So I’d like to write a blog about my labor and delivery with Ella. I don’t know how in the world I would ever capture in writing what that experience was like in many ways, but I’ll do my best to describe it. This is one of those blogs that may be more for me than for my readers. Unless you have an interest in the details of my labor, this won’t be an interesting post to read!
My due date was January 11th, and on the morning of the 10th I woke up at 6:00am feeling contractions that were different than Braxton hicks. We were headed into the doctor anyway for our 40 week appt at 9:00am and so our midwife did a cervical exam and felt the position of the baby. We were pleased to hear that Ella was still facing sideways as she should be, but disappointed to hear our midwife say that the contractions I had been feeling could last another 2 weeks… we left there and went about our Tuesday business. We called my mom in Alabama to suggest she postpone her plane ticket which she had purchased several weeks prior for the due date, hoping to hit the nail on the head. About 4:00pm I went to target to try on nursing camis and I noticed my contractions starting to increase in strength. There were a couple of them that stopped me in the isle, and I started timing them with my phone. They were between 6 and 7 minutes apart.
Talked to my mom again when i left Target, and she said she would wait to cancel the ticket until the last minute and asked us to call first thing in the morning. I went home, we grilled pork and watched an episode of 24. Then we went for a walk, and as we were walking my contractions got more intense, timing about 4 to 5 minutes apart.
We decided it was time to call Tara our doula to update her. She asked several questions, and said she wouldn’t be surprised if she heard from us again in the next few hours. She encouraged us to go home and get in bed to try to sleep as much as we could, and call again when we were ready for her to come.
About 1:30am the contractions were increasing in strength and about 3 to 4 min apart, so we called her back and she came to our house. I can not overstate how wonderful and helpful it was for us to have a doula! (More on our doula next week…)
She positioned me in bed with lots of pillows to help the contractions be effective but still allow me to sleep. I was supposed to turn to the other side every hour. Once we realized we could manage that for a few hours we sent her home to rest herself and said we would call again when things picked up. She kept on emphasizing rest and sleep, so we listened to her and did our best to relax. We actually were able to sleep (off and on) from 3:00am to 10:30am. In hindsight, if I hadn’t had that rest things probably would have gone much differently.
She had told us to eat a high protein breakfast, so we had scrambled eggs and oatmeal about noon, and for a few hours I was able to manage the contractions myself. Around 3:00 my back started hurting so bad and I began to digress emotionally a bit. We called Tara back and she came over to help.
She helped me try to find positions that would make the contractions effective (not ease the pain) and help me cope with what they felt like. We used the exercise ball, the couch, I leaned on David, we went for a walk. It seemed to be progressing slowly. Finally about 7:00pm we all agreed it was time to go to the hospital. Tara called Lin, our midwife, and she walked in just as we did. I was 5 centimeters at that point and almost totally effaced.
I still had no idea what I was in for.