I was scheduled to work the night shift on Saturday, December 7th, but I had thrown up and was not feeling well in general, so I called in sick. We went to bed around 8 pm and I fell asleep quickly.
I woke around 2:15 am to contractions, which was not unusual. I went to the bathroom because I knew I would just wake up in an hour having to go. After I laid back down, I felt a pop but there definitely was not a big gush, so I wasn’t sure if my water had actually broken. I said to Peter, “I think my water broke.” He said, “Ok.” And went back to sleep. I said a prayer asking for guidance and confirmation to know if this really was labor. There was basically no chance of me going back to sleep, so I looked at facebook on my phone and saw that my friend Liana, who had done her capstone in labor and delivery, had commented on a photo recently, so I figured she was working a night shift and decided to call her. As I was talking to her, I continued to leak more fluid, so we concluded that my water probably had broken. Peter had woken up in the meantime, and we decided to go get something to eat before the contractions were too bad. I ate some pancakes and then asked Peter to give me a blessing. During the blessing, I got some anxiety because I hadn’t felt the baby move in quite a long time. I drank some Dr. Pepper and laid on my side to try to get him to move, but he still wasn’t moving. I grabbed my stethoscope and tried to find his heartbeat, but that wasn’t working either. At this point, it was around 4 am and Peter called a couple of our neighbors to see if they could come give me a blessing.
Jeff made it over first and he and Peter gave me a blessing. I was getting pretty hysterical by this point because I still hadn’t felt him move. Then, Mark and Andrae came over. When I saw Andrae, I really lost it. I felt so much panic and despair as I was becoming more and more convinced that we were losing this baby.
The drive to the hospital was pretty quick, but silent as Peter and I were both so nervous about the situation. We got to Labor and Delivery and the nurses were taking forever to get us checked in and me on the monitors. We finally did get the monitors on and we found his heartbeat right away. I cannot explain how much relief I felt when I heard that strong heartbeat. Once the nurse left, Peter and I said a prayer of gratitude; we were both so grateful.
I had called my mom before we left, so she and Shannon got to the hospital at around 6. Since we hadn’t brought anything, Peter went home to get our stuff and they stayed with me. Upon arrival, I was STILL only dilated to a 1. This was frustrating because I really didn’t want to get pitocin, so I was really hoping that I had progressed more.
When Peter got back, my mom and Shannon left because we thought we would have a really long time. When the new nurse came on at 7, she checked me and I was dilated to a 2. Not much progress, but better than nothing. We decided with the nurse that I would only be monitored for 20 minutes out of every hour so that I could get in the tub or walk around. We tried walking around, but I had to stop for every contraction as they were getting much more painful. So, we went back to the room and I got in the tub. I spent about 30 minutes in there, but it was not as relieving as I had hoped, so I went back to the bed.
At about 8, we called Krista to let her know we were at the hospital. We had invited Krista to come to the delivery for support and to take pictures. We told her it would probably be quite a while, so no rush. She said she would leave soon to meet us there.
At 9, I had the nurse check me and I was dilated to 3 cm and 100% effaced. I was progressing at about the rate they expected, but it was getting very painful. The baby was posterior, so all of the contractions were in my back and they were double peaked, lasting about 3 minutes, with only about 30 seconds in between. During one particularly difficult contraction, I told Peter that I couldn’t do it. The nurse talked me through the contraction and once it was over, I decided that I would do it. She offered to give me some fentanyl through my IV to take the edge off and I immediately accepted. Krista arrived a few minutes later, around 9:30, and took over for the nurse.
Krista and Peter had a good system of supporting me. Peter would put pressure on my back and Krista played with my hair during every contraction. At this point, I kind of zoned out. I don’t remember much about the next two hours. Every once in a while, one of them would ask me a question and I would respond with one word. Finally, I said to get the nurse because I needed to push. She came in and checked me for what seemed like forever. She said, “Do you want the good news or bad news first?” I said, “Good news.” She said, “You’re dilated to a 9.” I said, “What’s the bad news?” She said, “You won’t be pregnant for very much longer.”
At this point, there was a flurry of movement as the nurse called another nurse to get the doctor in. It was interesting that I suddenly became very coherent and my body knew exactly what to do. I pushed for about half an hour and William was born. The doctor commented that he was bigger than she expected and they put him right on my chest. He was screaming and perfect. I kept rubbing his back because he wasn’t pinking up. The nurse gave him apgar scores of 8 and 8, both 2 off for color. They called the special care nursery nurse to come and check him. They suctioned 30 ml of fluid from his stomach, but he was still grunting, so they decided to take him down to the nursery. Peter went with him and as he was going, my mom and Shannon arrived.
William stopped grunting on the way down the hall, but they kept him to observe for half an hour. They brought him back and we were all together as a family for the first time.
Although it was painful, I would do it natural again. It was incredibly empowering how my body knew exactly what to do to bring William into this world.