I mistakenly assumed Vanessa would come early since my other three had come early and this was my 4th pregnancy. Apparently she was warm and cozy and in no hurry to come just yet. My mom was going out of town on April 14th and I was panicking as my due date of April 11th came closer and closer. I was exhausted from weeks of keeping the laundry done, house clean, food stocked, etc in preparation for the new baby. Oh and hours and hours of walking and bouncing on my exercise ball was kind of hurting my body. I had switched midwifery groups and hospitals at 39 weeks due to some issues with the first, so once that was done, I was ready! My goal was for a natural birth again so I finally felt comfortable and confident with my midwife just in time.
My midwife checked me at my 40 week appointment and I was still only dilated to a 1 and not effaced at all—which is where I had been for a month already. My contractions had been getting stronger and more frequent so that was a big disappointment that they weren’t really doing anything. She stripped my membranes and wished me luck. Friday came and still nothing and my mom was leaving in just a couple of days. I hurried off for an induction acupuncture appointment hoping that would do the trick. I had some pretty strong contractions during the appointment that continued on throughout the day. That afternoon I lost the plug so I was getting pretty excited that she would come before my mom had to leave town. The next few days were filled with on and off early labor and continual bleeding (the good labor kind). I kept timing my contractions and they would be consistent ALL day at 10-15 minutes apart and then stop completely. Then I would be super crampy then back to contractions. This went on until active labor early Wednesday morning. It was pretty exhausting physically and emotionally. I kept getting ramped up then let down. I about lost my mind by Sunday. I spent the entire morning sobbing. My body and emotions were completely drained. My mom was leaving the next day and realizing it was too late and I wouldn’t have her here both to care for my kids and to have the comfort and support of having my mom around. My mom is an angel and cancelled her trip so that took some relief off.
Around 4:30 am Monday morning I woke up with some strong contractions. They were coming regularly between 10-15 minutes apart. I had to stop and breathe through them so I was convinced this was it. I let Jared sleep and went to make kids lunches and pack their backpacks for school. I finished packing my bags and prepared for them to come closer together so I could call my mom and head to the hospital. They never came closer together. Everyone was on alert and Jared stayed home from work. We walked 3 miles twice until I could hardly move. I bounced and rocked on my exercise ball. NOTHING! They ended up stopping later that evening. Tuesday came and I had another appointment with my midwife. At that point I had dilated to a 3 and was completely effaced. So at least my “labor” had done something. She stripped my membranes again. But I had resigned myself to the fact that this baby was never coming…
Tuesday night I had some regular contractions about 8 minutes apart for a few hours and then they stopped again. I had contractions all through the night which I just tried to sleep through since I had been doing that for a week already. Around 3:30 in the morning I thought the contractions were getting close and that I should time them. I was still laying in bed just trying to sleep. On the second timed contraction I heard a pop and felt a gush! Knowing how fast my babies come when my water breaks threw me into a panic. I jumped up and yelled at Jared that my water broke. I called my mom in a panic then called to let my midwife know. At this point the contractions were still totally irregular but very close together (every 2-5 minutes) and very short (around 30 seconds). They were getting intense fast! We made it to the hospital around 4 am and then had to sit in the ER for about 10 minutes for Labor & Delivery to come and get me. It was horrible trying to labor sitting in a chair with the ER security guy watching me. We got up to our room and I could barely get undressed because the contractions were so close together. I tested positive for Group B Strep so I was telling Jared to tell the nurses to hurry. I could tell that I was getting pretty far along and needed to get the IV in. I started throwing up and shaking which is a good indicator to me that I am in the final part. I also could not figure out how to put the stupid gown on so I just labored naked. I love how modesty goes out the window in these situations. They put me on the bed to check on the baby and to try to get the IV in. I told them I felt far along so she checked me and I had dilated to a 7. The nurse put the band around my arm to find a vein. I had one strong contraction, threw up during the contraction and immediately felt the urge to push. My midwife had shown up at some point here and checked me. I dilated from a 7 to a 10 in one contraction. I had kind of rolled onto my side during the last contraction so she had me just stay there for pushing. I felt the pressure building and my midwife told me to just follow my instincts. I pushed three times in one contraction and our baby girl was born. It was absolutely incredible and shocking. She was born at 4:56 am. It all happened so fast and I spent my intense labor trying to get the gown on and worried about getting the IV in that I didn’t focus on the pain at all. The birthing process is so amazing and our bodies are incredible. It has been such a gift to be able to experience the way our bodies work to bring a baby into the world.
It was incredible when they put her right on my chest. There is nothing like a hot baby fresh from my body. It is the most amazing experience and I feel so blessed to have been able to carry and bring four kiddos to this earth. Even through all the frustrations of pregnancy and days of labor, our baby girl is here and she is healthy. She is such a gift to our family!