Hey guys! My wife wrote up our birth story, and I’ll be posting it in sections over the next week or so. It’s long, but excellent, and I’m so glad she wrote it. There’s just a lot I couldn’t know at the time, so my experience wasn’t sufficient for me to feel like I could do our story justice. Enjoy!
This is Jenna, after her water broke, while we were laboring at home. We were both so excited for our baby to arrive after all that time!
It was Thursday 5/3 when all of this started. I decided that I needed a new mani/pedi to replace the one I had gotten in anticipation of the birth two weeks before. Pregnancy was making my nails grow so fast and I wasn’t in love with the color. For some reason, I really felt like I couldn’t go into labor until my toes were pretty. Seriously. So, I went into my favorite nail place and they asked about my due date and the gender of the baby (past due by a week and boy) and was told I didn’t look like the baby had dropped. I didn’t think he had either. So, she offered to do a special leg massage to help the baby to drop and labor to begin. I nodded and smiled, quickly dismissing her claims that a leg massage would have any bearing on how soon labor began. Once I left there, I drove home (first stopping to get ice cream and take-out because I felt like treating myself). I got home close to 7 pm, settled on the couch next to my loving husband and ate my ice cream while we talked about our day. I told him about the nice woman giving me a special leg massage and said any little bit would help. I was really hoping to start labor that night so he would be born on 5/4 (May the fourth be with you).
At 7:05, I hadn’t even finished my ice cream and I felt a small gush of liquid come out and soak my skirt. I jumped from the couch as quickly as possible and tried to hold it in while I made my way to the powder room. My midwife had given me a tiny strip of litmus paper in case I thought my water broke (since I had had a false alarm the previous week). I asked Jared to get it for me while I sat on the toilet and drained for minutes. It was obviously my water breaking, but I checked with the paper anyway. It turned blue! We knew we wanted to labor at home as long as possible, but I had tested positive for Group B Strep and they wanted me on antibiotics (at least one dose 4 hours before birth). We called the midwifery practice and left a message letting them know my water had broken. We called our doula and let her know we were planning on laboring at home for the night, but wanted her to be ready. And then we called our parents so my parents could schedule a flight from California first thing in the morning. His parents were ready to head to the hospital as soon as we did. His aunt was ready to come dog sit for us. Everything seemed ready. Contractions hadn’t started and I knew I needed fuel to get through this. Jared kindly offered to bring me my dinner on the toilet, but I felt like the gush was becoming a trickle, put on a pad and made it back to the couch. The midwife on duty called back. She was the one I had the least experience with, but I knew my usual midwife was on duty the next day and that she’d most likely be catching my baby on the birthdate we hoped for. The on-call midwife wanted me in the hospital by 10 to get antibiotics. I told her about our wish to labor at home and she said it was up to me, but she didn’t want the baby getting an infection now that the amniotic fluid wasn’t there to protect him. I told her we’d call her back at 10 and let her know our decision. By about 7:30 or 8 the contractions had started. Jared’s aunt arrived at around 9 to look after our pup overnight. We went upstairs to get some rest. I had Jared take some last minute photos of me in my favorite maternity shirt, washed my makeup off, brushed my teeth and looked around for any last minute stuff I could have forgotten. There wasn’t anything left to do. I knew I needed to sleep, but I was so excited and the contractions were distracting. By 10, I still felt like staying home. After all, I was more likely to get an infection from the hospital than from lying in my own bed. The midwife asked that we come in no later than midnight. We called our doula and told her we’d be there around midnight if she wanted to meet us. We called ahead and asked for a natural birth friendly nurse and a room with a tub. There wasn’t an in-room tub available, but we’d be able to use the large jacuzzi in its own private room as much as we cared to.
I changed clothes, we packed our bags into the car, and said goodbye to our little Winifred. Then we made our way over to the hospital and parked in the ER lot. We got set up with the front desk nurse. A labor and delivery nurse named Angela wheeled me up to the third floor. I had a few contractions, but nothing I couldn’t handle. We got into our room and Jacie, our doula, was waiting for us. She had apparently been down the hall attending another birth. She had already been there a whole day, but was happy to see us and ready to go. The nurse had me change into a hospital gown and showed us the different features of the room. Since my water had broken, they did not check my dilation. Also, our birth preferences did say I didn’t want to be checked any more than absolutely necessary. Jared, Jacie and I started walking the halls which is the way I felt best going through contractions. I was having strong contractions, but still feeling really confident in my ability to go through the whole process naturally. A little while later (I really have no sense of how time was moving through any of this), I was hooked up to an IV of antibiotics. It was going to take 30 minutes for the medicine to fully get into my system and the nurse suggested I use the time to sleep.
Here are my parents, in the waiting room:
And here are Jenna’s parents:
They were all in the waiting room for so long! Such troopers. We’re unbelievably lucky to have such an incredible support system.
My older sister and my nephew came by to visit, too. He was great the whole time, and she made a couple of runs to get us food.
Okay, that should do it for this round. I’ll post more probably tomorrow. Thanks for reading!