**Pictures at the bottom are graphic**
I woke up after a night of restless sleep to my five year old climbing into bed saying his tummy felt sick at 5am. Soon after he said he was going to puke so we hopped up, as fast as any pregnant woman can, can made our way to the bathroom.
Contractions followed immediately, I hadn’t bothered timing them yet but went about getting him situated to relax on the couch and get breakfast ready to go for the two year old. They were uncomfortable but didn’t seem consistent. Greg woke up and started getting ready for work with no protest on my part, if this was the real deal I’d likely be at it all day.
I started to time contractions while cutting up the kids breakfasts. 4 minutes apart lasting a minute. I was happy to see the sun come out on what was mean to be a rainy week. I was hoping I could pack up the kids for a picnic lunch to get a good walk in to really get things going. 2 minutes apart for 30 seconds. Cleaned up breakfast while the boys watched a movie. 6 minutes apart lasting a minute and a half. Started putting away laundry. 3 minutes apart lasting a minute. Showered 2 minutes apart lasting a minute. It wasn’t particularly painful and not becoming regular but I felt a lot of pressure, so by 8 I was getting things together.
Double checked the kids’ bag, hospital bag, car seat ready to go. Start alerting everybody, I let Greg know he shouldn’t go far for work today, texted my doula Kristin that today was very much the day, and let my dad know he got a get out of work card to watch the kids. No answers. By 9 I was calling everybody because I was completely sure I was in labor and it was not a wait all day labor. While I originally planned to drive an hour away to go to a hospital I hadn’t been able to switch to, Greg found himself very uncomfortable with the idea of a long drive, so I told Kristin to meet us at the closer hospital.
When Greg finally walked in from work he was clearly in panic mode, trying to get the last of the bags in the car and worrying about beating my dad to his house. I was calmly pacing trying to tidy up last minute things, pausing for contractions while Greg got kids in car seats. Greg’s brother came out of his room to see why Greg was home so early only to start going into panic mode too. “Are you sure you’re in labor?! You are awfully calm about it!? Do you need any help?! Can you walk to the car on your own?! Do you want some water?!” I laughed it off and said I was fine and could manage, baby was coming if I panicked or not.
The car ride was easy, we had to pass through lots of roadwork but I was in no rush. Cracking jokes about an accidental car birth and laughing in between contractions and gripping the seat with teeth gritted during. Greg was slightly annoyed with my lack of urgency when I suggested we stop for gas and how if we did beat my dad it just gave me an extra few minutes to snuggle with the boys before I had to say goodbye.
We arrived at my dads and did in fact beat him, so I got out of the car and paced the driveway, trying to convince the kids to hug and cuddle with me but they had no interest. When my dad pulled up Greg was trying to usher me to the car while I was trying to bring bags in and say my goodbyes, having a baby takes time after all.
We headed right to the hospital and just barely got up to maternity before Kristin arrived around 10:45, I hadn’t even gotten checked into triage yet. I finished up changing into the hospital gown while her and Greg introduced each other. They hooked me up to monitors and got my vitals. Having to lay down was much more uncomfortable than pacing and sitting as I had been. The nurse reassured me I only needed 20 minutes of monitoring before they could fully admit me then I was free to move. I was doubting being able to follow my plans of a medication free birth during each contraction at this point, but still laughing in between. While filing out information on the computer she noticed something about the monitors suggesting I was close. She said I was being tricky and hiding it really well. It really didn’t seem possible to me but I told her I was ready for whatever. So she said she was going to call house keeping to get a room set up and then check my cervix. Sure enough, I was at least 8-9cms! Faith in a medication free birth was instantly restored. They finished setting up the room and across the hall we went.
At this point transition hit and I was starting to feel nauseous and out of focus after each contraction. We tried some EOs but nothing particularly helped or bothered me. Kristin showed Greg how to do counter pressure and the double hip squeeze both of which helped beyond belief during those contractions. They suggested they break my water but I figured I’d labor a bit more before I got too uncomfortable or see if it’d happen on its own. I sat on the birth ball for a bit but soon felt very pushy. Without me saying a word the nurse suggested I get in the bed. They suggested they break my water again and this time I accepted, it felt like it would help relieve some of the pressure.
From here everything was fast, honestly some of it may be a little mixed up. They broke my water and I switched to laboring on hands and knees. I tried to continue to labor quietly because I was oddly self conscious about making noise despite being in only a bra and exposing it all, but the nurse suggested I do low moans to bring baby down. Greg and Kristin put cold towels on me until I couldn’t stay on my hands and knees any longer. I flipped and moans became more of a whimper, at one point I recall stating “I really regret not getting an epidural right now” when asked how I was doing. I continued to moan and whimper baby down, until the nurse suggest I try pushing with the next contraction at which I pointed out I had been, more so my body was on its own. At this point my moans were getting louder, turning to screams, my worry of how loud I was had gone out the window. The cold towel on my back was super irritating at this point and I wiggled around to try to reach it, the nurse reassured me the back pain was just because I was so close at which point I finally managed to rip the towel out from the monitor belt and I threw it across the room. Everybody let out an “oooh” and laughed. I actually gave some intentional pushes and the nurse said I could reach down and feel his head, I half yelled back that I could feel it just fine, of course everybody was cracking up. The rest was truly a whirlwind, the nurse asked me to stop pushing, the Midwife hadn’t gotten gloves on, but my body was pushing even if I wasn’t actively trying. As Kristin put it, I roared “I CAN’T!” and the nurse just barely caught him as the midwife came back around to grab him still pulling up her gloves. Greyson arrived at 12:52pm on May 3rd 2017. He had been blocking majority of my water so it all followed, he was quickly suctioned before being placed to my chest cord still attached.