NatureAmy

caring for creation while caring for family

Leading up to my Fourth Birth Story… (or Part 1)

I know that you’ve been waiting to hear the full story of baby Bethany’s fast entrance into the world, but the story, it turns out, is not so fast.  So, I’m writing it in two parts.  The days leading up to labor starting and then, of course, the birth itself.  So, here goes…

I’ve never had fast labors.  At 48 hours, 22 hours, and 16 hours, none of my labors could count as short, although the 16 hour labor felt like a breeze compared to the others!  I really don’t mind longer labors, as long as the super intense part (transition) is not too long.  It gives me time to mentally prepare myself for the arrival of our little one and get the hang of riding out the contractions as they slowly intensify from uncomfortable, to painful, to intense.  You can read about my first, second, and third birth stories here.)

From the beginning of this pregnancy, I just had a feeling that this little one would come early.  And when I was already 3 cm dilated at 35 weeks and lost my mucous plug at 36 weeks, I was starting to get nervous that he or she might come too early!  I was also concerned that when the baby did decide to come, I would  already be dilated 5 or 6 cm and labor would be too quick for anyone to get here in time!  My husband works 35 minutes away and the midwives were 50 minutes away…

At 338 weeks, getting ready for a last date night before baby comes!

At 38 weeks, getting ready for a last date night before baby comes!

I made it through weeks 36 and 37 without going into labor (I was told I should “take it easy” for week 36, which is a very hard thing for me to do).  But once I hit 38 weeks, I was ready to be done.  I had early labor consistently all day the day I turned 38 weeks, but then my contractions stopped and only came sporadically the next few days.

Thai food and finally deciding on names for this little one. We decided on a girl name, but were still having trouble with the boy name...

Thai food and finally deciding on names for this little one. We decided on a girl name, but were still having trouble with the boy name…

On Monday, I was 38 weeks 3 days and I was exhausted.  I thought I was exhausted before then, but apparently I wasn’t…  I hit a wall, especially emotionally, and I was on the verge of tears all day for no reason at all.  I pushed through homeschool with the boys and was ready for a nap by 10 am.  Somehow I made it through the day, by the grace of God…

I recognized the emotional state I was in because I’ve been there 3 times before, always within 24 hours of going into labor.  So I wondered if, and hoped that, I would go into labor that night…

Like the many nights before, I had sporadic contractions through the night, enough to disrupt my sleep, but nothing “real”.  The next day, Tuesday morning, nothing had changed.  I was still exhausted and emotionally at my wit’s end.  Again I pushed through school and took a brief nap before loading all the kids up to head to my midwife appointment that afternoon.

The birthing tub (or water trough) all ready in our room. The kids thought this was a great new play thing!

The birthing tub (or water trough) all ready in our room. The kids thought this was a great new play thing!

Cindy and Kathy, my very experienced midwives, listened to me talk about how emotionally and physically I was just done.  They encouraged me that my emotional state was indeed a very good sign that my hormones were gearing up for labor.  I felt validated and encouraged (and not like I was just going crazy, which is what I suspected) after spending an  hour with them.

They checked me, only because I was curious what had changed in the last 3 weeks since they had last checked me.  And, surprisingly, not much had changed.  I was now 3.5 to 4 cm dilated and about 90% effaced, but nothing drastic.  I was more relieved than frustrated about that – I didn’t want to go into labor too far along because of my fears of not having someone there with me.

I took the kids grocery shopping on the way home.  We, of course, got lots of questions about when I was due, to which I replied, “Whenever baby wants to show up!” I loaded up on plenty of snack food and frozen food to make feeding the kids easier in post-partum – the kids were surprised and thrilled!  They never get food like that at our house, so it’s a special treat. And to top off the terrible food, I bought frozen Orange Chicken for dinner.

That night, I had more energy than I had in several nights.  I cleaned up the living room and kitchen, even sweeping the floor.  I had a good talk with my husband and we went to bed about 10.  Unlike the previous nights, I slept like a log until five AM when my husband’s alarm went off to get up for work.

That’s when things started to get exciting, but this post is getting awfully long already, so you will have to continue reading Part 2 for the rest of the story…

 

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1 Comment

  1. Grandma Hodges

    March 14, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    You know that’s called a “cliff hanger”! Can’t wait for the rest of the story (even though I know a bit of it). You’ve got me hooked, honey.

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