At 39 weeks and 4 days I was convinced my baby was never coming out. I had been dilating for weeks now, I had taken five 3 hour birthing classes, my sheets were sterilized, my birthing kit ready to go and I had already drunk 11 bottles of my 12 pack of vitamin waters. I was ready for this baby days ago. But my sweet girl was very cozy in her 5 star mama resort. On the afternoon after thanksgiving, my husband and I drove 30 minutes down to Hollywood for my now weekly checkups with my lovely midwife. She had said she wouldn’t be surprised if I went into labor ‘this’ week. ‘That’ week was three weeks ago. We all knew what was going to happen at this week’s appointment. The baby would be 100% engaged, still head down and I would be at least 2.5cm dilated. What we didn’t know was that I was in fact closer to 4cm now and I would start getting contractions on my ride home.
As I got out of the car I slowed my pace and stopped just outside the front door. My husband had seen this before. After all, I had been having contractions and dilating pains a lot recently. All of which had been false alarms. After being calling told “oh you’re fine” I didn’t want my personal trainer of a husband to think I was being a wimp so I proceeded to walk inside and make myself a sandwich. I believe it was this mentality which made my labor the way it was. At 4pm my husband Daniel had to go back to work for an hour for one more training session, seeing me the way I was he asked cautiously if I wanted him to not go. I thought the cramps I was feeling were only temporary so I dismissed his offer and told him I’d be fine.
By 5:20pm Daniel was back at home and I was laying on our bed after crawling upstairs with the laptop to watch X-Factor videos on YouTube. I had been trying to time contractions on an app I downloaded but really wasn’t sure how to gauge what a contraction even was. In that moment I prayed that I would know when I was going into labor. At 5:40pm I was lying next to Daniel and telling him everything felt very tight when all of a sudden I felt a pop! I knew it, right there. I was in labor! It took a few seconds for Daniel to register that my water had broken and he rushed to get me a towel. The white towel turned brown, and I knew immediately what that meant. My little sweetheart had pooped for the first time far too early. Instead of panicking that my dreams of having a peaceful home birth would be replaced with a now stressful hospital birth I instructed my husband to call our midwife.
Sharon picked up right away and so did my contractions. She reassured me that it didn’t necessarily mean I would have to go to the hospital just because there was meconium in the water, but she would make her way over now just to check. I sent a rushed text to a couple family members and close friends that my water had broken. My awesome friend rushed over with about 70,000,000 vitamin waters, turned on our Christmas lights up the stairs and left. The only two requests I had for my labor were completed. I felt surprisingly calm, and seriously excited.
By 7:30pm my midwife had arrived and I was in full blown active labor. She informed us of a few things: the meconium wasn’t too thick so it wasn’t something to worry about and I was 6cm dilated already! Sharon was setting up her gear and soothingly telling me to “riiiide the wave of the contraction.” For some reason this phrase gave me the unrelenting urge to throw my guts up, but even in my current condition I didn’t want to be rude and tell her it wasn’t a great phrase for me and made me feel seasick. (I later discovered that throwing up was actually progressing my labor so I guess the phrase was good after all!)
It was in one of my throwing up episodes that I met my midwife’s assistant for the first time. I was kneeling next to the toilet looking a mess and her first words to me were: “Hi Laura nice to meet you, you look great.” I laughed and half explained that I had to put on makeup to go to my appointment this afternoon (this was a little white lie though, I had definitely told Daniel to get my makeup right as my water broke. If there was going to be a baby in my arms tonight pictures will be taken and I will look good.) Little did I know sweating, puking and pushing out a baby kind of does a number on your makeup.
By 8:30pm I was 9.5cm dilated and I had this tremendous urge to push. Sharon told me I could push if I wanted to but the realization of having to do it so soon scared me. I didn’t sit down once and my contractions were coming every 60 seconds. My midwifes assistant saw me sort of hopping from one foot to the other while I rocked back and forth and asked me if I was salsa dancing. I don’t know what I was doing but it felt right, and I was about to give birth to a Cuban baby who was making me salsa dance. I had to pause my moves every few minutes for the assistant to check the baby’s heart rate. Standing still at this point was close to impossible. I needed to move.
It seemed like everyone was following me around with water and oatmeal as a danced around the bedroom into the bathroom and back again. Food was the furthest thing from my mind at this point. I threw up once again and rushed to brush my teeth before the next contraction came. (For some reason everyone found it funny that I wanted minty fresh breath.)
When the next contraction came I pulled down on a towel that was hanging over the rack and asked Sharon “how much longer?” a few times. Each time she would reply with “just a little longer.” According to my husband I impatiently snapped back with “come on Sharon!” Which I feel really bad about because in reality it should have been “come on me!” My sweetheart of a husband came up behind me at this point as he watched me begin to rub my own back. He soothingly placed his hands around my hips and tried to simulate the same pressure I was doing on my back. After about 3 seconds I said “I do it better!” At 9.5cm my attitude had taken quite a turn!
I moved over to the bedroom again and knelt down next to the bed. I started to feel tired and came out of my focused bubble to see three sets of eyes just watching me, sitting with me on the floor. “Are you all just waiting for me to push?” I asked. The assistant sweetly replied “did you have other plans for us tonight?” The room erupted with soft laughter and I got back up on my knees again. I let go of the fear, and as the next contraction came I pushed for the first time. To my surprise pushing actually relieved the pressure of the contraction. After a few pushes my midwife let me know that she could see the top of the baby’s head but she wanted to move me to the bed. Everything was happening so quickly. Was I seriously about to have a baby in my arms any minute now? Was this 9 month journey going to be over and this whole new adventure about to start? I was still in disbelief. I was laid down on my back and I started to complain that I couldn’t push laying down. Sharon reassured me that I could.
After a couple of big pushes I felt my baby’s head come out just a little. I asked if I could touch it, touch HER. Her head was squishy and warm, to any other person that feeling wouldn’t be pleasant. But I was finally touching my baby! The little person who kicked my lungs and bladder for months was almost here. With great anticipation to meet her, I pushed as much as I could. Her head was out. One more push, and there she was at 9:42pm. I picked up my beautiful little girl and held her close to my chest as she let out her first cry. She was here, she was finally here!
**This mummy would like pictures to stay private, AMAZING story!**