*Disclaimer: If you aren’t interested in all of the details involved in a birth story I suggest you skip over this blog post.
It was decided between my OB, Midwife and I that I should try natural induction methods early since both Oliver and Isaac came after 41 weeks and we figured moving things along for this one would be beneficial. I began drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea at 34 weeks along, a big glass every day. I began eating dates daily around 37 weeks because I had heard they are beneficial. I also took evening primrose oil daily and went to the Chiropractor regularly. I had heard things about Clary Sage putting woman into labor so I had a bottle of that ready to use. My midwife hadn’t know Clary Sage to work at starting labor but rather helping once labor began.
I felt like I had more abdominal cramps towards the end of this pregnancy in comparison to the other two, so I thought maybe just maybe I might have the baby earlier. I still figured I’d go to 40 weeks, but maybe not beyond that. Now here’s where things get interesting…
At 38 weeks exactly I decided to rub some Clary Sage on acupressure points on my feet. (I rubbed these points for both Oliver and Isaac in the hopes of inducing labor but nothing ever came of it.) I rubbed it in and went to bed. That was Friday night, June 10th.
I woke up Saturday like any other day and began getting things done around the house. David changed wheel bearings on the truck and mowed the grass. I cared for the boys and dusted the big room (aka nesting because dusting has never been a big priority for me.) I made some comment to David that these cramps better mean something since they seemed to be more frequent. Mean something as in “not pregnant for another 3+ weeks” Well I guess baby took that as a command to get moving.
We had decided earlier that week that we’d go to Mass Saturday night since we had a birthday party to go to the next day. We also needed to get some shopping done so planned on going straight from church to the grocery store.
All through Mass I noticed more of the contraction like cramping. It would last about 20-30 seconds and then go away. I was able to mostly focus during church but kept track that I had about 5 contractions. As we were loading up the boys I told David that I thought I was having contractions and he wondered if we should be going to the store. I told him that they were not intense nor were they very close together and that we needed food whether I was going into labor or not. While shopping I continued to noticed the contractions and David could tell when I was having one.
I was still unsure if these contractions were going to amount to anything. I just couldn’t imagine that at 38 weeks pregnant I was going to have a baby! We decided on the drive home from the store that we’d get home, put the boys down for bed and I would time the contractions to see where they were at. So from 9-10:30 I timed contractions and they were jumping around from 14, 7, 9, 13, 5, 15 minutes apart and again not very intense. During that time I texted a couple of people jokingly telling them that I might have a baby soon. Can you say denial? And that’s just the beginning. I texted my midwife at that point and told her I was having contractions, nothing intense and that I was going to go to bed. She texted back saying okay, and I went to bed at 10:30.
I slept until about midnight and then the contractions started waking me up so I decided not to wake up David just yet but to take a bath and see if they continued. While I was filling up the tub I quickly cleaned the bathroom counters (because who gets their house clean and ready for a baby at 38 weeks pregnant when their previous children came 3+ weeks later?) In my cleaning I must have woken up David because he came into the bathroom wondering what was going on. I casually said I was having stronger contractions so I thought I’d take a bath and that he should go back to bed. Denial. I took a bath and counted my contractions, they were coming every 3-4 minutes. When I got out David was still awake and he thought I should call the midwife. So I called her and continued to casually say that I was having contractions, that they weren’t too bad and that I didn’t know if they were going to turn into anything substantial. She suggested I try and get some more sleep so that’s what I did.
At least I tried to go back to sleep but the contractions intensified and started coming every 2-3 minutes. I was finally convinced that this was the real thing at around 2:30 in the morning. For some reason I wanted to give the midwife a little more sleep so I held off calling her until about 3:30 and she could tell it was the real thing as well and said she’d be on her way and let her apprentices know they should head over as well.
I remember telling David that I didn’t know what to think. The pain was so bad and the idea of being in labor much longer was terrifying but I really didn’t want to have a baby without the midwife being there, such a dilemna. Well the dilemna didn’t carry on for much longer because the midwife and her apprentices arrived about 4:30. David also called his mom and asked her to come sleep in the guest bed in case the boys woke up.
The next 1.5 hours are a bit of a blur. I know I pounded on David’s chest and then would apologize for hitting him. I know I made comments like “who would choose to do this?” and “why do I watch those stupid birth videos on youtube where they’re all calm and peaceful and just breath a baby out?” Let’s just say I am not calm or peaceful and I did not just breath the baby out.
I also am not someone who has that intense feeling of needing to push. The midwife thought that I could try based upon how I was acting (can you say transition?) Up until that point I had been in the tub but something compelled me to jump out and 3 pushes and 2 minutes later I delivered Augustine standing up on the bathroom floor just before 6 am. He was lifted up into my arms where I could “feel” he was a boy. I looked down just to make sure and told David it was a boy.
The midwifes asked me to lay down to deliver the placenta so there I was laying on the bathroom floor with Augustine on my stomach, his umbilical cord was short so I couldn’t quite hold him on my chest. David sat beside me and we decided on his name. We had two boy names picked out but I wanted to wait until I met him to decide on the name. We both agreed that he was Augustine Matthew without a doubt. After delivering the placenta and a shot of pitocin for bleeding a little more than the midwife would have liked I was able to quickly rinse off in the shower and crawled into bed with my newest baby boy. He nursed for a while, then got weighed and measured. 7 lbs, 3 oz. 20.25 inches long. Perfect.
I would say that labor, non denial labor, was about 4 hours long. I couldn’t believe how quickly Augustine came. I am still in shock that he came so early and so quickly. He is truly another blessing to our family and worth every painful, non-peaceful, contraction I endured. David was again my constant support and a story like this is only possible because of his love and dedication.