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On Sunday morning, August 14, I felt very energetic and then was completely exhausted at like 3pm in the afternoon.  I cleaned the kitchen, bathroom, vacuumed, cleaned the oven, finished laundry and then was completely tired and exhausted. And I’ve been exhausted ever since :-(! I realized this energy burst was the “Nesting” before labor I learned about in my Bradley Method class. On Sunday evening, August 14th, Jay and I were hanging out at home. My belly was getting tighter and I had a constant urge to go to the rest room (another sign of pre-labor) and was seeing bits of mucus.

Is This My Mucous Plug?

My Due date was not until August 22, 2016. I called my Doula, Erin. She explained I could lose my mucus plug up to a week or two before the due date. I continued to relax at home by watching some shows on TV.  I fell asleep on my couch as we were just hanging out in the living room, when I started getting cramps very low down, like menstrual cramps. At that point in my pregnancy, everything was pretty uncomfortable anyway and I thought, “This could be just more aches and pains, nothing new here!” As Erin and I chatted, I told her about the cramps, but I was convinced that it was false labor as my due date was more than a week away. She asked us to keep a check on the cramps to see if they repeated more frequently and got closer together as time progressed. I didn’t expect to go into labor anytime soon, but my husband Jay wisely ignored me and started timing my contractions. They were five to seven minutes apart.

Game Time!Yoga Gear from

These cramps continued until mid-Monday afternoon and I called Erin and Liza and got reassured that I was in my early labor. I also noticed that I had blood with mucus plug on Monday evening. Erin convinced me that it was sign of dilation.  By midnight on Monday, the contractions were three minutes apart and my husband and I knew it was game time. Now that we knew it was (mostly likely) actual labor, Jay and I were very excited about meeting our baby.  My husband was amazing support. He helped me to stay home comfortably for all of early labor and beginning of active labor. We followed most of the relaxation techniques that were taught in the Bradley Method class.

A Few Hot Showers Then Time To Go

As time passed by, I noticed myself in increasing pain during contractions. I took a few hot showers at home at the beginning of active labor. It helped me relax and cope with the pain of contractions. I couldn’t believe it was really happening and that we would meet our baby soon! Jay grabbed our hospital suitcase to get ready to leave because things were getting intense. We called Erin at 2:00 am. Erin joined us at home at around 2:30 am and confirmed it was time to go.

Nasty Car Ride!

The car ride to Scripps Encinitas hospital was about 20 minutes. I can never forget that car ride as I was in miserable pain. Thanks to Erin for helping to get to the hospital room. I barely could walk and she is the one who was holding me up as I was heading to the hospital room with baby steps. I almost immediately got admitted into the labor room by 3:30 am. Nurse checked my dilation and said I am 6 cm dilated and my water broke while she was checking my dilation. I was a little upset until Erin assured me that was not intentional at all. Since I was 6 cm dilated, the bag of waters could have broken any way as I entered active labor. Around 4:30 am, my contractions grew stronger and stronger. Erin, Jay and I discussed my getting an epidural. I was exhausted and I insisted that I needed some pain relief. My contractions were very strong and way more intense. I repeatedly asked my team for pain relief and then I got 2 big surprises.

Two Big Surprises

As I was requesting an epidural, the doctor checked my dilation at 5:30 am, an hour after the first check and she said I am 10 cm dilated and 100% effaced. I didn’t believe that labor could progress that fast; and I dint believe that dilation could go from 6cm to 10 cm in 1 hour! When my doctor checked me, her eyes popped. “OH, Madhuri, you’re fully dilated and 100% effaced!” she said. “It’s go time!” Though I tried to push, I became even more convinced to get pain relief. I had no strength, surely not enough to push the baby out. I needed some energy and rest before I would be able to push effectively. My body was so tired after 2 sleepless nights and I desperately needed some rest.


The second surprise was that my baby was becoming more stressed from the labor. The doctor told me that baby had passed meconium and an internal monitor for the baby may be needed. After talking to Erin, I did opt for the internal fetal monitor. Baby was constantly moving and it was difficult to monitor her heartbeat with an external monitor. Having digested both the surprises, I finally got an epidural at about 7:30 am. I was happy that I could avoid an epidural during first stage, but was so emotional and desperate for sleep. I hoped the epidural would allow me to rest and give me enough energy for pushing. I rested for about 30 minutes until I felt I had the strength to push. I wasted an hour pushing my baby with my numb legs. I couldn’t feel my contractions until the anesthesiologist lowered my epidural dose and then the second stage of labor progressed quickly.

Praise and Encouragement Gave Me Strength
See 30 Positive Things To Say To A Woman In Labor

As labor progressed, 2 things helped me more than anything else: Erin fed me water and kept giving me assurance of how well I was doing. Most of all, I responded enormously to positive encouragement from both Erin and the doctor. I was just taking a huge breath, and putting every bit of strength I had into pushing with all my might – and followed the breathing technique Liza taught me in the class. And then, whoosh! The baby came out. It was such an amazing, thrilling feeling. At 10:10am on August 2016, Tuesday morning, the doctor placed cute Riya into my arms. She was wet and crying, and my heart felt so light.

I Miss Being Pregnant!

I should thank Doula –Erin for helping to make the whole birth experience wonderful. Thanks to Liza for teaching me the power of breathing and relaxation. I miss drinking Raspberry leaf tea, taking acupuncture sessions and prenatal yoga. All of these definitely helped me at every phase of pregnancy.

More than everything : I MISS BEING PREGNANT.

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