“You’re hurting me!” I called out to the midwife, upset about her interfering with my concentration. After all, I was busy trying to birth a baby, what was so important that second?
“That’s not me Honey, that’s your baby.” She calmly responded.
“Well get it out!”
Just a few hours before this crucial moment, I was laboring in my living room convinced I was experiencing another bout of prodromal labor. From 34-35 weeks I had experienced contractions similar to early labor and as the weeks passed they got stronger and closer together. From 38 weeks they felt as strong as transition contractions from my last delivery and were spaced 7-15 mins apart. These episodes happened several times a week and were as long as 10 hours long. I never got so close that I had to call the midwife, but there were several days we made sure things were ready, just in case.
I experienced two days of prelabor with contractions 7-8 minutes apart the day before (Thurs) and the day (Fri) I had my membranes stripped. Each night they spaced out at 10 and 11 pm.
I had been praying that I would go into labor on my own, and should have been relieved when the midwife decided to allow me one more day before breaking my water (bringing me to 42 weeks and 1 day). Instead, I was feeling hopeless, tired and frustrated. I was ready to be finished and had lost sight of my desire for a spontaneous delivery.
I, again, felt like I was in labor all day Saturday, but they stayed at 7-8 minutes apart. My emotions that day ranged from excited that I could be going into labor on my own to distraught that I could be experiencing false labor at 42 weeks. Around 7pm the contractions started to space out to 10 and even a few were at 15 minutes apart. I was getting disappointed and was very worried about having my water broken the next morning (I was GBS+ and it poses a bit of a risk, maybe not much, but I’m no risk taker!).
My sweet husband suggested I relax so the contractions could space a bit more and I could get some sleep before the induction. He filled every pot we own and boiled water to fill our tub (we have a small water heater :), he cleaned the bathroom, filled the room with scented candles, dimmed the lights and sent me to relax.
I relaxed all right! But my contractions became 3 minutes apart almost instantly (I didn’t time them long because I was sent to relax, not watch a clock :). They did not feel nearly as strong while I was in the warm water, so I stayed where I was until I could not bear it anymore.
We called the midwife when the contractions were averaging 3-4 minutes apart (but were ranging from 1.5 minutes to 7 minutes and were almost all 2 mins long, so much for a normal labor pattern!). We arranged to meet at the birthing center at 11:30 pm (and hour from when I called).
When I arrived I was praying that I was at least a 5; I wanted to be in active labor or I did not know how I would handle ‘real’ labor. I checked in at 7.5 and was given a nice room to labor in. I tried to labor in the warm birthing tub.
For whatever reason, I could not relax in the tub, so I put my dress back on and labored while standing, rocking and swaying. Sometimes even singing to my playlist. My mother in law and husband were with me so I talked in between and during contractions. I found the best way for me to cope was to relax and pretend like nothing was happening. I even told my husband to keep the conversation going.
I asked to be checked at 12:30 am, and was at 9, and I felt ready to move on to the next stage. I knew it best to wait, and labored for another hour before desperately asking the midwife, “How long does it take to get that last centimeter?”
They said if I was ready I could start pushing. My husband sat on the edge of the bed and I squatted while he supported me from behind. I told the midwife to “Get it out,” after about 10 minutes of pushing and another 10 minutes later I held my sweet Josephine Lily.
I cuddled her, nursed her, ate a small meal and took a shower. Her newborn exam showed a perfectly healthy baby born 8 lbs 15 oz and 21 inches long. We left shortly after her exam and brought our new baby home.