My husband and I had a bet as to which day our baby would arrive and well, he won.
My due date! Now I never put too much hope in the idea that our baby would come on my due date, so when the day came and went, I wasn’t surprised. Since this was my first pregnancy, I was prepared to go as much as two weeks past my due date which is very normal. With that in mind, we decided to take the day to relax, walk around the Domain and grab a little lunch at Hala Bros.
Wow had my belly dropped! After the ECV I was finally able to breathe – I wasn’t sure if the baby had dropped into position for birth or if I the relief I was feeling was due to the version. Either way, my belly was LOW!
It was now Wednesday morning and I was feeling pretty crabby. I didn’t want to get out of bed; I hadn’t slept well the night before and I had no interest in interacting with society. My husband convinced me that I would feel better if I got some movement so I began the tedious task of getting out of bed. I was now four days past my due date and as big as a house!
I think it took me until 4 pm to find the motivation to shower, get dressed and leave the house. All of this just to go grab an early dinner at Chuy’s and have a leisurely walk around Marshall’s.
Around midnight I started to feel like I had food poisoning. I had had it one other time during my pregnancy and all I could think now was that the timing for round two was terrible. Never did it cross my mind that this was the beginning of labor. In retrospect, I see it clear as day, but at the moment I was just sick and annoyed.
Sometime around 1:30 am I woke my husband up and had him call the birth center – this was NOT food poisoning. I was cramping at the top of my stomach and my lower back was spasming. I was running (fast waddle) to the washroom every 10 minutes or so followed by collapsing back on the bed in this strange array of pillows with a heating pad on top.
I would drift off to sleep for what felt like 30 seconds only to be awakened by these horrible cramps once again. This cycle repeated itself until finally around 5:30 am when we called the midwife again to let her know that we would be making our way to the birth center shortly.
It took me about what felt like forever to make it down the stairs and to the car. I had to stop every so often to ride out a contraction.
Now I’d watched 100’s of YouTube videos while I was pregnant to get an idea of what the whole labor part of birth would be like. Many of the women would casually walk to the car stopping to breathe through what looked like slight cramping while still laughing with their partner about meeting their little one soon. They were all nicely dressed, some even with hair and makeup. This was not me! I was wearing my pj’s and looked like I had been through the wringer – my labor had progressed so fast that I didn’t even have time to think about what I looked like, I just wanted to get to the center before I had the baby in the car!
We finally pulled out on to the main road only to realize that we were smack in the middle of morning rush hour traffic! I think my husband, who doesn’t have a morning commute because he works remotely, said something to the effect of “why the hell is there so much traffic?!” To which I responded, “It’s a weekday morning … In Austin”
What should have taken us 15 minutes took us closer to 40. I know this because my contractions were 15 minutes apart and I was hyper-focused on the clock in the car an attempt to steel myself for the next round. I feel sorry for anyone who looked into our car on that morning commute as I’m sure I gave them quite the fright with my grimacing and deep throaty screams from the passenger seat.
After three contractions, we finally made it to the birth center! My husband parked at the front of the building and walked me up – I made it to the elevator and bared through a contraction on the way up followed by another one in the hallway. Ugh, I was that woman, nearly toppled over trying to get the 20 ft from the elevator doors to the center entrance!
I finally made it inside and was taken back to an exam room where my midwife obtained my permission to check for dilation. In between contractions she did a quick check and announces, to her surprise, that I was 50% dilated and 100% effaced. This baby was arriving any minute and boy did it feel like it!
Before I could get settled in the birthing room they needed to get a baseline on my contractions and baby’s heart rate. I was monitored for what seemed like hours before it was announced that the baby’s heart sounded good and I was free to waddle back to the birth room.
The room was quiet, pitch black and warm – nothing fancy about it, but very cave-like, it felt primal. As they prepared the bath I swayed in an attempting to take control of my body. I knew that I needed to relax into the moment in order to take control of the pain.
I don’t remember being helped into the tub but I do remember the feeling, however brief, of sweet relief when the warm water engulfed my body. It was like nothing I’ve ever felt, it was a moment of pure bliss.
It’s about 9:30 am and I had been in labor for about seven and a half (7.5) hours when my water broke. It sounded just like a water balloon bursting; which I guess it was; which scared me out of my trance. At that point, I realized there were other people in the room with me. I guess my face showed concern because I was met with reassurance that everything was alright and that my baby and I were safe.
I don’t remember this, but I was told that the midwife was in and out of the room checking on me and that my doula and husband were actively working to keep me calm and as comfortable as possible. ❤️
Shortly after my water broke, I began having very regular and very intense contractions. At this point, my body told me it was time to push. This was intense; I remember talking with my baby saying that we were going to have to work together and that we could do this. After a few strong pushes our little darling was born! My husband was the first to greet our child and announced that we had a son. At a little before 11 am, we were now a family of three.
There are so many things I could say about this moment and the days to follow but I don’t think I could do them justice. My heart has never been more full and I have never felt as much love as I felt in those moments.
I would like to thank my birth team including my wonderful husband who never left my side, out Doula Sarah Parente with Sacred Work Doula and my midwife Jessica Good and the staff at Natural Beginnings Birth Center who provided me with strength and support; reminding me that I was powerful, that my baby and I were safe and that I was capable of having a beautiful birth. I was given the space and encouragement to connect with myself on a deeper level then I had ever thought possible. I am eternally grateful for their love and support.