Patience. Experience. Hope.
Long before the pregnancy test turned positive, I hoped for this pregnancy and a more peaceful experience. After 10 months of waiting and holding onto hope, my prayers have been answered!
After my 39 week visit, for no medical reasoning, my ob scheduled an induction for 40w 6d; although, it’s been my preference to experience a natural, spontaneous, vaginal delivery. When I said I wanted to continue to wait it out, I was told the hospital didn’t have any other induction dates available for the next two weeks due to the upcoming holidays and my ob didn’t recommend passing 41 weeks. Going forth with a non-medically necessary induction would mean our little one could potentially face eviction before naturally being ready to enter the world and could be at risk for complications as a result.
As each day passed, my patience was tested. There was so much pressure to give up and settle for a scheduled induction, not just because I felt pregnancy discomfort but because I felt pressured to induce for convenience. I prayed, cried, and reached out for support. After a much needed cry, I surrendered the situation and decided all I could do was trust that it would all work out for the good. I completed my day’s routine and went to bed holding onto hope of a spontaneous labor during the night or the following day, before the scheduled medical induction time.
About 1:30 AM, I woke from my sleep with light cramping and an urge to urinate. I slowly got out of bed and stood to my feet, then I suddenly felt a light gush as if I’d peed on myself. I tapped my husband to wake up and find out with me if it were urine or my water breaking. As I waddled to the restroom, the light trickling of fluid continued. I excitedly called to my husband from the restroom and confirmed what I’d hoped. Active labor had started! He leaped out of bed and was dressed in the fastest time I’ve ever seen him dress before. He was in a full matching outfit by the time I exited the restroom.
Next, I called my mom and made her aware so she could come to our home and care for our older children. I then began getting dressed and making final preparations.
About 15 minutes after my waters released, I felt my first contractions. The contractions were long and strong but I found joy in knowing they weren’t a pain to be feared or suppressed by drugs; instead, they were a sign my body was working to deliver my baby to me. They timed at 45 seconds long and between 5 and 7 minutes apart. I thought something was wrong with my app because 7 minutes is not a usual starting time from what I’d understood. I continued walking through the house and writing a care routine for our older children.
About 45 minutes post start, I had to dig deep and focus my breathing even more. The contractions intensified when sitting; I stood up and ditched my birthing ball to try to slow things down some. My mom still hadn’t arrived, and I didn’t plan to deliver at home. To keep my husband from focusing on the duration, intervals, and intensity of the contractions, I then asked him to load the bags in the car.
About 1 hour after my waters released, contractions timed at 1 minute and were 3 1/2 minutes apart. I called my mom again to check her location, only to find out she was still packing her bag and hadn’t left yet. This made things more intense; however, I couldn’t let fear or stress get to me because it could affect my progress. For the next 30 minutes, I controlled my breathing, hummed, and rocked back and forth for some comfort as I stood at our kitchen counter.
About 1 1/2 hours post start of labor, my mom arrived, and we left for the hospital. Contractions timed at 1 minute long and were 2 1/2 minutes apart. We tried to call to notify the hospital staff we were in route, but no one answered our calls. As we were driving, I felt some pressure, which usually precedes the pushing stage; I told my husband to safely but quickly get us to the hospital.
About 1 hour 45 min post start of labor, we arrived at the hospital. Contractions were 1 minute long and less than 2 1/2 minutes apart. After my husband adamantly but calmly expressed the urgency of our situation, we bypassed check-in and went right to a labor room with the guidance of nursing staff. Although the staff had my birth plan and I’d pre-registered for delivery at least a month in advance, they asked a long list of questions and had routines to complete, which annoyed me as it interrupted my labor. My husband stood by my side, held my hand, and answered their questions. Soon the staff checked, and I was dilated 6 cm. At this point, I was super focused and would only talk to them between contractions. I intently focused on my labor, controlled my breathing, listened to my body, released through contractions, and leaned on the encouraging, calming words and presence of my husband.
About 5 minutes later, I felt the urge to push. I notified the staff but continued to let my body do the work to bring life into the world. The staff checked and I was then dilated 9 cm. Moments later, I felt the head crowning as my body continued to work with the baby. Staff gathered around the bed with the hospital’s on-call physician because my ob wouldn’t make it in time. I surrendered to the fetal ejection reflex as my body worked to naturally push baby’s head out. With the head already out, at the next urge, I intentionally pushed out the shoulders and body with just one push. When the nurse called out the birth time, the reality hit me that I’d experienced a rapid labor and delivery.
After waiting 40 weeks and 5 days, after enduring about 2 hours of labor, and just 20 minutes after arriving at the hospital, we welcomed our precious baby into the world. My prayers were answered, as I not only experienced peace during a spontaneous labor but also a precipitous labor, free of medical induction, interventions, or pain medication, and a vaginal birth with my husband by my side.