For a week or so before I was in active labor, I was having lots of contractions. They kept going away when I went to bed and I was pretty discouraged.
On Monday night, I was so frustrated. I had a tough emotional pregnancy day and I hit my limit. The evening came and I was just angrily cleaning the entire house. Rhett finally stopped me and had an intervention. I was overdoing it and needed to chill haha. I just sobbed about being done with pregnancy and wanting the baby to come and be done with this waiting game I had been having contractions and complained about them being more fake labor. He was really empathetic and reminded me that our Sunday school lesson was about miracles and we can pray for one. As we went to bed Rhett gave a super sincere prayer pleading for me to go into labor, and how that’d be our little miracle.
We went to bed as usual but I think I knew it’d happen. I had consistent contractions as I fell asleep but kept waking up as I was tossing and turning. Around 1 am I could no longer lay in bed with them. They were getting stronger and more uncomfortable. I promised I’d tell Rhett when I was having contractions and woke him up to let him know it was the real deal. I told him to go back to sleep because everything was super manageable at the time. I went and took a nice bath and tried to distract myself by looking at cute pictures of Bodie and Rhett. I got in the shower after a bit because I felt really passionate about having clean hair. During the shower things really picked up and I started timing things. I was having strong contractions for a minute every 2 1/2 minutes— which is like HELLO you’re having a baby time. I went out around 3:00am and Rhett was awake wanting an update. I told him how close they were and he literally shot out of bed!!!!!! He was like “Heather!!!! Have you called Sarah? Have you called Hayden, our doula? You’re like close!!!” I hadn’t… so I called them and they both got there around 3:45/4.
Things really started picking up at that point. Hayden mentioned that we should head to the hospital before the idea of being in the car is too painful… I immediately looked at her and said the idea of being in the car right now sounded terrible. She laughed and said we needed to go right now.
We got to the hospital and I worked through a few contractions. I was breathing through them and focusing. We parked and Rhett looked at me and said “okay Heather, I need you to tell me you’ve got this and you don’t want an epidural.” I said “Rhett. I’ve got this..but I do want an epidural. I really want it. I’m not getting it… but let’s be clear, right now… I WANT it.”
We checked in and I was 6 cm and 100% effaced. I heard that and was pretty discouraged like if I’m only at a 6 and it’s this painful, how much longer can I realistically last?!
The next 45 min were intense. Extremely intense. I didn’t realize it then, but I was in transition. There were all but a few seconds between contractions and it was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. I was working through them and still felt like I was in control. I couldn’t have done it without Rhett. Every time I doubted myself I looked into his eyes and felt assured. He was so encouraging and helpful. My doula was giving me continuous counter pressure which was amazing!!!! After about 30 minutes I couldn’t help but start pushing. With each contraction I literally could not fight the urge to push. My doula called my nurse in and told her I was bearing down, they were still pretty casual about things until she checked me, I was dilated to a 9 and my water bag was literally about to burst! They tried (unsuccessfully) to have me stall as they prepared the room for the baby. My doctor arrived and broke my water, I immediately started pushing after that. Within 4 minutes of pushing baby Cal was here.
It was such a sweet and relieving moment when they put him on my chest. Not only was I able to hold my sweet little boy but all of the body intensity settled and it was just relief. I was so proud of myself. I did it. I kept looking at Rhett and at cal and saying “I did it!! I actually did it. We did it.” Bonding with Cal was instant. It felt so natural to hold this little boy in my arms and love him.
I birthed the placenta and then had a very minor tear that mainly reopened from previous scar tissue. She gave me a numbing shot and told me it’d pinch, I couldn’t help but laugh at the pain of a shot compared to all that I’d just experienced.
There was a high after birth. I seriously felt like I was bursting with new life. I was beyond happy to have this little boy and proud of the way he’d gotten here. For so long it’d felt important for me to do an unmedicated birth and I put in a lot of work to make it happen. He was healthy and was a natural when it came to nursing.
The hospital honestly felt relaxing. We just watched tv and hung out. It was such a sweet time to get to know Cal and have peace before we jumped into this new life of ours.