During my pregnancy with Nola, Mondays would always be the day I would notice new changes and shifts, so it is no surprise that she decided to start coming on a Monday.
That Sunday was incredibly cold but I asked Matt to go into the city and go for a walk with me and then have some ramen at our favorite Japanese bistro after. The walk didn’t last very long, Matt was way too cold. “I’ll set up the treadmill for you when we get home,” he told me. Well it must have been enough to start the process, I started feeling pressure in my back during our ramen date.
That night at 12:30 I lost my mucous plug. I went to sleep very excited and woke up around 4:30 am with contractions. I tried to keep sleeping through them and got up around 7 am to let both of our Moms know that I was in early labor. I ate breakfast and later laid down for a nap. I woke up from the nap with no contractions, which was a bit disappointing.
Within a couple hours they began to be regular and twenty minutes apart. By the time we were making dinner they were 13-15 minutes apart. While eating dinner I had to take breaks and lean over an ottoman during contractions. After dinner I tried to take a bath and relax. After that I started laboring on the bed and that’s when we called Rachael, one of the midwives, to let her know tonight would be the night. I started to get intense contractions so I got into the shower for 30-40 minutes. I got nauseous following the shower and after that things kind of started moving pretty fast. We called Rachael again when the contractions were 10 minutes apart.
I labored on the bed, resting in between contractions and occasionally Matt would encourage me to move to the ball to do hip circles. At this point my contractions started to move closer and closer together and I could no longer speak through them. The last call placed to Rachael she said she would call us back in 30-40 minutes but all of a sudden they were 4 minutes apart and I told Matt, “We are leaving NOW!” I had to stop and be on all fours twice between the bedroom and the car. Even though it was still very, very cold I just wanted to be in the car so I “ran” out with no jacket and in my slippers.
As true as they say, the car ride was no picnic. My contractions were 2 minutes apart and we live about 35 minutes away. I could not get into a comfortable laboring position the whole time but Matt got us to the birth center safely and calmly. Rachael and Sophia met us right inside. I asked to be in the tub right away and while it was filing Rachael checked how dilated I was, I had made it to 7 cm. Next I labored in the tub while holding onto Matt with every contraction.
Looking back on it I didn’t particularly feel comfortable in the tub, it was hard to bear down and it felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. I still had some cervical lip remaining so Amy tried to help remove it but it didn’t budge. They decided to move me to the bed, where I had a few contractions on all fours and on my side for about an hour. Then Amy told me to go into the shower and start squatting through contractions and resting on the stool in between. The shower felt INCREDIBLE. It truly was a natural epidural. I got some much needed rest in there and managed to move her down during squats.
Amy asked me to check how close her head was, it was about a fingertip inside so soon after that they moved me to the bed to push the traditional way, on my back. The pushing was very slow, steady and intense! I have never made sounds like that in my life. I was almost scaring myself and I knew I was scaring Matt because when I would lock eyes with him, they were as big as saucers. My mom was on one side, helping me keep my chin tucked through pushing and Matt was on the other helping me hold my leg up, since I was getting exhausted. Amy and Sophia were my calming forces. Anytime they would talk to me or tell me what to do, I would lock eyes with them and kind of come into myself. Almost like getting re-energized.
The baby’s head emerged and her shoulders didn’t follow so Amy told me to flip onto my hands and knees. I was sooooo exhausted that in my head I thought, “Oh hell no, I’m not moving!” They must have known that so they flipped me up, Amy reached in and shifted her and out she came! In that moment everything went black with specks of light. I moved to my back, they handed her to me and of course the tears came. She looked so big, I could not believe she had come out of me. She was 7 lbs. 9 oz. and I am very petite. As they say, the moment the baby comes out, the pain is instantly gone. I tried pulling her up a little more to me but felt immediately that her cord was very short. Matt cut the cord and I got to get her to latch on for the first time. Pure ecstasy! The time after was very dreamlike, our lives had forever shifted into a new dimension.