I woke on Saturday morning and knew that it had begun. My stomach tensed up, and with that I felt cramping similar to period cramps. I messaged my parents who were supposed to watch my 16-month triplets while my husband and I were at the hospital. “I’m pretty sure today or tomorrow is going to be the day just based on what my body is doing this morning,” I said. But, the cramps went away after a few hours. False alarm.
Later that night, I lost a little bit of my mucus plug and contractions got much more powerful. I called the midwife on call, who encouraged me to listen to my body to decide if this was really it. The contractions seemed to be erratic, so I decided to go to bed, thinking I would probably be having a baby the next day.
However, I wasn’t so fortunate. The contractions were prodromal labor, stopping and starting, getting stronger over the next few days, but not progressing into actual labor. By Tuesday, I was barely able to go about my day because having a contraction while driving or lifting a baby seemed dangerous. Thankfully, my husband Richard stayed home from work and my mother-in-law Crystal decided to take the week off after finding out my mom was sick and unable to watch the triplets. But as I left my chiropractor appointment that Tuesday afternoon, I just had a feeling. Baby was coming soon.
That night, I had a couple of contractions that were so strong, I cried. The pain was getting intense. And this time, they didn’t start and stop as before. For hours I had contractions every 5-9 minutes . . . not evenly spaced yet, but after 4 days they finally became labor.
On Wednesday morning, I woke up and could hardly walk because of how much pain I had been in that night. I did discover that the contractions seemed less intense when I was sitting, so I spent a good portion of the night sleeping while sitting up in my bed. I came downstairs when I heard my babies awake and having breakfast with Crystal, figuring that sleep was impossible now. She encouraged me to listen to my body and do anything that I thought would help and I remembered my exercise ball. As soon as I sat on it, my body instantly felt more comfortable and the contractions finally came evenly every 10 minutes. I sat there for a few hours, just happy to have my body finally get into a groove.
That day feels kind of surreal to me. We had a guy scheduled that day to work on the vents, and there I was bouncing on my ball and clearly having contractions. My dad happened to be nearby for work and was able to stop by on his lunch hour to be with me for awhile and pray for me. The trio went down for their nap, so I decided to try to rest, as well. Thankfully, I only woke up twice in the space of that hour with contractions. Soon after I got up, I had a very intense contraction and said, “It’s time.”
We packed up the car and headed to the hospital. The midwife checked me and found I was 4 cm dilated and my baby’s bag of waters was bulging out. I walked to my room, changed into a gown, and immediately felt water trickling down my leg. The next few moments were a blur of midwives and nurses adjusting the monitors required for a VBAC and more contractions. I asked for a birth ball and sat on it for a good while, but the monitors didn’t seem to work well while I sat there. I was told that they would probably work best if I was standing, so I did. The monitors finally picked up baby’s heartbeat, and I was left with just me, my husband, and my doula in the room. I finally asked for my Hypnobirthing tracks to be played, trying to relax my body. As soon as I heard that music, I wished I had started listening to those tracks earlier. The pain from contractions completely melted away as I listened to the voice telling me to relax, let go of any fears, and let my body and baby do all the work. I noticed some pressure with every contraction, though, and had a vague sense that they had started to become more frequent.
I’m honestly not totally sure where the next few hours went, but eventually the midwife offered to check me again. We were all surprised to find out that I was already dilated to 9 cm; I had gone through transition seemingly without much effort at all. We were also surprised to find that there were more waters behind my baby, and they gushed out as soon as I stood up to walk to the shower. Before I got there, I had a very intense contraction and the midwife glanced over to the monitors. “Did you just feel the urge to push?” I nodded. Our moment was upon us.
As the urge to push continued, I became more and more primal. Everything in the room melted away, and I was only aware of my body’s sensations and the encouragement from my husband, doula, and midwife. The sound I made during each contraction came from deep within me, a noise I had never made before. It was like a form of meditation, as I became even more aware of my body. I got up on my hands and knees on the bed and had moments of work as well as moments of rest. A few times I kissed Richard’s hand during those restful moments, silently thanking him for his support and hoping he understood that I was okay.
I was aware of one especially long break and felt it was the quiet before the storm. The midwife asked if I’d like to reach down and feel for the baby’s head. I felt such an incredibly strong urge to push, and suddenly my baby was in my hands and I was pulling him up to my stomach. The feeling of elation was unlike anything I had ever felt before. I had done it, and now I had this precious baby to show for it. I laughed and cried uncontrollably as I looked at Richard and my sweet baby with joy overflowing.
Connection, community & support in the childbearing years
Logan was born on March 15th, 2017 at 7:41 PM. He weighed 7 lbs 7 oz and was 20 inches long. Bringing him into this world required a lot of patience. But in the end, he was worth the wait.
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