Read Part 1 HERE.
When I got a positive pregnancy test in late September of 2012, I was beyond excited to be welcoming another little person into our family. This pregnancy renewed and reinvigorated my research on natural childbirth. I was determined to do everything within my power to make it work this time.
I went into my first OB appointment with a mental list of questions to ask about natural delivery. I was open and honest about my expectations regarding this childbirth. My OB met my questions with honest answers–not always telling me exactly what I wanted to hear, but I appreciated that. We agreed or compromised on all my main requests, so I decided that a hospital birth with this OB gave me a great opportunity for a natural and safe delivery.
I also decided to hire a doula. A doula is a trained labor support person. This was quite possibly my best decision of the pregnancy. After my first doula had to step away due to changes in her family, I settled with Christa. She proved invaluable towards the end of my pregnancy. With my OB and doula in place, all that was left to do was to grow this baby.
Thomas was induced at 9 days post date, so I *thought* I was mentally prepared for a late baby. I even refused to tell people my due date to avoid dealing with being “late”. However, when I was HUGE at 38 weeks, 2 cm dilated, and having mild contractions every evening, I just knew I was going to go into labor early.
At 38 weeks, I had a sonogram that showed high fluid levels (the irony!). My OB was out of town, so I saw another doctor that knew nothing of my birth plans. During our appointment, he said due to my high fluid levels, I would likely need to be induced the next week, but he would “let” me wait until my doctor was back in town to discuss it with her.
This sent me into a tail spin.
I felt like the same thing was happening all over again. Thankfully, I texted my doula, and she researched high fluid levels for me–saving me from the trauma of the extreme stories Google would reveal. She sent me a brief summary of what she found, and we both agreed that an induction was likely unnecessary. I prayed that my doctor would agree.
When I went in to see my doctor the next week, she didn’t even mention the high fluid levels. I brought it up, and she was totally unconcerned. I left rejoicing and praising the Lord–so thankful that this pregnancy and natural delivery was still on track. The days and weeks slowly passed, and I found myself still pregnant. I was mentally and physically exhausted. This is where my doula was so encouraging. I would go to bed in the evenings just knowing that “tonight is the night” only to be disappointed when I woke up the next morning. She encouraged me repeatedly–reminding me that this baby would indeed come out at just the right time.
As I neared 41 weeks, Mississippi State’s baseball team made it to the championship series of the College World Series. My brother and dad took my nephew to Omaha to watch the games. Michael and I decided to stay with my mom during this time, so I would be closer to him and the hospital should I go into labor while at home alone with Thomas. Tuesday evening, as I sat on my labor ball and watched MSU lose the national championship, I again had regular contractions. I went to bed again thinking “tonight is the night” but afraid to really believe it.
Every time I woke up to use the restroom that night, I had a contraction.
Thomas woke me up at 6:00 AM, and the contractions continued. I wasn’t in pain, but they were coming regularly every 10 minutes or so. I went about our normal morning routine, but I cooked myself some toast and eggs “just in case”–I wanted to have a good breakfast if this was it! I sent Michael off to work with a warning to keep his phone close. Thomas and I were supposed to meet friends at the splash pad after dropping my mom off at work (we were down a car since my Dad was in Omaha).
As it came time to leave, every 3rd contraction was fairly painful and I was nervous that I would get across town alone with Thomas and be unable to drive. We decided to call a friend to come pick-up Thomas for the day while Mom waited with me for Michael to finish up a few things at work.
I was so scared to admit that this was “it”. I was in labor. I didn’t want to be “that girl”. My contractions weren’t all that painful–nothing compared to Thomas’ labor. They weren’t coming very close together, and if I sat down they stopped completely. Despite my reservations, I texted my doula, so she could make preparations for her kids in time–just in case. Based on my description of what was going on, she agreed that I was in early labor. I began to get excited but remained apprehensive.
I walked all over my parents’ house–giddy with excitement–willing myself to “stay” in labor!
How did you know when you were in labor? Anybody else always go “overdue”? How did you handle it?
If you have any questions about natural childbirth or breastfeeding feel free to leave them in the comments or email me at newlifesteward @ gmail . com (remove spaces). I plan to address these topics in more detail after I finish Parker’s birth story and would love to address your questions as best I can!
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