I’ve split my birth story into three parts. These are long posts…if you aren’t into reading them all then jump to the end for pictures and quick synopsis! Part one is all about early labor!
X was due mid-August. I had hopes that he would come a little early because my mom was flying in from Oklahoma and I really wanted her to have as much time with her grandson as possible.
Brian and I had been taking walks every night for the last part of my pregnancy. I started having regular contractions (not too painful) on our evening walk about a week before X was due. They were about 8-10 minutes apart and painful enough that I had to stop walking during them. But, certainly not painful enough for me to think that it was time yet. I had one scare a few weeks earlier with really painful contractions, so these seemed fairly easy to me.
I was told that if I tried relaxing in the tub and the contractions ended then it wasn’t “time.” So, I gave it a shot. And, after a long relaxing bath the contractions slowed to around 15 minutes apart, but they still continued. They continued all night long at regular intervals, but they never got closer than 8 minutes apart. They weren’t too terrible, but they did keep me from sleeping all night. I labored most of the evening in the bath, in the nursery, and the living room so that my husband could sleep. We didn’t want him missing work if he didn’t need to and things seemed to be going pretty slow on my end. Brian went to work on the 8th and my contractions were about 15-20 minutes apart and extremely tolerable, though I’d been having them for two days already! I was thankfully able to get in a few naps.
The next day I went about my day as regularly as possible. I made Spaghetti with Meatballs and had a few friends stop by for lunch. I saved some for the freezer. I cleaned house. I finished sewing together my “hospital gown.” I went to our pool with another friend. All the while I was having a contraction every 20 minutes. They were still regular when my husband got home around six p.m. We ate dinner and went for our nightly walk. Around mile two of our three mile walk my contractions jumped from 20 minutes apart to 8 minutes apart and much more painful. It was a long walk home.
The contractions slowly continued to come closer together. But, they still weren’t at the 5 minutes apart lasting a minute for one hour stage. So, that evening around 10 we tried going to bed. I couldn’t lay down. The contractions were WAY too intense when lying down and they were happening about every 7 minutes. So, I let my husband (try) to sleep and I went into the other room. I bounced on my birthing ball, folded laundry and read Harry Potter. Around 2 a.m. my contractions were around 5 minutes apart and painful enough that I began to think I needed to go to the hospital. I woke up Brian and we ate breakfast, showered, and called the hospital to tell them what was going on.
At four a.m. we entered the hospital and my contractions were at 4 minutes apart. At this point in time I had been laboring for approximately 32 hours. I hadn’t slept more than 4 hours during this time. I was exhausted, but also excited because it was finally TIME. Well, that was until the nurse checked me and told me that I was only dilated to 4 CM. They admitted me because I was GBS positive and was needing to have two doses of antibiotics before birth. But, my midwife warned me that after the first dose of antibiotics they wanted to see see a pretty big change for my cervix or I might be needing to head home to continue the early stage of labor. (She said this because I had written in my birth plan that I would rather labor at home than the hospital if I didn’t need to be there.)
Synopsis: After 32 (or so) hours of labor I was admitted into the hospital with a dilation of 4 CM. My water had not broken. I was being hooked up with antibiotics to protect my baby from Group B Strep. But, my midwife warned me that they were looking for a big change in my cervix within the next four hours or they’d send me home to continue early labor. ( I had put that I preferred this to augmentation in my birth plan and knew that hospital stays tend to slow the labor process.)