“For months I prayed, Alex prayed, family and friends prayed. We all prayed against fear. I prayed that I would feel like a part of this birth, not like it happened to me.
All of those prayers were answered. Following an extremely stressful week, on Tuesday I asked Alex to work from home the next day and we both went to bed pretty early and slept very well.
I woke up on Wednesday, Sept. 13 in some mild discomfort, but I had been miserable for a week, so I didn’t think too much of it. I was exactly 39 weeks.
I glanced at my phone, it was 7:18 am. I headed to the bathroom and realized it was very likely my water had broken. I got in the shower and contractions started, mild, but noticeable. Alex got in the shower with me and noticed a contraction. I said “this is probably the right time to tell you I’m pretty sure my water broke and there is meconium in the water.”
I finished up in the shower, told Alex to start work, and called the midwives. They told me not to worry about the meconium right now and to let them know if things got more intense and to come in when I was ready or to let them know if things didn’t progress.
Contractions were steadily 3 minutes apart, but not terribly intense. I practiced all the techniques I’d been practicing and they were easily manageable. I called my doula, she agreed with the midwives that it wasn’t time to head in. I called my sister to tell her that today was the day and she asked if she should come right away to get Saffron. I said, I don’t think so. She said “you should go in right now, this sounds like my births that went quickly.”
I was managing the contractions well enough that I couldn’t believe that it was anything but early labor. Around 9:30, I moved from the couch to go to the bathroom and walking those 15 feet made my contractions go from 3 minutes apart to 1.5 minutes apart, still not terribly intense, but definitely noticeable. I immediately sent a message to my sister and said come get Saffron.
She came, looked at me and said “you need to leave right now, don’t wait. YOU DON’T WANT TO HAVE A BABY IN THE CAR.” We REALLY didn’t want to hang around the birth center all day laboring, so I said we’ll go soon.
She left and I sat down in the bathtub to shave my legs while Alex got things loaded up. While I was shaving the contractions got much more intense and I just wanted to go lay on my bed on my side. I barely finished up and began to feel nauseous. I got out of the tub and threw up.
At that moment I realized that my sister was right we needed to go right now, but I also still believed we had hours ahead of us.
I quietly labored while Alex received a flower order and I tried not to make it obvious that I was IN LABOR on the next room. We got in the car and left. I texted the midwives our ETA and told the doula to arrive at 11:30.
Alex put in an order at Tropical Smoothie for us to pick up on the way. Contractions were pretty intense and I started asking Alex to remind me why we decided to go to a birth center instead of a hospital for an epidural. He reassured me that this was my choice and my reasons were valid.
All of the sudden, about 5 minutes from the birth center I had a contraction that I couldn’t breathe through and none of the pain management techniques touched.
And at that moment I started feeling upset. I KNEW there would be hours more of this and everything I’d practiced and learned was useless only 3 hours into labor. We decided to still stop and get the food “it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
I watched Alex through the window on Tropical Smoothie, the food wasn’t ready, and I was barely hanging on during contractions. A lady kept looking out the window with an extremely concerned look on her face.
I began praying out loud that we would make it to the birth center and that I could get through these contractions without Alex as I waited for him.
He came out and I said “we need to get there right now, I think I’m feeling pushy.” He rushed.
I was holding myself up off the seat during contractions, trying not to push.
We arrived at the birth center at 11:10 am. We brought nothing in, just ran inside. Our midwife greeted us and I felt so much safer just being there. She asked if she could do a cervical check and I said “not right now” but as soon as that contraction finished, I said yes.
She performed her check, said I was fully dilated, and calmly asked if we are having a boy or girl. Girl, we answered. Next she asked if we’d done an ultrasound to check baby’s position No, we said.
“She’s breech” the midwife turned to her assistants and said to cancel her meeting and to tell the client in the front she couldn’t be seen today. She turned to me and asked “do you want to hear about the risks associated with a breech baby?”
I knew that a contraction was coming any second do I said “not right now, a contraction is coming and I don’t want to have this contraction on my back, I want to turn on my side”
She said ok and I rolled over, a thousand thoughts going through my mind.
Would this mean a c-section? Alex rushed over to the other side of the bed to hold my hand, the midwife started getting things out of a closet.
I lifted my leg in the air, Alex supported it and held my hand. As the contraction started one of my birth affirmations popped into my mind “the Lord made my body to do this” I muttered it twice out loud or yelled it in my mind, I’m not really sure.
During the contraction, I realized that not only was I pushing but I was feeling her come out now. I yelled to the midwife “this is happening right now”
She rushed over and, with only one glove on, caught Garnett.
We’d been at the birth center for 7 minutes.
Our doula missed the birth and none of the assist
ants were in the room.
I didn’t tear and Garnett was perfect.
God answered all our prayers, I understood and participated in this birth. Alex felt included. There were no unmanageable complications. The meconium present was because she was breech, which is common.
It was a blessing that we didn’t know she was breech, because had we known, the peaceful birth we were praying for would have been harder to achieve.”