I went into pre-term labor at 32 weeks. I had no idea I was 5 cm dilated or that I was even in labor to start with, until I mentioned I was having menstrual-like cramps at one of my routine checkups and my midwife checked me. I went straight to the hospital and was told the baby was going to come that night. The nurses had me hooked up to the monitors and would say, “You’re having a contraction.” And I’d say, “I am?” because I really didn’t feel anything. We tried to keep the baby in as long as possible and the neo-natal team was ready for the baby.
The baby never came that night, thank God. The longer she could stay in, the better. I stayed at the hospital for two and a half weeks, and the baby still never came. The contractions were not painful and would subside when I drank plenty of water and stayed in bed. The hospital finally decided to discharge (even though I remained at 5cm) since I had reached 35 weeks and the baby seemed healthy and my water still had not broken. Though they warned me that when my water broke, the baby would come fast and if I couldn’t make it to the hospital in time, to call 911.
It felt so good to be home, even though I was on bedrest. I thankfully wasn’t in too much pain from the contractions except when I sat down because the baby’s head was so low. After reaching 37 weeks, I was finally allowed to walk around and get out of the house. On October 20, 2010, my water broke around 6am, but I wasn’t sure if my water really broke because it was just a light trickle so I went back to sleep. Suddenly my contractions became stronger and more painful and I got up to start packing our hospital bag and told my husband that I think this was it. He didn’t really believe me because I had been in pre-term labor for so long and nothing happened thus far. After an hour, the pain became so intense that I was soon crawling on the floor. I then felt a gush of water down my leg and the contractions kept intensifying.
We got in the car by 8am and hit rush hour on the way to the hospital. I was on all fours in the back seat and buried my head in my husband’s jacket, crying, sweating, and throwing up. We sat in traffic for an hour before we reached the hospital and while we were still in the car, I suddenly felt the urge to push. My husband found a wheel chair for me and parked the car and when the contractions stopped, it was as if everything was okay and I was able to sit in the wheel chair.
When we reached the Labor and Delivery floor, they remembered I was “the girl who stayed at 5cm forever.” The contractions came back as did my urge to push and I kept yelling, “I have to poop!!!” and I jumped out of the wheel chair and onto my knees and couldn’t stop the urge to push. They quickly got me a room, checked me and found I was 10cm and ready to push. I thought the baby was going to come out any minute.
I pushed for 3 hours. I tried all sorts of positions imaginable and realized I should have done more yoga and breathing exercises because this baby was not coming out!! The clock in the room was broken so I had no sense of how much time had passed. I was so exhausted from pushing and my legs began to shake from the physical exertion. Finally when my midwife put on gloves and when the nurse put on what looked like a welding mask, I knew the baby was coming. My husband was wonderful and held up my legs for 3 hours and kept me calm and focused.
Olive arrived at 12:15pm. And boy did it feel so good. They put her on my belly right away and suctioned mucus out of her nose and mouth. She was perfect and healthy!!!!
Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation
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
Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth