Thursday April 2nd 9:30 am
I had a scheduled ultrasound appointment at 10am to make sure there was enough amniotic fluid and that everything was running smoothly (I was overdue by 8 days). While we were driving there I started getting contractions. I wasn't going to get my hopes up since this was a daily occurrence. Once we got back from the clinic, I noticed that my contractions were still happening. So at around 11:30 I started to keep track on my phone.
2:00 - 4:30 pm
Alex was heading to work for 3, so my mom came to pick me up to keep me distracted. Once we got to my parents house I thought it would be best if I went for a nap. When I woke up from my nap, my contractions were still regular (every 10-20 minutes apart). It was then that I realized this was it. Our baby was on it's way.
6:00 - 10:00 pm
I tried going down for another nap but was getting a little uncomfortable. My mom came into the guest bedroom and we continued to track my contractions and talk. At 7:30 my mom suggested we watch a movie. We watched Father of the Bride Part II, which was literally the greatest thing to watch. It kept me distracted, made me laugh, and got me over the moon excited about what was about to happen!! During the course of the movie my contractions were coming every 5 - 7 minutes and were lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute. After 2 weeks of Braxton Hicks, it was so nice to actually have some progress with my contractions.
I called Alex at work at 9 and told him my contractions were getting pretty close together, and that he should probably leave work early so we can get home and call my midwife. At 9:40 we picked him up, and made our way home
10:00 - 11:30 pm
I called my midwife as soon as we got into our apartment to tell her that I had been having contractions every 4 minutes for the past 2 hours. At this point I could still talk through my contractions so she told me to take some Tylenol and Gravol, have a warm bath and try to get to sleep. Within minutes of hanging up the phone, things became very intense, very quickly. I couldn't get comfortable in the bath so we decided to try and go to sleep.
Alex then gave me a priesthood blessing which gave me comfort and strength. I used a tens machine on my back to try and balance out the pain. When we got into bed it was clear that I was not going to be able to sleep through the pain. My contractions were coming on faster, and I was moaning to relieve the pain. I kept trying to relax my muscles and give into the pain, but I couldn't do it. All I could think about was the Birthing Centre and wanting to be in their deep tub, completely surrounded with water. My mom called my midwife and we agreed to meet at the Birthing Centre and she would assess me there. She could hear me moaning in the background, and could tell things were moving quite quickly. I was a little worried because they will only admit you if you are 4 cm dilated. I really didn't want to deal with being turned away and making the drive back home. But Alex and my mom convinced me that it was probably best.
We arrived at the Birthing Centre after what felt like the longest and most painful car ride of my life. I was having contractions every couple minutes and the pain was getting stronger and stronger. When we arrived I had to stop 3 times just to walk to the entrance. We immediately went into a consultation room where Khadija (my midwife) did an internal to see how far along I was. As soon as she said: "3-4 cm", I let out a huge sigh of relief. My mom turned to her and said: "Better get the tub running."
12:15 - 1:25 am
Being submerged in the water and laying on Alex was the greatest feeling in the world. I was able to just let my body float during a contraction while leaning my weight against Alex. He was such an incredible support both physically and emotionally. I couldn't imagine doing it without him. I remember at 1 I turned my face towards Alex and said in an excited tone: "I wonder what he is going to look like!" It was such a random burst of excitement, that only lasted a couple seconds, then I was back into my rhythm.
For most of the labour I was laying on my side just floating on top of Alex, then at around 1:15 Khadija suggested I move to my knees and lean on Alex's legs. It was pretty uncomfortable to move, but I trusted her. Once I changed positions I had the strongest urge to push. Every single contraction felt like my bowels were going to explode if I didn't push (sorry but that's labour for you!). I remember pleading with everyone saying: "Can I please push now?" but the answer kept coming back as: "Not yet." I looked at my mom and said: "How much longer?" to which she replied: "Still a bit, but you are doing wonderfully."
At 1:20 I had had enough. I looked over at my mom and said: "I can't do this anymore". Up until this point my mom had no idea that I was in transition, but as soon as I uttered those words, I could tell by the look on her face that she knew I was ready.
I felt a little "pop" and bubble come out and Khadija said: "Your water just broke. I am going to do another internal to see how much you've progressed." Then the beautiful words: "You are fully dilated." I immediately responded: "That means I can push now???!!!!" "That means you can push."
I must admit that pushing was such an awesome feeling! Although it was painful, there was a slight enjoyment to it. I knew this baby was coming soon and I felt a wave of adrenaline come over me. With every push I felt more and more empowered and in control. I was bringing a baby into this world and I couldn't believe it.
By this point I was now on my back, still leaning against Alex. Khadija called in extra help, since this baby was coming fast. Heather walked in, in complete shock saying: "You're already pushing? I can't believe it, you just got here! I didn't even hear a thing and my office is right next door!" I felt pretty proud of myself when I heard her say that.
The baby's head started to crown and Khadija asked if I wanted to feel it, which I did. It was such a weird feeling, not at all what I expected. Super soft and slimy, but it did not feel like a head.
The next few pushes burned like crazy. I could feel my pelvis expand as his head stretched anything and everything. At 1:45 his head was out.
After 41 weeks and 2 days he was finally here. Our little boy that was completely 100% ours. I was exhausted, I was grateful, and I was completely in love with Alex and our son.
When I think about my labour, I am still shocked at how quickly and completely "according to plan" it went. There was never a time when I felt like I was out of control. I was in active labour for only 2 hours and 45 minutes. In the space of 2 hours I had gone from 4 cm to 10, and a few pushes later he was here. I know this is totally uncommon (especially for your first baby), so I am going to try my best to not expect such a smooth labour for pregnancies to come.
Since the labour was so fast, my body didn't do so well in the hours following. It took my midwife 30 minutes to stitch me up, his shoulders had done quite a little number on me. And to top it all off I fainted... twice, which meant I needed to be sent to hospital via ambulance to be monitored for the next 24 hrs. But I was ok. I had the birth experience I wanted, my baby was healthy, we just needed to make sure I was healthy.
The hospital experience was intensely frustrating and exhausting. My body had simply gone into shock, and after a few hours of "rest" (or lack thereof since it is impossible to sleep in a hospital) we knew I was ready to go home. Unfortunately getting me discharged was a nightmare. A paediatrician and a nurse tried quite a few scare tactics to get me to stay in the hospital, but they didn't pick their battle well. Alex and I, along with the support of my mom, stood firm and started to pack our things. I was ready to be home.
Getting to know this little guy the past few days has been so beautiful. And let me tell you, fatherhood looks pretty dang good on Alex ;)