Annoying False Labor
Baby girl was born around 41 weeks and a few days just like her big brother, Mr. Happy Feet. For the first time I experienced false labor on and off for a week before her birth day. I had never had contractions before the “big day” with either of my others, so this one totally threw me for a loop. I was getting frustrated with my body – wondering when she was going to truly come. There were two times that I actually thought I was going to go into labor and I didn’t and both times it began at night. Contractions started and were fairly regular, but I went to sleep and by morning they had disappeared.
On June 5, 2011, at 4:00 AM I felt regular contractions and began timing them while laying in bed.
Once I felt sure that this was it I called my midwife, Marie, and my doula, Natalie. Marie had told me to call her as soon as I was certain that I was in labor because she wanted to make sure to get there quick because of how Mr. Happy Feet’s birth had gone. Next I called my mom. My mom was the first one to get here, then Natalie arrived soon after her. Marie got here around an hour after Natalie.
I sat on the birthing ball and talked with Marie and Natalie in the living room. I was having contractions but they were not too strong or regular anymore. I took a walk up and down our driveway to try and help my contractions to pick up. Hubby filled the birth pool with hot water. The electric breaker went out several times while he was busy doing that but he finally got it filled. He then covered it with a plastic tarp to keep it warm, because I wasn’t ready to get in yet. My mom made pancakes and cut up a pineapple for us to eat. I ate some fruit.
My contractions started getting stronger so my doula asked if I would like her to give me some massage. We went upstairs and Natalie gave me counter pressure massage in my lower back. Throughout Mrs. Sayuri kept asking me if and when we were going to get into the pool. She couldn’t wait to slip into her swimsuit and test out the birthing pool. After a while of this, my midwife suggested that she do an internal exam to check my progress (dilation). I was reluctant because I didn’t want to be disappointed if I wasn’t too far along just yet, but I finally agreed. I jokingly said, “Don’t tell me if it’s not good.”
We went to our bedroom and I laid down on my back on the bed. Marie checked me and said I was 3 cm, fully effaced and the baby was turned to the right with head down. My membranes were intact (water hadn’t broken yet) and the baby’s heart rate was 130 – 140. Marie told me that basically I had been going through early labor. She asked me if I wanted to take any homeopathic herbal tinctures to help speed up my labor, but I declined. I wanted to give my body and baby a chance to do it on their own.
Since I was still in early labor, my midwife decided to leave to drive to her home and get something she had forgotten (she lived about 30 minutes away). Natalie, my doula, was contemplating leaving for a little while herself, but decided to stay in the end. I sat at the dining table, a bit annoyed because my labor was not progressing as fast as I had anticipated it would, and Hubby warmed me up some pancakes to eat.
Into The Water We Go
After I ate, I suggested to my daughter that we go up and get into the birthing pool. This was around noon I think. Almost as soon as I got into the water my contractions started to intensify and pick up. Getting on all fours felt good for riding out the contractions. I talked to Natalie between contractions then I would stop and breath and moan through each contraction as it came. I was being pretty calm and quiet. My doula directed me on how to take deep long breaths – In through the nose, then out through the mouth.
They picked up to every 3 minutes. I was in Transition. Thankfully, Marie had returned by now.
At three, I was completely dilated and baby girl had begun her descent through the birth canal, turning and rupturing my membranes. This whole time my mom had been watching the little ones. At around two thirty in the afternoon she had to leave. Mr Happy Feet had fallen asleep downstairs on the couch while being read to, so we just had Mrs. Sayuri awake at this point.
Hubby was outside of the birthing pool for this birth with our other two little ones looking on (Mr. Happy feet had woken up soon after my mom left). I was loud towards the end with my pushes. I remember Mr. Happy Feet saying, “Mommy, Loud!” Mrs. Sayuri didn’t like my volume level either, I think it scared her a bit. Hubby later told me that he thought maybe something was wrong because of the sounds I was making. Marie again told me everything was going to be fine, I was doing great. At 3:17 little girl was born. I pushed her out and couldn’t believe she was really out. I thought I had more pushing to do, but what a relief it was to have her there in my arms. I pulled her up from the water and she cried lustily.
Shortly after her arrival, baby girl and I were helped out of the tub and wrapped up in dry towels. I laid down on an air mattress we had close to the birthing pool on the floor.
I pushed out the placenta 15 minutes later with a contraction. I had a slight tear in my perineum that did not require any stitches.
Around two hours later we burned her cord. Marie and Hubby did the burning, while I held the aluminum foil covered guard so baby would not feel the heat from the candles.
Little girl was born June 5, 2011 at 3:17 PM. She weighed 8 lbs and was 20 inches long.
Thanks for sharing. Explaining the whole process will encourage others who are thinking about water birth.
Wow and whoa…For those of us who haven’t experienced giving birth, it was informative to hear the process of what happened. Wowee, 8+ pounds! Your new baby is a blessing from God!