Friday, May 24, 2013

{finola's birth story} part 1 : the 'plan'

I guess you could say this birth story started weeks {months?} before the birth.  My body decided to start laboring rather early.  I began having Braxton-Hicks contractions at around thirty weeks.  This painless tightening of my uterus got progressively stronger and more frequent as I moved into my last month of pregnancy.  At 36 weeks my cervix was checked for the first time at my regular midwife appointment and I was expecting maybe 2 cm, since I had also had Braxton-Hicks early in my first pregnancy.

Wrong - 4 centimeters dilated. 

The midwife seemed pretty surprised but told me not to get too excited because it was not unheard of for someone dilated this much, this early to still go until their due date.  She didn't seem overly concerned.

At 37 weeks I was 5 centimeters dilated.  At 38 weeks I was 5-6.

Each week I got a similar warning from whichever midwife checked me: When you do go into labor get to the hospital - fast.

Of course, other people I shared this with had their own helpful versions of this, such as:  "Keep your legs crossed - that baby is going to fall out!"  and "Make sure your midwife is good at catching babies!" and "Don't sneeze!"

Naturally my mind was in a tailspin of worries revolving around not having someone able to come watch Cormac in time, the baby being born in the car, etc.  But I wasn't having any painful, "real" labor contractions and my 'plan' was to labor at home as long as possible, going to the hospital only when I thought the birth was close.

Oh, the 'plan.'  I'm not referring to my written birth plan, which was pretty succinct and typical of anyone desiring a natural birth.   In essence - no drugs, no time limit, desiring use of hydrotherapy and a calm, low-key birth environment.

No, I am talking about the daydream of birth that all mother's conjure up in their mind: they way they "want" things to go.

My daydream looked like this:

I was going into this with eyes wide open this time.  I envisioned another long labor. {Read here about my labor with Cormac.} I also fully expected another posterior-positioned baby, which would make the process even longer and more painful because of the back labor that typically goes along with that.  Because I thought things would go just like last time, long and painful and possibly stalling at 8cm because of the posterior positioning...we had hired an experienced doula for additional support through the process.

In my mind I saw us {she, myself and paul} going through most of the labor process at home, using the tub and shower for hydrotherapy.  I would listen to my birth music.  I would eat my protein-packed arsenal of  light snacks for added boosts of energy and drink water throughout.  I would power through those early contractions in a calm and loving home atmosphere, struggle heroically through the stronger ones, and then get to the hospital at just the right moment to finish off the transition stage of labor and push this little baby out!

I would run this marathon of a birth like a champ.  At least that was my hope.

But, as usual, God had his own 'birth plan' in the works...

{Spoiler: His was way better than mine.}

up next...
part 2 : the 'real deal'


  1. Oh man. ;) I am already getting jealous. I am anxiously waiting for part 2!!!!!!

    And I wanna see more pics of baby girl! How is Cormac doing?

  2. WHAT?!?! You can't leave me hanging like this!!!
    So happy for you guys and can't wait to see more pics!:)

  3. Ahhhh can't wait to read part two!! So excited!


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