Birth stories, I am fascinated by them. I love to hear them; the nitty gritty, the down and dirty, the beautiful, the tragic. Sharing our stories, our variations of normal, is empowering. We should birth without fear of judgement or criticism or experience. Sharing birth stories creates sisterhood. This is how I became a mother.
It was a Wednesday, December 5th, I was at work. I felt that “gush” they talk about in the movies and I told my manager I had to leave. I called my husband and the birth center and told them I was coming. I got to the center to find out I had just peed myself…it was not time for the big show. I called my husband, he turned the car around and returned to work, not before laughing at me. I went home and changed my pants. I showed up to work the next day, to everyone’s surprise, still very pregnant.
I finished out the work week, waddling my way around the office, being diligent in taking frequent bathroom breaks. Saturday rolls around, and I chalked it up to the nesting instinct, I convince my mother in law that we should tackle the rest (aka ALL) of the Christmas shopping with a trip to the Mall of America. Mall of America, here we come.
“You are gonna walk that baby out, miss!”
“You’re how many weeks?”
“You are about to pop”
I heard it all that day but I was bound and determined to finish my shopping and get home in time to wrap the mountain gifts with coordinating paper and have them under the tree before bedtime. We did just that. We stayed up until about 11. With a big sigh of relief, I knew that it would not be long until I got to meet my baby.
Sunday morning, I woke up and got ready for the 11 o’ clock church service like usual. I was showered and dressed and finishing up some laundry, at about 10:30 there was a GUSH. The real deal this time! I was excited. I called Tyler in from the other room, and he uttered not a single pee joke. I changed into something more comfortable (and dry) and decided to lay down. I knew I was going to need my rest for this day. Tyler started working on his list. We had run through the drill many times, and luckily my bag was packed just a few days before. I was only 36 weeks pregnant, but I had a feeling I was “going to go early”.
I labored at home until about 3:30, I called the birth center and assured them I really was in labor this time and it was time for us to come in. I don’t recall this part but find it funny. The Vikings game ended the minute we pulled into the parking lot. Perfect timing, says Tyler. I get through intake and triage, and we make our way to our room. I asked for the lights to be dimmed and run through my birth plan with my nurse. I remember being so excited to see my midwife, the day had finally come!
I requested to labor in the bath, and I waddled down the hall once it was ready. The warm water was so relaxing, that is when things really kicked into high gear. I began to become uncomfortable, and we hurried back to the room. My nurse was so great. She was gentle, quiet, but so supportive at the same time. She helped me make changes to my position and listened to me talk about what was happening with my body to help me find a more effective position. I was making progress.
My request to be left to labor as I wish without progression checks or fetal monitoring was honored, and my midwife was on the same page with my intuition and body cues. I began to push around 9:30, I continued to make progress until about 10:45. I was becoming fatigued and started asking more of my midwife. I told her “He’s stuck, I can feel he is not coming down any more!” The nurse helped me with a few more suggestions and I trudged through the back labor for about an hour more. I had enough! I was shouting at my poor husband, at the nurse, I told my midwife “CALL THE GUY!”. It was too late, she said. I told her to check the baby, check my progress, and she did. With that check she was able to reposition baby’s head, I felt immediate relief of pressure. I knew we were almost done.
I felt rejuvenated with a burst of encouragement, it was like a fog was lifted. I was able to return to my relaxed but focused mindset. I was going to meet my baby. Not even 20 minutes later and I was grabbing for my baby, I brought him to my chest and told Tyler “It’s a boy”. He was born at 12:02 am on my dad’s 50th birthday. What a gift! We did it! I made it!