Sunday, September 12, 2010

Alaine's Birth Story-- Part 2 of 4

(Part 1)

In which we wonder what is going on…

Early on the morning of Wednesday, September 1st, I got up to go to the bathroom. I remember thinking, “I guess I’m really not going into labor after all.” I fell asleep immediately after returning to bed, but was awoken just minutes later at 1:30 am by Owen beside my bed. After sending him off to the potty and then back to bed, I had a contraction that made me unable to rest. Then twenty minutes later, I had another one, and thirteen minutes later, another. By 3:30, they were coming 5 to 8 minutes apart and becoming difficult to deal with, especially lying down.

When I sat up, the pain got better, but my movement also woke Brian. He asked if I was okay and when I told him I thought I was in labor, we slowly moved into action. Being almost three weeks before my due date, we hadn’t packed for the hospital and the vehicle we planned to drive to the birthing center (1 hour away) was on empty! As soon as I got up to begin preparations, the contraction started coming even closer and becoming more painful than I remembered contractions feeling in early labor. I began to wonder if things were moving along more quickly than usual. I gathered our belongings and placed them in the suitcase, then got in the shower, while Brian left to find a 24-hour gas station that felt safe in the middle of the night! I remember having several heavy contractions while I was in the shower and wishing I could stay there, relaxing in the water.

Around 5:30, I went downstairs and sat in the recliner to eat a bit of breakfast and drink some juice. I was so hungry and food tasted so good. The contractions still seemed much more intense than I was used to in early labor. I decided it was time to call my mom so she could come over to stay with the kids while we made our way to the birthing center.  While waiting for her to arrive, Brian woke the kids  and told them that their baby sister would be arriving some time that day. They older kids sat on the couch, excitedly chatting with me.  Benjamin crawled into my lap for a last snuggle.  They all watched me closely.  If I closed my eyes to concentrate, they whispered to each other, "Quiet.  Mama's having a contraction." 

Somewhere between 5:30 and 7 am, my contractions slowed and by the time we were halfway to the birthing center, I realized they had stopped altogether. Though the break was nice, I worried at the implications. Since I was still very hungry, we stopped to get something else to eat, and instead of going to the birthing center, we decided to first check in at the midwife’s office. When we got there, I asked Dana to check me, and while I had dilated to 4 centimeters, she said that since I was not in active labor, I was better off at home. Checking into the birthing center too early could eventually result in Pitocin and other interventions that I did not want. Dana said she expected to see me back that night or in the morning, but that I could possibly walk around that way for another 3 weeks!

Brian and I began making plans for what could be a long day. We discussed finding something to do close to the birthing center, but since my mom had taken the kids back to her house, we decided to go home and see if labor would kick back in. (If there were no signs by dinnertime, we would bring the kids back home with us to wait it out.) As we walked up the sidewalk to the house, I felt a mild contraction and some pressure in my lower abdomen.

In the house, I felt restless and had a few more mild contractions so after a short rest, we went outside for a walk. It was a hot, 95-degree day and the shade in our neighborhood was minimal so Brian suggested we drive to a local tree-filled park. While walking, the contractions began coming every 10 to 13 minutes and were the much milder contractions I remember from past early labors. Thankful that they were easier to handle than the morning’s heavy contractions, we drove to the mall for a late lunch and another walk, this time in the air conditioning! During lunch, I had to stop several times to breathe and in the first few minutes of our walk, I realized the contractions were coming too quickly for us to stick around town much longer so we began our drive back to the birthing center. Though we never would have planned to have a stubborn, stop-and-go labor, the day was a special one. Brian and I spent many quiet hours, talking and enjoying our time alone. We will look back on that time with fond memories.

Part 3
Part 4


  1. I love reading your birth stories and can't wait to read the end. Jonathan's Part 2 is up now.

  2. I love reading all the details of labor - I LOVE your birth stories! Hoping Part 3 comes soon... :)

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog and for leaving your sweet comment. You have such a lovely, peaceful blog. I can't wait to hear the rest of your birth story.

    In Christ,

  4. ohhh i LOVE birth stories. so excited to hear the rest!!

  5. Looking forward to part 3...and 4. I was wondering what the details of September 1st were. Now, I'm slowly finding out. :)


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