Camlan Michael was born on Monday at 35 weeks, 5 days. Here is my birth story…
At 35 weeks 5 days pregnant I woke up at 3:30am to a popping sound, similar to snapping your fingers. Snap, snap and I knew exactly what it was. After going to the bathroom and calming down my nerves, I woke up Curt and then called my doctor. They advised I go to L&D just to make sure it was my bag of waters. But, of course, I already knew it was. They said not to hurry, so I put on some make up 🙂 , packed my bag, made some breakfast and finally woke up my 5 1/2 year old daughter.
With my daughter (who was born full-term), my water broke, but I labored at home for many hours before going in. I was really apprehensive about going to the hospital this soon because I was barely contracting. Obviously, I wanted to avoid any unnecessary interventions but since baby was pre-term (a little less than two weeks left until full term), I didn’t want to take any chances that the baby would be in distress and I wouldn’t realize it. I also had not been tested for Group B strep and they advised I get antibiotics just in case.
We dropped off my daughter at my in-laws and headed to the hospital, around 6am. They admitted me, and the midwife checked me. My cervix was dilated to 3cm. She mentioned Pitocin to induce and augment my labor contractions. I told her I wanted to labor on my own as long as possible. So I began walking, and walking, and walking more. Baby and I were intermittently monitored for fetal heart tones and contractions. At 11am we discussed my options and the OB and midwife decided to check my progress again after 3pm, about 12 hours after my water broke. I really had to emphasize that I wanted Pitocin as a last resort and luckily the hospital staff respected my wishes while still covering their liability.
Contractions began to pick up, but were still about 5 minutes apart and not quite a minute long. I kept walking and doing the side chair lunges (thank you, Captain Morgan). I also visualized my baby coming out and my body opening up. Shortly after 3pm they checked me again and my cervix was dilated to 6cm. No need for Pitocin. I was progressing on my own!
The next hour plus is a bit of a blur. I walked more and did more lunging and stretching. Contractions suddenly got really intense and came one right after another – classic signs of Transition. I don’t remember transition…it happened so fast. I was able to stutter out a few phrases between contractions, letting the nurse know that baby was coming soon. I also asked for a mirror so I could see him come out.
Contractions were so strong my body was pushing him out without any extra effort! My body totally took over. One push for the head and two more pushes for the body. Amazing! At 4:34pm Camlan was born so quickly I didn’t have time to break a sweat! It was crazy! He was 5 lbs 8 oz and 18 1/4″ long. His head circumference was smaller than a term baby so that probably helped him shoot out of me so quickly. They placed him on my chest for a few minutes for the cord to stop pulsing, but then they took him to the warmer. I had Gestational Diabetes so they checked his sugars and breathing because he was pre-term. He was healthy and didn’t need to go to the NICU and we were discharged after two days.
At almost a week old now we’re battling jaundice but so far I don’t have to bring him back to the hospital. Recovery has been so easy compared to pushing out my daughter for two hours. Thank you, Liza, for giving me the tools to labor naturally for a second time!!