Below are real life stories submitted by people around the world for our recently published Signature Article: Evidence on: Premature Rupture of Membranes ( PROM )
“I had 2 babies with PROM (#3 and #4). With #3, I was almost 41 weeks when my water broke. It was 41 hours later that I started labor (and had him 45 minutes later). With #4, I was 38+3, and labor started about 14 hours later. He was born two hours after labor commenced. Neither had any complications or concerns, both were born in the water; dad caught #3 and I caught #4 myself. Jennifer did not have weekly vaginal exams, took no prenatal supplements, unknown GBS status, no vaginal exams during labor, no signs of infection.”
“I was approximately 39+1 weeks pregnant, healthy uncomplicated pregnancy, at home about to go to bed when I went to the bathroom and soon thereafter had a large gush of clear fluid. I knew my membranes had released and I called the on call midwife at the hospital based practice I was going to who said I should come in soon to begin GBS prophylaxis. I had no contractions at all. My water broke around 9:30pm and I was admitted around 11 or 11:30pm, still no contractions. I was 2cm/70/-2 on admission. I was given the option to ambulate, use breast pump, or start pitocin. I opted to ambulate and use breast pump, as I was hoping to avoid pitocin and wanted a natural unmedicated waterbirth. I did two rounds of breast pump – 20 minutes pumping, 40 mins on EFM then ambulated 1-2 hours. By 7am the next day I was still without contractions and still 2cm. The midwife said we should start Pitocin and I consented. I was on Pitocin x 4 hours when my contractions got closer and more intense when we decided to try to stop the Pitocin so I could get in the birth tub to labor. If I progressed while in the tub and my UCs continued, I could potentially remain off the Pitocin and have a waterbirth. After 4 hours laboring in the tub with strong UCs, my midwife checked me and I was 4cm. It was a disappointment, as the UCs seemed very intense and we were expecting more progress. This was 18 hours s/p rupture and about 8 hours of contractions. At this point, the attending OBGYN became “impatient” with my progress and threatened intervention if I wasn’t further along in 2 hours – basically giving my midwife and me an ultimatum of progress/close to delivery or a cesarean! This was a turning point in my labor experience. I broke down sobbing, feeling defeated. I consented to internal FSE, IUPC, pitocin and epidural. My birth plan went down the drain with the birth tub. I definitely did not want a cesarean and as a midwife I knew what it was like to be threatened by your consulting/collaborating/directing physician and feeling like your hands are tied. As a first time mom, I was exhausted and afraid and in pain and knew that if I could no longer labor in the tub or be mobile and was going to have even more intense contractions with pitocin, then I needed the epidural. This was all very emotional for me and scary for my husband. My midwife was very attentive and supportive and I know she was trying to protect me and be there for me despite the difficult working environment. Thankfully, once I got the epidural (which was skillfully and painlessly placed), I was able to relax and felt better. The pitocin was continuously increased until my UCs were every 2 minutes and strong. I believe I was on 14-16mU/min by the time we were ready to deliver. Within 3 hours I was completely dilated and feeling some pressure. I pushed for only 23 minutes and got to watch my son’s head come out in the mirror and then I lifted him out onto my chest myself. The delivery portion was extremely smooth and gratifying. It was calm and I was surrounded by my husband, midwife, and friendly supportive nurse. Jack was born a healthy 7lbs10oz, Apgars 9/9 at 9:16pm, 14 minutes shy of 24 hours s/p PROM. At this hospital, women have to deliver within 24 hours of rupture or else it is cesarean. I was not fully aware of this pressure. Also standard is blood cultures for the baby if the mother is ruptured >18 hours regardless of risk factors or antibiotic administration and a 48 hour hospital stay.
Before I delivered my own baby, I worked in a hospital where the midwifery model of care was not well supported. Most women had some intervention, often including pitocin. For anyone who had PROM, pitocin was started immediately. At the practice where I am currently working, which I started after the birth of my baby, we give women time to begin their own spontaneous labor after PROM, even with a positive GBS status. We usually confirm rupture within 12 hours with a sterile speculum exam, fern test, nitrazine, and/or amnisure culture and defer an SVE. We do not do routine vaginal exams in clinic before labor unless a patient wants one or are over 40 weeks. Ideally we would like labor started in women with PROM within 24 hours of rupture and if they aren’t already admitted in labor by 24 hours, we will begin IOL with an appropriate method.
Looking back on my birth experience, I would have refused an FSE, IUPC and aggressive pitocin. I would have stood up for myself and my baby. Maybe I would have stayed home on my own and not notified my midwife of my rupture in the first place until contractions started. Or ultimately, I would have chosen a birth place that allowed women to labor without threats of cesareans and interventions. Overall, I am very happy with the midwifery care that I received during my pregnancy and birth and am still close to those midwives and respect them as friends and colleagues. I am relieved that my son was born safely and that I at least did not have a major surgery. For my next baby, hopefully I will get that natural unmedicated birth experience, because “waterbirth isn’t just for mermaids,” right?!”
“In my last few weeks of pregnancy I started stressing about having a support person again and got a referral from a friend for a doula, Monessa. She not only had a deployed spouse rate which was very affordable, but she agreed to be flexible with me… letting me hire her if Brian didn’t make it home and agreeing not to charge me for anything if he did make it in time.
So it was the early morning of July 26th… I was in bed unable to sleep, feeling like a 5 year old on Christmas Eve. I was so excited homecoming was the following afternoon and anxious about the last few hours between then and now. I knew there was still plenty of time for a baby to be born, even though we were SO close to Brian making it back. I was laying in bed reading “Pushed” when at 1:15am I felt a pop. I’d heard women describe this feeling and I immediately had two thoughts, “you’ve gotta be kidding me” was one, and the other was “please let me be one of those women whose water breaks and doesn’t start laboring right away.” I didn’t get an immediate gush of fluid, so I wasn’t totally sure that’s what the pop was. About 15 minutes later I got a small gush and when I went to the bathroom what came out was definitely not pee. It was cloudy and specked with mucus. I knew for sure then that my water had broken. I called Brian who was in Fallon, NV for the night and told him. His response was “oh no” since we both knew how close we’d gotten to having him here. I still hadn’t started contracting so was holding onto the sliver of hope that it would be a long labor (who ever hopes for that?? Haha). I broke down crying on the phone, so frustrated that we were just hours away from being together again. He was so great, reminding me that it was going to be fantastic, we were going to have a baby and that I would do a great job. After hanging up with him I got the bed stripped and ready, and made sure all my supplies were in order.
Almost exactly an hour later I got my first contraction, around 2:15am. The whole time I was thinking that it was the middle of the night and I really didn’t want to disturb anyone so I waited to call anyone for a while (even though my midwife, Cynthia, would laugh at me later saying she’s pretty sure my water breaking was one of the things she’d told me warranted a phone call). My contractions started with regularity, and were immediately 1 minute long, 5 minutes apart. So textbook, where my contractions with Meredith were definitely not (I found out later they were typical for a posterior baby). I tracked my contractions for about 45 minutes before I decided to call Cynthia. At 3am I called her and told her what was going on. She said to track them a little longer and give her a call back either when they got more intense or when I wanted her here. I waited a little longer. The contractions were still fairly light and I wasn’t sweating through them yet so I decided to wait to call Monessa (doula) and Nikki (who was on “Meredith Duty”). Around 4:30 the contractions picked up a little bit and that’s when I decided to call both Monessa and Nikki. After I called them I came downstairs to unlock the doors and put a lunch together for Meredith since I wasn’t sure if she’d go to preschool that day or not. Being upright made the contractions a little worse and closer together and stopped me in my tracks several times.
Got back upstairs and Monessa showed up a few minutes later. She started rubbing my back which felt really good and relaxing. I said I wasn’t sure if I should call Cynthia yet since my contractions were still bearable, but I also knew she was at least a 30 minute drive away. Monessa suggested I wait for a few more contractions before deciding for sure, so I waited. Maybe 20-30 minutes later they started picking up and I was feeling like I was sweating through them. This was the point with Meredith that we’d decided to go to the hospital, so I was thinking I was probably hitting around 3-4cm dilated. I decided to call Cynthia. This must have been around 5:30. We decided to change my position, and I sat on the ball at the end of the bed, leaning on the bed. This definitely picked the contractions up, and after a little while of this Monessa suggested the tub, which I’d just been thinking about. She ran the bath for me and I got in. It felt so good and relaxing. Cynthia showed up just a few minutes later and got set up while I relaxed in the tub. I spent probably an hour in the tub, during which time my contractions picked up from being able to breathe through to having to moan through. I asked Monessa to ask Nikki to call Kat, my photographer. I felt like things were progressing now and I wanted to be sure she was there. Thankfully she lives just down the street from me, so made it over very quickly. This was around 6:30 I think, and again I just kept thinking I didn’t want to disturb anyone too early. She made it over just before I got out of the tub.
Around 7 I got out of the tub and onto the bed. I was laying on my side and the contractions were getting intense. I started feeling a little pushy and was having a hard time staying relaxed through my contractions. Cynthia checked me at 7:15 when I mentioned needing to push and told me I was only 5cm. This was SO discouraging considering the intensity of the contractions I was feeling. I kept hoping it meant that I was just progressing very quickly and not that I had hours of this type of contractions ahead of me. I was feeling a LOT of back pressure at this point too and was asking Monessa to apply counter pressure on my lower back.
During one of my next contractions Cynthia checked me again and I was at 7cm. She said not to try to push, but if my body was pushing along with the contractions to keep doing what I was doing since it was obviously working, and quickly. Every time I’d feel pushy, amniotic fluid would come out and I remember Cynthia telling me that was a good sign that I was dilating and the fluid was able to get through. She asked if I wanted to change position, and so they got me up on my hands and knees. This picked the intensity up even more. They kept having to shove more pillows and stools under my arms to make sure my position wasn’t fighting gravity. I started feeling very out of control. I got whole body shakes and was screaming and crying through my contractions. With Meredith’s birth I never did anything other than very loud moaning, so this was a very different experience for me. No one ever told me when I made it to 10cm and could start pushing, it just started happening. I kept thinking that someone should call Brian but couldn’t articulate it.
And then he called.
I was between contractions and Monessa put the phone to my ear. He asked how I was doing and I responded “I’m okay” and I remember hearing everyone laugh in the background. Monessa continued to hold the phone so that Brian could “be there”. He says he had no idea what was going on and then all of a sudden there was the baby’s cry. I was feeling that really low pressure of pushing but was much more aware of the feeling of needing to poop than I ever was with Meredith. I think that inhibited my pushing a little bit, especially with my butt up in the air! I got the “ring of fire” feeling, which I also never had with Meredith and started feeling like I really might not be able to push him out. Screaming through it all did help focus my energy and I felt his head come out. With Meredith delivering her body afterward was easy, but that wasn’t so this time either. Another contraction and another BIG painful push and he was out. I felt an overwhelming wave of relief that he was out and it was done. At 8:03am he was born, only 45 minutes after I was told I was only 5cm dilated. It was a very quick and very intense labor.”
“I finally decided to go to sleep about 11:30 on July 31st. I was just a few days away from my due date of August 5th and feeling pretty good for being so pregnant! I was prepared to wait for this baby to come whenever she was ready even if that had me waiting till 42 weeks! I got ready for bed and climbed into bed about 11:45 p.m. I was just in that perfect state of drifting off but still aware of what was going on when pop out of nowhere a huge gush and I knew immediately my water had just broken. I got up and said Mitchell my water just broke and started walking to the bathroom. Mitchell jumped out of bed so fast and almost beat me to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet and my husband asked if I was sure and I was. He started changing our sheets while I called our midwife Linda. She asked me the standard set of questions about the color and if there was any smell and if I was having any contractions. Water was clear with no smell and no contractions. She told me it might be hard but to go back to sleep I will need my rest. I called my doula, mom, and best friend to put them on alert! And as hard as it was I went back to sleep. It was about 12:30 when I crawled back into bed. I was surprised that I was asleep pretty fast and slept pretty well. I woke up about 6 a.m. to what was my very first contraction ever! I never had Braxton hicks. I had a few contractions that were short in length and weak. I fell back to sleep and got up about 8 a.m. I was not having any contractions. My midwife called to check on me that morning and asked me to call if anything changed but to plan on coming in later that afternoon for my regularly scheduled appointment which was at 4:30 p.m.
I had a few contractions on and off during the day, about a handful. I went on a long walk ate good food and generally tried to keep busy and rest at the same time. I went to my appointment at 4:30 and talked to my midwife about how I was feeling. We talked about how I was very blessed to have tested GBS negative so that was one less issue to be concerned about. My temp was great as was my blood pressure. We had not done any vaginal exams at any point in my pregnancy and my midwife said with my water broken they were not a good idea until I was in active labor as they could introduce bacteria and increase my chance of infection. She did say if I really wanted an exam she would give me one but she advised against it. I had no desire to get a vaginal exam at that time and was glad she did not want to give me one! I asked about the transfer policy and how long she would let me go with my water broken. Linda was great! She talk to us about the general policy they have is a mother in labor by 48 hours baby born in 72 hours. We asked about if we had not had the baby in 72 hours but were in active labor if she would make us transfer. She said she would not as long as baby and I had no signs of infection or distress. She gave us instructions to take my temperature every four hours and write it down and the time we took it. She told us to call if it went up or if we felt less kicks. She also told us to look at the pads whenever I changed them to make sure the water was still clear and had no smell. We talked about options for trying to kick start contractions. We were offered misoprostol as an option and declined it at this time. We wanted to give my body as much time as we needed. My midwife was great with that and told me to relax and let my body do what it needs to do.
We went home and called our doula to update her on how our appointment went and what we were thinking about. We tried to have as normal of a night as possible. We went to bed at the normal time and got a good night of sleep. I woke up early that morning about 5:30 again with a few contractions but nothing too exciting. We decided to go to breakfast that morning and then get started on trying to get labor to actually start. We went and got red raspberry leaf tea and lots of pineapple. I really freaked the lady out at the supplements store. When we asked where the tea was she asked if I was overdue; I told her “no, my water had broken” and she looked at me with big eyes and started telling me how I needed to be at the hospital and I had to have the baby within 24 hours of my water breaking! Little did she know I was already over 24 hours from it breaking! I was annoyed by her reaction but managed to keep my cool and just told her I was following my provider’s advice. I went home and had a whole pineapple and several cups of tea. We also tried some nipple stimulation which my amazing doula Jen suggested. By about 2 p.m. that day, just about 38 hours after my water had broken and still no contractions, we started to feel like labor was never going to start. Jen came over and talked to us more about our options. She listened to our fears of inducing with misoprostol. We called and talked to the midwife and we agreed we would wait until the next day and if we still had not started contraction we would take the misoprostol.
The next morning came and I was still pregnant and labor was nowhere to be found! We called Linda and set a time later that morning to meet at the birth center to get the misoprostol. She gave me four doses of 25mg each and told me to take one and call her in four hours with an update on how I was doing. I went home and took the first pill and within a few hours I started having contractions.
By about noon that day August 3rd I was excited I was having contractions! They did not seem very intense or long so about 4 hours after I took the first dose I took the second. This is when things started to really pick up! I started having some much more intense and longer contractions. By about 9 p.m. that night I asked my husband to call our doula and have her come over. When she got there things seemed to slow down which she said was pretty normal. She brought some essential oils with her and did some message on some of my pressure points to help things keep moving alone. I bounced on my ball with her supporting me while my husband got a few hours of sleep. After he woke up we sent Jen home as things seemed to be slowing down. I stayed on the couch while having contractions and trying to get some much needed rest. By about 5 a.m. that morning contractions were really intense and getting closer together. We decided to call Jen back to join us. I continued to labor at home with their help while things got more and more intense.
By about 8 a.m. that morning August 4th I has been laboring all night and contractions were about 4-5 minutes apart and lasting a minute plus. We called the midwife and decided to meet her at the birth center. This is the first time I had a vaginal exam my whole pregnancy/labor. I was disappointed to only be 1cm dilated. We headed home and I continued to labor through really intense and long contractions. Many of the contractions were lasting a minute and a half to two whole minutes and by afternoon where coming one on top of the other! I was having a really hard time and I remember at one point saying I just need some drugs give me some drugs. My doula looked at me and nicely asked me why I had not wanted an epidural. I told her the reasons and I never asked for drugs again! Later that afternoon, we went back to the birth center, to check on my progress and see if we were ready to be there for the birth. I was checked for only the second time and found to be 3cm dilated. At this time the midwife gave us the option to stay or go home to continue laboring. We decided to head back home again. It was about 4 in the afternoon at this point. I went home and continued to labor through very intense contractions. It was about 7 p.m. when I started getting a pushy feeling. We quickly called the midwife to meet us at the birth center. She was at the center with another mom in labor and told us to head straight there. We were only a 5 minute drive from the birth center and when we arrived about 7:20 I was put into a small waiting room to labor while Linda delivered the other baby! I was having some really intense urges to push and my body was pushing. I was told not to push with it and just let my body do what it needed to do. At about 8:30 or so Linda checked me for the 3rd time and I was found to be 6cm. I was so happy that this was the real deal! My contractions were intense and resisting the urge to push was the hardest part! Linda was concerned that I might get cervical swelling pushing so soon So I continues to juts let my body push but not push with it. I was finally able to move to the birth suite and get into the birth tub about 9:00 p.m. The urge to push was so intense and I was having a really hard time with contractions one on top of the other and my body pushing even though I was not 10cm. After what seemed like an eternity in the tub I asked my midwife to check me again as the pushing was getting stronger and lasting longer she did and I was a 10! I stared actively pushing at 10:56 p.m.
I was so excited when I was able to start pushing! What a relief to start working with my body! Pushing for me was the best part! It seemed easy and mostly pain free compared to all those contraction! I was so ready to be done and I just kept pushing as much as I could when contractions hit! At one point you could see the top of her head and my midwife asked her assistant to get the mirror and asked if I wanted to see and feel. I was so exhausted I said no I want to keep pushing and get this baby out! But I did reach down and feel for a second before the next contraction hit. I remember my midwife telling me to take a break and not push during my next contraction but I was so ready to be done and I pushed anyway! She was afraid I was going to tear as I was pushing really hard and fast! Baby girl came out and I will never forget Linda saying Laura reach down and grab your baby! It was the most amazing moment in my life! We had done it! She was born just 26 minutes after I started actively pushing and at 11:21 p.m. August 4th just shy of 96 hours from my water breaking! She was 8lbs 8oz and 20 inches long! A perfect baby girl!”
“The month of September had been a tough one when it comes to stress and grief. My grandma, Georgine, on September 5th, was unresponsive and I got a text at 5:30 am from my mother. I knew this day was coming, but I was so sad to know that my baby wasn’t going to meet his/her great-grandmother. Come to find out, a nurse at the nursing home, where my grandma was staying, thought it was a good idea to give her a sleeping pill at midnight, which is why she was unresponsive in the morning. SO STRESSFUL!! I was praying and asking my mother that as a grand-daughter, “I know I don’t have any pull, but can we PLEASE get grandma moved to her assisted living facility if we put her on hospice? I really don’t want her dying in a facility she hates.” (Let me tell you, she loathed the nursing home she was in. . .and I don’t blame her either, they messed up her meds several times and I told my mom, “I don’t mind grandma dying, but I would prefer she not be murdered.”)
Well, good news came and grandma was being moved to her ‘home’ at the assisted living facility in Millstadt where she knew all the caregivers and hospice was going to join in helping care for her. To fast forward, Grandma passed away on September 12th, I got to say bye to her one more time. I typically am not a fan of seeing a person at the end of their life, especially since I seen two people take their last breath before, but something in me said to say bye one last time. So I did.
My aunt wanted to have the funeral services the next weekend, a week after her passing, so out of town family had time to fly in. So on Thursday, the 18th, was the wake. The event started at 4 and there was a line for people to pay their respects the moment the funeral home opened till when we closed it at 8 or so. There I was, 9 months pregnant, sitting in a chair near my grandma’s casket and the question I nearly made a sign for the answer was “How many more days?” I replied, “11 days till my due date.”. My cousins joked by saying “could you please try to have this baby before sunday morning when we leave so we can meet it?”. I thought about it and I honestly tried to have the baby before grandma passed away, but baby wasn’t ready. I wanted to have the baby before the funeral so everyone could meet him/her, but baby wasn’t ready.
After the wake, the cousins all gathered at a local restaurant to have dinner. While saying my goodbyes, I had a cousin mention to me that they told Walter, my husband, to make sure I got to the hospital. I replied, “Well, that’s not going to happen unless myself or baby are dying.” The conversation got a little heated as I had a couple of cousins concerned that I was going to have a home birth. Their particular opinion is that birth is traumatic and dangerous. Well, let’s just say there was some not so nice choice words that I shared with them and pretty much told them to mind their own business. When I went home, I put Frankincense Boswelia Oil on my belly and Clary Sage around my ankles and said to the Lord “If I am meant to have this baby while everyone is in town, let this do it.” Then I went to bed.
On the next morning, September 19th, 5 am, my husband’s alarm goes off so he can get up for work, I realize I need to go to the bathroom, except before I get up I notice that I am a little wet. I stand up and yep, my water was leaking. I went to the bathroom and confirmed my suspicions. I went back into the bedroom and told Walter “You are not going to work today, my water is leaking and there will be a baby born today.” He says, “Okay.” and rolls over and goes back to sleep. I proceed to say in a more stern voice, “We are having a baby today, get up!! So we can get things done!!”. He sits up and says “Oh! Okay”, (men… lol)
I went back to lay in bed and called my midwife, Allison Dougherty, to let her know that my water was leaking, no contractions yet, but to be on notice. Walter in the meantime, typical Walter style, moved at a snail’s pace getting dressed, he took a shower, then fiddled around the house. It wasn’t until an hour later that he actually started getting things on my to-do list started. Sophia, yes, she woke up at 5 am too, and Walter started cleaning the back room, sprucing up the area where the birth pool was set up. It was really nice feeling contractions starting, hearing them getting things done, all the while knowing I didn’t have to go anywhere to have my baby, it was so freeing!
I guess it was around 6:30 I texted the midwife that contractions where 5 minutes apart, but not super strong, but thought she should head over, since Sophia was born 5 hours after my water leaked and I would hate to have one my pregnancy dreams come true… that I had the baby without the midwife present. She and Barb, the back-up midwife, were on their way and should arrive around 8:30. In the meantime, I did some things around the house, dishes, etc. but before that, I truly just enjoyed the peace of what was happening, thanking the Lord for loving me throughout this pregnancy despite my moodiness, my anger outbursts and all other bad behavior that occurs due to raging hormones, the pain of being 9 months pregnant and the stress of life that just seems unbearable while pregnant. I apologized so many times to the Lord, also praying for a safe and amazing delivery. Having that quite time with my Savior was so amazing and will never be forgotten as long as I live. I feel like that is one of the few times I felt so amazingly close to my Lord.
The midwives arrived right around 8:30 and Barb told Walter that the birth pool needed more air, thank goodness that we didn’t start filling it up with water yet, so he got the air compressor and started completing that project. My friend Emily came over to help care for Sophia and take pictures of the event. This dear friend of mine lives only a couple of miles away and was going to have her own home birth in a few weeks with the same midwives. I was so excited to have her join us in meeting our little bundle of joy.
Allison started boiling water for herbs to be used later, but oops!! The burner smoked and filled the entire house with white smoke. Ick!! We quickly opened the windows, thank goodness it was a cool beautiful day outside. Barb and Walter went to open the kitchen window when CRASH, glass fell and shattered. Oh well!! Walter had to vacuum up the kitchen floor, what fun little imperfect tidbits to the day! I didn’t even care one bit, I was going to meet my baby today!!!
So, we all were sitting around the living room, checking our phones and around 11 am I said to the midwives, “I really don’t understand why this labor isn’t kicking in. I was hoping the baby would be born before my grandma’s funeral services were over so everyone would find out what the baby was. I feel so bad wasting everyone’s time.” That is when Allison and Barb said, “You feel like a watched pot. Why don’t we leave for a bit and you try to get some rest.” This was all a great idea because I was starting to feel tired. So, they left and I went to lay down and rest. Walter and Sophia also took a nap, so the house was so nice and quiet!
While resting I would close my eyes and awaken slightly with each contraction, but luckily they were nicely 10 or so minutes apart. Around 1:30, I hear Walter get up to use the bathroom and I asked him if he could run to our favorite local joint, Breakfast and a Burger, and get us a couple burgers to eat because I knew I was going to get hungry soon. So, he left and I rested a little more. About 2:30 when I heard him return was right around the time the contractions started bringing tears to my eyes, but they were definitely far apart. I texted the midwives and let them know so they could start heading back.
It was around 3:30 when the midwives returned and I started heading to the birth pool. I had my water, my cell phone and myself… that cell phone was important because I had been texting and Facebook messaging people all day, it was so much fun!! The birth was going exactly how I wanted… slow, relaxed and I was able to have fun!! I texted my friend Emily to return if she could, it was her 5th wedding anniversary and knew she had plans for the evening, but she did make it back and said she would leave when she needed to go to dinner. I got into the pool around 3:45 and was truly enjoying the 5 minutes between contractions. I told Barb, “This labor is so different from when I had Sophia, I get to enjoy it instead of work through the entire thing. The contractions with her were 1 1/2 minutes apart for most of the time, with these, which are finally as intense as they were with her, are giving me a break, so I get to laugh, talk and enjoy the sounds of the area.” The sounds… oh, let me tell you, Affton is typically a very loud area to live in. There are commercial trucks driving by all the time, trains, cars with loud mufflers, speeding cars, etc. for some reason all day I never heard one disturbance. While in the birth pool, one of my favorite moments was listening to the bug creatures outside make lots of noise, it was perfect!! It was like I was in the middle of the woods, which I love the sounds of the country and I got to hear those sounds this day.
Active labor kicked in around 3:50, still the contractions were nice and far apart. But with each one they got closer and closer together Sophia was my amazing ‘baby doula’ encouraging me, comforting me and telling me “you be alright mommy”.
It has to be around 4:30 when I said to everyone, “These contractions suck!!” It was hot in the room, sitting in 100 degree water, I asked Walter to get the fan going in the window, of course, when I said that I meant “NOW!!”, which took him a few minutes to get what I meant. I said to Allison, “These contractions can switch anytime now.” She asked what I meant and I said, “With Sophia there was a clear switch from dilating contractions to pushing contractions, I am ready for that switch, these are getting tough to manage.”
Managing the contractions… I can thank Shannon Mick for teaching me Hypnobirthing. It worked amazingly!! With each contraction I just breathed through calmly, refusing to allow fear to enter my body. With each contraction I imagined my body opening up to birth the baby and I breathed in a way to allow baby to come down on its own. With that being said, during this time, around 4:30 I said, “These contractions hurt and it isn’t because of fear!!! I am trying my best to breathe this baby down calmly but its hard.” With each tougher contraction Barb encouraged me to say, “Baby come down, baby come down, baby come down.” It felt weird saying that at first, but after a while, it really felt better!! All of this is going on when I felt the switch. I knew baby was close to being born. I moved to the edge of the pool. I was previously just sitting in the pool laboring, but felt the need to get on my knees and get my arms out of the pool to hold onto the edge. In the meantime, Walter is on the other side of the room trying to open the windows across from the fan and is making such a racket I yell, “Can you please quit making so much noise!!”. We pretty much knew baby was almost here. He stopped, grabbed Sophia and waited by the pool. I tried really hard to breathe the baby out in a calm manner, but nope. At 4:42pm, I yelled baby out and Elliott James was born. (Later telling a friend how I wish I could have had him quietly and softly how I was taught in hypnobirthing class, but this friend kindly reminded me that I don’t do anything quietly. I do life loudly, why wouldn’t I have the final moments of the birth be loud. It made so much sense!! I labored quietly and calmly, but those final moments were epic!!)
I got to hold him immediately!! It was an amazing water birth. Sophia did get upset for the few minutes I yelled, but when Elliott was born she praised, “Baby in water!! Baby in water!!”. She was so excited!
“Thank you Jesus! Thank you Jesus! Thank you Jesus! Thank you that is over!!” That is all I could say. Sure, the labor was super easy and active labor, transition and birth was only 45 minutes long, but OH! Thank goodness it was over!!”