Grady’s entrance into the world came as quite a surprise being 15 days ahead of his due date. He was apparently ready to see the world – as he also decided to make his entrance in some quick fashion. Which, we are grateful in a sense that it happened quickly as there was no time to really think about things, we just rolled with the process. However the whole having time to do things in early labor…rather missed that part of things. To begin, I was first surprised when I lost my mucus plug on Monday, October 1st, and began leaking some fluid. But at confirmation from our doula and at our weekly appointment with the midwives, wasn’t too worried as I had no contractions or really any other signs anything was about to happen. I was honestly still prepared to make it to around our due date of October 21st, as from everything I read and was told, it could be a week or up to three weeks after losing the mucus plug until birth.
As the week went along rather normal and busy doing all the last minute to-do list before baby, we come to Friday, October 5th – following work, we planned to have a maternity photo session followed by a celebratory date night, as I just finished my Master’s degree a few weeks prior (little did we know that we planned this all just in the nick of time!?). We had our maternity session at Table Rock State Park, being an abnormally WARM day for October (like 90 degrees and 1000% humidity) and had a good time despite being a bit sweaty! We finished just in time to head to dinner at one of our favorite spots in Hendersonville, Postero. After dinner, we got home pretty late and headed straight to bed, as Ben was scheduled to be on duty at the fire department at 6:45am the next morning and I was getting up early for my final baby shower with family and friends in Greenville – at this point, all was normal about 11pm.
THEN, I woke up to what I presumed my water breaking at about 12:30am – was this my water breaking..I think I was in disbelief as I woke up Ben and said well, I’m not sure, but I think my water just broke as there is liquid leaking from my body and running down my legs!?….he says “Are you sure?” My response…not sure, but seems pretty likely. (lol) He suggested that we text Jen, our doula, to see what she had to say. I didn’t really want to bother her at this hour, but probably worth the bother…so I did, and she told me to try to go back to sleep as it could be a while. At this time I wasn’t having contractions and was content with trying to get some sleep, so I laid back in bed and tried to go back to sleep.
Unfortunately there was no going back to sleep, as within the hour the contractions began. I just began to notice and become aware, trying to relax, breathe, and stay calm and still attempt to get some sleep as I had been up since 4:30am Friday morning. Soon, I realized they were quickly getting more intense and thought this was a good time to download a contraction timer app on my phone. All the while, Ben has gone back to sleep. 🙂 They quickly increased and were averaging 4 minutes (ish) apart and I was really beginning to realize this might actually be happening. As I woke up Ben and we called Jen again to let her know where things were, she said if they got about 3:30 minutes apart then we should head to the birthing center.
With my bag (ommm, yeah – halfway packed)… we scrambled to get what we could together and make it to the car, as it wasn’t long when the contractions began to get more intense and closer together. Then began what felt like the longest car ride ever in the back seat on my hands and knees (feeling every bump in the road), contractions were coming at a consistent 3ish minutes apart at this point. Ben was doing a great job watching the timer and being pretty spot on in talking me through each contraction the whole way there (I only said “I think I might by dying” maybe like twice, so I considered that to be pretty good (haha!)).
We finally made it to the birthing center about 4am and met Jen and the midwife (Sam was on call this evening) upstairs to get checked. In getting to the room, I was a little shocked at the bloody show that was present as I undressed and found this as another point of realization that we were going to get to meet our son soon. I was 8cm and fully effaced upon arrival, so we headed downstairs to the birthing room. I really appreciated that it was quiet, nobody else was in the office and also being it Saturday morning now, it remained quiet the entire time we were there which made it feel comfortable and safe, so to speak.
I got in the tub as soon as it was filled and ready to go, which we weren’t set on a waterbirth and also not opposed to it, but in the moment it felt right, and was where I wanted to be. I remember just being surrounded by calmness and support from my husband, our doula, the midwife, and the nurse. Holding my husband’s hand the entire time as we just remained present together. I will say that I surprised myself at the sounds that came with transition, but it felt right and relieving. There was no judgement or fear. There was a tremendous amount of pressure (felt exactly like Julie described in class in that you feel like the baby might come out of your butthole…haha…I laugh now that my mind went back to this thought) got intense, but as soon as they asked if I wanted to feel his head, I did, and I think it was motivation as much as a sense of relief that he was actually so close. It was only a few more pushes and he was born at 6:12am on 10.6.18.
Once he was on my chest (covered in gooey vernix and all), it was a feeling that is indescribable. The whole experience happened so fast, it almost seemed surreal, I never would have thought 24 hours prior that this would be what were were doing the next morning! Can’t make it up part of the story – as I mentioned, some friends were throwing our last baby shower that morning at 10am, so we had to call and let them know I wasn’t going to be able to make it as Grady was here! They had the shower anyways and the grandmas enjoyed opening the gifts and having all the fun! We got lots of pictures and leftovers, just missed the party. Being that was two weeks early, he weighed in at a healthy 7lbs and was 19 inches long. We were able to catch a little nap and recover at the birthing center, which was appreciated, as at this point I had been awake for basically over 24 hours, minus a nap or two. We headed home about 2pm.
We couldn’t be more grateful for this experience and having the knowledge that we learned in Julie’s class definitely played a part in creating a positive birth experience. We are all adjusting to new things, loving life, and taking in every moment.