Avery Jack's Birth Story born 1/17/2022
Today's birth story is written by first time mom Hayley, and we are in awe of not only her story, but her wherewithal to cope through labor's intensity and changes in birth plans. It has been our pleasure to support her pregnancy and into the newborn stage! Read on for an intense look into birth and an exploration of a mom's inner journey through it.
I think your water broke, baby
"It’s Sunday night (Monday morning) January 17th at 2 am. I get up- yet again- to go to the bathroom. I sit on the toilet, and somehow, I can’t pee. That’s weird- this has never happened before. I try for a few more minutes and still nothing happens. I stand up, and some water splashes at my ankles. I don’t think it’s pee. Is this my water breaking?? It can’t be. Only 10% of women’s water breaks spontaneously at home, I’m not going to be in that small minority, surely. However, my stomach hurts. It’s just one continuous tightening that sort of feels like it feels at my period. I call Andrew into the bathroom because of the pain. I’m scared.
He wakes up and comes in. “I think your water broke, baby.” I start to hyperventilate a little, panicking, because I’m so scared of what’s to come. There’s no stopping it now. We go into the bedroom and sit down on the bench (on a towel). As I’m sitting there, a gush of water comes out of me. I’m really panicking now. Oh my god. I’m in labor. My stomach still hurts. Actually, now it’s pain down in the perineal area- vagina and rectum- and it’s coming and going.
Doing the right things
I realize that I need to get into the shower for two reasons: #1: I need to wash my hair if I’m going to be going into the hospital to have a baby. It’s been a few days. #2: I know that the hot water will soothe me and help with the pain. In the shower, I manage to slowly wash myself and my hair, with contractions coming and going, but they’re bearable. I’m still not feeling any stomach pain- it’s all down low. I pull our little shower table out and sit down on it intermittently. At some point, Andrew gets a contraction timing app and starts timing them. They’re short- lasting only about 30 seconds- but close together at every 2-3 minutes. While I’m in the shower, Andrew calls our doula, Christa. She says that we’re doing the right things, and to let her know when we think it’s time for her to come over. We will keep her closely updated on my progress. I get out of the shower and start drying my hair. I hate having wet hair. The contractions are making it tricky because I have to stop what I’m doing every time I have one.
I lie down in the bed for a few minutes to try to relax (meanwhile, Andrew is running around the apartment gathering up the last-minute items that we need to bring with us to the hospital, taking out the trash, etc.). I’m not able to lie down in the bed for too long, the pain gets too intense, and I need to be up.
Maybe we need to get to the hospital
I get up and go into the living room and kneel down with my labor ball. The dogs are concerned about me and circling around me, licking me, not sure what’s going on. I’m yelling through some contractions and deep-moaning through others. A very select few I’m able to simply breathe through. Andrew says that maybe we need to get to the hospital, and we talk to Christa again. She leaves it totally up to us, but reminds us that our plan was to labor at home for as long as possible. I don’t want to go yet, either. I know that as soon as I get there, they’re going to put me on Pitocin, and I don’t want that.
A few more contractions of increasing intensity, however, and I know that we need to get going. Andrew takes the dogs outside, and then we call the hospital. I decide that if the pain gets any worse than it is now, I won’t be able to tolerate the 35-minute-long car ride. The triage nurse on the phone asks to speak with me when Andrew tells her what’s going on. Are you serious? They need to talk to me, now?! I can’t focus on anything except getting through these contractions! Regardless, Andrew puts the phone call on speaker, and I explain what’s happening. The nurse asks if I was dilated at my last OB appointment, and I tell her that on Thursday I was 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced. That was three days ago for my 38-week appointment. I’m now just barely 38 weeks and 6 days. I never imagined that I would spontaneously go into labor before my due date. I was convinced that I would need some lengthy induction process (that I didn’t want) when I made it to my due date. After I tell her my measurements at the last OB appointment, another contraction hits, and I low-moan my way through it. As soon as it’s over, she tells me to come on in to the hospital.
Andrew pulls the car up to the side of the building and we slowly make our way there from the apartment. Contractions in an elevator are weird. I feel trapped. I know it’s a short ride though (4 stories). I carefully get into the car and we start toward Naples. I have my water, a pack of mini muffins, and an Uncrustable PB & J. I know I should eat before we get to the hospital. I need my strength and I won’t be able to eat once I’m there. About halfway to the hospital I do manage to eat the mini muffins and drink some water. Contractions continue in the car ride. Christa had reminded us that the car ride may alter contractions, making the pattern slow down. Not for me. They’re 35-50 seconds long now, and still close together, every 1.5-2.5 minutes. I even have a stacked contraction of two on top of each other without a