ZERO WEEKS LEFT…
Technically my weeks reset every Friday. So on Friday, January 20th, I was 38 weeks.
Thursday of Week 37, I started having back labor. Didn’t really think much of it as it was not terrible. I did end up leaving work early that Thursday. I came home and laid on the couch. The back pain never went away, until the next day. I ended up sleeping pretty good Thursday night into Friday. I woke up with no back pain and no back labor. I went into work feeling refreshed and ready to get things accomplished. All day I felt great. Then, I went home and attempted to do some small things around the house. Just being up and walking around started my back labor again. I decided I was going to get in the shower to help ease the pain. It worked. When I got out of the shower, I went straight to the couch. I felt so useless. I hated that feeling. Scott didn’t care to pick up my slack, I just hated it.
Saturday, January 21…we had a birthday party to attend. I was feeling good, for being a beached whale. I did somethings around the house that morning and my back labor started again. It wasn’t bad at all, just there. We got ready to go to the party that started at 3pm. The party was for one of my friend’s daughter’s 1st birthday. All of our friends and Raelynn’s friends were going to be there. All three of us were looking forward to it. Scott and I drove separate because all of our husbands were leaving early to go watch a University of Kentucky basketball game at Beef O’Brady’s…aka…the local watering hole. The day itself was beautiful. It was around 70 degrees on January 21st. We took all the kids outside so they could play and run around. It was just such a good day. Right before the guys left, I mentioned to one of my friends that I started having contractions. They weren’t bad and they weren’t consistent. I just hadn’t had them during the day like this before. They maybe started around 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. Sometimes they were 30 minutes apart and sometimes they were 15 minutes apart. I still didn’t really think anything of it.
Raelynn and I left my friends house at 7:00 p.m. When I got home, the contractions were becoming consistent to the point that I could time them. I tried to do somethings around the house since it was just Raelynn and I. I quickly realized this was not going to be possible. 7:45 p.m. is when I started timing my contractions. They were 15 minutes apart and still not very strong, but lasting around 30 seconds. Scott was still at Beef’s and I text him and told him that we may need to consider taking Raelynn to his mom’s house tonight because I was having consistent contractions. I told him he needed to come home. My mind was racing. Was this really it? Was I really going into labor right now? Oh, Raelynn. You were really no longer about to be an only child. I started becoming increasingly emotional. Even as I write this, I’m tearing up. I called Scott’s mom and told her that I needed her. Thankfully, they literally live right down the road. I somehow managed to hold myself together as I dropped her off. But, it was over when I got back in my truck. I lost it. That was the last time I was going to see Raelynn before I had Briar.
Soon after that, Scott got home. I was sitting on the edge of the couch timing my contractions on an app on my phone, crying. I was just so incredibly emotional. I had finally convinced myself that this was the real thing. I was so scared of labor. I wanted so badly to do this the natural way, but I was really starting to doubt myself. It was about 8:30 p.m. and my contractions had already progressed to about 10 minutes apart and gradually lasting longer, about 45 seconds. I told Scott that we needed to finish packing the hospital bag and I was going to get in the shower. When I finally managed to get up, walking brought labor on like crazy. While in the shower, I did what felt natural to me. I let the water pound against my back and I swayed back and forth. Every time I had a contraction, I would turn around and let the water pound against my stomach. My friend, Jaimie, (the one who I’ve talked about a lot that has given me all the advice on natural birthing) always told me water was a natural epidural. That was so hard for me to believe, but it really did work. While in the shower, my contractions were getting even closer. I obviously was not using my phone to time my contractions, but I could tell they were getting closer, and I could tell they were lasting longer. I counted during my contractions and they were almost up to a minute long. I stayed in the shower for about 30 minutes. Right before I got out, I told Scott that it was time to go to the hospital after I got out and got dressed.
Scott very quickly finished up packing the truck. I told him I was going to be outside walking around. My contractions were definitely closer together and stronger. A minute long for sure, and about 4-5 minutes apart. At this point, I was dreading sitting down for the car ride to the hospital. The hospital was only about 25 minutes away, but sitting down did not sound like fun. We left for the hospital by 10:30 p.m. The car ride there was pretty terrible, but bearable. Scott kept trying to talk to me and I wanted to punch him in the throat. I just sat there in silence. Every time I had a contraction, I would close my eyes, breathe through it, and then rest. When we finally got to the hospital, Scott dropped me off at the door while he parked. I paced the sidewalk impatiently waiting to see him. Whenever I saw him, we started our journey to labor and delivery.
Scott took this picture of me in the triage room. This is the very last picture I have of myself pregnant with Briar. I don’t take pictures of myself pregnant, ever. I was initially really mad when Scott took this. But, now, I’m glad he did. You can’t really tell, but I’m working through a contraction here. It actually brings a tear to my eye that I really gave birth to Briar naturally. Somewhat of a bittersweet picture, but I sure as hell don’t miss that big ass belly. Taking note of the clock, 11:15. I had been there for 15 minutes. I was going to give birth 1 hour and 20 minutes later.
I checked in, and they took me to “triage” or the “check-in” room. I immediately advocated for myself and asked that I had a nurse that has dealt with natural births and made it known that I was not going to lay in the bed unless it was absolutely necessary. Everyone was very accepting, for the most part. One nurse made a comment, “Honey, if you wanted to have a natural birth, you really should have labored at home for as long as possible.” BITCH, what do you think I did! I didn’t come to the hospital until I thought it was necessary. She asked me to lay in the bed so she could hook up the contraction monitor, the heart rate monitor, and check me. I asked her if I was going to be able to get up with these monitors on and she said yes. She finally checked me and she said I was between 4-5 centimeters dilated. Before she checked me, I thought to myself that I was at least at a 4. As soon as she was done, I got up and started walking. The room was tiny. I literally took about 3 steps and then had to turn around and go in the opposite direction because that was the length of the room. While we were in there, they continued to get me registered. My contractions were getting stronger about every couple of minutes. At some point while I was signing all of the appropriate forms, I started squatting when I had contractions. After that, they came in to put a saline lock in arm since I told them I didn’t want an IV. Anytime I get stuck with a needle, I look away. I just don’t like it. They tried to put the lock in my right arm, while I was contracting, and squatting, and me trying to stay still. The nurse said my vein kept rolling. Scott kept trying to talk to me about how she was raising my skin up with the needle and he didn’t understand how heroin addicts did this everyday. Again, I wanted to punch him in the throat. I think I might have told him to shut up. They had to get another nurse come in and put the saline lock in my left arm. She did much better and got it in right away. When she was finished, I sat on the bed for what felt like a second and I had a very terrible contraction. The contraction caused me to open my mouth and moan a little bit. Then, my body started pushing. No one was in our room except Scott and I. I told him that he needed to go out there and get someone because my body was pushing her out. He walks out to the nursing station, and it was a ghost town. Someone finally walked by and she came in and very calmed said, “Well, I can check you again to see how far along you are.” I said, “I am not laying on this bed, and my body is pushing her out, I’m in transition.” About that time our actual, for real, nurse that would be helping me through labor and delivery finally arrived. And of course, I had a contraction. She talked me through it and I was moaning all kinds of crazy sounds. I was trying to keep my jaw soft and vocalize. Scott told me to calm down and breathe and I told him that I needed to do what I was doing even if I sounded like a crazy person. The labor and delivery nurse, Jerica, asked if I wanted to walk to L&D or get in a wheel chair. I told her if I walked, the baby was coming out. I still don’t really think anyone believed that I was as far along as I was. So, I got in the wheelchair and we started our journey to the actual, for real, labor and delivery room, where I would deliver Briar.
When I arrived in the labor and delivery room at 12:29 a.m. on January 22, they quickly got me on the bed and I had a terrible contraction. I moaned and moaned and moaned and screamed and I felt like I was losing control. At that time, my water broke. My water broke like in the movies. It shot out about 2 feet. Jerica’s jaw dropped and she said very calmly, “Oh, I didn’t realize your water hadn’t broke yet.” I kinda forgot my water hadn’t broke yet either. Jerica immediately said, “Okay, I’m going to check you now.” She got about an eighth of her finger inside me, looked me dead in the eye, and said, “You need to keep you legs closed because this baby is coming and there is no one here to deliver her.” First of all, I told everyone that she was coming, second, how long was I going to have to wait? They called my doctor and she was about 20 minutes away, NOPE. They called in the hospital doctor and she was going to have to deliver. People started to file in the room. Every person that walked in the room I asked if they were the person I needed so I could start pushing. Every person was a no. Finally an entire 5 minutes passed and the hospital doctor walked in. As soon as they put the stirrups up and I pulled my legs back, I was already pushing. I pushed one big push and I could feel her head coming out. I stopped and said I couldn’t do it. Everyone encouraged me otherwise. I even knew that I could do it. I don’t know why I said it, it just came out. I took a deep breath and pushed as hard as I could and there she was. I felt all of her come out. It was the most relieving thing ever. I knew as soon as I delivered her that all of my contractions were going to be gone and all the pain would be gone. They put her directly on my chest and I was so happy. I was so happy that she was here. I was so happy that I wasn’t pregnant anymore. I looked up at Scott and he was crying. It was the sweetest thing ever. He cried when Raelynn was born too. I was just so happy it was over and Briar was finally here.
Pictures of our sweet girl, Briar Nicole Tower. Born 1.22.2017 at 12:25 a.m. 6 pounds 3 ounces. 19 inches.
Raelynn is over the moon to be a big sister. She is so good with her and we are so blessed to have two sweet girls in our lives. I cannot wait to see the joy they both bring to Scott and I.