On the morning of Friday, June 22nd, my husband left for his one early shift of the week at around 1:30am. He hugged and kissed me before he left per usual. I drifted in/out of sleep as always, anticipating getting up for work in just a few short hours. At 2 am, I felt what I perceived as contractions. I downloaded a contraction timer from the App store on my iPhone and noted they were between 5 and 7 minutes apart. I texted my husband while still laying in bed. He immediately called me and we continued to time them while on the phone. After another 45 minutes or so of consistent contractions, I decided to text my manager and let her know I wouldn’t make it to work that day due to pain. I thought it may not be labor, but at the very least I couldn’t go to work in this condition. I texted my mom next and let her know I thought I was having contractions. She got up and started on her way to my home in Knightdale along with my dad and little brother. My husband and sister-in-law arrived at our home shortly after. We continued to time the contractions which were moderate intensity but consistently 5 minutes apart. My mom, who also served as my doula, called from the car (she lives over an hour away) and gave me a few quick reminders: keep your pelvis open, set the atmosphere, and take control of the pain. My plan was to labor at home as long as I could and to have a natural non-medicated birth. I started my music. Todd Galberth’s album “Decrease” was my cd of choice this morning along with Shana Wilson’s song “It’s In The Room.” I began to pray and profess that I would be able to handle every contraction and that my body would naturally do what God created it to do. Give life! My diffuser with lavender oil was still running from the night(it helped me sleep). I stacked some pillows between my legs and decided to try to go back to sleep although unsuccessfully.

My mom/doula arrived around 6 am and we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood. I got dressed and we took a 30-40 minute walk. Contractions were anywhere between 3 and 5 minutes apart but not getting any stronger. I concentrated on hip circles to work my way through the contractions and even did some squats. We made it back home and decided we should eat. My husband made a quick trip to Bojangles for biscuits and grits. My mom, in true doula fashion, suggested we try more comfort measures such as a shower or bath to which I replied, “I’m not in that kind of pain.” It was around 8 am at this time and my mom suggested we all get some rest and save energy for pushing later. I went to sleep successfully this time and woke around 10 am. To my surprise, my contractions completely stopped altogether. How could this be? Does this happen? Was it false labor? were all thoughts running through my mind. My husband did a quick google search and thought I might’ve been in prodromal labor. Anyway, it seemed the action had died down and our little prince was not to be born this day.

Slightly disappointed and embarrassed, we went on with our day. Our daughter, Journi, was with us for her last week of the summer and we’d had plans to have a sleepover with some of her friends and to travel to Myrtle Beach with our church the following day. It seemed no labor, so we went on with our plans. My husband and I cleaned the house and alerted everyone the sleepover was still on. I had a few contractions during the day but they were sporadic so I chalked them up to be braxton hicks. Two of Journi’s friends from church and my niece arrived at our home around 7:30 pm. The kids had pizza and then we headed to Garner’s Lake Benson Park for a movie in the park. The kids enjoyed crafts, playing, and watching “Captain Underpants.” We arrived home around 10:00 pm, I got kids bathed and settled into the movie room for the night. They would have to get up early to make the beach trip! I decided on a bath for myself and got settled into bed around 11:00/15pm. That’s when my contractions took a leap in intensity. They were so intense that I couldn’t stay in bed. My stomach tightened, specifically the lower abdominal area, and wrapped around to my back like a belt.

I was so nervous. I didn’t want things to go like they did earlier, but this certainly felt like the real thing. I couldn’t tolerate the music anymore. The smell of the lavender made me nauseous. I sat on the edge of my bed and rocked and breathed my way through the contractions. They lasted so long. Sometimes 2 peaks in one contraction before it released me as the labor quickly progressed. I channeled my ujay breath I learned in prenatal yoga class. Inhale, tongue to the roof of the mouth, exhale, moan/haaaa. My sister-in-law came to watch my daughter and niece and one of the other moms (Ty) come to pick up the 2 girls from church. I tapped into my endorphin haze and didn’t really come to until about 3:30 am. I was getting to the point where I couldn’t take anymore. I asked my mom if my husband had contacted my Doctor. He gave us the green light to head to the hospital. We made the 15-minute drive to Rex Hospital. My mom waited downstairs as my husband and I checked in around 4:15 am. The triage Doc came in to check my cervix and stated I was fully dilated. I was relieved and shocked. Had I waited any longer, this baby would’ve been born at home. My biggest fear was being sent back home so I followed my instinct and kept laboring at home for as long as I could. Several people descended on the room shortly after.

I was transported to Labor and Delivery, bed broke down, IV started, and water broken in a matter of what seemed like seconds. My Doctor said we’re going to have a baby in a few minutes. My Dr. asked if I had planned to get an epidural. I said no, but internally I’m thinking we both know it’s too late for an epidural. Cue the nerves again. I wanted a natural non-medicated birth, but the reality of the pain I was about to feel set in. A comment I heard flashed through my mind “natural birth is good for the baby, bad for the mommy.” Never mind that, we’re here now and this baby has got to be delivered. I shook off those thoughts and feelings. The nurse told me how to push and with the next contraction I gave it a go. Hands behind thighs, deep breath in, chin to chest and push for 10 seconds, 3 times in a row. I was so surprised at how much effort the pushing took. Oh my gosh, I can’t keep this up for long, I thought. My Doctor was very reassuring. Apparently, I was a good pusher. He said some people have to push for hours but you’re not going to have to do that. Thank you, God! He and my mom said they could see my baby’s head and with a couple good pushes my son would be born. Two more pushes with everything I had and my baby boy entered into the world! My adrenaline must’ve kicked in and I quite possibly was still in that endorphin haze, because I felt no pain. No burn that so many people described. My son, Canaan Bryce Spruill, was born on June 23rd at 4:35 am weighing 6 lbs 7 oz and 19 1/4 inches long. My nurse informed me, I pushed for a total of 1 minute. All the nurses and my doctor were astounded that this was my first baby and he’d been born just 20 minutes after my arrival at the hospital. I felt like a celebrity/superwoman amidst all their praise and positive affirmations about my labor and delivery! My husband cut the cord (his first time doing so) and my baby and I got some precious skin-to-skin time.

I was transported to my postpartum room and my husband went to park the truck that he hadn’t had time to park due to the fast delivery upon arrival. My mom headed to pick up my daughter and meet the other church members for the Beach trip. Yes, my daughter still made it to Myrtle Beach! I remember being so thankful and in disbelief at how blessed I was. God answered my prayers and gave me the birth of my dreams and motherhood welcomed me with open arms.

– Dream Birth Come True in Raleigh, NC!