*This post contains details of labor and birth.
On Saturday morning, I woke up and didn’t think “today is the day”. I made breakfast and started a load of laundry and was getting things in order for the week ahead. When I went to the bathroom, I noticed my mucus plug was starting to come out and there was even a slight tinge of blood in it. This is a sign that the cervix is ripening but this is a process that can happen over days or even weeks. I called the mom to be and let her know we’re getting close and I thought she’d be here early in the week. I took the kids grocery shopping around 11 am to stock up the fridge and starting having contractions (they felt like painful pressure on my cervix). I had a couple at the store and still didn’t think much of it. When we got home, I made lunch for the kids and did another load of laundry. The contractions kept up though I wasn’t timing them because I couldn’t REALLY be in labor.
I made “just in case” arrangements with one of my friends to be on standby for the weekend to help with the kids since my grandma wasn’t arriving until Monday. I finished packing my hospital bag and sterilized the breast pump accessories. The contractions kept coming and were getting more painful. I sent a text to mom to be at 1:45 pm saying, “This could be the first of many false alarms but I’m having lots of painful pressure/contractions! I’m lying down and going to time them for a bit .” I got a big glass of ice water, laid down on my left side on the couch and within ten minutes had another. Because of my history of fast labors, I thought I should check in with the doctor. I called her on her cell, let her know what was happening and she said to go in and the hospital would her call if she was needed. I called my friend and asked her to come over so I could go in to get checked and called the parents to be just after 2 pm. They were doing the finishing touches on the nursery and said they’d be right over. Mom, dad, grandma and grandpa to be of baby girl picked me up and we headed to the hospital, which is only five minutes away. The contractions kept coming but I was able to talk through them and still wasn’t convinced this was really it.
We checked into labor and delivery at 2:40 pm and I let them know my history of fast labors. The nurse asked if I was this relaxed during my other two, which I was. They got us into a room right away; I put on a gown and left a urine sample. The nurse came right in and hooked me up to the monitors and checked my cervix to see if I’d been progressing. By the expression on her face, I knew I was far along and was in shock. Active labor begins at 4cm and 10 cm is fully dilated. It was now 3:00 pm and I was already at 8 cm. The contractions were minutes apart and very strong. They called my doctor right away and got busy preparing for the delivery. They put in an IV and I sent a couple quick text messages. Mom, dad and grandma to be were all in the room this entire time and were busy sending updates as well and making sure I was taken care of. Our doctor arrived at 3:20 and checked me again and I was complete at 10 cm. She was very relaxed and telling stories and I said, “Are you going to change?” She had me push with the next contraction then got herself ready for the delivery. The bed got broken down, mom to be put on a gown and the doctor asked her if she wanted to help deliver. She said “Sure!”, put on a gown and booties and was next to the doctor for the delivery. Dad and Grandma to be stayed up by my right side and kept me cooled off with a damp washcloth. I was incredibly hot and the ice chips and cold towel felt wonderful. I breathed slowly through the pain and kept reminding myself that the pain would be over soon and the harder I worked the quicker it would be. Within 5 contractions and some cord untangling, baby girl was born right into the arms of her mother at 3:47 pm. Dad cut the cord and she was wrapped and cleaned in her mom’s arms where she happily remained for the next hour.
The placenta was delivered and I finally felt relief. Seeing the immediate love and adoration for the newest addition to their family was incredible to witness. I couldn’t have dreamt of a better delivery experience- the team of nurses and our doctor were amazing. Having the parents and grandma there to welcome their daughter and granddaughter into the world and see her take her first breaths was a moment I will never forget.
Happy Birthday “C”! She was born Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 3:47 p.m. At exactly 38 weeks gestation, she weighed in at 7 pounds, 5 ounces and is 20 inches long.