August’s due date was set for February 5th, but all throughout my pregnancy I could feel it in my bones that he would be a January baby. Turns out my bones were wrong and I was sitting 5 days past my due date with swollen feet and an aching back. I was told by my midwife that if August didn’t make his grand entrance over the weekend I would need to schedule an appointment at the hospital for a non-stress test and to begin the discussion of induction. I wanted more than anything to go into labor naturally, but I woke up that Saturday morning and looked at my husband, Devon, and said, “This baby is not going to come this weekend, we are going to have to go to the hospital on Monday.”
I was so grouchy all day long as I tried to brace myself for a labor that was different than I had hoped. I wasn’t having contractions- only minor Braxton Hicks that were few and far between. I had been drinking red raspberry leaf tea and applying evening primrose religiously, but there seemed to be no change in my body whatsoever.
Later that night we went out to eat with my Mother for her birthday and as we sat waiting for our table at the restaurant I started to have mild contractions. At first I ignored them, trying not to get my hopes up, but they kept coming one after another so I grabbed my phone and starting timing them- they were thirty minuets apart! I got through the dinner all the while thinking ‘could this be it?!’ By the time we got home they were fifteen minuets apart and getting much harder. I tried to relax by taking a warm shower and climbing into bed, but couldn’t resist the urge to keep timing them- 9 minutes apart and beginning to become painful.
The next few hours felt like I was in a time-warp. Devon kept trying to encourage me to rest but I couldn’t. The contractions were coming closer and harder. During my early labor I experienced back labor that I could not cope with, I tried counter pressure and all the positions I was taught in my birthing class, but found no relief. By one o’clock they were finally coming in at 30 minuets apart- and we were off to the birth center. At this point in time I was not only experiencing hard contracts, but also nausea and vomiting ( note to self: do not eat fish during the last month of pregnancy, it was not pleasant.)
Once we arrived at the birth center my midwife checked me for dilatation and told me I was at 6cm- now here comes the hard part, transitional labor. The next few hours felt I felt like I had no control of my own body. Having no medication the contractions were so strong that I began to question how much longer I could take it. The midwife got the bathtub ready as we had wanted to try for a water birth. As I was getting into the tub back labor settled in again making it impossible to get relief from the pain. I was in the tub for two contractions, desperately flailing around trying to find a position that didn’t feel like I was on the cusp of death when the midwife decided to pull me out. As I was getting out I remember the distinct feeling- it was time to push.
Twenty minutes later at 4:05 am, the most beautiful gift ever was placed onto my chest. Weighing in at 7 lbs and 14 oz and 21 inches long August Reed was no doubt the most perfect baby I had ever seen. His daddy and I got to cuddle with him peacefully for an hour before they did his newborn exam at my bedside. We chose to delay the cord cutting until it stopped pulsing and skipped out on the Hep B shot and just three hours later we were headed home with our new little fella.
My birth experience didn’t exactly follow the plan I had laid out, but with the support of my wonderful husband and team of midwives it was everything I had hoped it would be. Beautiful and peaceful chaos.