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I had done the research, read the books, watched the videos, took the classes, browsed Pinterest for hours, and talked to other moms. I knew that when it was my turn I would know exactly what to do. I wanted a natural, unmedicated birth. I found a great community midwifery center and with my husband, spoke about what we were looking for. We found it! We felt confident and comfortable with every one of the midwives we met there. I knew we would be well taken care of.
Six days after my due date on December 3, 2017 I lost my mucous plug on the toilet at 11:25 at night. My husband was in the other room, so I shot him a quick text message. “I think it may be early labor. I’ve got some bloody show.” He had already gone to bed, but came to the bathroom quickly. “What do we need to do?!” He was pretty concerned. I let him know that baby time could still be a few days/ weeks away. Nothing to worry too much about. I called my mom to let her know what was going on and would keep her updated. She was planning on riding with us to the birth center. I got ready for bed and laid down.
Contractions started shortly after I had gone to bed. I had had Braxton Hicks going on 2 weeks now. This was different. It didn’t go away when I changed positions. Putting a pillow, sitting up, turning over didn’t help. I started paying attention to the pressure. They were steady. My back was hurting a little so I decided to take a warm bath. I had enjoyed lavender baths, with gentle music playing in the background, the lights dimmed, surrounded by candles. This night wasn’t any different. The water felt amazing. I had a feeling birth was imminent. I prayed. During every contraction I would say a different prayer. I prayed for my baby, my labor, my husband, and our relationship. I asked God to watch over me and baby. To give me strength and courage. To know that my body was doing exactly what he designed it to do. To help me remember that every contraction was bringing baby down and that he was closer to being earth side. I was timing contractions now, they were becoming more regular, but not hurting. I got out of the bath.
Contractions were still coming. I worked through them with deep squats, sitting on the birthing ball doing hip circles or pelvic tilts, yoga poses (specifically child’s pose) were helpful. I tried to go to bed, because I knew I needed sleep, I still couldn’t get comfortable. Throughout it all, I continued to remind myself that every contraction brings me closer to my baby. Timing contractions, they were 3 minutes apart, last 1 minute long, it had been going for over an hour. Time to call mom.
She made it to my house about 30 minutes after I had called her. Mom made it to the house about 3:30 a.m.. She found me topless, wrapped in a blanket, on my birthing ball facing my recliner, timing contractions while my concerned yorkie looked on. What a sight, right? I had told her what I had been experiencing and how my contractions were. She suggested I stop timing them. I did. They were still coming regularly, but I was able to focus on other things, like relaxing in between them, instead of anticipating their arrival. I got in the recliner, was able to get semi-comfortable and I slept. Not much, but I did get rest.
I woke up around 6 a.m. and HAD to go to the bathroom! My body was cleansing itself preparing for birth. I have always had a tender stomach, but diarrhea, pregnancy, and contractions do not go well together. I started gagging. Finally threw up. That was enough pressure to break my water. All kinds of bodily fluids, pouring out of me. Whew! I vomited a few more times after that and every time was more water.
My husband got up at 7 a.m.. I advised him that we were going to have a baby and that he shouldn’t go to work. We called his parents and let them know what was going on and to be on stand by for when we headed to the birth center. I am in the zone. I’m focusing on breathing through contractions and willing baby to come down. My husband is getting ready to head to the birth center, my mom is supporting us both.
I had a regular appointment at 10:30 at the birth center. It’s 9 a.m. now. To get to my appointment on time, we would have to leave by 9. That’s not going to happen. I call the midwife on call. Tell her what was going on and that I wanted to labor at home as long as possible. She advised me to go ahead and start that way, if I wasn’t dilated enough, they would send me to walk around the mall or send me home. That upset me. Our drive is almost an hour and a half long, if I wasn’t dilated, they may send me home. I did not want that. A few minutes later the midwife called me back. My blood pressure had been high the last week of my pregnancy, was put on bed rest, told to take at least 2 Epsom salt baths a day, and just relax. She called to say that I needed to come in, because my blood pressure was concerning to them.
We made it into the car. Towels and puppy pads are down to protect the seats, there is a baby diaper in my underwear, to catch the water that comes out every time I gag or vomit. Extra blanket in case I get cold, breakfast, and a small trash bag for the puke. There are 2 and a half miles of dirt road before we get to the highway. It took us a full hour to get to the highway. Every bump caused a contraction. I would have my husband stop the car so I could work through it. Finally to the highway the speed limit was way too fast for me. 55 mph was what I felt comfortable with. Bumps at 65 mph were too much! Contractions now made me hot. The extra blanket would come off, the air conditioner would be turned on. I moved around a lot trying to find a comfortable position to sit.
At the birth center. I’m still nauseous. There is water on my gown. I’m tired, and in my zone. Not wanting to talk or communicate with anyone. I just wanted to focus on the contractions. The midwives take me back to the birthing room as soon as we pull up. While they are running water in the birthing tub they check me.
Oh, a 7! I was pretty surprised. Almost there.
Getting in the warm birthing tub was a wonderful feeling. I immediately felt more relaxed, calm, and centered. Upon every contraction I would will my body to stay relaxed and calm. This worked for about 45 minutes. The midwives encouraged me to push if I felt the urge. I thought they were crazy for suggesting that I would be that close. I decided to get out of the tub because I was getting too hot.
When I was finally out, gravity took over, and what were intense contractions in the water, felt a whole lot harder. It was a brand new sensation. The midwives checked me again. Dilated to a 9. Not much longer now. Babies heart rate was still strong, no signs of distress. We were safe. I labored on the bed. I labored standing up. I labored on the birthing ball. Still at a 9.
It was time for a little guidance from my birth team. Checking me again, they realized I had a cervical lip. On the next few contractions they had me push babies head down through that, while she moved the cervical lip back. They then discovered that his head was turned toward my hip which was hindering him from moving down on his own. I was going to have to push him. Lots of guidance, back rubs, pushing, and different positions; fear was beginning to creep in. For the first time in a few hours I really looked at my husband, who had been so supportive through labor, and I asked him to pray for us. Just hearing his words and remembering all of my prayers the night before gave me enough strength to finish. We were so close.
My midwife suggested the lotus position. I was willing to try anything. I was very ready to meet my baby. They helped me onto the bed. I grabbed my ankles and pulled them to my chest. When a contraction would come they advised me to push and hold. I had to do this a few times. Finally, while holding they guided my hand down to feel his head. Just as I suspected. Lots of hair. One more push, the most painful part of the entire process. The ring of fire. It’s no joke. He was out. My husband caught and laid him on my stomach.
I felt such a rush. A state of euphoria I had never experienced. I was so very happy to have met my sweet baby boy. The one that I had dreams about and carried so close to me. He was so calm. His bright eyes, checking out every thing around him.
We welcomed Swayze Michael at 4:33 p.m. on December 4, 2017 after 15 hours of labor. I would do it all over again and again. He is a wonderful baby and I’m so thankful God chose me to be his mom.
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