Things got moving on Wednesday, July 1st. I had been having noticeable Braxton Hicks contractions for several weeks but something felt different in my belly that day. I can’t explain what, but I mentioned this to one of my co-workers that morning. I thought my little girl was dropping because I felt uncomfortable when I sat and was having lots of cramping.
That evening, I got home late from work, made dinner, and worked some more. I noticed stronger cramping while getting ready for bed but really just thought they were from a long and very active day at work. The “cramping” continued as I fell asleep but I still thought nothing of them. I didn’t put any focus on the length or frequency. Even though I still didn’t think I was in labor, we had been taught in our Bradley Method class to ignore our labor in the beginning.
This Can’t Be Labor….Can It?
That night I was able to sleep but woke up 6 or 7 times and noticed I was having 1 or 2 contractions each time I woke up. Yes, I finally realized they were contractions! But was this labor? Each time I thought, “Nah….this can’t be labor if I’m able to go back to sleep.” I woke up at 5:30 that morning with even stronger “cramping/contractions.” I told Robert what I was experiencing and we both said, “Nah….this can’t be it, can it??”
Stronger, Longer, Closer Together-This Is It!
At 6:30 am I couldn’t deny that the contractions were getting stronger and were super close together. We also learned in Bradley Method class that when contractions get stronger, longer, and closer together, that, yes, this is labor! I also had some dark pink/red spotting so we started tracking the contractions. They were approximately 40 seconds long, and 3.5 minutes apart and after an hour were a minute long or longer, about 2.5 to 3.5 minutes apart. We knew we couldn’t deny it any longer….I was in labor! We finished packing the hospital bag between contractions and Robert tried to help ease the increasing labor pain…but not much seemed to help. This was hard work! I kept wanting to lie down but that definitely made my labor pain worse.
Worst Car Ride EVER!
We headed to the hospital around 9:30 am and that car ride was the worst car ride ever! I found it increasingly harder to stay calm and breathe despite Roberts encouragement. He was doing exactly what he had learned in our Bradley Method class, but this was really challenging! The nurses got me into a room right away and I was almost 6cm dilated at that point. My nurse didn’t tell me the babies exact station, but she did say that her head was really low and was surprised that my water was still intact. I labored for an hour or so and wasn’t progressing and my contractions were getting longer and stronger. My doctor then arrived and suggested breaking my water which I agreed to without even thinking about it.
Wow! That Was Fast!
Just a few contractions after that I dilated to 9cm. My doctor said that I was fully dilated on the left side but that my right side was still hanging on a bit. He tried to push my cervix over a bit to try to get her head past but that didn’t work. So we agreed that I would work through more contractions and see what happens. My contractions were getting even longer and more painful….some were approximately 2 minutes long- a clear sign of transition. I made the mistake of staying on my back thus far even though I knew it was the worst position for me. The thought of moving felt impossible and far too painful. My nurse finally convinced me gently to try an upright, seated position on the bed and that helped a lot although I still couldn’t get the right side of my cervix to dilate fully.
Ooh! This Pain Is Different!
The pain then started to change and it felt like something was wrong so my nurse checked me again and offered to try to push my cervix aside again. This time it worked, and I immediately felt relief with burning. My nurse told me not to push so they could get my doctor who left to tend to another patient. The baby’s heart rate dropped so they gave me oxygen and had me take shallow grunting breaths through a few contractions to avoid pushing through the contraction. On the third or fourth contraction I couldn’t stop the push and I heard the nurse say, ok it looks like we’re going to have a baby!! Her head came out in one push and her body followed with the next one. Miranda Rose was born early at 38 weeks 3 days on July 2nd at 2:27 pm caught by my labor and delivery nurse! She cried immediately and then my doctor ran in the room. I remember feeling shock, amazement and relief. They put her on me immediately and Robert told me that we had a little girl!!