The Next Chapter

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This journey started long before the day of the birth.  Long before conception.

So many chapters to this child’s story.

And so when things started to happen, it felt like it had taken forever to get there and was going slow, but then all at once it felt so fast.

Five days before her 40 week date she saw her Doctor and was told she was dilated to 2cm already. This felt exciting, they were ready to meet this baby.

Two days later, she lost her plug!  The excitement was mounting. She wasn’t feeling any cramping or other signs, so the plan was to get some rest and wait.

The next morning she experienced some irregular contractions for an hour and then they seemed to fade away.

But wait! Two hours later there they were again.  Short and inconsistent, but still something was happening. She tried to catch up on sleep since the night before had been restless.

The day was uneventful, and maybe a little bit frustrating.  She could feel she was on the verge of meeting this baby but her body wasn’t quite in the groove yet.

They had a plan for rest, but this was not to be. In the early evening the contractions seemed to be coming every 15 minutes and she could mostly ignore them, except of course who really ignores labour?

Then around 1 am they started to be more frequent, lasting longer and having more intensity to them. She could still talk through them if she had to but preferred breathing.

Two hours later and these contractions were now coming every 6 minutes or so and lasting much longer. She was starting to feel more pressure from the baby moving down as well.  

Time for some Doula love.  

Half an hour later it looked like the contraction pattern was every 3-4 minutes and definitely gaining strength and intensity. She was leaning over him during these surges and needing the reminder to breathe. Another 90 minutes and it seemed like a good time to go to the hospital to see where things were at.

And so 12 hours after this labour started, we were at the hospital and she was assessed as being dilated to between 3-4 cm.  Like a textbook!

Of course she was hoping to be further along, but it was obvious this labour was progressive and so we encouraged her the best we could and went for a walk to keep things moving in the right direction.  She was so willing to do all the things! We walked and lunged and did belly lifts and the labour strengthened and intensified visibly.

Back in triage she needed a rest and so laid down for a bit and we could see the contractions space out a little. She was able to doze a bit between them, shoring up energy for the next level of intensity. And then that labour was back full force. She went into all the positions, breathing and focusing her way through this now very strong contraction pattern.

It had been 3 hours and now she was dilated to 6 cm! We could see this labour was so much more than what we came in with.

The triage bed we were using was needed, and we were going to be admitted to a room shortly, so she agreed to wait in the early labour lounge, but we ended up in the hallway. This was a really hard 25 minutes! The labour seemed to intensify and even though she stayed focused and composed, it was hard to do with people walking by.  We did our best to block her view, huddled in next to her, encouraging her and distracting her.

And then we were in a labour room! She immediately got into the shower but said it wasn’t enough, she needed something more. Then more plug came out, changes were happening.

It had only been an hour but she was checked again because the labour looked so progressive, and she was now 7 cm with the amniotic sac bulging a bit.  

She tried the nitrous oxide and immediately hated it. That was not going to help her at all. What else could she try for this intense labour she was now experiencing?

Just then the Doctor stopped in to introduce himself and tell her how great she was doing.  

This helped.

While the Nurse was trying to get an IV going, she started throwing up. And then she thought maybe her waters broke?  So much all at once. And this labour, was just charging ahead full steam.

And the back pain was getting overwhelming despite all the counterpressure that was happening.

Another exam to see if the waters had ruptured told us that in that intense half hour she had dilated to between 8-9 cm! Woah.

And the waters were still intact. There was more thickness on one side so we set her up in a side lying position to use some gravity, she got a dose of pain relieving medication, which worked so quickly for her, and she was able to rest more between contractions.

And then she was feeling so much pressure. We kept helping her switch sides and kept up with her dramatic body temperature changes. Too hot, too cold on repeat.

And he stayed right by her side so she could see him without searching.

A constant calm and grounding force. 

90 minutes of this and the cervix was dilated to 9 cm with the waters bulging. All thinned out too.

And that pressure was building and building.  It was all she could focus on now.

And then the waters broke!  A dramatic, no doubt about it break.  Which relieved the pressure a bit but then she was feeling that back pain again.  

We encouraged her to go into a hands and knees position, but it felt too hard to do in that moment. So she tried the sterile water injections and they really helped. Now she could focus on the labour, try different positions.

Another check and now there was only a rim of cervix left, but this baby was facing up. She felt done, this was too much. She told us she needed that epidural.

The Nurse said to her “Of course we can get that set up for you. I would recommend trying a hands and knees position again for a few contractions first, but it is up to you.”

And there was this pause while she thought about what she could really do. We told her we would help her move, but it felt like maybe she just couldn’t do anymore.

And then.

She just flipped herself, all at once, onto her knees! It was amazing!

Where did this power come from?  The sheer determination was exhilarating.

There was hip squeezing and hand gripping and hard breathing and then she said;

“This is so hard, when will it be done?”  And we knew we were close.


25 minutes of this and there was just the teensiest bit of cervix left, and…. The. Baby. Had. Turned! This baby was now in a face down position!

And was so very low.  

10 minutes later she was fully dilated and bearing down.


Following her own rhythm in a position where she felt in control, she brought that baby through her body, and out into their arms.

At last, she was here.

The waiting was over.

The next chapter of this journey was just beginning.



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