Our birth story started June 30 2015. I was 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I slept in that morning until about 10:30. Because I was so pregnant, I needed to hoist myself out of bed. While doing this I suddenly felt fluid running down my leg. I quickly made my way to our master bathroom, only three steps away to assess the situation. It was only a small amount of fluid and I wasn’t sure what had happened. I was instantly excited but apprehensive, could this really be it? My mother’s first labor started two weeks early with her water breaking. My pregnancy was taking after hers so I kind of thought my water might break.
I quickly called Jared and told him, “Well I either peed my pants or my water broke!” He was instantly excited but said, “Well how do you not know, wouldn’t you know if you peed your pants?!” I called my midwifes office to let them know. I had an appointment that day at 2pm and they said if nothing else happens to just get checked at 2pm when I come in to the office.
The morning went by normally, I had no symptoms of labor. I thought for sure I had just peed my pants. At my appointment my midwife tested the fluid on a pH strip and looked at it under a microscope. She said both tests were negative. While we were chatting, she noticed that the pH strip started changing color. She said she now didn't know what to think, my water might have broken.
She said she was going to send the sample off and get it tested and we would know for sure in a little while. With all the excitement I decided to get checked, I was 3 cm dilated, 80% effaced and -1 station. Jared was excited, thinking for sure my water had broken, while I was still unsure. He decided to go back to work and I was planning on just calling him with the results of the testing.
About a half hour after I got home, my midwife called me herself stating, “Well the sample was positive, your water broke!” I couldn’t believe it.
I had two options; either go in tonight and get induced, or wait until 7am and then I had to go to the hospital and get induced. I was scared, I had worked so hard to prepare myself to get through labor naturally and learned all the risks of induction and I didn’t want to go that route. I chose to wait until morning and was determined I was going to get this labor going.
I decided to get my membranes stripped. I didn’t feel anything and it didn’t start labor. My midwife recommended I see a chiropractor. I had been seeing Dr. Pulse my whole pregnancy. I called her office and she was out of town and her partner was too! I couldn’t believe it. I had a tilted sacrum my entire pregnancy and wanted to make sure that was aligned before labor. I called two more chiropractic offices and neither could get me in. It was about 4:30pm by this point and I knew all other offices were probably closing soon. Heidi let me know there was one open until 6 and I was able to get in. They were so accommodating and nice to us, maybe thinking we were going to have this baby right in their office! He said my spine was aligned and he did pressure points.
We then came home and went on our first walk. During the walk I had three sharp shooting pains in my pelvis. Other than that I felt normal. We then came home and tried using my breast pump… that was awkward and didn’t do anything either. We had supper and kept talking about what we could do next. I had heard about an astrological phenomenon that was to be seen that day. The Star of Bethlehem was going to be in the sky for the first time in 2000 years. While on our second walk we saw it and it was almost overwhelming to me. I took it as a sign that our baby was coming, of all nights on the night the Star of Bethlehem was in the sky?!
When we got home I talked to my doula again and we made a plan. I would let her know if anything started in the night and if not she’d meet us at the hospital at 7am. Jared and I went to the store to get red raspberry leaf tea, our last attempt at inducing labor naturally. When I came home I drank a cup while I did hip exercises on my birthing ball. I was staring to get upset because I was worried we would never get things going. Jared encouraged me to get showered and try and rest because we were going to have a busy day the next day (boy, is he a smart guy.) We went to bed about 11 pm.
My mind was racing, I kept praying things would start. I wasn’t sleeping and then by 11:30 I started having contractions. They were 7,9,8,5,8 and 12 minutes apart. They were too painful to sleep through. They were about a minute long. By the last one I needed to wake Jared up, I needed his help. It was about 2:30 by this point. My contractions were now 2.5 - 5 minutes apart. I sat on the toilet backwards and asked him to rub my back through the contractions. The baby’s head was pressing against my pelvic bone so this was very uncomfortable. I asked Jared if we should let Heidi know what was going on, I didn’t want to wake her if this wasn’t the real thing but Jared thought we should text her.
By the time Jared had texted Heidi to ask her, I knew it was time to go. I knew we needed to get there, I didn’t want to have this baby at home!
It was pouring rain as we ran to the car. The ride to the hospital was a good one, I felt okay and was making it through the contractions. I knew that adrenaline can slow things down so I was trying my best to remain calm. I remember vividly that as we passed labor ready there were 7 men sitting in the rain waiting for it to open so they could have jobs for the day. Seeing this while I was experiencing labor pain made a profound impact on my heart. I was physically struggling but seeing this made time stand still in my mind.
Stay tuned for part two!
Paige Goldade - A Birth Boot Camp Instructor living and loving in South Dakota. She is a wife and mother of two rambunctious toddlers. She works as a childbirth educator and Board Certified Registered Nurse.