Here is the story of the birth of our baby Wyatt, or: The False Labor that Wouldn't Go Away.
Since my 38 week appointment I had been having more intense Braxton hicks contractions. They were beginning to feel crampy in my lower front belly, not just the normal tightening.
Three nights later I was over at a friend’s house scrapbooking, having my consistent—like normal—Braxton hicks. I definitely knew I was having a lot that night. I had one as I was leaving her house, then another one on my drive home, and another as I was coming into our house. That was all within 15 minutes.
We stayed up kind of late that night. Jeremy was working on homework, so he put on Sherlock Holmes for us to watch. Later when I was getting ready to lay down after helping put a 2-year-old nightcrawler back in bed, I was feeling distracted by my contractions, so I decided to dig out the old Walkman and listen to my new CD to relax in bed and wait for them to clam down.
After a while I decided I’d go get in the bath tub to try and relax to get them to stop. I listened to my CD some more in the tub and just tried to relax. I was starting to think I might be in labor—but that would be too good to be true, or else I wasn't ready for it yet, I couldn't decide—so I was trying to think about my different options. It was the middle of the night, and we had some friends who we had talked to about coming over here to be with the boys if I was in labor in the night, but I wasn’t entirely sure if I was really in labor.
I knew that if I was going to go into the hospital for a labor check they would want some history of my contraction pattern, so I got out of the tub. By some magical time warp it was already 4am. I started thinking I might be able to make it through the night without having to call someone here. Then I could go “see if I was in labor” in the morning before Jeremy’s class. Our computer takes forever to load up, so I was finally on the internet at 4:20 to start timing my contractions on contractionmaster.com.
I sat on my birthing ball and at first was trying to find something to distract myself with on the internet. But eventually I felt like I needed to stand up and sway my hips during the contractions. I also had to use the restroom—often! I posted on our family’s website around 5:15 am:
“I think I'm in labor. But I'm holding out as long as possible so we can call someone to watch the boys at a more "reasonable" time in the morning. No reason to wake them up just so I can go sit in the hospital and do the exact same thing I'm doing here: rock and breathe."
At that point my contractions had been 2-4 minutes apart for the hour I’d been monitoring them. I knew that if it was day time, that we should be headed to the hospital by now based on those numbers. I decided I’d wake Jeremy up at 6, and have him do the timing, so I could try laying down on the couch and see if that made them calm down. (I was totally in denial.)
I went in and woke him and he asked me “Yeah?” but a contraction was starting so I couldn’t respond and just walked out of the room so he would follow me. When that one finished I asked him if he would time my contractions for me (push the start/stop button) so that I could lie down on the couch. He asked “How long’s this been going on?” But I didn’t answer and he said “Oh,” as he scrolled down my long list of an hour an a half of timed contractions.
When I laid down on the couch the contractions did change. They intensified, and suddenly I had to vocalize through them. I was deep breathing in and then deep breathing out with a ahh, mmm, or ohh. (“Or I’m just being a whiner because my husband is awake to listen”-I thought.) A few contractions later Jeremy came over and we started discussing a plan.
At 6:15 Jeremy called some friends, and said, “We’re having a baby- can we come drop our boys off?” Then he ran around grabbing clothes for the boys and the last couple of things I needed for my hospital bag. Owen woke up in the commotion and he ran over to me and gave me a big hug and said, “I’m so happy you are going to push the baby out today!”
The thought crossed my mind that maybe I should have Jeremy drop me off at the hospital first and then take the boys (in case we didn’t make it in time), but knew I really didn’t want to be there alone, and figured it would probably be fine. I was standing up in our bedroom doorway as Jeremy was getting ready to load the car. I was wearing my kelly green Christmas tree pajama bottoms, and Jeremy’s bright red SLC Real soccer T-shirt. Jeremy stopped and looked me up and down. “And you, you look great.” He said, “You just go like that.”
On the drive I was breathing my deep breath in and my “ahh” out. Owen was bouncing off the walls in the back seat, yelling “Ahh, Ahh Ahh!” Jeremy got after him, “Owen! You need to calm down and be quiet! Your mom is hurting.”
When we got to the hospital, Jeremy dropped me off at the door and went to park the car. The couple of people around the info desk looked at me with interest. When I had a contraction the man went and got me a wheelchair. “They’re just wanting to be helpful.” I said to Jer in the elevator. They were expecting us upstairs since Jeremy had called before we left the house.
When we got into our room I noticed the clock on the wall said 7:11. My nurse asked if I was going to want an epidural and I told her I wanted to see where I was at first. She checked me and said she thought I was at a 7-8 but had a huge bulging bag of waters that was hard to feel around. So she called in another nurse for a second opinion. She said “Yep, 8 with a bulging bag.” So they called my doctor.
I didn’t actually get out of bed from that point on. Jeremy was really good to me. He was vocally supportive, and held my hand. Towards the end it helped for me to squeeze his hand kind of in pulses during the contractions.
My doctor got there and said “What a great start to my morning!” (I love my OB.) We then had him break my water, and he told me I could start pushing as soon as I felt like it. He went out for a minute, and I had a few contractions. I was not necessarily feeling “the urge” but I was feeling tons of pressure, and ready to have this baby. So I told them I wanted to start pushing.
They came in to get dressed and things set up and I started trying to push. The first couple contractions I couldn’t push, because I was deep breathing through them and couldn't figure out how to coordinate my breathing and pushing. Then I felt like I pushed a few times with minimal progression, but my Dr. said the baby made progress down the canal. My next few pushes definitely progressed because I started to feel a lot of stretching. Then of course came the baby’s head. All I can say was it was seriously so incredibly intense. Each of my pushes were grunts that turned into yells as my body bore down.
Then they said to me “OK, now push the shoulders out.” I had one of those internal conversations in an instant. Where really I was like “No way! I can’t do this. I am doing this. There really is no other choice. Ok, I’ll do it.” And then I pushed out the shoulders and rest of the baby with another grunt-yell.
And instantly it’s over. Instantly, I was done and the pain was gone and I was breathing and everything was fine. When the cord stopped pulsing we clamped it and Jeremy cut it. And it was done. He was here, and he made it, and we did it. And Jeremy cried, because this was our baby who we didn’t know would make it to us or not.
His name is Wyatt and we love him.
The other birth facts: His his official birth time was 8:18 am. He was 8 lbs 3 oz and 21 inches long. He came spontaneously at 38 weeks and 6 days gestation. He was born with a nuchal cord. It was wrapped one time around him, but my Dr. said he hadn’t guessed, because the baby did great during delivery, without any heart-rate trouble. I had a second degree tear that occurred along my old scar line, just the same as last time—scar tissue just doesn’t stretch well.