Contractions: Pressure Waves

Labor: Birthing Time

Labor Day: Birthing Day

Here is my Birth Story!!


I woke up on August 8th (41 week pregnant) feeling some tightening and cramping.  But this is pretty normal for me, during the last few weeks of my pregnancies.  Even last week, on July 29th, I had some rhythmic tightening and cramping that I timed for about 5 hours, at about 5 minutes apart.  I get a few good practice sessions, so when this happens, I just wait  to see if they get stronger and closer together. Most of the time, they just go away after a while.  So I didn’t get overly excited about what was going on.  Like I said, this is a pretty normal thing for me…. Although if they DO keep going, it’s usually how my birthing day begins. I get some tightening and cramping in the morning, and then they just kept getting stronger until I finally decide in the afternoon, that “today is the day.” When this happened with my last birth, I didn’t have my baby until 4 am the next morning.

So, I went on with my day and the plans that I had made.  I had appointments at my provider’s office.  So I headed out of the house.  I did grab my hospital bag “just in case” even though I felt kind of silly doing it.  I told myself it was “wishful thinking” but hey.

I took my kids to a friend’s house at 9:30 so that I would not have to drag 3 kids around with me. I drove the 50 minutes to the midwive’s office.  They hooked me up to the monitors for a non-stress test.  The baby’s heart rate looked great, and the monitors also showed some light pressure waves.  But they really weren’t affecting me too much. I had three of them in the 20 minutes on the monitors. I only felt 2 of them. Next I went in for an ultrasound to check my fluid levels and the baby’s kidneys. My AFI was 5.9 which can be common for an “over due” baby, but not worrisome. They would check again in a few days. I went over to see my midwife and I finally had her check my cervix. I had not had any checks thus far, so curiosity got to me.  I was 2 centimeters, so I told her to go ahead and sweep my membranes.  I was “41” weeks along and hospital protocol says the midwives have to turn patients over to an OB at 42 weeks.  I’d rather birth with the midwives, so I thought I’d try to encourage things a little bit. After we were done, I joked with my midwife.  It was about 11:45 am when I said, “How about I just have this baby by 5 o’clock today?  I could just have a 3 hour labor!”  And then we laughed, because we remembered how my last birth was 24 hours long.

I decided to fit in a pedicure before I went back home, so I went and got my toenails painted at about 12:00 pm. As I sat there, I timed the tightening and they came about 5 minutes apart.  But I really only noticed them if I was concentrating on them.  I just sat there in the chair and relaxed while I got my pedicure. I figured any crampy-ness, would be from the sweeping of my membranes, anyway.

I got done at about 12:35 pm and went through the Jimmie John’s drive through to get a sandwich and then I stopped and put gas in my car.  I started to head back home at about 1:00 PM.

On the way, I decided to keep timing my “cramps.”  They started to get closer together at about 4 minutes apart. They really weren’t affecting me though. I was driving just fine, and could just feel the sensations of my uterus tightening.

Since it “could” possibly be a sign that my birthing time was starting, I called my mom at 1:30 pm, and told her that I was 50% sure that this was the day. That she should probably be on-call and ready to come. She lives 2.5 hours away, so I wanted to give her enough time.  We decided that if things continued, she would leave at 3:30 pm, but I would keep her posted.

I arrived to pick up my kids from my friend’s house at about 1:45 pm. I chatted with some friends for a bit and then told them that I had some good, rhythmic tightening, so I thought that things might be starting.  I decided that I would go home with my kids and let things happen and get more serious and then I hoped that we’d go to the hospital some time that night.  So since I was getting more convinced that this was the big day, I wanted to leave my van “in town” (I live about 10 minutes outside town) so that whoever babysat my kids that night, would have a car and car seats to drive around in.  So I called my husband at 2:30 pm, to see what we should do about the car situation. We decided that he would take a break from work to run us home in his car really quick, so that the van could stay in town. 

Then things started to get a little stronger.  I would lean over my friend’s table and go quiet for a minute during my small pressure waves. I started to get excited that things were getting so strong already. Maybe it would be a 15 hour birth instead of a 24 hour birth. My husband then sent a text at 2:47pm, and asked if he had a few minutes before coming over to take us home.  I started to change my mind about going home first. I saw on my timer that pressure waves were coming at about 2 1/2 to 4 minutes apart.  So I told him that maybe he should just go home and get ready, and that we should then head closer in to where the hospital is. Not to necessarily to check in, but to be near to it, since we live about 50 minutes away.  I called my doula and midwife at 2:50 pm to let them know that I was going to head that direction. I texted my sister in laws at 3:08 that I thought today was “Baby Day.” The original plan was for me to head to the hospital, get things checked out, and then invite my sister in laws who could, to come and hang out with me. The rest would be filled in on all the details and updates as they came. Funny plan.

That’s when things got intense. I decided that if this was the day, I needed to start listening to my Hypnobabies tracks. I pulled out my phone so that I could listen with my headphones.  I also realized that it felt better to hum through my pressure waves.  For some reason (I’ll have to ask how it all happened,) my husband stopped by.  I told him he didn’t have time to shower, but to hurry and go home and get all his stuff. All the while, I'm just hanging out at my friends house.  

Then my waves became even stronger. By this point I was only getting about a minute break in between. So my wonderful friend, got me some water, and started making phone calls and arrangements for me. I texted my husband at 3:24 pm, to “Hurry.”  My friend called my mom at 3:36 pm, and told her to come now. She called a babysitter for me, and my sister-in-laws to let them know it was time for a baby today.  I was trying to text my sister in laws, and I couldn’t really text coherently anymore. 

 My husband came back and when he heard me go through a pressure wave, I heard him comment, “Why didn’t you call me sooner?”  I think he remembered the sounds that I make when I’m getting close. I, obviously, did not remember! I think the biggest thing, was that even though my “pressure waves” were close together, I didn’t feel that they were intense enough for me to be in active labor.  Oops.  Thank you Hypnobabies. :)

I texted my doula at 3:38 pm and said, “So strong..coming.” We jumped in the car and my husband sped to the hospital.  They just changed the speed limit to 80, so he went 85.  We usually try to obey the law, but, ya know…..

I laid on my side in the back seat, and listened to my Hypnobabies tracks and gave myself the cue words.  I had asked my husband to get the blanket out of the back of the car.  In a small part of my mind, I wondered if we would make it. But I quickly dismissed the possibility that I was THAT close.  There was no way!

I had him call my doula and my midwife at 3:55 pm, to let them know that we were on the freeway.  I told him to tell the midwife that I was moaning loud, so that she knew it was the real deal.

My midwife called back at 4:20 pm to see where we were, and we were just getting off the freeway exit, ready to head up the hill to the hospital.

We got to the hospital, maybe 5 minutes later? (I didn’t look at the clock.) There were not any expectant mothers parking spots available. I told him to park on the curb, but we were passing a spot reserved for “Clergy” so I told him to park there. Hahah.  Hopefully no one needed that spot for a few hours.

I got out of the car and had a pressure wave.  We walked to the doors, and my doula met up with us.  I had a pressure wave before I got in the elevator. I felt a little shaky while I was holding onto my husband, but didn't think anything of it. We went up to the 2nd floor and through the double doors.  I told my doula that I wanted two things: the tub filled up and my favorite nurse, Kathleen. She walked ahead to the nurse’s station. I had another pressure wave in the hallway, and I was loud.  When I was done, I walked into a delivery room with several nurses walking behind me with the delivery supply table. I was greeted in the room by my two midwives. I had a pressure wave next to the bed, and then I told them I had to go to the bathroom. (It was a long drive.) Had a pressure wave on the toilet.  Put my birthing skirt on. Had a pressure wave at the sink while washing my hands.  The whole time I was listening to "Easy First Stage" on my phone. I saw that the tub was halfway full, and I was excited to get in.  I was in complete denial that my birthing time was going so fast. Although I think everyone around me knew this baby was coming very, very soon. :)

The midwife used the Doppler to try and check heart tones, but then I had another pressure wave at the side of the tub where I pushed and my water broke and baby’s head crowned.  I looked and we all saw that there was meconium.  So I hurried over to the bed, with assistance, and climbed up onto my knees.  The next pressure wave came and I pushed my baby out – head, shoulders, body in that one last push.  I was in disbelief!  I mean, I felt his body come out but I still said, “Is he really out?!”  The midwife responded that he had a tight nuchal cord and they were cutting it to get it off.  It was around his neck twice and his chest once.  Because they had not had time to get heart tones, there was meconium, and a tight nuchal cord, he went straight to the nurses who found that he was perfectly fine. I delivered the placenta and I was bleeding a little too much, so I had a lot, a lot, of fundal massage and two shots of Pitocin.  I told myself to “stop bleeding” and my doula and husband were right there helping me too.  Everything worked and I was able to hold my baby and have him nurse, to also help contract my uterus.  I basically still had my street clothes on! Once he was done nursing, I finally got to get a good look at him! Such a cute baby!  I couldn’t believe how fast he had come.  I was SO grateful and felt like we were very blessed. He had the perfect, quick, birth for him.   It was such a amazing birth experience!  I laughed at how I set my intentions to have a 3 hour labor and birth by 5:00 PM.  He arrived at 4:40 PM.  The mind is pretty powerful! I'll think I might visualize the same for my next birth!  My 7 yr old was the one who also told me that the baby would come on August 8th. So between the two of us, I think we did a pretty good job.  It was an incredible, easy experience.  I can't believe how comfortable my pressure waves were and how easy it was to push him out.  I am so thankful to the hospital staff and the midwives who worked so quickly and efficiently to help me. And everyone was so complimentary and supportive, it was wonderful! I could do it again tomorrow! Hah!

 Introducing baby Aaron

7 lbs 1 ounce

21 inches

Born at 41 weeks, but definitely not overdue!  He is perfect!


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