I had been having prodromal labor (labor that starts and stops, often referred to as “false labor” however there is nothing false about it) for about 2 weeks. On Thursday August 6, I started having contractions at 10pm. They were nothing terrible and pretty easy to breathe through but strong enough that I wasn’t able to sleep. I was up all night with these contractions that were not getting stronger or closer together. I was ready to chalk it up to prodromal labor.
When Josh and Jack woke up in the morning, I was still awake from the night before. I was pretty tired but unable to sleep through these contractions. Josh suggested we take a walk and see if they picked up. We walked and they started to slow down. I was pretty discouraged at this point but thought if it is meant to happen, it will.
We got home and contractions spaced to every 10 minutes instead of every 5 minutes, however they were stronger. All of this just didn’t make sense to me. I went on the spinningbabies website to see if there were any techniques I could use to try to get labor to pick up again. I tried the belly lift. I did it for 10 contractions in a row just like the site said and wouldn’t you know it, my contractions picked up. Now back to every 5 to 6 minutes lasting 60-90 seconds.
They were getting stronger and more intense and I decided it was time to listen to my hypnobabies birthing day script. This helped me TREMENDOUSLY! I was able to breathe through and allowed my body to just go completely limp. (Josh actually thought the contractions had stopped at one point because he couldn’t tell if I was having them.) Contractions were getting stronger but still not closer together. At about 3pm, Josh suggested we head for the hospital. I was pretty sure they would just send us home because I wouldn’t be progressed enough but I agreed we could just go and see.
We arrived at the hospital around 3:30 and when I told the nurse I was there to have a baby she gave me a funny look. (I didn’t look like I was in huge amounts of pain). I think she thought I was scheduled for an induction. It was pretty comical when she admitted me and checked me for dilation only to find I was dilated to 7!!! I thought, “wow, this has been sooo much easier than my first labor”.
I really wanted to get up and move but the nurse insisted I be on the monitor for at least 15 minutes. I consented and put in my hypnobabies. (I don’t give it enough credit; the hypnobabies did so much for me with this labor!) After she took off the monitor I got in the tub and was not comfortable in there. I sat on the birthing ball while Josh rubbed my back. My best friend, Ashley, showed up at about 4:15. When I was tired of the ball, I laid in bed and Ashley rubbed my belly during a contraction which helped a lot. Just then (around 5:30, I think) my water broke and I instantly felt pressure. We got the nurse who checked me and said I was about 9cm and that she would call my doctor who lived 10 minutes away.
From this point on, everything went really fast. With every contraction I felt the urge to push and most of the time I couldn’t stop my body from doing it. I was laying on my side in the hospital bed hanging on to the side bar for dear life. Ashley was rubbing my belly and Josh was rubbing my back. Doc got there and asked if he had time to get his scrubs on before he checked me. The nurse told him he didn’t have time to even check me, baby was coming! He quick threw on his scrubs and my body was pushing. It hurt so bad! I did a lot of screaming, a lot of yelling at my support team telling them they didn’t understand the pain I was in. I believe at one point, I said I was done and I just wanted to go home. (I don’t remember that feeling with my first.)
I was laying there, legs together and finally someone just pulled my one leg open and I turned onto my back all while pushing. I kept telling them that he was coming out of my butt because that is honestly what if felt like. Doc told me to reach down and feel his head and I did. What an amazing feeling! After a few pushes his head came out and I waited for another contraction to get the rest of him out. He was born at 6pm on the dot and perfect in every way! They immediately put him on me and we have been together ever since!
They did not whisk him away to a warmer, they did not cut his cord until it stopped pulsating. My birth went as perfectly as I could have planned! The doctor did the minimal assessments with Elliot on my chest and said he’d be back in the morning to check on us and finish assessing him. Doc told me that we could have done this one without them (him and the nurse). That felt good to hear.
Pretty soon it was just me, E, and Josh in the room. He happily nursed for about 25 minutes on one side. After that, we got up and walked to our new room where we would stay for the night.
Elliot was born on August 7 and weighed 8lbs 3oz. He was 19 ½ inches long and has a full head of hair!
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
The Doula Book: How A Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have A Shorter, Easier, And Healthier Birth
Birth is inspiring, amazing, and empowering. This website shares a collection of real natural birth experiences from you, the readers. Births the way nature intended. No pitocin. No epidural. Just the beauty (and intensity!) of the human body at work. Whether you've had one natural birth, five natural births, or are considering natural birth in the future, our hope is you will find courage and joy in these stories. Enjoy.
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor's Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices
Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth