I’m so excited to share this story with you! So many of you have followed along with us through our PCOS/infertility journey and this story is the culmination of lots of prayers, tears, hopes, one positive test & 41 weeks of pregnancy. This is our sweet dream come true. With that said, I feel like babies + birth plans can bring out the opinionated in us, so before I get started I want to say…the point in sharing our birth story is to build a bridge to fellow Mama’s, to be transparent, honest + real. I don’t mean to impose my opinions or tread on your personal beliefs regarding child birth. I believe that each birth experience is unique and that we all are doing the best we know how when it comes to our babies. Andrew & I did a lot of research, asked for advice from those we trusted, and ultimately, made the decisions that were best for us in our situation. If you’re looking for advice from me, I hope that you’ll take that tidbit to heart when it comes to making your own decisions. God has equipped you to make the right decisions for you & your baby. Be confident in Him.
Also, this post may be TMI for some of you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
You know that dream where you’re peeing but then mid-pee you realize that you’re actually completely exposed in some high traffic area, like the mall?
Well, that dream was my reality. And that’s where my birth story starts.
Actually, let me back up a bit.
Saturday was about to become Sunday, on which day I would hit 41 weeks even. The past week had been a bit of a rollercoaster, as it is for most overdue mothers. There is a general discomfort & largeness that you can’t get past, moments of anxiety wondering if the next moment will be “it,” and at the same time, an odd sense of patience because the thought of what is about to happen to your lady parts makes the waiting seem A-OK.
“A new baby is like the beginning of all things–wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.”Eda J LeShan
Were you still working at 41 weeks?
I had decided last minute that I would start my maternity leave on my due date, baby or not. As much as I loved hearing “you’re STILL here” EVERY 👏SINGLE 👏 DAY from EVERY 👏 SINGLE 👏 PERSON, that wasn’t why I ditched. My main reasons were…
my co-workers were stressed wondering when I was going to go into labor (as if one of them would have to do an emergency c-section with a letter opener if things started during a shift—I’m laughing but seriously though—it was like that)
all of my work had been transferred to my co-worker in anticipation of me leaving so I literally had nothing to do except think of all the things I could be doing at home
my non-stress tests had been bumped up to twice a week now that I was overdue which severely cut into my work time
I made the decision to schedule an induction the following Monday, at 41 weeks and a day. Let’s be honest, a large part of me wanted to induce immediately because “stick a fork in me,” Mama was done. But I refrained and put off the induction for a week simply because I believed Jack needed more time in the oven and that was more important than my aches & pains. Still, it was a relief to know the end was in sight and I wouldn’t be “wasting” too much of my maternity leave without the baby.
And that’s why I got a letter from my Dr. and got the heck outta dodge.
What did you do with all your free time?
I went home and cleaned and rested and went to the Dr and cleaned and rested some more.
The free time allowed me to make freezer meals/nest/spend time with Andrew while it was still just us. That isn’t to say I didn’t have my moments of “I WANT MY BABY OUT OF THERE NOW.” Because I most certainly did. After all, I am human. Still, being overdue wasn’t the worst thing. In retrospect, I would even say the timing was perfect. But that’s easier to admit when you’re not toting around 30 extra pounds on your front end.
How did you feel in the days leading up to labor?
Looking back, I remember feeling distinctly “odd.” Not bad. Just odd. At the time I didn’t think too much about it because when you’re pregnant, things are always feeling new & weird. I felt the urge to nap…a lot. And there was an increasing deep ache in my hips—which meant baby was moving further south, making me all the more excited for Monday’s induction. It bears mentioning that at this point, mentally, I was prepared for being induced and even looked forward to it so I wasn’t really in a “omg, maybe I’m in labor” place anymore. In my moments of energy, I went to a friend’s baby shower & tidied up around the house. But mostly, I napped. Deep, deep sleeps. And it was glorious.
Ok, ok. So when did it actually happen?
On Sunday morning at 3am, during one such nap, I woke up startled because of an internal “pop” only to find an uncontrollable surge of water pooling on the couch where I had dropped earlier.
Now that sounds pretty obvious.
But the little voice in my head started questioning everything because you hear those stories about so and so, who thought they were in labor only to be turned around because they had just peed themselves. Which is a big possibility when you’re that pregnant, unfortunately (and even four months post-partum, come to find out). In fact, the chances of your water breaking at home are pretty slim, the majority of women do not experience this so it’s not something you’re expecting to happen. On top of all that, our hospital was almost an hour away so I wanted to be really, really certain.
Over the next hour and a half, I continued to leak at random…consequently mopping just about my whole floor. Two birds with one stone.
I googled “how do I know if my waters broke?”
I took a nice, long shower.
I styled my hair.
I did the dishes.
And after that, I decided it was worth a trip to the hospital.
I would say that I crept upstairs to gently wake Andrew up, but let’s be honest…can a 41-week pregnant lady really creep?
How did Andrew react?
Andrew always said that when “it” happened, he imagined jumping out of bed—ready in an instant. And I have to say, he was spot on. No sooner had I whispered that my waters had broken, his eyes popped wide open and he was up with jeans on. I actually had to wind him down a bit because I hadn’t even started contractions yet and was in no rush to be in a hospital bed. I ended up sending him over to the church to print off the bulletins for that morning’s service as a distraction.
Were you nervous?
Around 5 or so, we got in the car and started the trek to the hospital. It was still dark out and I remember feeling like that moment was completely surreal, a bit like a dream. Uncertain of what’s going to happen next—what labor will entail or what your baby will even look like—but also knowing that soon you’ll be snuggling this precious, little life. It’s a lot to take in as you realize “it’s actually happening.” But despite the possibility to be overwhelming, I felt completely at peace. It was like instinct took over and my mind went into spidey-focus, honing in on the end goal & breathing. Lots of breathing.
When did your contractions start?
Not even ten minutes into our drive, I started having contractions…or at least, I noticed them. I was sort of shocked to find they were already 5-7 minutes apart. I guess I was assuming they would start out much further apart and gradually work their way to the 5-7 range. But there we were—41 weeks pregnant, early Sunday morning, on our way to the hospital, contractions 5-7 minutes apart, and trying to grasp the idea that we would be meeting our son that day. Hopefully.
What happened when you got to the hospital?
We arrived at the hospital and I was so ready, man. Let’s get to steppin’ and get this baby out!
I hoisted myself—yes, definitely HOISTED—out of our car and immediately a FLOOD of water came out. Which was pretty shocking because I thought I had already lost a lot of water (but I learned that when you transition from sitting to standing and vice versa—baby’s head can shift, more water can come out, there you go).
And this is where the bad dream comes into play. Because even though, logically, you know you’re in labor & things like this are supposed to happen—you still feel really embarrassed that you just soaked your sweatpants. As if people will see this 41-week pregnant lady in the ER entrance and judge me for it. Logic isn’t in the cards during labor.
So there we were, standing in the parking lot, laughing at this crazy situation, waiting for the dripping to stop so that I could start shuffling. And before you judge Andrew, yes—he did offer me a wheelchair ride. But I wanted to walk because I felt fine—you know, aside from the flood of waters.
After what felt like five hours, things stopped gushing and became more like a gradual trickle and we worked our way in.
I truly felt like I had just showered with my clothes on (and isn’t that just the grossest feeling?) but Andrew said that you couldn’t even tell to look at me. Maybe he was just saying that to make me feel better. We’ll never know.
We navigated through the hospital, buzzed into the Birthing Center, shuffled up to a nurse and I uttered that classic line…”I think I’m in labor.”
Then we were shown to a room, I changed out of my amniotic fluid-soaked clothes into a very revealing hospital gown, tested extremely positive for amniotic fluid—so yes, my waters had in fact broken just in case that wasn’t blatantly clear by now, checked in at 2cm dilated—almost completely effaced, and I settled in for the long haul.
“A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bank balance smaller, home happier, clothes dirtier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for.”Unknown
Shortly thereafter, I got to meet the doctor who would be delivering our baby since my doctor was not on call until the next morning. Truthfully, I had been worried about the possibility of having another doctor deliver throughout my pregnancy. I had another doctor for one of my bi-weekly appointments and as nice as she was, I was not nearly as comfortable or at ease with her as I was with my own doctor. But you can’t keep the baby in and thankfully, the doctor for our delivery was extremely nice & gracious. He made me feel completely comfortable right away and I’m so grateful that he was there when our doctor wasn’t able to be.
Annnnnd I’m going to call “intermission.”
To read the second half of this story, click here.