November 15, 2011

On Tuesday November 15th (4 days before due date) at 5:00am I woke up to contractions which continued until 9:30am.  At this point my husband Brad and I were sure we were in labor and decided to go for a walk to get things going.  Once we returned we called our midwife who arrived a couple of hours later.  After she checked me I was disappointed to learn that I was only 1/2cm dilated and not effaced at all.  I had a leep procedure performed almost a year ago and was worried that the scar tissue was preventing me from dilating but my midwife encouraged me not to worry and to drink and eat as much as I can.  At this time my sister had also arrived and together with my husband they encouraged me to change positions every half hour (slow dancing, sitting on the toilet, leaning against the bed, rocking on the birth ball).  Around 3:30 I had reached a point where I was really in pain and even verbalized that I didn’t think I could do this much longer.  The midwife came back and checked me, and was able to stretch me to 4 cm dilated, this gave me the encouragement I needed I was so happy I was progressing.  It was a struggle to not fight, or run away from the contractions and keep focused on deep breathing.  Sue reminded me “don’t squeeze your bum, relax those muscles even if it hurts more.” I had to remind myself to work with the contractions and do what they were suggesting otherwise it was just a wasted contraction. About an hour later I had progressed to 5 cm and my midwife told me if we wanted to go to the birth center we should go now however she came prepared for a home birth.  Even though we had originally planned to give birth at the birth centre I could not imagine riding in a car given the pain I was in and told my husband I was staying put.  Laboring in the shower was a good tool because the hot water felt good and was somewhat of a distraction, I could really relax in between contractions while hanging on the door knowing someone was on the other side.

Around 7:30 I was really struggling to cope, and asked to be checked again.  I didn’t want to know exactly how many cm dilated I was however I needed to hear that I was progressing.  Luckily I was 8 cm dilated.  At this point I tried laboring in the bathtub and once I felt that warm water things got a little better and I was able to relax more with each contraction.  Around 10:00pm I experienced the most powerful contraction yet and involuntarily yelled loudly through it.  I heard a pop and felt my water break, I had hit transition. The contractions that followed were powerful and I started the involuntary grunting and I knew the end must be near.  The midwife checked me, I was 9 and a half cm, with a little help from her and the next contraction I had reached 10 cm and could start pushing.  Finally!   Remembering the techniques in class helped me to get as many long pushes as I could during a contraction. I tried to maintain his position in between contractions as I did not want him to slide back in. 34 minutes later little Henry was born, he was perfect.  7 lbs 8 ounces and 21 inches long.

By April Slessor