I’ve decided that I’m going to break up G’s birth story into three parts: early labor, active labor, and afterward. I’ll try not to ramble 🙂 Also, I will use cuss words. And I will be graphic. If you’ve never had a baby and are hoping for a natural birth, I don’t recommend you read this. I will be honest.
Part I- Early labor
I’ll have to start out this story the night before he was born. It was July 26th. I was achy and anxious to see him, but still fairly comfortable being 40 weeks and 4 days pregnant. Matt and I decided to have sex that night, not because I wanted to go into labor, but because we figured we wouldn’t get to for a long while. We did and all way fine. We went to bed.
I slept terribly that night but didn’t think much of it. I had been having Braxton Hick’s contractions 24 hours a day for over a month, so feeling uncomfortable was just something I was used to. I got up that morning and did all of my regular stuff. Breakfast, coffee and cartoons, dishes. I stopped a few times while I was washing the dishes because I felt some really strong Braxton Hick’s. They kept coming and got a bit stronger, so I accepted them as real labor contractions and texted Matt. I said “I’ve been having contractions, but don’t worry. I’m fine.”. Of course he calls me! It was about 10:30AM. My day continued as normal. I got dressed and ready to leave for my appointment. I had an ultrasound scheduled for 12PM and a non-stress test at 1PM, with a regular appointment to follow.
Matt dropped me off at my appointment. I was having regular contractions a few minutes apart. They had seemed to slow down and weaken at this point. I went in and had my ultrasound. It was pretty quick- 10 minutes, tops. The tech said all was well. She said I had a lot of fluid still, and when my water breaks, it’ll be a gush, not a trickle. I got a cute profile picture of the baby, then headed upstairs for my non-stress test.
The new receptionist said that she scheduled my non-stress test for right after, so I could head right in. Well, the receptionist upstairs said my midwife wasn’t there, so I’d have to wait. I decided to go home for lunch. I wasn’t going to sit in the waiting room for forty-five minutes. So, I walked home. The office is only a few blocks away from my house. Maybe a quarter mile. I had a bunch of contractions on the way home. At this point, I’d say they were weak contractions. I remember thinking that these weren’t as bad as a leg cramp.
I got home, had a quick snack, and helped Matt get ready for Lily’s pediatrician appointment. She had one at 1:15PM because she had been running a fever. We assumed it was from teething but it spiked up to 102 once, so we figured it was best to have her ears checked. Matt dropped me off at 1PM and left for her appointment.
I got in, got weighed (158.8! I lost two pounds!), and got undressed from the waist down. My favorite nurse came in and strapped me down and hooked me up. She brought me some juice and I got comfy. Three minutes later, a contraction started and POP! My water broke. Yep. I remember saying “Oh my god!” and wondering if anyone heard me! I had no idea what to do. It literally gushed out of me. There was fluid everywhere. I was up on the exam table, so the entire table was wet and amniotic fluid was pouring down the sides. I remember thinking how warm it felt. It reminded me of warm spaghetti. Weird, I know.
Thankfully my nurse did hear me and came in to check on me. She pulled the curtain back and I said “I’m 100% sure my water just broke.” She said something like “ARE YOU SERIOUS?” I’ll never forget the look on her face! We both just started laughing, which of course was making more fluid pour out of me. I was SO embarrassed. The poor nurse had no idea what to do- this sort of thing doesn’t often happen on an exam room table unless they planned it! She started grabbing all the thin brown paper towels out of the dispenser by the sink. I started laughing even harder. That definitely was not going to work! She popped her head out of the room and yelled for my midwife, Carolyn, who had just arrived back at the office. Carolyn came in and her jaw dropped when I told her. She immediately went to get towels. We all were giggling and pretty unsure how to clean everything up. It was A LOT of fluid! I stood up and they had to get a towel for me to stand one because it was still streaming down my legs…we joked that we needed a wet floor sign in there 🙂
(My fluid was clear, by the way. It smelled sort of sweet. I know you birthy-types will like details. )
We finally got all the fluid cleaned up and the table disinfected. I hopped back up so Carolyn could check my cervix. I knew I’d have to be admitted within 24 hours, but I was hoping to labor at home, so we wanted to make sure I was like 4 centimeters and had time. WELL. I was 7 centimeters. Carolyn’s jaw dropped again. I asked her what was wrong and she said, “Sweetheart, we need to head on over the hospital. You’re 7 centimeters.” We all were pretty shocked…although now I realize I must have been pretty far along for my water to break like that. I started shaking- something I do any time I get a rush of adrenaline. We all were smiley and giggling about what had just happened.
I got dressed and met Carolyn in the waiting room. She was getting my admission paperwork and explaining to the receptionists that she needed to leave NOW. I was still contracting at this point, but was fine. It hit me then that I couldn’t walk home from this appointment. Carolyn wouldn’t let me. But I needed my hospital bag and still felt okay, so I needed to go home still. I had to call Matt. He was at the pediatrician’s office and I had his cell phone, so I had to call the office and tell them I needed to talk to him. I remember feeling silly telling them it was an emergency. He got on the phone and I told him what had happened. He left then to come get me. I called Matt’s mother, Janet, to let her know it was time. She was going to watch Lily.
We got home fifteen minutes later and started picking up the house and getting ready. Janet arrived. Matt took his sweet time getting ready- he had lunch and packed snacks and his PlayStation Vita. I was still shaking. I was still in disbelief. I was pretty excited, too…