I had been having labor pains off and on for a couple of weeks. Most of the time I would have contractions at night while I was trying to sleep and mostly just Braxton Hicks during the day. Over the course of two or more weeks each time I would have the contractions at night they would get more intense and more painful. Once I was 39 weeks pregnant there were a couple of nights I got up thinking it might be real labor. Early Thursday morning around 3am, I was having contractions that were about 10 minutes apart and they were fairly intense. Chase and I thought it might be the beginnings of real labor, but it ended after a couple of hours once again. All day Thursday I felt crampy, but I didn’t have contractions, so thankfully it was a day of rest. I went to the chiropractor to have my hips aligned and make sure everything was adjusted. That night and into Friday morning I started having contractions again. They were much more regular and really felt like early labor. I had been tricked into thinking it was the real thing so many times, that I didn’t get my hopes up. I even took Jacob to the park that morning so he could play outside.
Later that afternoon, around 3pm, I couldn’t lie down and rest anymore or do much of anything to stall the contractions like I had in days past so I figured it must be true early labor. I couldn’t concentrate on much of anything at that point, so I called Carie, the person who was going to take care of Jacob for us while we had Logan, and she came around 5pm to get Jacob. Chase also got off early because he finished all his work and was able to be home around 5pm. I ate some supper and kept laboring. At that point the contractions were more like 8-10 minutes apart but they were contractions I had to stop everything and work through. We labored at home until around 9:30 and my contractions were about 5 minutes apart. I really wanted to know what kind of progress I had made so we headed to the hospital to get checked. Brittney was our labor and delivery triage nurse assigned to us. She checked me and said I was dilated 3-4 cm. I was crushed. I really thought I would be further along. She said she could tell I was in real labor though and hooked me up to the monitors. I didn’t want to stay and labor at the hospital, but they made me stay on the monitors for just over an hour to watch me. I didn’t dilate much more within that hour so they let us decide what we wanted to do. We could have stayed, but I really wanted to labor at home. While we were at the hospital, our substitute doula, Tammy, came to help. Our doula was supposed to be Jana, but she had just helped someone through labor and delivery for over 24 hours so she wasn’t able to be there. Tammy was amazing though. At the hospital before we left we tried the Rebozo wrap. She wrapped a sheet around my tummy and lifted it to give me some support and relief. It felt great!
We got home around 11:30pm and I ate a snack and kept laboring. My contractions were always stronger and closer together when I was moving around, but less extreme and further apart when I was sitting. I couldn’t lay down because the contractions seemed worse and harder to work through in that position. Tammy explained to me that to really get things moving the contractions needed to be completely regular and not slack off when I was in different positions. We talked about the baby’s head still being a little high for helping with dilation, so she suggested I do the abdominal lift and tuck from spinning babies. It’s where you stand with your back flat on the wall, squat, and lift your belly up during the whole contraction, and then lean over once the contraction is finished. You have to do this for at least 10 contractions to help the baby move down more into your pelvis. This was one of the hardest things I had to do that night aside from transition. It was around one o’clock in the morning, I was exhausted, and I felt like I barely had the energy to do this. But I wanted to be done, and I wanted my labor to progress quickly and without Pitocin, so I tried it. After about the 6th contraction and time of doing the abdominal lift and tuck, I felt it work! The baby had moved down and not too long after that I started having crazy contractions that were about 3 minutes apart. And they were all the same even if I was sitting or standing. Around two o’clock in the morning Tammy suggested we might want to go back to the hospital, and I agreed after a few more contractions. I didn’t want to go through transition in the car! In the car the contractions seemed to speed up! But I think they were just more intense because I had to sit through them with no help.
Once we got to labor and delivery, we requested Brittney again. She said she wanted us if we came back because we “were fun!” haha. She checked me and I was dilated 7 cm. This news crushed me again, because I was so sure I was currently going through transition and I thought I would be more like 9cm! Hopeful thinking. Once I was hooked up to the monitor so I could be given my antibiotics for GBS, it was around 2:30am. 30 minutes later they were able to unhook me from the monitor and the IV and I was able to labor however I wanted instead of just sitting. But I chose to mostly sit because by that time I didn’t want to move much. During the majority of my labor either Tammy or Chase pressed on the small of my lower back and the other would be in front of me for me to hold on to. They would switch positions as needed, but as a team they were incredible. They did this for me for hours on end through the night. Brittney was an amazing cheerleader and she told me I was doing amazing and it was going so quickly! My birthing team was so amazing I didn’t need an epidural or any pain medication, which is exactly what I had hoped for! Both of my births were without an epidural! Around 4am she checked me again and said I was almost dilated to a 10, but I had some lip I needed to work out, so she and Tammy suggested I switch my labor position to hands and knees. I labored here for a little while until I felt the need to push. I had to turn back over to make sure I was being checked the same. And lying down to be checked felt awful for the minute it happened. It turns out I still had a tiny cervical lip, but nothing that was truly in the way. She said the doctor could pull it back as I pushed. It was after 4:30am and my water hadn’t broken yet, and that was all that was in the way. The bag was right there in the way of the baby’s head, so it was suggested I have the doctor break my water. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do and I was a little nervous to make the decision. I really wanted everything to happen naturally, but I also wanted to push! They went and got the doctor to check on me and potentially break my water, but as he sat down at the end of the bed, I felt a gush of water. I asked if my water broke and I saw smiles and heard “Yes! Yes it did!” and I was so relieved. So then I was ready to push. I asked to push any other way then on my back because first of all, on my back felt horrible during contractions, and secondly I had read you tear more if you deliver on your back. The doctor suggested I push while lying on my side so they got me set up for that within minutes. I started pushing with each contraction. I believe I only had to push through two contractions total. It only took about 6-7 minutes for Logan to come out!! It was amazing! Up until it was time to push I had been using low tones during contractions and I had been able to control my breathing and the pain with the help of Tammy and Chase. Even some of the staff said we should have been filming and posted it on youtube because they couldn’t even believe I was even in labor! But during the pushing phase, I let it all loose. I yelled and screamed and said I just wanted him out and I wanted it to be over. Ha! I saved up all my emotion for those last 6-7 minutes. He came out perfectly in the best position for laboring and delivering, head down in the anterior position. And then I heard him crying and I almost started crying. They put him on my chest and he was beautiful. After several minutes I let him nurse and he had a perfect latch right away! It was amazing. Even Tammy and others said it was amazing he was able to latch so well. He nursed both sides for almost 20 minutes. Logan was awake for almost an hour or more after he was born. After a little over an hour in my arms and in daddy’s arms, they took him and weighed and measured him.