(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 )
Labor Starts in an All-Too-Familiar (and slightly scary) Way
On Saturday night, Tim, the kids and I joined my parents and sister at their house for dinner. I was feeling fine (other than being very huge) and enjoyed eating some of the most delicious barbecued ribs I’ve ever tasted.
On the way home I started thinking I had eaten too much as my stomach began to feel uncomfortable.
As soon as we were home, Tim and I worked together to get the kids to bed. I went to bed soon after around 9:30 PM.
I woke up off and on starting around midnight. At 3:18 AM I woke up to roll over. As I did, my water broke and gushed all over the bed. Thankfully, we always keep a waterproof cover on our mattress.
I woke Tim and told him what had happened. He quickly told Jonathan to go back to bed (he had crawled into our bed at some point during the night) and sent Eliya to the couch (she had made her way to the floor in our room). Then Tim brought me some towels as he started pulling the linens off of the bed.
As I moved to the bathroom, Tim put the sheets in the wash, started the laundry, and remade the bed for my parents who would be coming to watch the kids.
I got cleaned up and changed, trying hard not to worry about my water breaking before contractions. The only other labor where my water broke before labor began was my first labor with our daughter, Emahry.
My labor with Emahry was the hardest by far at 27 hours total and almost 24 hours of contractions 2-4 minutes apart. (You can read Emahry’s birth story here.)
As I tried not to worry about this labor repeating the difficulty I experienced with my first, I set to work mixing up a large batch of goat’s milk formula for Lillian and Tim called the hospital to tell them we’d soon be making the 45 minute drive. Tim also called my sister who woke my parents.
It just so happens that from 8pm Saturday night until 8am Sunday morning is the only time one of our midwives is not on call. While Kim, the midwife scheduled for Sunday, had assured me she would come in early, the hospital didn’t want to call her in before her 8 AM shift if it wasn’t necessary.
I finished getting a few things packed and posted our status on Facebook and here on the blog while Tim loaded everything into the new-to-us Suburban. As I made sure we had everything we would need I prayed that my contractions would begin soon on their own and that I would be able to deal with whatever labor would bring.
Around 4:15 AM, my parents arrived and after a brief prayer together, Tim and I began our drive to the hospital.
Stay tuned for Part 2…
How did labor begin for you? Did your water break first? Did you start out with contractions 20 minutes apart? Were you thrown quickly into intense contraction? Every labor is unique, so tell us about yours.
The only time my water broke on its own was when I went into labor with Maddie. The other times my labor started slowly and gradually intensified. And yes, it was very gradual. My shortest labor was with Owen and that was still 9 hours.
Tim, Allyson & kids says
I’ve never experienced a gradually intensifying labor. Mine have always been fairly intense from the beginning.
I just busted out the calculator and realized that even with Emahry’s super long labor factored in my average laboring time is less than 8 hours. It’s amazing how different labors can be!
My labor with Alaine was crazy. I started having contraction on a Thursday afternoon, but they were 20 minutes apart. I woke in the night with very intense contractions. They felt like what I’m used to at the end of labor. I was nervous because I didn’t know how long I could keep up that intensity. I spent a lot of time in the shower because I could barely concentrate or keep myself calm. I went to the midwife in the morning and labor stopped. Dana told me I’d be better off at home, but when labor started again in the afternoon (on Friday), labor was hard, but much more manageable. In fact, it stayed that way until the very end (maybe last hour or so).
Erin @ My Mommy World says
My water broke before contractions with my second baby. It took about 10 hours before I started having any real contractions. I sat on the birthing ball, walked a lot and did some massage on some acupressure points that my chiropractor had shown me to induce labor. My son was born completely naturally about 16 hours after my water first broke 🙂
Tim, Allyson & kids says
I’m so glad your labor started on its own!
My water never broke with all 3 of my children until I was in the hospital. It was broken by the doc, Therefore can’t share anything about that.
Tim, Allyson & kids says
I’ve experienced 4 different scenarios with my water breaking:
1. breaking before labor
2. breaking spontaneously during labor
3. being broken by the midwife during labor
4. breaking spontaneously during delivery
I think as far as water breaking, I’ve seen it all 🙂