Slow and steady labor progresses over a number of days; baby Milo is well worth the wait! (3/23/22)

Thank you to mom Alexis for sharing her birth story of baby Milo with us today! Congratulations to both Alexis and Jon on the birth of their son! And thank you to doula Tara for her heartfelt support!

"On Saturday 3/19 (39 weeks, 4 days), I woke up early and took my siblings and mom to their final basketball game of the season. I was having Braxton hicks since I left the house around 7:30. I noticed at the game they were pretty consistent but kept it to myself because after all, they were still “fake contractions”. Throughout the day they continued and I let myself ignore them for the most part. Jon and I decided to grab dinner at one of our favorite restaurants since we knew soon we’d be welcoming baby. At dinner I noticed some subtle cramping accompanying the Braxton hicks. Jon and I finished our dinner and decided to grab dessert to go at Whole Foods. I had to use the restroom and that’s when I noticed the tiniest bit of pink tinge when I wiped, barely noticeable but noticeable to me! I told Jon and we both became anxiously excited over the fact that this was probably an early labor sign. We decided to text my homebirth midwives just in case and she let us know some other signs to look out for. Just after falling asleep I woke up feeling incredibly nauseous and threw up my whole dinner. I text my midwife knowing it wouldn’t wake her but just wanting to keep her in the loop. Over the course of the night I faded in and out of sleep noticing those subtle cramps. When I got up to use the restroom, I noticed more of that pink tinge. I had butterflies knowing this was definitely more than Braxton hicks. I knew how important rest was during early labor so I forced myself back to sleep.

By Sunday morning 3/20, I decided to track a few of my contractions. They were averaging 30 seconds long every 10 minutes. I focused on getting rest and Jon realized our hose attachment for the birth tub didn’t fit so off to Lowes he went. I kept in contact with my doula, Tara, and she gave me some exercises to do when I was no longer able to rest. Throughout the day contractions would get as close as 8 minutes and then get less consistent. By evening I decided to do some of the exercises; we tried the abdominal lift and tucks during contractions and the miles circuit. That night, rest became more difficult. Contractions grew stronger and I wasn’t able to sleep through them for the majority of the night. Some lasted 60 seconds, most 30, and at times became as close as 5 minutes apart. I tried to take a bath to slow contractions down and relax but they were stubborn and kept coming.

Monday morning, 3/21 I already had an adjustment scheduled at my chiropractor and an appointment with my midwife. My adjustment went great, everything was in alignment. When Jamie came for my appointment, mine and baby’s vitals were all good. We decided a cervical check may just disappoint me so I tried to stay positive and rest as much as possible. Contractions were constant yet inconsistent. They’d grow closer then spread apart but they never stopped. By Monday evening I had to focus a little more through them. I set myself up on the couch like the night before, knowing I couldn’t get comfortable in bed anyway and I didn’t want to wake Jon in case baby was coming soon. I paced through contractions all night, focusing on my breathing.

By 5am, now Tuesday 3/22, I had been awake all night. Contractions were stronger in intensity and getting closer and longer. I was averaging about 50 seconds 4 minutes apart. I kept in contact with Tara and we decided I should call Jamie. At 6am everyone was getting ready to head to me. I woke Jon up and he started getting things ready. As all the lights were on and the realization hit me that everyone was coming to help bring this baby into the world, I got nervous. I didn’t want everyone to come and for labor to stall. Of course, contractions then started to space out a bit. Jamie, Danette and Tara arrived as the sun was rising. Jon had taken our pup to stay with my mom. It was beautiful and sunny out with enough wind that it didn’t feel unbearably hot. Jon and I took a 30 minute walk around our neighborhood and intermittently timed my contractions. At some point we decided to do a cervical check, I was at a stretchy 4cm, everyone seemed optimistic. But, the day turned out to be less eventful than I hoped. Contractions were strong enough I couldn’t sleep much through them (the theme of the last few days) but baby must have been really cozy because he was not ready to come out yet. I was nauseous all day and wasn’t able to eat or drink much. After lots of abdominal tucks with Tara, birth ball exercises, and more spinning babies sprinkled with a few minutes of rest throughout the day, the birth team decided to let me have some space. Jon and I tried to relax but the exhaustion was really starting to wear on me. Around 7pm, Jamie stopped by to check our vitals. Although I was over being in labor for this long, baby was doing great and our vitals were good. We decided to check me again; still a stretchy 4cm but baby hadn’t descended at all. We had a hard conversation about my progress. Baby and I were healthy so Jamie was happy to support me in continuing to labor if I wanted, but non emergency hospital transfer was an option. Although we had prepared for a transfer out of caution, I didn’t imagine I’d be thinking about it. I realized that after 48 hours awake, I wouldn’t be able to get through an unmedicated labor. I was beyond tired, I was frustrated, and I didn’t know how much longer labor could go on. I also knew I wouldn’t get any sleep that night based off the relentless contractions I’d been having. Jon and I had an emotional conversation debating what to do and ultimately decided I needed to go to the hospital, get an epidural, and sleep so I could have my baby.

Jamie faxed over my care records and called the hospital to let them know I’d be arriving. Tara met us at home, we talked about what I felt comfortable with in the hospital setting, and made our way to Health Park. I tried to eat something light before we left and threw up right as we were walking out of the house. Contractions never stopped and were still coming on strong. When we arrived at 10:30pm, I made my way to triage and waited a painful 45 minutes for a room while trying to get through my contractions. Once I was seen, they checked me and I was at a 5/6