After several days of false labor, my water broke at home on Sunday, September 15 around 9:15 pm. It was the typical Hollywood movie water break-- a huge gush all over our couch, floor and bathroom. Then, once it was over, I felt normal, other than the rush of adrenaline that came over me as I realized this was it.
My husband, Martin, suggested that we get some rest since we could be in for a long night so after calling the midwife on call at Methodist to let her know my water had broken but we’d be staying home for a while, I laid down. This was about 45 minutes after my water broke and I was still feeling pretty normal. Almost the instant we got in bed, contractions started and were coming about 4-5 minutes apart and were fairly strong. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep so I took a shower to see if it would relax me.
By the time I was out of the shower, the contractions were stronger and closer to 4 minutes apart, so we went to our basement so I could use the yoga ball to get through them and Martin could track them on his phone. I told him to get some rest around midnight, as I was handling the contractions pretty well and thought I’d be able to do so for a while. He went to sleep in the basement bedroom while I rolled on the ball in a variety of positions for the next 30 minutes.
When the pain was getting more intense, I decided to go back upstairs and take another shower, after which the contractions were so strong I was on my knees next to the bed trying to breathe through them. I was becoming vocal at this point and knew that it was time to go. I hadn’t brought my phone upstairs with me and was seriously wondering how I’d get down to the basement to tell Martin to get the car ready. I draped a towel over myself and slowly crawled my way down to the basement after a particularly bad contraction. I kneeled next to the bed soaking wet, moaning in pain and a bewildered Martin was wondering what the heck was going on!
I let him know that I thought it was time to go (this was about 1:30 am) and he raced around the house getting all of our things together, throwing our dog into my sister’s room and calling the hospital to tell them we were on the way. Somehow I managed to get some clothes on and get into the car. We live close to the hospital so it was only about a 10-minute car ride, but it was the worst car ride of my life. I was literally biting the seat belt and screaming into it during my contractions. Martin ran about 4 red lights, parked in the ramp and ran to get a wheelchair. I really couldn’t bear to sit down, but it would have taken us an hour to get up to the labor and delivery ward if I tried to walk.
When we arrived around 2:15 am, we were brought to triage and I was 7 centimeters dilated! I was so glad because I wanted a natural childbirth and thought if I was anything less than a 5 or 6 I wouldn’t be able to get through it. I was quickly brought over to the water birth room and was monitored while the tub was being filled. During this time I stood in the middle of the room with my head on Martin’s chest and my hands gripping his jean pockets to death. After what seemed like eternity due to monitors not working properly, I was able to get into the tub around 3:00 am. My pain didn’t go away in the tub, but I felt more weightless and calm once I got into the water. With Martin holding one hand and our back-up doula holding the other, I labored for about 20 minutes in the tub. My body was involuntarily pushing during my contractions so the midwife checked me for only the second time and I was ready to push!
I did not get the urge to push like so many other women describe, so I had a hard time determining when I should be pushing, but in the end I pushed for about 30 minutes and at 3:55 am, only about 7 hours after my water broke, our sweet baby was born. We didn’t know the gender so I was thrilled to be able to announce that it was a girl! Violet was 8 pounds, 3 ounces, 21.5” long and perfect!
My birth experience was everything that I wanted, albeit a little fast!
Grandma Kathy meeting Violet for the first time.
Proud grandpa Tim. He didn't know it was a girl until he got to the hospital!
Ready to go home!