Friday, August 24, 2012

Birth Story {Part I}

Our baby girl's due date: Thursday, July 12th...our three year wedding anniversary.  It came and went. I had been having contractions on and off again, but nothing significant.  The weekend came and Sunday night I experienced real contractions.  The kind that take your breath away, the kind that come in a rhythm. Martin and I were excited..we knew this meant progress. But by morning the contractions had slowed way down and their intensity had gone away.

 We headed into the work week. I promised Martin I would call him at work the moment my contractions started up again.  This time it was Tuesday night.  And this time my contractions were even stronger and even closer together.  We began to get excited again.  We kept thinking to ourselves that maybe by morning we would have our little girl.  As the night progressed we decided to get some rest incase we would be heading into a long labor. I laid down and closed my eyes only to wake up hours later to the birds chirping and no contractions. 
 I was beginning to feel frustrated.  Why was my body not wanting to go into active labor...and why was I only getting contractions at night? I felt like my body was going into its primal state, only laboring in the safety and cover of darkness and as soon as the sun began to rise it stopped. I talked everyday with our doula, Faith. She kept giving me the pep talks I needed and reassured me over and over that these contractions weren't false labor.  Every contraction I had was one more I could check off and each one was helping my body prepare.  It was just taking its time and maybe that would mean that when I did go into active labor it would move quickly.   

On Wednesday morning, July 18, Martin and I headed to my 41 week appointment. I had been hoping the whole week that I wouldn't have to go, but our baby girl was still comfortable inside of me.  We completed the fluid level check and stress test and all of our results came back great.  They would let me continue to progress on my own and I would be checked again on Monday to make sure things were still safe for the baby.  

The rest of the week was more of the same.  Each night around dinner time my contractions would start and last until the early morning hours. We were becoming exhausted from the very little sleep we were getting. During the day I would try every trick to try to get my contractions to intensify, but nothing seemed to be working. 
A new weekend quickly approached. Saturday brought with it a new bought of contractions around dinner time.  But these were different.  These were even more powerful.  By midnight my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart.  We called Faith and she came right over.  I crawled into bed and buried my face into my pillow with each contraction that came. I had never felt such intense pain. Each contraction swept over my entire body and the couple minutes that they lasted felt incredibly long.  Faith showed me how to breathe and use my voice to get through each contraction, telling me when the peak was over and when I could relax again. Martin held my hand and stroked my hair while Faith rubbed my feet.  As the sun began to rise I was relieved that my contractions had not gone away! 
Around breakfast time our backup Doula, Mary, came to relieve Faith for a while. We continued to labor, but soon my contractions slowed way down again. I was exahusted, sad, and emotional. I took a long hot shower, Martin and I took a long nap, went for a long walk, and realized that that particular day was not going to be our baby's birthday. 

Monday morning, July 23, I prepared to go in for my second round of tests and for my 42 week midwife appointment.  I met the new midwife, Leigh, and she joked that hopefully I would have my baby tomorrow so she would be there to deliver it.  We scheduled my induction for July 25th. I felt my eyes well up with tears and prayed that I would have this baby before then. As I waited for my older sister to meet me for the stress test and fluid level test I began to feel my contractions beginning...again.  I didn't get my hopes up as I walked into the ultrasound room and got strapped to the monitors. 

The ultrasound tech was very quiet as she moved the device around on my belly.  "Hmmm," she finally said. "Well, I'm just not seeing any pockets of fluid in here."  I knew that meant that my placenta was beginning to calcify and wouldn't be providing the support my baby needed.

My heart began to beat faster and a lump began to form in my throat. My sister came over to hold my hand tightly. She asked the technician all the questions I would have if my mind hadn't been racing.  She assured me my baby was still safe and had a good strong heartbeat.  She went to show the results to my midwife and came back to tell me that I was going to have my baby today and that I needed to head upstairs right away to the labor and delivery floor to talk about induction.


  1. So far our birth story is identical! I can't wait to hear the rest. PS Everdeen's one month pictures are absolutely perfect!

  2. * birth stories ARE identical. Sorry... the teacher in me hates grammatical errors. Ha!

  3. You poor thing, I can't imagine going two weeks after my due date! I can't wait to read the second part of the story!