This being our first baby I wanted to make sure I fully understood what the body goes through as it grows a tiny human and of course what it goes through to prepare itself for the birth of that tiny human. I always had the mindset that my body was meant to do this. I read Ina May’s books I was diligent with my hypnobirthing practice and I attended prenatal yoga at least once a week and exercised all thru pregnancy. My husband and I were self-taught when it came to labor and delivery we really liked the Birth Partner book and found it extremely informative and unbiased.
With that when I started to feel contractions around 37 weeks I didn’t panic but rather enjoyed them because I knew my body was preparing for the birth of our baby. I continued to exercise throughout pregnancy because I figured birth was going to require some serious endurance. Of course not knowing what contractions or birth was like I lived fairly naïve to most of what I felt for the next three weeks. At my prenatal appointments I chose not to be checked for progress I wanted no mental check points in my head and my doctor completely agreed. Almost every evening up till the night you were born I would wake up with sharp tightening sensations and sometimes I would even need to get up and walk around the room just to find some relief. I had read about hypnobirthing and our doula had suggested it and let me tell you it works! Combined with some prenatal yoga moves I would always find the relief I was looking for and was able to crawl back in bed. Each night though I would tell myself if these were here tomorrow, maybe, just maybe you were on your way.
As we got closer to your due date I started seeing a lot more mucus and it was very interesting, nobody had ever really told me about the loss of the mucus plug or they hadn’t really experienced it before but I thought to myself “how would anyone know their water broke with this much other stuff going on!” Ha!
On your due date June 8th, I spent the morning at our doula’s house enjoying the much needed distraction. I was starting to feel crampy which I had been feeling for many nights the week leading up to your birth. Part of me knew you weren’t that far from coming but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I headed home around 3pm and I was continuing to feel crampy and a little uncomfortable but again I held off my excitement and stayed calm. Dad came home and I told him about how I felt but I didn’t want to do anything about it. We made dinner and watched a movie. However, the whole evening I moved around, couldn’t sit still, sat on the ball, laid on the couch, swayed against the couch and took a relaxing bath but the tightening and cramping never went away. I decided to go to bed around 10pm falling asleep listening to my hypnobirthing tracks. I awoke at 1130pm to go to the bathroom and as soon as I got off the toilet I saw some show and the first real contraction hit me. I immediately knew this was it! I sat back on the toilet and awoke dad. He got out the birth partner book out and we began to prepare for your arrival. I spent a lot of time just sitting on the toilet at first and I threw up a couple times but my favorite positions to labor were on all fours on the floor or leaning against the bathroom counter with Dad keeping lite pressure on my back. Everything I practiced with the hypnobirthing combined with moves from prenatal yoga helped me breath and work through every contraction without getting too overwhelmed. I would picture my uterus moving up toward my chest and pushing you down and out. It all happened so fast I didn’t have any choice but to make sure I focused on each contraction as it came and nothing else.
We called Sarah, our doula, at 12:12am and told her this was it but we thought we were just getting the laboring started. At 12:28am we told her it was time to come. She arrived around 1:30pm and I was trying so hard NOT to push but I couldn’t stop myself. Sarah told dad it was time to go NOW. The whole time I was laboring your brother Palmer (our golden retriever) kept very close to me and he kept bringing me his favorite blankie as if it would make me feel better. We threw everything into the truck and Palmer escaped and Dad had to go find him, once he did we sped off to the hospital. It was so hard to be in the truck as I was trying to concentrate on stopping the urge to push by doing ‘horsey lips’ like Sarah instructed me to do while holding tightly to the back seat of the truck. It was so so overwhelming. We made it to the hospital and waddled to the door, the security took what seemed like forever to open the door and it took a couple tries to actually get in the elevator. On the way up to Labor and Delivery I remember telling Sarah I felt something coming and sure enough you were. We waddled into the hall way to check in and your dad gave the nurses the cookies and muffins I made, which they loved, and we rushed into a room. The nurses flew into action, forced me onto the bed and felt your head on its way! Dad and Sarah helped me get comfortable settling on all fours while the nurse held the monitor on my belly to keep your heart rate tracked. I had some breaks where I would focus on taking a breath for you and for me and getting a drink of water from Sarah. I felt you slowly move your way down and I was able to control every push as it came to me. Dr. Grim arrived and her and Dad prepped to bring you out. You were born at 2:48am with your little hands next to your chin, Dad was there helping you out. It was so very special to hear him tell me you were a boy!
We were so very grateful for our Doula Sarah if it wasn’t for her knowledge and quickness your birth story could have been a little different. It was such a wonderful experience having Sarah as part of our birth team.
Written by: Katie Smith, mama