Let’s start this off with the good ole saying, “every pregnancy and birth is different”. After my experiences, I can definitely agree with those words. My pregnancy and birth with my son went well (birth story here). With my second, she gave me troubles. As I have mentioned, Blakely is our rainbow baby. I think this bought on some extra fears during the whole process. Other than the typical morning sickness in the beginning, I started having Braxton Hicks and pains around 20 weeks. These then progressed to prodromal labor by 35 weeks. Prodromal labor, also known as false labor, causes both Braxton Hicks and labor contractions. However these painful contractions do not progress your cervix. Oh what fun! I read and had learned in doula training that false labor can actually be beneficial in preparing your uterus. With the frequent contractions my uterus sure was getting a workout on the daily.
With all these pains I was beyond ready to have Blakely and started getting pretty impatient. By my 38 week appointment we decided a scheduled induction would be a good option for both pain and convenience. Having to worry about a sitter for Grayson was giving me anxiety and scheduling my birth seemed like the best option. Although there are conflicting thoughts on induction, I personally don’t mind them. My doula training has made me open to all the possible scenarios of labor and delivery.
Now for the juicy part…stop reading here if the talk of vagina grosses you out. Oops already said it!
•On Wednesday, June 29 we arrived at the hospital at 5AM for my scheduled induction. Upon admission I was 2cm dilated. They started the Oxytocin at 5:15AM. Around 7:45AM I was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced. Dilatation is the opening of the cervix and effacement is the stretching and thinning of it. With my consent, my OB then broke my water. By 8:30AM my contractions were every 2 minutes apart. I lip synced to some hype music in between contractions to keep me distracted. After jamming out and getting in a good head space, I requested my epidural.
Based on my birth with my son, my epidural helped relax my body and progress quickly so I wanted to have another this time around. I believe in both natural and medicated forms of pain relief and have coached women through both. In the instance that my epidural didn’t work, I was confident that my training and the birth course I took this pregnancy would prepare me for a natural delivery.
Around 9AM my epidural was administered and by 9:50AM I was 5cm dilated. I had another cervical check at 11:30am and had progressed to 8cm. My husband figured this was a good time to get lunch *insert hand to forehead emoji*. Luckily he ate super quick and made it back by the time I started feeling pressure. With Grayson I felt immense pressure prior to pushing, but this time it was minimal and almost just some slight pinching. When I first felt it I didn’t mention it to anyone because we were waiting for the birth photographer to arrive. About 10 minutes after that initial pinching discomfort, the birth photographer arrived and I called in the nurses to let them know what I was feeling. This is how the conversation went.
Me: “I am feeling some slight pinching and a little bit of pressure. I am not sure if I’m ready yet”
Nurse: “Would you like me to check or wait?”
Me: “You can check now”
She went to check my cervix for progression and then informed us I was crowning. The nurse called my OB at 12:07PM, told me “don’t push” but Blakely was determined to meet us. My OB rushed in and Blakely arrived at 12:12PM without one single push.
This photo isn’t staged. I truly smiled as Blakely quickly greeted us with her presence. All of that false labor must have paid off. I even mentally prepared myself for an intense workout…instead she showed me her strength and determination.
I remember reading birth stories like mine and being so envious…then I experienced it. Our bodies are so incredible and know exactly what to do during labor.
I am so thankful I had such an awesome support system by my side that kept me in a great mind set. My husband, grandmother and amazing birth photographer Patricia Skala rocked it! Thank you all for your support as well! You mommas are awesome!
To the momma to be: you are strong and powerful! You will birth like a boss!