Labor & Birth Story
As I watched my friend’s pets over the weekend, I began to feel more uncomfortable each day and felt more pre-labor contractions. I went into early labor on Monday. I noticed I began to shed my mucous plug at 4:00 on Tuesday morning, and by Tuesday night my contractions were about 13-14 minutes apart and lasting about 30 seconds. My doula came over Wednesday morning to set up the birthing tub. My contractions slowed down to 10-15 minutes apart, but they quickly moved to 5-6 minutes apart that night around 21:30, and were a lot more intense and lasted longer. My doula and photographer came over around midnight and I consistently had contractions 4-5 minutes apart throughout the night and into the early morning. But when the midwife came over Thursday morning I was only dilated to 4 cm. 😩 She stretched me to 5 cm. That’s when I first cried because I was frustrated by this news.
My birth team discussed our options on how we may proceed. His heart rate was good so they were not too concerned about him yet. I could continue to labor at home and see how I progressed through the day but to consider going to the hospital if I felt I needed to. My birth team and photographer left to try and catch up on rest.
When the midwife came back around 17:30 to check me, again, my cervix had opened to around 7 cm. But shortly thereafter, it was closing back up to 6 cm because it swelled. My doula and midwife left again to rest, and a student midwife came over for a few hours. My contractions were sometimes 2-3 minutes apart during this time.
My boyfriend and the student midwife were starting to become concerned because the contractions were so intense for me. I had only slept for about 45 minutes in the late afternoon. It was the only rest I had gotten since Wednesday midday, and my uterine muscles were definitely fatigued.
In the evening, when my birth team and the photographer came back, my water was still intact so I had the midwife break it. She said it was a tough bag. No wonder my contractions were hurting me that evening, it was working hard to try and break my water and move my labor along, but combined with the tough bag, and my exhaustion, it wasn’t capable of doing so.
Labor finally started to progress after she broke my water around 20:30. But my midwife had a hunch something was off because I was extremely uncomfortable trying to push him down during the contractions. When she checked me, my cervical lip was in the way and she had to adjust it during a contraction so the baby could make his descent.
I was saying I couldn’t do it by the end of the labor, I was fatigued by that point, and I didn’t think I could make it through the last stages. But my boyfriend and my birth team reassured me that I was already doing it.
My son was finally born on 22:58 on Thursday in our bed with Pavlina right beside all of us. Zeke told me that when I was screaming through the ring of fire, she shoved her head further into the bed, obviously annoyed that I was making so much noise.
My birth team and photographer were amazed that I stuck it out. My midwife said she was impressed by my stubbornness. I knew I could do an unmedicated birth, but I didn’t imagine my labor would be that long.
On Thursday, I was imagining trying to load myself into the car while having contractions through the short drive to the hospital and during the check-in process, and I just didn’t want to put myself through that. As long as the baby sounded healthy each time they checked his heart rate, there was no rush to get me to a hospital. I believed in my birth team, and despite saying I could not finish the pushing stage, I knew I could do it and I could hold my son in my arms for the rest of the night.