On Thursday, March 27th I lost my mucous plug. Later that evening, my husband Corey and I were on our way to a young adults bible study group get-together; it was about 6:45pm, and I began to have contractions that were much stronger than the Braxton Hicks ones I’d been having for over a month (which had been quite strong). I turned to Corey and said, “um…I think maybe I might be going into labor…” He immediately turns the car around frantically to head back home. So I say, “but I’m not sure…so I guess we can still go to the get-together.” The entire night I still had the strong contractions pretty regularly (about 10 mins or so apart), but they weren’t very painful, just very uncomfortable, so I thought nothing of them, and just thought “Yeah! More Braxton Hicks! And this time they are even stronger!”
I was able to fall asleep through these contractions, but about 2:45am, on Friday, March 28th, I was woken up by quite painful, very strong contractions. I got up and started walking around (to see if they’d go away). They didn’t. They were coming about every 5 mins, so I woke my husband up and told him it was time. He said something to the effect of, “really?…that’s cool…,” then rolled over and fell back asleep. I got dressed in what I wanted to give birth in. Then I fixed my hair and makeup, because of course, I wanted to look good when I had this baby. I re-woke Corey up to tell him that this was it and that I needed him to wake up and help me!
It was about 3am, and I called Natalie (my midwife). She said that it did sound like I was in labor, and to have Corey time the contractions and call her back within an hour to let her know how things were going. I contemplated whether or not I should call my mother, and family, since on past false alarms I had gotten phone calls or text messages every thirty minutes from her or the two oldest of my five younger siblings (AJ and Candice). Immediately following this thought I had a nice strong contraction that said, ‘call your family, this is it!’ So after the contraction, I got my phone and dialed my mother’s number. Right as she answered, another contraction came, and I thrusted the phone at my husband. He let her know that I was pretty sure I was in labor, and that Natalie was expecting an update around 4am. My mom and dad came over shortly afterwards with my three youngest siblings (Gerry 8, Leslie 7, and Karina 5) and 2 foster brothers (1 yr old and 4 months). Candice and AJ were called in from College Station, and my grandma from Austin, so that they could start driving down to make it in time for the birth. My husband Corey called his parents too and told them that we thought I was in labor.
At about 4am, I had my mother call Natalie because my contractions were getting much more “serious” and close, and the whole talking during contractions thing wasn’t working for me anymore. At this time the contractions were about 3 minutes apart. Natalie and another midwife named Paula arrived about 5am. I had already gotten in the tub (as we planned to have a water birth…and it really helped the contractions). When Natalie arrived, she prayed with us, checked my temperature and blood pressure, the baby’s heartbeat, and also checked to see how dilated my cervix was. If I remember right, I think I was about 5cm dilated at this time. My husband was really supportive, as was his knee—which he informed me later that I had been leaning on quite heavily with my elbow through each contraction. Poor husband!
Natalie and Paula checked mine and Logan’s vitals throughout my labor. When I was around 8 cm dilated, Natalie urged me to try a new laboring position, to open my pelvic area a little more for the baby to descend faster. Soon after, around 7:30ish, when my contractions were coming very close, Natalie announced that I was a little more than 9cm dilated (almost there!), so whenever I felt the urge to push, to go ahead. A few contractions later, I started pushing. This was the hardest part; it wasn’t that it hurt more, because it was about the same, but something about it was just very hard (maybe that’s why they call this labor).
My baby’s head felt much larger than it actually was as it was being pushed through my birth canal. When I began crowning, Natalie told me that she could see Logan’s head, and that if I wanted to, I could reach down and feel how far he has come. I did, and he had hair ::smile:: I was so pleased that I just touched my baby for the first time. This helped me get through the rest of the pushing. Finally, after a few contractions that I barely pushed through, because I felt as if I would tear my down-there, Logan’s head emerged. This was such a relief; I felt as if a big pressure had lifted. Natalie checked to make sure that his umbilical cord wasn’t wrapped around his neck. Then when another contraction came around, his body just squeezed right out—no problem.
Natalie made sure that the umbilical cord wasn’t tangled, then handed me my new baby through my legs. I picked him up out of the water, and he looked me directly in my eyes—we were now a family! It was a perfect moment—my whole family was there to welcome my new baby into the world: my parents, Corey’s parents, my grandparents, and my five siblings. Daddy cut the umbilical cord after it stopped pulsing, then we wrapped him up and Nana showed the rest of the family.
About 10 minutes later, I delivered the placenta, then sat on my bed while Natalie and Paula checked, weighed, and measured Logan. Natalie helped make sure that we could nurse right, then after the first nursing, Logan and I took an herbal bath. After the bath, Natalie prayed with us again, and gave us our instructions on how to check Logan’s and my vitals for the next two weeks.
I did the entire labor and delivery with no medications (not even Tylenol), no screaming, and no episiotomy (nor did I tear). I am very grateful that we had such an able and gentle midwife to give us all the necessary information and education to have a calm, natural birth. I will definitely go this method again with my next pregnancies.