The birth of our baby boy was a long process thanks to prodromal labor. I had heard of this thanks to the birthing sessions with our doula, Caryn, but I was hoping we wouldn't have this happen. I don't know why, but I thought things would happen quickly so I didn't really prepare for days of labor. Even if it isn't active labor, it is still labor in my book. Contractions happen, your can't sleep and you are hoping that things will progress into active labor - that is still labor. So, here's the story of how Solomon was born.... even all the little details of our prodromal labor.
Friday - September 11, 2015
I woke up at 1:30AM with strong cramping and needed to use the restroom. I then realized I was sweating like crazy and I changed into tank top and underwear. I got back in bed and tried to start timing any kind of pain. I was really confused at when pain was starting and stopping so I tried my best to sleep.I couldn't get comfortable to sleep and decided to try and rest on the couch downstairs at 2:30AM. I turned on my worship music playlist and tried to sleep, thankfully I slept till 5AM. I did have several wake ups with sharp cramps and I was soaking wet in sweat, like sweat dripping down my chest. I decided to call Caryn, around 6AM and she told me that it was definitely beginning of labor signs and that my body was preparing. She also said to not get upset if things slow down when the sun comes up because that is very common, and if that happens things will most likely kick into high gear at night.
Ironically, I have been saying since day one that the due date should be 9/12 since my first ultrasound at 7 weeks said that was the measured due date but they didn't change it because my last period due date was 9/7 and the difference was less than a week.
I went up stairs and woke Peter up around 6:30AM and told him the news. I was glad he got a good nights sleep, he got ready for work since nothing was really happening and he works across the street from our neighborhood anyways. Super thankful to have him so close! The rest of the day was relaxed. I ran some errands with my mom and did some cleaning and organizing around the house. My sister in law came to town to meet Solomon so she came over to hang out with us before dinner. Peter and I decided to do a takeout dinner at home, just the two of us so I could relax and have a quiet night. Around 8PM things started getting a little uncomfortable and I felt like things were ramping up again. After trying to lay on the couch for a little while I decided to take a hot shower and wash my hair so I could feel prepared for bed. After drying my hair I crawled in bed around 10PM and turned on my worship music to sleep and I put some lavender oil on my pillow. I could feel the pressure building and my pelvic bone was super sensitive. I told Peter I felt like all my lady parts were splitting open and he reminded me that was a good sign. I kissed him and told him I loved him!
Saturday - September 12, 2015
I woke up almost every hour all night with cramping and had to use the bathroom frequently. I was hoping I would lose my plug at some point but no luck. I know not every one loses it but I was really hoping I would since that is usually a sign that things are turning toward active labor. Finally, at 5AM I decided to wake up and go downstairs. I had the feeling that I needed to stand up and I was well rested. I got some ice water and a fig bar and stood at the kitchen island swaying back and forth while I tried to eat. I instantly felt nauseous after the first bite but the water helped. It was also weird that when I finally woke up I realized my hair was clean and washed and I had totally forgotten about my shower the night before. It felt like everything from yesterday happened a week ago. Shortly after I got up I had a strong contraction and decided to start timing them on the next one to see if there was a pattern. I was trying not to get too excited and slow things down, so I decided to go sit on my ball and roll back and forth.
I sat in the living room rocking on my ball and praying out loud. It was calming to hear my voice and know that baby boy could hear it also. I told him I was excited to meet him and for him to come soon. I thanked God for this healthy pregnancy and asked for His strength and protection during the hours ahead. I was ready! Now just waiting for things to start happening faster. As I started to time the contractions I turned on my worship music playlist that I had put together and while I was in my third contraction the song Oceans by Hillsong United came on and the words hit me so hard. I had already thought of the contractions as an ocean of waves that I would need to swim through and breathe deeply until the wave crashed over me and the contraction was finished. Then the words "You've never failed, and You won't start now" came right after the contraction was finished and I sang the words out loud. I knew it was true and I knew that God would give me the strength to endure each wave ahead and I would end up with my baby boy on my chest!
After about an hour of timing the contractions I realized the were normally around 5-6 min apart and they were lasting around 45 seconds to 1 minute. I called Caryn and told her the news. She sweetly deflated my tires a little bit and said that I was way too vocal for my body to be in full on labor at this point which is totally normal for first time moms. (prodromal labor) She also told me to just ignore it and relax, eat some food and try and go back to sleep, stop timing everything and I would know when things were happening and my body was on board. I was a little bummed but I knew that she was right and I was thankful that I had 100% trust in her.
After trying to sleep in bed for a little while and snuggle with Peter we decided to get up and go down stairs for some coffee and French toast. Peter makes French toast most weekends but it was seriously the best I've ever had that morning. I had several contractions while sitting at the kitchen table and I had to put my fork down and stop talking so I could breath through the pressure. They were lasting about a minute still and the strength of each one was going back and forth, some strong and some just annoying and uncomfortable.
We relaxed and talked to some family till around 10AM and I wanted to take a walk. The weather was amazing and cool, like a true fall morning. I thought it was perfect to welcome our boy. The walk was good and I felt like it helped a lot but the contractions were still off and on but they seemed longer. I thought this might be a good point to lay down and try and nap for some extra energy in case things start progressing. I slept for about an hour and a half and Peter said I didn't seem restless at all. Around 11:30AM I woke up with a really strong and long contraction. I did feel rested which was nice but the contractions weren't building so I decided to take it easy and rest on the couch.
After a little while we went to eat lunch at Peter's mom's house since his sister was still in town. It was the same as breakfast, swaying back and forth constantly and eating between contractions. They were very sporadic and I knew since I still wanted food and was talking easily they weren't anything to get excited about yet. We left lunch around 2:45PM and went to Earthfare to do some grocery shopping before baby. I was having a lot of contractions while I pushed the cart around the store, stopping and swaying and breathing through each of them while in the store. After our shopping trip I came home and decided a nap would be good. I felt tired and I was hoping things would progress as the night became closer so I knew I needed rest. All my lady parts were feeling really sore again like the night before, almost like I could feel things spreading and opening. Not sure if that is what dilation feels like but I was hoping for the best.
I woke up from the nap around 6PM and felt hungry but rested, even if it was only an hour of sleep. The contractions seemed longer and deeper but they didn't seem closer together yet. Peter also took a nap on the couch so I was glad he got some rest also. He made me a toasted sandwich and I ate that with some tortilla chips and decided to take a walk and see if I could get things rolling around 6:30PM. Contractions quickly got uncomfortable and I was feeling a lot of pressure, that continued for several hours and after realizing any time I sat still they would slow down to 7 or more minutes between contractions so we called Caryn to ask what to do. She told Peter that I need to rest and try and sleep even if that means contractions will slow down and she would bet I'd wake up in an hour or two with active labor. My body just wasn't ready for the real thing yet. We propped some pillows up on the couch behind my head and under my knees so I could try and sleep in a sitting position to take some pressure off my hips, I also ate an apple with peanut butter. It was around 10PM at that time.
Sunday - September 13, 2015
Around 1:30AM we called Caryn to come over. I felt confused and unsure of what was going on and I thought I'd feel better just having her around to tell me what I needed to do. She arrived and told me that I was definitely not in active labor but that she'd stay and see how things were going for a while. Since this was my first time with this experience I just felt more comfortable having her there to tell me what I should do. We also called the midwives to give whoever was on call a heads up that we might be there sometime in the near future. During the next several hours I felt the contractions going from simple contractions to active contractions that actually pushed the baby down, I was thankful once I could tell the difference so I knew what to look for. Around 4AM Caryn decided to head home and told me to give her a call if things start progressing. I went to bed and tried to get some sleep since things always slowed down if I decided to rest.
I slept for a couple of hours and then told my mom to come over that morning around 6:45 so Peter could have some help. Around the same time I had the urge to go to the bathroom and I lost my plug. It was not what I expected but I was pretty sure that I had lost it all. I was hoping this was a sign that things were going to speed up.
During that morning things continued like the night before... If I kept moving the contractions would keep up but if I sat down or stayed in the same position for too long they would slow down to 7-10 min. Caryn came back over during the morning time and tried to help push things along with some advice on positions but she still thought I should be resting and waiting for my body to take over. She left around 11 while I was napping. I realized that things would also slow down when she came over which surprised me. I think I felt like I had to perform and prove that I was in labor which is funny now as I look back. I wish I would have taken her advice and just ignored everything until I couldn't and then let the active labor take over.
Peter and I decided that we wanted to take a trip to the midwife office so I could be checked and also sweep my membranes. I had an appointment the next day to do both of those things since Monday was my 41 week mark, so I thought I might as well do it now in hopes that it would speed things along and our baby would be in our arms by Monday! The ride to the office was interesting but not terrible since the contractions slowed down while I was sitting. It took us around 20 minutes to get there and I had three contractions during that time. One of them was super strong and I had to unbuckle and move to the edge of the seat to find a comfortable position. I felt like he was trying to come out but now I laugh thinking about the difference in those contractions and the ones that actually brought him out.
Once we got to the office I was so happy to get checked and I was hoping to be dilated to anything past one. That was my biggest fear because I was afraid everything that had been happening for the past few days was actually nothing at all. Barb, the midwife, was pleasantly surprised that I was at a three - my plug was gone (so glad that was exactly what happened earlier, after all) - I was fully effaced - and Solomon was a zero station. All really good news and I was so happy I could almost jump off the table!! Barb then asked me if I wanted to sweep my membranes and told me that it could cause the contractions to become stronger and irregular. I felt that it would help push me over the edge and really help with starting active labor. After days of waiting for active labor and knowing that I would be back in the office the next morning to sweep my membranes anyways, I knew I wanted to do it! It honestly didn't hurt that bad and I was praying things would pick up! When we got home I ate some food and tried to lay down for a nap so my body could relax and the membrane sweep could do its job. I was hopeful and praying the whole time!!!!
& that is where I will stop, sorry... Such a tease, I know! But, things get interesting next.
Read on for PART TWO.
Read on for PART TWO.