You can find N's birth story here.
Without further ado...
Is's Birth Story
At 38.5 weeks I started dreaming about my sweet boy every time I’d sleep. I really had not dreamt much about him until then, but each time I did, he always had a full head of black hair. It made me even more anxious to meet him and find out what he really looked like. In my mind, I felt like it was going to be soon even though I had declined all checks at my OB office and had no reason to believe this baby boy would come early or even around his due date.
I had a looming 39 week appointment on Wednesday, September 19th. Because my first son was induced and a 41 week baby my biggest prayer going into this labor was that I would begin labor on my own (no Pitocin—aka “the devil”) and be able to go natural.
On Monday September 17th I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom. When I wiped I had some slight pink mucus mixed in too. I was elated thinking this was the infamous “bloody show” I had read about. I tried to call my hubby at work but he didn’t answer and starting searching Dr. Google for when this meant my baby was coming. Unfortunately it seemed that the general consensus was anywhere from a few hours to days. I decided to share with my doula and she wrote back with similar info. Oh well. So I waited but looked for every little sign I could—including the minor cramps I was having. Since I had cramps with my first son and they never turned into labor, I wasn’t very hopeful until I had more going on. Late Monday night I lost my mucus plug. (Seriously, can we get better names for these things?! They aren’t nearly as gross as the words sound! I digress.)
When I went to bed Monday night I was hopeful that maybe something would pick up but when I slept fine right on through to Tuesday I was a little bummed.
On Tuesday September my sweet 2 year old and I went to my usual chiropractor appointment where my chiropractor (and friend) felt for the baby’s position as she did each week and mentioned that the baby’s head was feeling low and just a thumb length above my pelvic bone. I couldn’t help but share with her my news then that it might, might be happening soon… otherwise, I’d see her in a week still pregnant. Because evidence was beginning to mount that it really could be soon, I decided that after nap time, we’d go for a run to see if it would get things moving. So after lunch and a nap for the boy, we headed out. I ran 1.5 miles pushing him in the BOB and then decided to walk in the rest of the way (another .5 or so).
I put out to social media land: What's on my mind?? All I think about right now is when this baby may come now that I am almost at 39 weeks. I wonder if this is the last time I will ____ before having TWO boys. ~R
Around dinner time I jumped in the shower and started noticing mild contractions with real starts and stops (verses the cramps I’d had that were just kind of dull all the time). These felt like stronger cramps that wrapped around to my back a little too. I got mildly excited and mildly freaked that this meant a baby really could be coming! So I did what any woman in early labor would do… got dinner, got the kiddo put into bed and told the hubby I was going shopping for a little while.
Before I went into the store I downloaded a free contraction app and started timing my sporadic contractions. I texted my doula, Susan and told her what was going on. She reminded me of the mantra I’d heard 1000 times—“you are looking for longer, stronger and closer together”. They were short and long, far apart and close but some were actually requiring some extra breathing! I laughed to myself as I shopped that was a laboring woman!
When I returned home, I told the hubby I’d been having contractions the whole time I was gone and we were probably having a baby “soon.” He had a big presentation at work Wednesday September 19th that he had been working crazy long hours towards and was prepping for as I told him the news-- so he was a little surprised that it was really happening and I think a little stressed to get his stuff together to pass on to someone else if needed.
Contractions kept coming but I made myself lay down at 11 and knew I’d probably wake up in the night with stronger contractions. About 1:30 on September 19th I could not sleep anymore. The contractions were pretty painful and close enough that I didn’t have time to fall asleep between them. I got up quietly and went downstairs to try and let me hubby sleep. I knew he’d need the rest if we were going to have a baby!! The contractions were about 10 minutes apart.
About 2am I decided I needed to get someone over to our house to watch the 2 year old in case things progressed fast. So I called my mom thinking she probably would not answer. It rang and rang and went to voicemail. But she called me back a minute later and explained she had just been up to use the bathroom and saw a missed call. I explained what was going on and she said she’d be there soon.
Hubby woke up at 2:30am, found me on the couch and asked what was going on. He was not too happy I hadn’t woken him up but I knew he needed sleep more and I was still handling contractions okay. Mom arrived soon after and we talked on the couch (me stopping when I needed to breath through a contraction) and her telling me about my own birth day. It was a pretty crazy feeling to feel so normal and then have a contraction and go back to feeling normal again. I could hear my hubby back upstairs sending messages out to coworkers and packing things up.
Hubby came down and said we should try to get some sleep. I doubted that was going to be possible but said I would try. Mom got ready for bed and we gave her info for the next day if we had to leave while she slept. I labored a while standing or bending over the bed in our room and the hubby gave me some counter pressure on my back.
Laying down was not pleasant at all! Hubby did counter pressure on my back as we laid down to “rest” and then I started to just feel annoyed by it. Contractions seemed to hurt A LOT worse but I gave it the ‘ol college try for a while until I couldn’t take it anymore. We both ended up getting back up (I’d say it was maybe 4:30am at this point). I sat on the toilet and labored a while and then decided to get into a deep bath. I stayed there for at least an hour. It’s true that the weightlessness feels so much better and while contractions still weren’t fun, it took off a lot of the pressure. My hubby was timing contractions and talking to me and saying how tired he was. I knew he was being a trooper too!
I heard my mom start to wake up around 7and then she came down and got toddler boy out of bed and ready to eat some breakfast. I knew my mom would wonder about us still being there, so I got dried off and went to see my family. We all sat in the kitchen as my mom, hubby and son ate oatmeal. I was growing more quiet I’d breath hard through each contraction. Toddler boy thought it was hilarious as I’d “phew phew phew phew” for a while… he’d say—“Mommy’s breathing” and giggle. : )
I tried to eat some oatmeal but was not feeling good at all and started to feel nauseous. I then told Hubby that I thought we needed to go to the hospital soon so I had time to settle in (it was about 8:15am). He called the Doula to tell her what was going on and expedite her coming over. (I think he had only texting her about 15 minutes before with the morning update).
When the Doula arrived I was back to sitting on the toilet. She asked me a few questions and talked to the Hubby about what had been happening and agreed that if I was ready to go, we should go. I was growing emotional and crying off and on. Susan asked if I was thinking about my sweet Toddler and I said that I was. She was really sweet about it and understanding that things were changing for me physically but also emotionally.
We told my mom we were headed out soon, gathered up last minute things, kissed my mom and son goodbye as my son giggled more over all that was going on (not really knowing what it was!)
Luckily the hospital was only about a mile away (about 5 minutes in morning traffic) because a couple contractions along the way had me telling the hubby not to brake so fast when he stopped and thinking how annoying the seatbelt felt and how I wish I had grabbed my sunglasses.
We got there right around 9am and found close parking and walked in. Check in took a little while longer than I would have liked and when we got to the nurse’s station in the triage area of Labor & Delivery there was a nice tall counter that I leaned on as they got us further checked in. It felt great and I only talked when I had to answer something that Hubby or the Doula couldn’t. I remember a nurse saying— “I assume you plan on going natural because of the way you are so calm and breathing”
We eventually moved into a little room off to the side for me to have some quick fetal monitoring and a vaginal check before I could be off all monitors and moved into our actual L&D room. My baby kept kicking the fetal monitor which cracked me up and the contractions slowed some as I laid there. All looked good and I was measured at 7cm. I was thrilled!! My fear was them telling me I was a 2 or something.
I texted one of my best friends to wish her a happy birthday and tell her the baby was coming on her birthday too! She said that was her best present of the day. My Doula thought it was hilarious I was texting friends at 7cm. That didn’t last too long, when I stood back up after the monitoring, I felt sick and the contractions started coming on stronger again. The Doula mentioned “transition” to Hubby and that was music to my ears. Transition = baby soon!
We walked to the L&D room and it was soooooo nice not to be connected to monitors! I felt so free. The room had a bathtub I would have loved if I weren’t so far into things. Instead, I labored on the toilet again and would feel 100% fine when I wasn’t having a contraction and was even talking to my little birthing team. Pretty soon, I started feeling more pressure in the front of my belly and occasionally pressure in my groin/bum and waves of desire to push. I just kept thinking how odd it felt to be so “present” for this labor. It was the pro and the con to this birth. The pain was really high during contractions but between them I felt like I could really rest or talk. In my first birth I felt like the pain was so intense and constant that I had to stay on another planet to cope. It was an out of body birth. This birth was intense during contractions but a very in-body experience. I felt I was really “there” for everything.
As I had some desire to push, we had the doctor come in. (Unfortunately it was one of my OB’s partners as my OB could not make it.) She was even more open to natural birth and told me to labor and push in any way I wanted and let my body just do it’s thing. She checked me and I was a 9 and my water still hadn’t broken.
Because I was a lot more “present” this time I was also growing self- conscious about possibly pooing when I pushed and what else was coming out. I tried to push and change positions but because my water was still intact and I was mentally worried about poo-ing I felt stalled. So the doctor and nurses said they’d be steps away and could come back in. SO I moved back on the toilet, tried to push and poo and then felt ready to really push.
We called the doctor back in and told her I wanted some direction and commentary on what was going on. I got on my back again and felt ready to push more. After a few pushes, the doctor suggested I could hold my legs up to help push and that did feel better. I was feeling a little bummed that no one was telling me that a head was crowning. About that time my water broke (11:47am) and I had a room full of people saying to keep pushing that the baby was there and I needed to keep pushing him on out. The only voice I was listening to was my husband.
I could hear myself growling a primal roar to push the baby out. It surprised me but I also kept waiting to hear he was all out because I felt like each little inch coming out hurt more than the feeling before. Literally one minute after my water broke, I had my sweet son on my chest. He was born at 11:58am. I was emotional as I held him and looked at his head full of dark hair, just as he looked in my dreams!
When the cord stopped pulsing, my husband cut the cord and my son was moved up closer on my chest. I was holding my second son. He felt so tiny.
I delivered the placenta and looked down at it. It was smaller (and bloodier) than I thought it would look but I was glad I got to see it this time.
I was told I had a second degree tear and was stitched back up. I was able to have my son stay on my chest for over an hour and he nursed and laid peacefully on me. Over an hour after his birth, he was weighed at 7lbs 5oz and 20.5” long. I did not have near the “I am never doing that again” trauma that I felt after my first natural birth but I also didn’t think it was as easy as I hoped it might be.
I’m so in love with my sweet boy and can’t wait to watch him grow.