Updated: Jan 22, 2020
If you know me, you know how ready I was to have this baby!! I was going on 40 weeks and 6 days when the day finally came!!
On the morning of March 26th, 2019, I was woken up around 12:30am with horrible heartburn and some cramping. I did not have bad heartburn in pregnancy, so I thought it was odd. I had to get up and take some Zantac because it was so bad! I also was having some digestive trouble as well, which I heard can come on when you go into labor. With this being my first pregnancy, I didn't really know if what I was feeling was anything or not, so I decided to go back to bed.
Around 3am I woke back up to more intense cramps that would come and go. I had previously downloaded an app on my phone that I could time contractions with, so I opened that up and started timing them. They were farther apart at that time and I would fall back asleep in between. Then around 3:30/4am I realized this was consistent and so I moved to the couch in the living room. I didn't want to wake up Austin because I knew I would be in early labor for a while and he might as well rest.
7am rolled around and Austin woke up, realized I wasn't in bed and came out to the living room where I was laying down. He knew right away when he saw me. "I'm pretty sure I'm in labor," I told him. We were both so excited! I texted my doula and my midwife to let them know what was going on. My birth plan was to labor at home as long as possible and then to go up to the hospital and hopefully be close to 6cm dilated so I could get my epidural and rest! (My midwife encourages getting to 6cm before getting an epidural because that is considered "active labor" and your risk of things slowing down and needing a c-section decreases).
My doula assured me that I would probably be in this early labor stage for quiet a while so this would be a good time to get something to eat, rest, and go for a walk. I had some whole grain waffles with peanut butter and some greek yogurt. I then decided to get up and take a shower...I even washed and blowdried my hair...can you believe that?! I thought about curling my hair (bc who doesn't want to look good for pictures?!) but that was NOT happening. When I was on my feet and in the shower the contractions came closer and closer together around every 3 minutes. I was NOT expecting them to be that frequent so early on.
The weather started to warm up so Austin and headed out for a walk around 10am. It was one of the most beautiful days I'd ever seen. The sun was shining and it was around mid 50's. A route that would normally take me maybe 15-20 minutes, took about double that! Every 2-3 minutes I was having to stop and breathe through the contractions. It was brutal!! Austin was so supportive and we would stand there on the side of the road and I would squeeze his hand and breathe. I'd love to know what people were thinking as they drove by us!! That must have been a sight to see haha!
Shortly after we arrived back home, my doula showed up. Austin and I decided to hire a doula because we wanted the support and guidance since we had never done this before. She was a saving grace-we were so glad she was there and we felt more confident, especially those hours we were at home before going up to the hospital. Those hours she labored at home with us were not the most fun, but I truly believe they helped me progress so smoothly in my labor. There were a few exercises/stretches she had me do that were downright PAINFUL. When a contraction came, I would have to do one and it was SO hard. The purpose was to create space in my pelvis and help the baby stay engaged and in the right positioning.
Around 2:30 in the afternoon, I hit a wall. I had been up almost 12 hours at this point. I told my doula and Austin that I was ready to head to the hospital. Luckily Austin had packed everything up that morning so we got in the car and left. I kept thinking, surely I'm not being a baby and I'm not over-exaggerating the pain! I thought I had a pretty high pain tolerance and thought for sure my contractions were effective and doing something. My biggest prayer was that when we got to the hospital I would be close to 6cm so I could get my epidural right away!!
Luckily there was no traffic on the drive to the hospital but man, if you are a momma you know how AWFUL contractions in the car can be. They are 100 times more painful when you have to sit during them. The whole car ride is a big blur but I'll never forget pulling into the hospital parking lot and thinking, when we leave this time, we will be taking our baby home with us. Cue the pregnancy emotions!!
To be continued...
Stay Strong Ladies!