My second son was due towards the end of January. Right after my oldest son’s second birthday (November 13th), I started having early labor symptoms. I ended up having to go to the hospital to stop my labor with IV medications. I was put on bed rest, which is near impossible when you have a toddler at home. But, I stuck to it to the best of my ability. I was put in the hospital two more times for the same reason. The third time I was in the hospital they also gave me steroids to try to help mature his lungs.
On Christmas Eve I woke up around 6 am and noticed that I was having contractions again. I decided to try and relax to see if the contractions would slow down. I put on a movie for my oldest son, fed him breakfast and laid on the couch while he played. The contractions kept up, so I called Phil and asked him to come home.
I talked to my midwives and they gave me suggestions for slowing down the contractions. I took a nice long shower. I remember standing there with the water hitting me and thinking, “If this is the day that he’s born, it’ll be ok.” I’d had a lot of anxiety in the weeks prior because I was nervous that he was going to be born too early.
After the shower I called the hospital. I couldn’t go to the birth center because his due date was over 3 ½ weeks away. The nurse at the hospital told me to time the contractions. If they were 5 minutes apart, lasting one minute for an hour then I should come in. So, I timed my contractions for an hour and they met the criteria. We met my in-laws at the hospital and handed off my oldest son.
Phil and I were taken to triage and I was hooked up to monitors. At this point it had all become routine and I just expected them to give me IV medications to stop my labor. A doctor came in and checked my cervix. They shocked me by telling me that I was 5 cm dilated and they were going to put me in a room. I wasn’t ready for this! I didn’t think my son would be born until the next month. I had to call a friend to cry and process. It just didn’t seem real and it was all happening so fast. Plus, this wasn’t the birth I had envisioned for my son. After talking to my friend I called the midwife and asked for them to send someone to meet me at the hospital. A midwifery student soon showed up.
The nurses got me a room very quickly and when the OB checked my cervix it was already 7 cm dilated. He suggested that I let him break my water. He said that if he did that if he broke my water the baby would be born within an hour. I declined and said that I wanted to let my body progress on its own. It was already doing a pretty good job without any outside help. He said that my contractions weren’t very strong, so they would probably have to start me on Pitocin. I declined that as well and reiterated that I wanted to let my body work on its own. He left the room and I started panicking a little. I was scared that I was going to be pushed into something that I didn’t want. I was scared of the Pitocin. I decided to call my mother in law and asked her to please come. I really wanted a lot of support.
The midwifery student helped me by suggesting that I squat during contractions to try to break the bag of waters naturally. Phil physically supported me while I squatted during contractions. We tried this for a long time and were unsuccessful. I asked for them to check my cervix again and I had made no progress. I believe this was because my nerves had gotten the better of me and this caused my labor to stall. I sat in the rocking chair for a while trying to not be discouraged. It was getting late and I was tired.
I asked everyone to leave the room except Phil and his mom. They talked through everything with me and helped me calm down. Then I asked everyone else to come back in the room and let them know that I wanted the OB to break my water. Shortly after the gush of fluid my contractions got intense. I had to really focus to get through them one by one. I felt like I had to go to the bathroom so I went to sit on the toilet. When I did the contractions were stronger and I got nauseous.
I decided to get back in the bed. I was on my knees, leaning over the back of the bed. My cervix went from being 7 cm dilated to a full 10 cm in under an hour. While on the bed I felt the need to push. My body started bearing down and the nurse noticed. She asked me to stop pushing, but I really couldn’t help it. The OB quickly came over and after a couple pushes my baby’s head was born. He let me stay in that position to finish pushing my baby out, which didn’t take long. Kohen Lee (Kole) was born on December 24th at 11:30 pm. He weighed 7 pounds even. I wasn’t expecting him to come that early, but he was the best Christmas gift I ever received.