I’ve had a few requests to hear more about my own labor and delivery earlier this week so I thought I should get it written down.
I spent the last two weeks of my pregnancy wondering if my labor would start the next day since my first two surprised me by coming 2 weeks early. I had a few late night contractions during the weeks and I’d think this is going to be it but then nothing. The false alarms started to make me question if I even remembered what a contraction was!
When I was noticing contractions in the early morning of my due date I ignored them, not wanting to feel stupid again when they were nothing. They started to seem consistent around 5AM so I thought what the heck I’ll time them. Though not always consistent I noticed the stronger, longer, closer together pattern and finally accepted this as labor around 8AM. So I got out of bed and started my early labor routine of distracting myself by packing my bag and styling my hair. To my surprise I was being hit so hard by the contractions, that by 10 AM I could no longer help pack up or get ready. This worried me a little because with my first two I didn’t have to start really concentrating on the contractions until at least 12 hours in. I was starting to wonder if maybe I wasn’t as well prepared for this labor. Ryan helped finish getting everything in the car and I helped get the kids ready between contractions the best I could. We dropped our kids off at my sisters around 11AM and I let the midwives know I was coming in to have my progress checked. As we approached I said this car ride has been brutal and if they try to tell me to go get lunch or something and then come back I will refuse and just sit on the lawn. When we got there around 11:30 they asked how I was doing and I said alright trying to be brave since I figured I still had a nice long road ahead of me. Suzanne (midwife) later told me that she wasn’t even convinced I was in labor yet, based on my demeanor. I was checked and told I was at a 7+ and that I would not be going anywhere. About this time my doula arrived surprised by the news.
Funny side story; When I text my doula in the morning she said she was at a birth. This happens but to be honest it’s pretty rare. I was sad but knew only good things about her backup. She called her back up and… SHE WAS AT A BIRTH. So I had doula number 3 at my birth and here’s my testimonial… HIRE A DOULA! I wish I could describe the strength that comes from that woman being at your side grounding you holding your focus and telling you YOU CAN and YOU ARE doing it even when you are screaming I can’t! I am not just saying this because I am a doula because I really was interested to see how different having a doula would make this birth and it was awesome.
So after the news that I was almost in transition upon arrival I walked up the stairs to my lovely birthing room and sat down in the chair they had in the room. Laying down did not sound appealing. It did not take long for things to switch to transition (probably by 12PM) and I started the struggle. I knew I didn’t want to get in the tub because getting in hot water in transition just made me feel sweaty during my second birth so Suzanne brought in the birthing stool. I knew I needed to move before it got worse so I did and at first I was like get me off this thing but I settled after a contraction or two and wasn’t exactly in the mood to move again. I sat there for a few very intense contractions before my water broke with an explosion and from there the decent happened quickly. I could feel him crowning after about 2 contractions. I went into this birth thinking I would fight for a slow birth of his head so that I could have an intact perineum. When I felt that head I did not care about anything but how close I was so I pushed to end it all rather than striving for a gentle birth like I did with Kevin. First push and there was a head, second push and I had a baby coming up into my arms!
Benton Paul Hightower was born at 1:01 PM weighing 8 lbs and 9 oz. Coming on his due date instead of early made him my biggest baby yet.
I showered and changed clothes. We ate and packed up. We took some pictures and then we went home. What a wonderful day it was! I love this little munchkin!