I’m 11 days late. Ugh…
I’m fast asleep in bed Saturday night and my water broke at 12:50am. I tell Matt and we both knew to rest. I laid back down in bed with a towel between my legs and tried to get some sleep. I never went back to sleep because contractions started right away. They felt like period cramps mixed with gas pain. They were every 3-4 minutes and I was tracking them on my phone.
Get the app for that.
2 hours of contractions passed and I woke Matt back up and told him I thought it was time. I was keeping the 3-1-2 rule in mind. We had been taught not to go to the hospital too early because if you weren’t dilated enough they would send you back home. I definitely did not want that to happen. Matt was surprised I thought I was ready to go. We were expecting an all-day event. He packed the car, laid the seats down and made me a pallet. Sitting down didn’t sound appealing. It was 3:30am and we were off to Duke Regional.
I was very into it being dark. I liked my eyes being closed, the lights off or dim, and even my hair in my face to block any light out. When a contraction would come I would make a low quiet moan and focus on breathing and praying. When I learned about moaning or making noise during contractions I thought it was silly and embarrassing to watch. Come to find out it was really helpful and distracting in the best way ever.
Throughout contractions I was praying for key words that changed throughout my labor. In the beginning it was for Peace in between contractions. I wanted to be peaceful and stay calm and not be anxious or get nervous. This process was happening and I wanted to consciously choose for it to be as calm of an experience as possible. During the actual contractions I prayed for Strength. Simple strength from God to make it through and get this baby out.
When we arrived at the hospital Matt wrapped a blanket around my bottom since all I was wearing was a t-shirt and panties. Modesty was no longer a topic on my mind. I was in some kind of a zone. When we were walking into the hospital and a contraction came we had to pause and stand in the “dancing” position that we learned about. I couldn’t walk through it.
We had printed out our birth plan like we had been taught and Matt made sure to pass it out to the nurse and midwife. He did a great job at being our “birth coach.” He kept the lights low and the air nice and cold. I recognized the midwife and was relieved to see her face even though I wasn’t speaking to her, or anyone. The only thing she asked me was to scale my pain from 1-10. I responded with a 7 and then she promised to leave me alone. She checked my cervix and told us we were 7 centimeters. Thank God! Best news all day.
The midwife left us alone to labor some more and instructed Matt to come get her when there wasn’t any more down time between contractions. We changed positions in the hospital room multiple times as I couldn’t really get comfortable. My lower back was uncomfortable the more we labored. Standing and walking wasn’t appealing, it felt so exhausting.
Our midwife (and nurses) changed as her shift ended. I was sad and concerned to see her go. I recognized the next midwife and was happy to see another familiar face, but at that point I also realized that it didn’t matter. I was delivering this baby, not them. Don’t get me wrong, they were a tremendous help, but You are the MVP.
Crampy contractions turned into contractions that included a push. An involuntary, your body bends in half, push. I pushed with the contractions to try and progress things. The new midwife suggested I push at any time. I tried to push without a contraction and that was very uncomfortable and didn’t feel right. I told the midwife I wanted to only push with contractions and she was fine with that.
The contractions never got closer together. They stayed 3-4 min apart. I continued to moan through them. Matt encouraged me to eat a Lara Bar and drink water because he said I seemed like I was losing energy. I’m sure I was but for some reason I wasn’t thinking about food or being hungry. I remember burying my face in my pillow that we brought from home. It was really comforting to have a pillow that smelled like home.
I began to feel Nollie’s head move down and I knew she was coming. I told Matt and he went to get the midwife. They both coached me with encouraging words saying they could see her head and I was doing so good. It didn’t quite happen as fast as I thought it would.
My prayers changed towards the end without me thinking about it. I was praying for Life. While I was breathing and moaning through contractions I prayed that God would breathe Life into me. The contractions continued and I continued to push. Why wasn’t she out yet? How much longer? This hurts.
Eventually I couldn’t. In the end, I quit. I was done. I told them I wanted them to pull her out. Matt said “No baby, you’re doing so good. She’s almost here.” The next contraction came, whether I wanted it to or not. My body folded over and pushed. It was like as soon as I had surrendered, God took over and finished the job. I heard the midwife saying to “Look down at your baby!” She was here, finally. Laying on me.