A “boring” pregnancy that turned into a wild delivery ride.
I am very thankful that my pregnancy was simple and boring. Of course, you have the normal anxieties that you are doing all you can to prepare and to make the best decisions for someone who doesn’t have a voice yet.
But overall – yup, my life didn’t change much while being pregnant.
At our 20 week scan, we were alerted to a marginal cord insertion. The specialist was concerned about monitoring his growth – worried about a small baby. They recommended coming back around 30 weeks to assess his growth. Nothing to do in between but wait.
At that ultrasound, the script flipped. Now we have a large baby risk. I am 5’11 and my partner, Joey, is 6’4 – we weren’t surprised. Again, another scan recommended at 38 weeks – shocker he was still big – guesstimated to be over 9lbs at that time. Induction started to be thrown around but I knew I wanted to go at least to 40 weeks. My body knows how to grow and care for my baby and my body knows when to birth my baby.
I know this sounds cliche – but I strongly believe my mindset and my support team made all the difference.
Having 9 months to mentally prep was huge. The Blissborn hypnosis and affirmations tracks definitely helped my mindset and my imagery of how the birth day will go. Also remaining physically active was also huge in my birth and my recovery.
I think it’s messed up that our brains finally get something we wanted, desired, prayed for, worked for… and then it immediately believes the worst-case scenario can happen or will happen or deserves to happen.
I remember Julie saying “But what if it isn’t that way at all? What is the harm of imagining your birth going exactly the way you want?”
Honestly, I could never fully release the “what if’s” but I did shift my mindset and evolve them into “even if’s”.
So… even if I cannot labor in the tub…or even if I have to be induced…or even if (insert birth worry or fear)… my baby and I can and will handle it.
That is what truly helped me. That mindset.
Knowing it was going to be tough but also knowing my body was made to birth my baby – in whatever shape or form. Trusting that process. Accepting that process. And surrendering to that process.
So, 41 weeks and 2 days rolled around… we were scheduled for an induction in 2 days and I was not looking forward to it. Patience was wearing thin and we elected to try the castor oil cocktail to kick start the process… and it sure as hell did.
Drank it at 6:30am.
Early labor started around 8:30am. Easy waves but finally consistent and in a pattern! Joey and I went on a walk and I was able to take a short nap.
I woke up around 10:30 to more intense waves. My mucous plug passed and then I had my bloody show. I hopped in the shower around 11:30 am to help relax and knowing it was my last shower at home for bit. I put on my upbeat happy labor playlist to help me visualize the excitement that was about to transpire. That’s when active labor started. I had to take breaks from washing my hair and lean over to support my body.
I got out, go dressed and immediately used my birth ball for support. The only position that felt decent during the contractions was basically hands and knees and leaning over the ball. I used my comb to help manage the pain – that little guy didn’t get released from my hand until our baby was born.
Joey called Julie and she agreed that to come over and that the waves were intense and close together. That was around 12:30pm. It is so weird to be in all-encompassing discomfort and intensity then to be released back to full consciousness – to be able to laugh and joke and rationalize between contractions – only to be sucked back in to wave and face it.
At 1:30pm, Julie encouraged us to make the transition to the hospital.
The car ride on Woodruff road at lunch time seemed to take ages! Again, hands and knees on the front seat was the only way I could handle the waves.
Once at the hospital, we were lucky and thankful to be admitted up to the birthing suite immediately around 2:30pm. We prepped the room with soft twinkle lights and put on some chill soft ambient music. My birth plan specifically stated that I did not want to be told my progress with any cervical checks. Joey and Julie were to be updated and communicated with first and me only if necessary. I’m so glad I chose this. Unbeknownst to me, my initial cervical check revealed that I was only 3cm dilated. There was a secret discussion ranging from not being able to admit me, getting me back in the car and prepping me for a long labor with other possible interventions.
To me, the contractions were quite intense and I had very short breaks. I didn’t have the big wave with 2-3 minute break in-between. I had waves very close together with maybe a 30s to 1 minute break. It really didn’t line up with my cervix.
Thankfully, the birthing suite wasn’t needed by any other laboring person and I was allowed to keep going. I got in the shower for a bit then Julie put me in different positions to help the baby’s position. All made the contractions so much more painful – again the only manageable position was hands and knees. They started filling up the tub to in hopes to control my discomfort.
At 4:30pm, the midwife checked me again – only 4cm. Not long after, maybe around 5pm – something changed. I was on hands and knees in the hospital bed and I remember telling Julie – “I feel like I have to push”.
My body took over complete control. It was so wild. It felt like my uterus was trying to vomit this baby out. I’m sorry for the vulgar imagery – but that is the best way to describe it. I couldn’t control it, temper it – I had to surrender and allow it to do what it needed to do. I still had perfect clarity between these intense waves. That comb was working overtime!
Julie suggested at this time to change positions and sit backwards on the toilet. She also wisely suggested to change my music – “let’s get some pumped up music”. I told Joey to put it on Lil’ Wayne Radio. Let’s freaking go.
Wave after wave of what later was explained to me as the “fetal ejection reflex” kept coming. Joey never left my side. Around 6:30pm, the midwife checked me again and beamed at me – I was at 10cm. My body did the work. I was ready. Immediately after she told me this, my water broke onto the floor. Poor Joey’s shoes got ruined.
Julie then wrapped a scarf around the handle of the hospital bed for me to hold and brace on while I stood and slightly squatted to push my baby boy into the world. It was the most empowering experience I have ever been through. The ejection waves still were coming. There was no pause or slow control but that’s ok – my body knew how to birth my baby. During one rest period, I felt my body “suck him back up” and I remember exclaiming that – there were a couple of laughs and encouragements that he would come back down. Roughly 30 minutes later – our baby Luke was in my arms.
I cannot tell you how happy I am with our birth experience. I am so thankful to have had minimal interventions and to be able to birth him in full awareness and consciousness. My entire birth team was amazing and held space for me and my body to do its thing.
My takeaway: trust your body. It was made for birthing your baby. It knows what to do. It’s hard but so worth it.
Born March 31st 2023 at 7:02pm
9lbs 11 oz