I think that birth stories are so important to write down, remember and share. I wrote Kaelyn’s birth story a while after she was born, but I still remembered it like it was just a few days afterward. This time around, I have the feeling that with two kids, I may forget more quickly, so I want to get it written as quickly as possible. This may be a long post – please bare with me – it’s more for my benefit than for yours! 🙂
Thursday afternoon, June 18th, around 5:30 I started having some fairly regular contractions about 10 minutes apart. They lasted throughout the evening, but didn’t really get closer together or stronger. I didn’t really think I was in “true” labor yet, but I was very ready to have our baby and meet our little boy. We went to bed on Thursday night hoping to get some rest because we thought that things would really pick up on Friday. Friday morning I woke up around 9:30 (last morning to sleep in!!) with some mild contractions, so we decided to do what we could to get things moving. My sister Rachel had come down on Thursday night, she was going to be in the labor room with us, and also help with K in the meantime. We went for a walk to the Farmer’s Market and then over to a field with a track around it and I walked a mile! (I think that’s more than I walked my entire pregnancy!) But, instead of increasing and intensifying my contractions, all the walking seemed to make them just go away.
From about noon until 4, I had no contractions and was starting to get really discouraged and frustrated. I didn’t know how long this labor was going to take, but I just felt really really ready. I was able to take a nap during that time, and when I woke up, I decided to try some at home ways to get my contractions going. By 5:00 I was again having regular contractions, and they were starting to get a little stronger, but still really manageable. By 9:30 that night, they were still regular, getting a little closer together, about 5 or 6 minutes, but not really getting a lot stronger. I decided to lie down and try to rest for a while, still unsure of how long this was actually going to last.
At 10:45, things started to get a little more serious, my contractions were about a minute long, but I still felt they were manageable. I wasn’t in a lot of pain. We started timing my contractions and by midnight they were around 3 minutes apart, so we started getting ready to head to the hospital. We headed out around 12:45 and arrived and checked in at the hospital around 1:00. My contractions were still about 3 minutes apart, and I was staying on top of them fairly easily. I questioned whether or not we had gone to the hospital too soon, but my intuition told me that it was time, and I was ready to have this baby!
Finally, the resident came in to check me after about 20 minutes. She said that I was 90% effaced and about 8 or 9 centimeters dilated and that they better get me moved over to a birthing room. I was shocked!! I had absolutely no idea that I was that far along. I thought that things would move really quickly from then on. One of the most awesome parts of the night was when my nurse, Kris, came to take me over to labor and delivery. When she walked into the triage room she came up and patted my on the shoulder and said, “I’m so excited you are going to do this naturally, we don’t get enough people doing that any more.” That made me feel better and more confident that my nurse believed in natural labor and would help me have the kind of labor and birth that I desired.
We moved over to the birthing room, and I was ready, but it seemed that going to the hospital stalled my labor. Things didn’t progress. Although I wasn’t in a lot of pain, I was managing my contactions without any trouble, again I was getting frustrated and very tired. At 3:00 my midwife offered to break my water to get things moving, and I gladly agreed. The contractions got more intense after that and around 3:20 I felt ready to push. My midwife said I could go ahead and push as I needed to, but that I wasn’t fully dilated. I still had a small lip on one side of my cervix that the baby’s head had to get past. The pushing was super painful and I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere, the baby was not coming down, I was starting to get a little worried about the baby. Jer, my sister, my nurse and midwife were so great and just kept encouraging me. The midwife let me push in whatever way I felt my body needed to as I tried to get the baby down. I was so tired and so ready to be done. I pushed and pushed through the pain and finally he was down and ready to come out! About 3 pushes and 10 minutes later, Brenden David was born at 4:01 am and Jer helped to catch him as he made his entrance into this world!!
Overall, my labor was super long, but not very intense. Up until it was time for me to push I felt completely in control and able to handle and manage my contractions. Even though the pushing this time around was much more painful, the reality is that it only lasted for 40 minutes of my entire labor. Again, I was able to give birth to our baby naturally, this time without any pain medications at all, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life! Meeting baby Brenden for the first time was beyond amazing, I am so humbled and so proud to be the mother of such a beautiful little boy!