(Disclaimer: This is a birth story and as such, it will contain details of a personal nature. If you’re offended by TMI or get queasy at the mention on bodily fluids or functions you may want to bypass today’s post :))
(This post contains affiliate links ~ for more information please read our full disclosure.)
How My Fifth Labor Began: A Saturday Morning and Laboring at Home
On Saturday, July 6th, our home awoke early as usual and we prepared for a busy morning. Our plan was for Tim to take the kids to Emahry and Jonathan’s swimming lessons while I spent a quiet hour and a half picking blueberries on my own.
The kids made eggs and smoothies as I gathered everything Tim would need for the kids and my own blueberry picking supplies. As we got ready to leave, Tim had a few things to take care of in the garden, so I started out with the kids in the van and planned to meet him at the blueberry farm which is on our way into town and switch vehicles.
However, I took a back road and got lost on my way there. By the time I got Tim on the phone it was too late to meet him, so I ended up taking the kids to their swimming lesson.
An hour later we drove out to the blueberry farm to meet Tim and the kids and I joined in the picking. That’s when Tim snapped this picture of Jonathan and me. Just look at that 39 1/2 week belly 🙂
After about an hour, the heat started kicking in so we paid for our blueberries, packed up, and headed home.
It was almost lunch time by this point and Tim and I cleaned up from our busy morning and started making lunch. About this time I went to use the bathroom and noticed some bloody show. This was my first experience with bloody show and after a quick Google search I realized that this meant labor could begin in a few minutes or in several days.
While I had a feeling labor would begin soon, I tried to convince myself that labor would begin when it was good and ready and that I wouldn’t be given a heads up. Either way, I decided to eat lunch and then get a little rest if possible.
About 30 minutes later I experienced my first real contraction. It was uncomfortable and definitely beyond the simple tightening Braxton Hicks contractions that I experience frequently throughout the last half of my pregnancies. Twenty minutes later I felt another contraction. Then again 15 minutes after that. It was now 1:30 pm and I called my mom to tell her she may want to get some things together and plan on making her way to our house later on that afternoon.
Between 1:30 pm and 2 pm I experienced 4 more contractions and Tim had called my Dad and told him to plan on being at our house for dinner that night. By 2 o’clock I knew that my parents would need to come sooner than dinner time.
Just before 2 pm the contractions were coming frequently enough for me to start recording them. After another half hour of contractions between 7 and 4 minutes apart I decided to get out of bed and relax on my exercise ball in the living room.
Tim had already put the kids down for naps and the house was quiet. I turned on my Hidden in My Heart CD and rocked side to side on the exercise ball. I love that the ball allows me to be upright and use gravity to my advantage without making my legs tired like excessive walking or squatting would do.
By 3 o’clock the contractions were strong enough to be considered painful and I told Tim to call my Mom and have her come over. My Mom arrived a little before 3:30 pm and sat on the couch and talked to me in between contractions. Tim finished loading up the van and removing the car seats while the kids watched a DVD in our bedroom.
Within about 15 minutes I knew we needed to start making our way to the hospital which is a 45 minute drive from our house. Unfortunately, my mom had recently pinched a nerve or something similar and could barely put any weight on her leg so we decided to wait for my Dad to arrive before leaving my Mom with all four kiddos. Right before 4 o’clock my Mom called my Dad. He said he was at the house and we all thought he meant his house. Thankfully, he meant he had just pulled up to our house.
Tim and I quickly said goodbye to the kids and made our way to the van. Tim had already loaded in everything we would need and had placed a waterproof mat and towels on the front seat just in case we experienced another water breaking en route scenario. At this point my contractions were still irregular, between 3 to 7 minutes in length and varying too in their strength. One contraction would be rather mild and then the next one would hit so hard that I wasn’t sure I could stay on top of the pain.
A few minutes into our ride I realized that my contractions had finally become more regular at 3 minutes apart. Thinking back to my last race to the hospital, I was glad we left when we did. At this point I told Tim we might need to be there faster than 45 minutes. Thankfully, Tim has some experience driving a little faster than the speed limit and was quick to oblige me.
Here’s Part 2
We think labor and delivery is so amazing because each experience is completely unique!
We’d love to hear your birth stories. Feel free to leave links in your comments. Have you had a C-section or a vaginal birth? How long were in active labor? Did you have to push for 3 minutes or 3 hours?