As told by Carin:
My labor with my first son, Jasper, was less than ideal. I had an induction (unnecessarily) for possible growth restriction at 39 weeks. My OB ignored my entire birth plan, and I ended up with an epidural and epsiotomy, when I had hoped for a natural birth. So this time I got pregnant, I was determined to do it the way I wanted.
My pregnancy went very well and easy. I met with midwives instead of OBs. I hired a doula, Bergen, in February, which I had wanted with Jasper, but Guy refused. This time he realized how helpful one would be and agreed. I really liked her after our first meeting and was sure she would help me achieve my natural birth.
I continued working up until a few days before I went into labor. At around 36 weeks, I was having contractions if I walked too much. So monday, I called out of work and stayed home to relax. I still had a few minor ones, but nothing serious.
On Tuesday, I lost my mucus plug. I text Bergen and she said that meant we were having a baby sometime but who knew when. Guy and I decided to go for a walk downtown. We walked a few miles, with contractions getting worse and more painful. The last mile back to the car was the worst. I kept telling my husband to just go get the car and come back for me. Once we got back home, the contractions more or less, stopped again. They went back to minor, sporadic occurrences.
I went to my chiropractor appointment that afternoon. I told her that I wouldn’t be back for awhile. For some reason, I knew I was going to go into labor that day. I just knew it. After my appointment, I took a small nap and made dinner. My husband kept telling me that I needed to relax and I wasn’t in labor. So we went to our birth class that evening. I had several contractions each hour during class. Our instructor and my friend, Lindsey was very excited. She thought I was in labor and was so excited about it. She kept saying I was going to have a baby. Finally someone who agreed with me. Bergen had brought her birth bag to class, just in case, but as I clearly was not in full labor yet, we all went to our homes. She told me to relax and that we were going to have a baby some day soon. Apparently she and my husband thought it may be another week or two of this “prodromal” labor.
We got home at 9:30ish that night and I went up to bed, while Guy got on the computer. I was too awake. I still felt like that was the day labor would start, but it was getting late. Jasper woke up and wanted to nurse. So I brought him into our bed to nurse, while playing on my phone. He fell back asleep quickly. All of a sudden I felt my water break. I text Guy and told him to come upstairs. I text Bergen. Guy didn’t respond, so I called him. He answered, saying he would be upstairs for Jasper in a minute, thinking Jasper had just woken up. So I told him my water broke. He was surprised. I told him to call his mom and tell her, in case we needed her soon. Bergen asked about my contractions, which didn’t change. And said to call her when they did. I felt relieved. I had known I was going to go into labor that day, and I was right. I was giddy and awake. But contractions never came, at least not noticeably. I put a towel on the couch and slept in the livingroom.
The next morning, I woke up about 6am. We ate breakfast and went to the grocery store. I hadn’t even gotten a single labor snack that I planned. We got some trail mix to snack on during labor and some things for dinner. Contractions came, but were minor and random. We got home and Guy put together our dinner in the crock pot. Then we called Bergen and I told her I wanted her here, since none of us knew how this labor would go. She got here at 9 and we went to the park again. Walking when leaking water is not a fun experience. At first, I had wanted to stay near the near and not walk too far. But, my contractions were still minor so we decided to walk downtown. We stopped and got some pastries and walked back to the car. Labor was still eluding me.
My contractions were a bit stronger by the time we got to the car, but still minor. We got back to the house and ate, while Bergen had her son dropped off for a bit to nurse. We then decided to do laps around the neighborhood. We also began timing. They were around 6 minutes apart and still getting more intense during walking. We walked around for an hour or two. Contractions were more intense but still not active labor and slowed when I stopped walking.
Around 7, I called my midwife and told her I was in labor. We had to go in for me to receive antibiotics, since I hadn’t been tested for group b strep yet. We got to the hospital around 8. We were taken back to triage and I was checked. I was scared of having no progress in the past 24 hours. I shouldn’t have let the nurse tell me how dilated I was. I was only 2.5 centimeters. I felt very discouraged and tired. I knew if I didn’t kick start labor soon, they would want to intervene. But I wanted a nap so badly.
They started our first monitoring and antibiotics around 9:15. After they were finished, we went for a walk. All of a sudden, things changed. I had to go to the restroom and my contractions were different. I had to stop walking to breathe through them. I was cold. I didn’t realize it but I was finally in active labor.
Around 10:30ish, we had to go back to the room for more monitoring. I stayed on the birth ball, doing wind motions during contractions. I was finally progressing! We finished monitoring around 11. During my contractions, I began to kneel over the birth ball to get through them. I was in the corner, in the dark and in my own little world. My husband went to get a sandwich and my midwife, April, came to check on me and said I was definitely progressing and she would come back later. I started getting very nauseous. I remember telling Bergen that it felt a bit better when I pushed, which scared me. I didn’t think I could be that close to birth already.
My husband came back and I had to go to the bathroom. A contraction hit and I jumped up from the toliet. I held onto my husband and began vomiting. I went back to my corner, while my husband went to tell them I had puked. He came back and immediately left again to tell them I felt like pushing. He came back to me pushing uncontrollably and ran to tell them. I didn’t see anyone come into my room, but I remember them turning the lights on.
I had contractions very close together, pushing each time. April told me I needed to wait to push until they checked me, which wasn’t going to happen. I couldn’t stop. She checked me and I was a 10. Then April asked if I wanted to get on the bed and I said no. So she started pushing things under me, ready to deliver on the floor. They had to call a neonatalogist, since he was preterm. I just remember everyone kept saying “second baby” over and over. I reached down and felt his head, and said that he was coming. I didn’t really feel the “ring of fire” that I had heard about. I had felt a very mild stinging during pushing but it went away before he crowned. I pushed a few more times and felt his head pop out. Another push or two, and his body came out. They counted 30 seconds before clamping his cord and letting my husband cut it.
He was then taken to the neonatalogist and checked over for a little while. I got onto the bed for April to check me for tears. I only had two minor lacerations, much better than an epsiotomy! When I finally got to hold him, I was so overcome with happiness. He was tiny and perfect. He latched on easily.
This birth was everything I had wanted. It was completely natural, from start to finish, save for the antibiotics. My baby got to pick his own birthday, two minutes before midnight! I had an amazingly supportive birth team. Between them and my birth class teachings, I was able to control the pain and remain calm. I loved this birth and hope all to come go as well.
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