I should have known something was up on Monday. I always joked with my midwife that when I show up for the appointment in my sweats, I’m done and the baby will probably come soon. Sure enough, I went to my appointment in my sweats for the first time on Monday morning. All day, Levi, our cat would not leave my side. And around 9:00 pm, Evie started kicking like crazy and didn’t stop for TWO HOURS!!!

I woke up at 1:00 am and when I stood up, my water broke. I freaked out because at first I thought I was peeing my pants and couldn’t stop. Then I realized, hey… that’s not pee. I called the midwife to let her know and then the contractions started… five minutes apart and intense. After an hour, my contractions were two to three minutes apart and they stayed that way until second stage.

We went to the hospital around 4:00 am and I’m glad we did because once the contractions picked up, I don’t know that Jamie could have convinced me to leave the house, let alone move at all. At 7:00 am the midwife finally checked me and we found I was only 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced. I cried and told Jamie I didn’t think I could do it without drugs this time if I was only 3 cm!!! That’s still a lot of laboring to go. But then I pulled myself together and reminded myself of what I always tell my students – an exam tells you nothing more than where you are at that exact moment. It is no indicator for where you will be in an hour or how things will progress.

So I then asked if I could get in the tub since I was having a lot of back labor. I got in the tub (ahhhhhh… that helped a lot!) and after two and a half hours, the midwife asked me if it still felt like a good place to be. It then occurred to me that I had just had four very intense contractions without a break at all and I knew I was in transition. So I got out of the tub and made it back to the room.

Another exam showed that I was 6 cm now and I thought, boy am I in for a rough transition! However five minutes later I was at 8 cm and after another five I was pushing. I started pushing and the midwife noticed I had an anterior lip (a tiny little bit of my cervix that still hadn’t dilated). So we tried not pushing for a few contractions… impossible. After trying pushing in several different positions with no change to my cervix, she had to physically push it back as I pushed to get Evie through. Not so fun, but better than a c-section for sure!

I have to say, I pushed as hard as I could, but it was really difficult. Once Evie got pretty far down it became clear why she was so hard to push out, she was flipped up into a posterior presentation (sunny side up) and was much harder to push out. After a little more than an hour of pushing, she was crowning, but not coming out (I’ve been there before… for four hours!) and her heart rate took a huge nose dive. The midwife told me she really needed to get out and she’d have to do an episiotomy so I could push her out with the next push. No objections from me. So with the next push, out she came with the cord wrapped around her neck. She was absolutely fine and making plenty of noise to let us know it.

I nursed her right away and after ten minutes I asked if it really was a girl. The midwife laughed and said she didn’t know, she just handed the baby over to me. I looked and sure enough, Evie was a girl. She nursed for an hour before sharing her with my husband and my mother – it was such a warm, snuggly, special time. Ten hours, quite an adventure, but worth it all.

It’s amazing how different two labors can be!


2 children, Bradley Method natural childbirth instructor