It was a Tuesday. I was 40 weeks and 6 days pregnant. For weeks leading up to my due date I had obsessed over every little sign or symptom that labor might be imminent. My google history was a long list of questions like, “Does diarrhea mean labor is coming?”, “How do you know if your baby has dropped?”, “Will having sex really make you go into labor?”, and so on. I can remember standing in my baby’s nursery that morning and crying; so certain that labor would not start naturally on its own and I would be forced to try “birth cocktails” made of herbs and castor oil, or worse, be forced into an induction at 41+5. I had dreamed of a calm, natural birth; undisturbed by unnecessary medical interventions and guided by nature’s wisdom. I was losing faith that nature really knew what it was doing.
That evening around 6 pm I started to notice a slight tingle in my lower abdomen. At first it didn’t resemble anything like pain, just a sensation, and I thought for sure it couldn’t be labor. I started to pay attention to the time and realized it was happening exactly 6 minutes apart. I mentioned this to my husband, who was immediately convinced I was in labor, and told me I had been worrying and crying for nothing. I was still not convinced and started cooking dinner.
By 8 pm I was a believer. The sensations had grown a little stronger and were now 4-5 minutes apart. I called my midwife to let her know. She recommended staying home until I could no longer talk or walk through a surge.
It was the night of the State of the Union address and we had just turned on the TV. I walked into the kitchen to fill up my cup of water and...started to feel water somewhere else. I went to the bathroom where I found a slight trickle of fluid with each surge. Me sitting on the toilet inspecting my underwear while Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union speech is something I’ll likely never forget!
I called the midwife again and she assured me I could stay home as long as I was comfortable and to send her a text when we were headed in. Within 10 minutes the surges were becoming much more intense and so we decided to make the trip to the hospital.
Once we arrived to the hospital around 11:30 pm, they informed me I was only about 2 cm dilated and that I would likely be in early labor for several more hours. I was disappointed and felt that I had come much too early. The midwife assured me she was down the hall if I needed her and that she was going to let everyone rest.
My husband sat down in a chair and closed his eyes and I thought I better try to rest while I could. I tried to get comfortable in a laying down position with no success. I then tried sitting on a birth ball. That also was uncomfortable. This baby wanted me to stand up! I decided that warm water would be soothing and so I got into the shower and let the warm water flow on me. With each surge I focused on deep breaths and retreated inwards as I envisioned my baby coming down. 3 hours passed while I was in the shower. The nurse checked the baby’s heart beat once an hour.
By the 3 hour mark I was growing impatient and discouraged. My delivery nurse was sure I was still in early labor. I felt inside that my surges were intensifying appropriately and that I should be making progress. I called my midwife back into the room and said, “if this is early labor there’s no way I’m going to make it!” She said, “what makes you think you’re still in early labor?” And I said, “well that’s what the nurse keeps telling me!” The midwife offered to check me so that I could be reassured that I was making progress. 7 cm and 0 station! She said I was progressing perfectly.
Less than an hour later I instinctively got out of the shower because I felt the baby coming. I kneeled on the bed in an upright position, grasping my husbands hand, and I could feel with each surge that my body was bringing the baby down all on its own! The midwife called the nurses to prepare for delivery, who all seemed completely caught off guard! My midwife controlled the baby’s head as my body gently brought the baby down to crowning within 5 minutes, allowing for a perfect stretch. With the last 2 surges I did actively push under the midwives guidance, but not forcefully; the first time revealed my baby’s head and the second out HE came! My husband said, “it’s a Dawson!”
At 6:03 am my midwife handed my baby BOY to me between my legs and his bright eyes were looking right up at me! 6 lbs 7 oz, 19 inches of pure perfection! He immediately went to the breast where he stayed for over an hour. I did not have any tearing or any pain or soreness. In fact I refused the ice packs, soothing foam, and pain medicine because I didn’t need it!
The birth of our son was EXACTLY what we envisioned and hoped for. We are extremely grateful to Joy Kraynak’s Hypnobirthing course and our phenomenal midwife Brenda. I am always eager to tell expectant mothers a positive birth story! Thanks again, Joy, for teaching me that my body knows how to birth!