I look back on our sweet little man’s birth often now with the fondest of memories. It did not go at all how we planned, but I love it all the more for that. A little context to our story: Hans and I went through Bradley Classes (husband-coached labor) and set out for an all-natural (pain-med free) labor and delivery.
With that in mind, here is the story of how our incredible son was born…
The morning I went into labor, I actually had no clue that’s what was actually happening in my body. It was February 10, at 7:45am, after Hans left for work that I experienced what I now know to have been my first contraction. Braxton-Hick’s contractions were rare for me to feel in my pregnancy and at all my doctor’s appointments I wasn’t showing any signs of progression or dilation to think labor would be coming soon. In disbelief, I still went to work.
Upon arriving, I was still feeling the tight pains, but somehow I was managing to convince myself that maybe these were the “practice contractions” I had heard about. I continued to labor at work, making frequent trips to the bathroom. Then, a doozy hit: a pain where I couldn’t catch my breath and had to call Hans to coach me through. It was at this point I started to seriously consider that this might be the real thing! After letting others in the office know, I was encouraged to head home and labor there even if it might be false. I told Hans and he had my Mom, who works nearby, come and pick me up to meet us at our house. I updated my sister at her work with what was happening. They all would serve as support for Hans in my labor.
My contractions were VERY unpredictable. I would go from some lasting a minute to others that would peak (or double peak) and last 5 minutes long. At this point, the frequency of my contractions were just as unpredictable. I would go from experiencing what I described to be “two mini ones back-to-back” to experiencing longer ones that would come and go every hour, or sometimes less. This had us all very confused and still uncertain that it was actual labor, but we all decided to prepare ourselves now just in case. So while I took a quick shower they were all tying up loose ends around the house. Hans called the hospital to describe my symptoms from earlier and while waiting to hear back, I was able to eat a quick meal. Then, another big contraction came. Hans decided it was best to go to straight to the hospital because of the unpredictable nature of my contractions, and it was a good thing we did, because while on the way the nurse called back and told us to go straight to labor and delivery. This was around 5pm.
The labor floor was full upon our arrival, so I actually had to labor on our birth ball we brought from home in the waiting area while a room was being cleaned. At this point my contractions were becoming very frequent and getting more intense by the minute. The nurse came and checked me out and said I was almost 100% effaced and dilated already to a 3. We decided to stay at the hospital and I was admitted. I was started on a penicillin drip after finding out that I tested positive for Strep-B and would have to continue every 4 hours until our son was born. Our nurse inquired more about our pregnancy and was stunned to hear that I had not been progressing at all before today, and told us that with the way my contractions were progressing and looking we could have a baby before midnight that night. At this point it was 7pm.
We were all so excited, and in utter shock. Every emotion began to set in, and the reality that the time to meet our son might be very soon was just too much to handle.
But little did we know what we actually had ahead of us…