This is the story of one little man’s entrance into the world.
On Sunday night, after a barbecue at my MIL’s house, SC and I were driving home on the freeway. There was a tall truck in front of us that ran right over a tire shred in the middle of the road. SC had no time to swerve and avoid it before we hit it in our Camry. SC pulled over to check out the car and make sure nothing was damaged. It was right then, around 7:00 PM, that my contractions started again. Since they’d been coming and going so frequently over the last two weeks, I was almost afraid of saying anything (even to SC). But, when we’d gotten home (it’s almost a 40 minute drive), I had counted more than four contractions. That’s at least one every ten minutes. At home, I started keeping track on my iPhone app. They were between 7 and 10 minutes apart and at least a minute long. And they lasted like that through the whole night. Up to that point, whenever I relaxed enough to go to sleep my contractions stopped. That night, I slept through most of them, but I still felt them consistently all night and woke up with them. They never stopped.
SC went to work and I did what I had been doing all week: walk, relax, sit on the ball, repeat. I had my 40-week doctor’s appointment that morning. He said I was dilated to one centimeter and that he expected to see me in Labor and Delivery within the next day or two. I got home and ate an entire pineapple for lunch (what? It was going bad!). And then at about 2:00 PM, maybe twenty minutes after scarfing down the pineapple, my water broke all over my brand new bed. It felt like I was riding down a water slide at Hurricane Harbor. My first thought was, “Get your ass up off this bed!” Then I realized I’d have to walk across our brand new carpet in order to get to the bathroom. So I carefully and briskly made it to the bathroom, where I stood in the shower, not knowing what to do.
I turned on the water, rinsed off, and got out quickly. Then I sent out texts to SC and our doula. SC was home in less than ten minutes. I put on what felt like the biggest pad in human history to catch the rest of the leaking water (which never stopped until he was born) and ran a load of laundry to wash my sheets. I made SC do the dishes and take out the trash (those things are important!) while I started tracking these new, much more intense contractions. The doula showed up within the hour and we labored all over the house: on the ball, over the back of the couch, laying on the couch, standing and leaning on the bed, in the shower, etc. Nothing really eased the pain. Nothing felt better than anything else. By 5:00 PM, I was ready to go to the hospital. I knew I’d have to get at least one round of antibiotics in my system (I tested positive for Group B Strep bacteria) and felt that I was progressing pretty quickly.
We got to the hospital at about 5:30 PM and went directly to Triage. I was measuring about 5 cm, but there were no available Labor and Delivery rooms. They let me know that it could be upwards of four hours before I was able to get a room. They also only let one person in the triage area, so our doula sat outside for over an hour before I demanded that they let her in if I wasn’t getting into a room. My contractions became so painful sitting on that gurney because it was so uncomfortable. I tried to lean over the back of the gurney, but it just made my legs fall asleep. Then, I tried to go to the bathroom and felt immediate relief sitting on the toilet. So I labored there for another hour. The nurses in Triage kept yelling at me to come out because they wanted to monitor me, but it was the only place that I felt really comfortable. I yelled at them to get me a regular bed if they wanted me to get off the toilet.
Eventually, I went back to bed and then shortly after (honestly, I lost track of time) they found me a room. When we got settled in the Labor & Delivery room, I asked the nurse to check my dilation. I was measuring at 10 cm, but needed to let the baby get down farther before I could start pushing. Unfortunately, my body was pushing involuntarily and I was having a hard time just stopping those pushes from happening. I found out that my doctor and backup doctor were both unavailable for delivery, so I was stuck with the on call doctor for delivery. The extremely unfortunate part is that the on call doctor was the only one in our town that I was really against delivering with. She has a reputation of not following “alternative” birth plans and terrible bedside manner.
Before I knew it, we were pushing and I wasn’t sure if the doctor had read my birth plan or even cared because I hadn’t talked to her. She walked in and I made sure that she knew I did NOT want her to give me an episiotomy. There were maybe five things on my birth plan that I was not going to budge on, no matter what. An episiotomy was one of them. I planned on gently birthing the head, but because my body was pushing and I wasn’t able to stop, things happened more quickly than I’d have liked. So, because of that, I tore in a few places. I pushed for about twenty minutes, maybe ten pushes in total, before his head came out. And I did not have to push the shoulders out, he just slipped out all in one push! Peanut was born at 11:41 PM on September 29, just 19 minutes away from his due date. He was 8 pounds 1 ounce and 22 inches long.
They put him right in my arms and we cried together while the doctor stitched me up (and was not gentle about it). After about twenty minutes of delayed cord clamping, we were ready for daddy to cut the cord. We did at least a full hour of skin to skin. Then a few family members were able to come in and meet him before we moved over to Couplet Care where we’d be staying. It was four in the morning before anything started settling down. Peanut was having a hard time eating because he had swallowed a lot of amniotic fluid during birth. We didn’t know that was the reason until 6 AM when he puked it all up. His tummy was really upset for most of the day, but he finally latched and started eating at 8 PM the following night. We also realized that Peanut was born with two natal teeth. Peanut passed all of his tests and we were released from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon, after just over a day and a half.