Well I hadn’t planned on this being my next post, but thought those who are attending the “Pregnancy and Essential Oils” Class would enjoy reading my birth story. I wrote most of this journal entry in the days after our baby was born – simply a mom’s record of what happened. (I didn’t write much here about the way we used essential oils, since I’m trying to keep blog posts concise.)
To clarify, I do not believe every woman must do a home birth or natural birth; in some cases that would be unwise. I’m thankful that it worked out for us, and thankful for the beautiful birth story God gave us. I couldn’t have asked for better memories. It’s a long story, so it will be posted in three parts.
Stage 1: Labor Begins
Monday morning, around 4-5 a.m., I began feeling contractions. I’d been having Braxton Hicks for at least a month; once in a while they would feel a little stronger and actually hurt a little. Because of that, at first I assumed they were Braxton Hicks. However, the contractions continued consistently. I told Jason, “I think I’m having contractions.” He reminded me to ignore them and try to sleep. That’s what Aunt Joan had said to do.
I ignored them until 6-6:30 am, when they became too consistent and uncomfortable to ignore. Lying down made them hurt worse, so I just got up. I called my dad and told him what was happening. Aunt Joan said when she gets to that point, she can’t sleep, so “just try to get something done.” She said if it got to the point where I couldn’t concentrate, then I should come over. I didn’t want to wake Jason up any earlier than necessary, especially on a Monday morning (his first day to sleep in) – so I started getting everything together before waking him up. (note: Jason was working night shift at the time.)
Contractions were somewhat close together and consistent, though not too painful yet. When a contraction came, I would sway my hips like I learned in the dance class, then continue working. Around 7:30 a.m., I stood by the bed to wake up Jason. I thought I’d have trouble getting him up- he opened his eyes, and I told him that I had lost the plug. He sleepily asked, “what plug?” I re-explained to him what Aunt Joan had told me about the plug. “It means the baby’s coming.” Jason smiled really big and immediately got up. He was so cute going around the house, making sure we had everything we needed.
We called to let my parents know we were coming over, and when we arrived my mom asked what I’d like for breakfast. She asked if I’d like scones, and I smiled. “I thought you’d like that.” Mom made blueberry-almond scones and red raspberry tea, plus a zucchini-egg omelet and potatoes. Then we all ate breakfast around the table together – Dad, Mom, Aunt Joan, Jason & me.
Contractions still didn’t seem too bad, so Jason & I were gonna try to take a nap in my parents’ bedroom (we planned to have the baby in their bathroom). Mom had the bedroom and bathroom all fixed up – the rooms looked beautiful. There was even a purple chair/pillows in the bathroom by the window, plus a lamp and little stuffed animal on the table beside it. I told Jason, “I feel like a queen.”
Jason: “You are.”
I lay down in bed to sleep, and Jason was about to lie down when my dad called to ask for help with something. (My dad didn’t know.) So Jason went downstairs, and about that time the contractions started hurting more. Not bad, but badly enough that I knew I wasn’t gonna sleep. I got ready for labor – put my water-clothes on, got my wrap, got in the tub and turned it on. I pushed up the lever to plug the tub, but it wouldn’t fill up. My mom came up and jiggled it, so it filled up. The water had been hot, but by the time the tub was filling up, it was cold. My dad told them how to fix it, and Jason/my mom would take pliers and turn the screw that was in the faucet, to make it get hotter. They were able to get it really hot, which helped 🙂 All of that was around 11-11:30.
Jason would be with me, I wouldn’t have contractions, and then as soon as he left I’d start having a contraction. He only left 2-3x, and that was when we thought I wasn’t into hard labor yet. But when he came back the one time he could hear me groaning (I hoped he would, so he’d come back :-).
Soon after that, Jason came into the bathroom to stay awhile. I would have a contraction, feel nauseous during it, then afterward want to eat something – mom went to get me soup, then by the time she got back with it I’d had another contraction and didn’t feel like eating. I asked if they had something like applesauce, so I did eat that. I was exhausted, so in the minutes between contractions I was dozing to sleep. I would groan and almost cry, more because I was so frustrated that I hadn’t been able to sleep the night before. I asked God to help me. I knew He could still give me the strength I needed for the day. And I did hope and pray that this baby was coming by evening.