I may earn money from links in this post.
The birth of our son was an adventure. Something I’m not going to forget anytime soon. I want to share our story with all the other moms and mothers-to-be looking for advice or experiences.
Now to get our point of view I need to share some factors in play.
- My side of the family seemed to be cursed with holidays as birthdays or other celebrated days.
- My brother had sent in his mission papers mid-pregnancy and received his call late March or early April. I was due at the end of May/early June. His report date was before my due date.
- Mr. Nerd and his father both had birthdays in may.
- My family has no formal family photos with my younger brother in them.
Now I was hoping that I wouldn’t have a mother’s day baby. Because that didn’t seem like a great first mother’s day to me. Also, I had been having this feeling since my first trimester that my due date wasn’t quite right. The end of the month felt too late to me, but it is just an estimate based on things we can’t see and measure exactly by ourselves. I just followed my midwife’s advice and as long as we reached the 36th week we could go ahead with our plan for a natural birth at the center. So I wasn’t set on the exact days I had left once I hit 36 weeks.
I left my job at the end of my 35th week and planned to finish some prep work like frozen meals and sewing cloth diapers. (Hint they didn’t get done for a few months longer.) I was very slow and sore now. It hurt to stand and keep going each day. Added to that we were all anxious because my brother was gearing up for his departure to the mission field. I really wanted him to meet his nephew before he left. And then my dad decided to add to my plate. He wanted to do a family photo session before he left, which implied before I had the baby. Mind you were down to days left. Not much time for planning a photo shoot, nor did I look nice for photos.
Mother’s day. I’ll always remember it. My brother was giving his Farewell speech and we were all together to celebrate mom, and me, a bit. Photos were set for that Saturday. The morning starts slowly as always. But something felt different. I had followed a prompting and packed the baby go back the night before. I told Batman to stick it in the car just in case. Midmorning church is about to start and the contractions start. They are just twinges at first. More sharp than kicks but not as painful as a foot to the ribs. I had started to walk around away from my family. My mom noticed and checked on me. I told her. She had a very calm reaction. She had grown excited about becoming a grandma, but she wasn’t celebrating yet. She knew we planned to take our time to adjust to parenthood.
I kept track roughly of when they would hit. They were about 15 minutes apart. Maybe 10 to 30 seconds long.Over the course of a few hours they were growing stronger and by the afternoon they were 10 minutes apart and steadily growing in length and strength. We didn’t tell anyone else. I had heard that contractions could take a while before getting to the 5-1-1 rule. And we didn’t want others to freak out or make demands to be there for the birth.
For My Birth Plan, I only wanted Batman, my midwifery team, and two close friends as support, as I was very scared and doing this natural instead of at a hospital with an epidural. I was considered very low risk and didn’t like the idea of not being able to move as I wanted or do as I needed to, so epidural was out of the question. I was relying a lot on my instincts in this situation. As much as I had read on the subject I still felt that I had no idea what I was doing but that my body would just take over and do as it needs to for the birth. Midwives were there to make everything was going fine for baby and me. I had even picked my choice of the two suites. Each had a huge bed and a large tub. One was more rectangular while the other was a big circle. I wanted the circled one.
The evening had progressed and by the time it was for us to head home it still had not progressed far enough to go in. I had called the midwife during the afternoon to inform her labor had started, and continued to keep her up-to-date via text messages. We went to bed in hopes to rest if not sleep until labor was certain. Mr. Nerd was able to get some sleep and I rested my eyes but it was nearing midnight when the contractions spiked in intensity and frequency.
Late Night for Sure
It was a groggy realization that the contractions were under 5 minutes apart. I called our midwife back and woke Batman, as we were given the go-ahead to come to the center. We quickly packed up and started the hour-long drive. We immediately ran into some stressful situations that we had to adapt to such as the main road to and through our city was blocked off completely due to some crazy wreck.
Finally, we arrived. Once we got into the suite, my midwife first asked me how I was feeling and a couple other questions to determine how far along I was in labor. Then she checked how much I had dilated. It turned out that I had dilated to 3 cm and effaced 70%. This chart gives a comparison of how much the cervix expands for birth. Effacement is when the cervix thins and stretches, making it possible for the baby to pass through the birth canal. Effacement and Dilation can start even before labor starts but in my understanding, you do have to be at a certain point before the mother can deliver. But this step can happen at all various speeds and timing for any pregnancy.
Then the bad news came, I hadn’t progressed far enough to stay, while my contractions had gotten closer together (usually a sign that delivery could be soon) it wasn’t going any further and the best thing to do would be rest at home. I felt dejected, I was so over being pregnant I didn’t want getting there to be a waste. I was tired and so sore. We arrived home and I sadly realized I hadn’t felt a contraction since we left. She had been right, I wasn’t going to progress any further and this was the day our son would be born. We crawled back into bed hoping to get a little bit more rest before having to get up in a few hours for work in Mr. Nerd’s case. Luckily his supervisor was notified early on that there was a chance he wouldn’t be into work that day. She was forgiving of him being sleepy at work and also jumping every time his phone went off. She also kept it quiet since we weren’t planning to announce the birth to anyone until we were ready for visitors. Though him being gone from work would be a bit obvious.
The Waiting Game
Monday I don’t really recall many contractions. If I had them they were minor and about 15 to 20 minutes apart and then would stop after a few times. It frustrated me a lot! About this point, I learned about Prodromal Labor. It comforted me that I wasn’t some bizarre case. It was just as if I was having back labor – which spoiler I did end up with back labor. Tuesday was even more frustrating because labor started early morning 20+ minutes apart. They were getting closer together and then would stop. Roughly for about 2 hours or so and then start all over again. I started having problems standing. I cried most of the day on and off. Honestly, I felt extremely alone. We had stopped talking to my in-laws because they were not wanting to respect us as adults and have appropriate boundaries with us concerning our home and choices on our family. My parents, on the other hand, we were still struggling with accepting the positive changes that had started to appear in our relationship. My sister was in the same boat as my in-laws. At this point in my life, I desperately wished I had a positive mother figure that I could call on at any moment. It was very afraid, I didn’t want to continue this process. I was afraid that I’d be stuck in the labor and never deliver for weeks!
I was calling on my midwife several times that day trying to understand what signs I was looking for to know that labor was “progressing”. The most helpful comment was “You’ll know it when it happens.” That just pissed me off more. I called her at 10 PM crying and mad and terrified about what was going on as contractions kept coming but nothing magically was happing except spasms of pain. She suggested I take a nice warm bath and try to relax. I woke up my husband to complain and have him hold me. He helped me get in and then later out of the tub after a while. The contractions hadn’t stopped. They had eased a bit while in the water, weightless and warm. I got out and laid down on the bed.
My back was aching badly. Like, severe menstrual cramps. I put on a light heating pad trying to ease the pain. I figured it was caused by the weight of my belly and all the pacing I had done that day. Probably an hour of laying there trying to relax had passed and the cramps were still as painful or more. And with a brilliant realization. the pain was ebbing up and down in equal increments. They were contractions, not cramps! I decided to sit in my rocking chair and pay attention to the contractions.
My midwife wasn’t kidding. I’d know when something had changed. All of a sudden I couldn’t form words. When I tried to speak up it was a hoarse whimper. I tried to shout to wake Batman. But that didn’t work. Ended up slapping my hand on the wall beside me and throwing a pillow at him. He woke suddenly but cognitively was still half asleep. I had been trying to show him the timer logs and get him to call the midwife but he was a bit slow. Eventually, he got the phone working. The decision to come to the birth center was determined much quicker. We did end up waiting about an hour just to make sure the contractions were not going to stop. The drive was just as stressful for my husband as I couldn’t talk really and was having more severe contractions through the drive even if the roads were not blocked off.
Once we arrived they had to practically carry me up the stairs as my legs kept giving out. Once again she examined my cervix. I had jumped to 7 cm and didn’t even bother mentioning how effaced I was. Batman called my two best friends while my midwives checked over my basic health and cleared me to labor and hopefully birth in the water. They set the tub water to a warm temperature and eased me into the basin. Though I wish I had spoken up about the water. I like my baths pretty hot. Next time I’ll make sure its warmer water and kept warm. As mine got colder and dirtier as time progressed and it bothered me but I couldn’t speak up for myself. I lacked the strength and was too concerned about not being petty about “little things”. So to you, mama’s preparing for your life-changing event, don’t be afraid to speak up for anything big or small.
Auntie Watson, one of my aforementioned friends, arrived shortly after I got into the water. For the first part, my supporters were quite unsure what to do. I had my back against the tub side and feet across to the other side. Batman was behind me, hands on my shoulders. Watson held my hand, letting me squeeze her’s at each contraction. After several contractions and reassurances from my midwife, Watson started talking. I don’t really recall what was discussed. I know there was a joke or two involved but they inane chatter gave me something to focus on between contractions instead of tensing up in anticipation. Eventually, my labor progressed that the chatter bothered me during contractions and I shushed them once and squeezed hard on their hands. Each following contractions I only had to squeeze for them to pause their voices. I had been in the water for almost three hours, I had been pushing for a while but not yet crowning. Finally, it was suggested to try a different position in hopes to help our baby along.
The Birth of a Wiggle-Worm
I was apprehensive about moving because, well, I felt like I couldn’t stand the weight was so far down. My midwives set up space right beside the tub so I could stand in what is called a yoga swing. This is what it looked like. Basically, I wound my arms into the upper loops and the large main loop was at my back. Mr. Nerd was positioned to support me from behind as well. They helped me stand and step out of the tub. That definitely hurt, Baby’s head was knocking at the door about to bust out! I later learned this was called the Ring of Fire, named appropriately. I was terrified that his head was going to drop out and crack on the rim as I was straddled over the tub side. He didn’t. Baby crowned at the next contraction. I was overjoyed once My midwife finally called out ” I see his head. I’ve got him!” It was only a breath and then another contraction hit almost painlessly as he slipped out. There was a lot of fluid that came out with him. It was like a dam breaking, which in a sense it was. My baby was immediately handed to me with a blanket cause he was really slippery. At that point, my legs just about gave out. I had one of those odd shaped balls to sit on. I looked a mess. Felt exhausted but there was still more to do.
I had a short break as they pulled down the bed’s covers and laid out towels and such to deal with all the fluid and blood remaining. They aided me to the bed wobbling but clutching my baby to me. I had done it. There was still the after birth to go through but, I was reassured that it was more like cramps than a real contraction. And it was, I barely noticed. One of the midwives had rubbed my belly and caused a whole gush of fluid to come out. With it, the placenta had come and I hadn’t felt anything. They did some immediate checks on the baby like breathing, heart rate, and his appearance while he was still on my chest. Humorously, He also had his first poop – on me – during this first rest period. He still was attached to his umbilical cord and happily mewling on my chest. Batman joined us on the bed and we had our first moments to welcome him into our family. Auntie Watson got a shot of this for us. Isn’t that prune face adorable!
After enough of the blood had pumped from the placenta to our son the cord was cut and tied. The rest of his measurements and vitals were taken. Once that was done daddy took him and bundled him up for a bit so the midwives could take care of me. I had torn because what we suspected to be a small but long baby, was actually a very big baby for my size. Wiggle-worm came out 8 lbs and 4 oz! I would require a few stitches and they had to numb it a lot so that I wouldn’t feel it. Once that was done I was given the choice of a shower or the tub to clean myself up. I wanted the tub. I felt like a newborn calf after giving birth, and I preferred baths honestly. I was also told that before I could leave I’d have to go pee. Even suggested going in the tub as the toilet was on the far side of the suite. Honestly, I tried since I couldn’t muster the strength to walk over there. Eventually, I had to go to the bathroom and hope normality would help me along. And Ladies, if a peri bottle is given to you, use it. It felt so good in the early days. Toilet paper is like sandpaper at first. I waited a few weeks before I mustered up the courage or need to use it.
A Fresh Start
Once I was cleaned up and dressed in clean clothes and feeling a bit better, I joined my husband and our son to the couches in the side room. From there we made our first attempt at breastfeeding. It was a sign of struggles to come as he struggled and nothing felt comfortable about the different holds we tried. Also, I was still in residual back pain, so it was suggested that both baby and I be seen by the chiropractor downstairs in the center. I had been seeing her for about half of my pregnancy due to other alignment issues and it sounded really good at that point. And it did help I had walked down the stairs hunched over and was able to hold myself up straight after it.
Shortly after all this, I was discharged and able to head home. We had come in at 4 am, our son had been born about 7:30 am, We were about to head out into lunch rush traffic. I had found the strength to carry on during the labor and give birth to our son. My last decision of the day was what to eat for lunch. Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. We got the large picnic style box and planned to eat it over the next few days. I had earned it. Challenges would come but I had given birth, unmedicated, I could deal with what was to come.
What are your worries about labor and birth? What’s in your Birth Plan? Drop a comment and let me know!
Products from Amazon.com
Price: $12.75Was: $12.95
Price: $14.30Was: $15.95
Price: $12.91Was: $20.00
Price: $15.59Was: $19.95