip circles or hip rotations.
When I felt a contractions coming on I would put my hands on my hips and rotate my hips in a circular motion. Moving with the contraction made them quick and painless. After leaving the birth center, we decided to get some last minute things done before the big night ahead. We went to Wal-Mart and walked around picking up some snacks, drinks, and toiletries to use during labor. The entire time I was so paranoid, my water would break in WalMart. Luckily it didn't. (I was however, the crazy pregnant lady doing hip circles in the aisles of Wal-Mart.) After that, we went to Panera Bread to have a late lunch. It was fairly uncomfortable to sit down and eat while having contractions, so every time I would feel one coming on I would stand up from the table and do my hip rotations and sit back down. We decided to wait out the remainder of our two hours at my sister’s house, which was about 5 minutes from the birthing center. I was very relaxed the entire time. We listened to music and played family feud online while we waited. I continued dancing through my contractions. My lovely boyfriend and Bradley coach helped and encouraged all along the way. Reassuring me that everything was going to be great. After 2 hours at about 6:30, I called Jean and asked if we should head to the birthing center.
I could tell by her tone that she did not think there was any sense of urgency seeing as how it was me calling and I sounded pretty alert for someone who was in labor. It had been pouring rain that day was expected to hail soon. She told us to wait until the hail passed and then meet her there at the birth center. After about 45 minutes, the storm passed and we made our way there. The Birth Center was completely dark and empty. Jean again checked my progress and this time I was 7 centimeters dilated. "Awesome", she said, "You can get set up in the large birth suite.
Travis unloaded the car and we began to labor in the birthing suite. It was so calm and peaceful. It was still drizzling a bit outside. We listened to music and just relaxed. I refused to sit down, afraid that it might slow down my progress. So, I paced back and fourth around the room stopping and doing hip circles when a contraction came. My mom and sister arrived at around 9-930. Jean came in shortly after to check my progress, and I was almost at 8cm. I seemed to have hit a plateau from 7cm to 10cm. Jean offered to break my water to help speed things along. I was not sure that I wanted her to break it. So, she said to think about it and when she came back if I wanted her to break it, she would. “Will the contractions start to get painful after my water is broken?” I asked her. “Oh yeah, that’s when it gets ugly,” she said. Even though that freaked me out, when she came back at about 1030-11, I agreed to let her break my water. I lay on the bed and using a hook-looking instrument, she broke my water. I lay there for a little while, but nothing really came out until I stood up. I put on a Depends and my sarong and continued pacing the room. The contractions after my water was broken were more constant but they still were not painful. I got into the tub a little while later and it felt so good to relax in there. Since I was not standing up, I just breathed through each contraction. I sat in the tub for about an hour or longer. Travis sat on the ledge of the tub with his feet in the water, massaging me when ever I needed him to and bringing me water or snacks or whatever I needed. He was great!
I got out of the tub and back onto the bed so Jean could check me again. That time I was about 9½cm. After that, she told me anytime I felt the need to push, to push. (I was never officially told that I was fully dilated.) A little bit later, I would have to guess it was after midnight, maybe 1 a.m., I started to get uncomfortable. I didn’t feel the need to push, but I did feel pressure and no position I got in after that was comfortable. I tried squatting but that was uncomfortable. I got back in the water on my hands and knees, but still that was not comfortable. I tried squatting in the water holding one side of the rebozo while Travis stood outside of the water holding the other side. Still, not comfortable. By that time the birth assistant/doula, Amber, arrived and assisted in aiding me through labor. At this point, I was very uncomfortable. Travis later told me that I was in transition then. When he told me, “You can do it, you’re almost done.” I replied, “You’re supposed to say that!” I told my mom that I hated her and my sister to shut-up. I just remember being so annoyed that everyone was looking at me. Finally, at about 2:00 am I decided to lie on the bed again. Amber brought me a peanut ball and I put it between my legs and rested on my side.
That was the most comfortable position. I lay there for a little while when Jean came in the room. “Alright, lets get this baby out.” She said. My mom took one of my legs, Travis took the other and Jean sat on the bed in front of me. Amber kneeled on the bed beside me, and my sister filmed the whole thing. I held on to Travis’s neck as tight as I could. I started pushing. People say that pushing is the easiest part, but for me that was the most uncomfortable part. I had huge hemorrhoids, which made pushing difficult and is also what made me so uncomfortable when I was having the pressure prior. Nonetheless, I pushed through the discomfort, although not as hard as I would have liked. “We see his head” I heard everyone say, so I kept pushing. I had been pushing for about 20 minuets when I heard Jean say, “The babies heart rate is getting low, I’m going to have to cut her.” When I heard that, something in me snapped and I pushed with all of my might two more times and out came baby at 2:55 a.m.
I was so relieved. Jean handed me my baby boy and it was just an indescribable moment. He was perfect and healthy. Travis wrapped his arms around us both, such a euphoric feeling. I gave another little push and felt the placenta slip out. I held my breath while she checked me for any tearing. Luckily, I had no tearing. I got cleaned up and dressed and we were safe and warm at home in our bed with our new baby by 5:30 am.