Everyone loves a good birth story, right?!
A few weeks before my due date, November 14th, I was just starting to get uncomfortable. The discomfort really amped up the weekend before my due date. It was the most uncomfortable I had been during my entire pregnancy. I had dull period type cramps that were just not going away. I had was searching “what do contractions feel like?” and most things I had read said that they felt like period cramps, but that would come and go in waves. Mine would stay for at least 20 minutes or longer at a time. I wasn’t quite convinced that it was labor however, things were starting to happen.
Monday was a day off for Veteran’s Day and thank the
Tuesday I had a training to go to. While I was relieved to not have to be at school with my leaking self and uncomfortable cramps, I had to sit all day long and that was torturous! I was rocking back and forth in my seat, standing up and swaying in the back of the room, and continued to panic that I was leaking fluid. Many people asked me when I was due and when I said “tomorrow” I got an empathetic head tilt, like “oh yea girl, I feel ya”. My anxiety had returned that the leaking was amniotic fluid, so during a break, I decided to give my midwives a call just to run it by them. I spoke with the nurse and she said that I should definitely be checked out just to make sure.
The midwife needed to check me and swab for amniotic fluid. Luckily, the amniotic sac was still intact and I was at 1-2 centimeters! The midwife said I was probably leaking a little urine (ugh well that’s embarrassing but I guess a new reality I would have to face) and that if my water ever broke, I would know it because it would be like a gush of fluid. She also said that while I probably wasn’t having contractions, things have been progressing in the right direction, but no definitive guess for when this babe was going to be joining us. I had convinced myself that I wasn’t having this baby until the following week, the week of Thanksgiving.
Wednesday morning rolled around it was my rest day away from the gym (in hindsight, I’m so grateful for this). I was still up at 4:30 (my usual wake up time), so I laid in bed, posted my baby eviction notice post on social media and got ready for work. On my way out to start the truck around 7:30, we had our dog food delivered (thank you Amazon Subscribe and Save) the night before and we didn’t notice it on our porch. I bent over to pick it up and felt a gush. I mean a river was a-flowing, unlike the days before when it was just a little bit of “stuff”. I thought, well that’s unusual and continued to get in the truck to start it. When I hoisted myself into the truck, another gush came a-rushing. So much so that it had soaked through my sweats (see why I’m grateful I didn’t go to the gym that morning). I ran upstairs and told Andrew, “I seriously think my water just broke! My pants are soaked!”. He told me to text our doula and see what she thought. Since I had texted her just two days before about leaking fluid and the check the previous day was just urine, she thought I probably just peed myself (umm…what!?). But she told me to put on a pad, wait 30 minutes, and see what happens. Within 15 minutes, I knew my water had broken. I called my Mom and told her that my water broke but I wasn’t having contractions, but was probably going to be going into labor that day.
Ashley called me 30 minutes later and asked if I was still leaking. I confirmed that I had changed my pad two times in the 30 minutes. She told me that we needed to get this party started! My mission was to get castor oil, scramble it up with 3 eggs and eat it. I was envisioning a day full of walking, cleaning, and anxiously waiting for contractions to start. Andrew had to finish up his editing and since I was just leaking fluid without any pain, I waddled off to find castor oil with a pad on, feeling like I was peeing myself. I went to two stores and they didn’t have it! At this point, my pants were wet all the way through AGAIN, so I had to go home and change. I went to the third store and finally found it! I came home cooked and ate the egg and castor oil concoction and anxiously started to clean up the kitchen waiting to feel something.
Within 30 minutes of eating the eggs, I started feeling real contractions. They were totally different compared to the ones I was having the days leading up to this. The first ones, I would just pause in the kitchen, breathe and continue on. But after about 15 minutes of that, I needed to go upstairs in our bedroom. I had downloaded a contractor counter app and started timing the waves. In between some of the contractions, there was some action in the bathroom (hello castor oil)! Andrew came in and looked at the app. The contractions were coming every two minutes and lasting for a minute. He knew from our childbirth class that sh*t was going down.
At this point, all communication was going through Andrew because I wasn’t able to focus on anything except the contractions (and making it to the bathroom in time). Our two dogs were surprisingly calm and not laying on or right next to me, but were in the bedroom. Ashley texted Andrew to ask how I was doing and he told her how frequently the contractions were happening. Ashley then called Andrew and I heard her say “are they seriously coming that fast already”.
She came over and helped us labor at home for about an hour. Ashley then said we needed to get to the hospital. Let me tell you, that drive to the hospital while in active labor is no joke. I was in the backseat on all fours with my head in the car seat and my booty close to the window. If anyone looked in the car, I can only imagine what they thought was happening back there.
Once at the hospital, we got all checked in, after the lady
stupidly asked me if I was able to sign some paperwork. I flat out said no as I was doubled over in a wheelchair in between contractions and then laying over her desk moaning during contractions. When we got to the laboring room, I immediately crawled on the bed and got on all fours because this was the most comfortable (if you could even call it that) position I found. I got undressed and they handed me the hospital gown to put on. After having it on for about 2.5 minutes, I asked “do I have to wear this” and everyone assured me I didn’t. I was in a nursing sleeping bra and that was it…on all fours. Sorry everyone, but I didn’t even think about the specifics of that at the time.
A doctor came in to check me and she said I was at 5 centimeters and I believe my words were “oh thank god”! My biggest fear was that after all of that pain for the last 2ish hours, they were going to say I was at a 2 or 3.
After about another hour or so, Ashley noticed that I was starting to bear down during contractions. I got checked again and was at 9.5 centimeters. The nurse got me to 10 by doing some sort of painful magical maneuver during a contraction. It was pushing time. Oh my word, when people say pushing feels like taking the biggest poo of your life, they aren’t wrong. Up until this point, I was doing a pretty good job with breathing, visualizing riding a wave, and not screaming. All of that went out the window when I started to push. The birth team told me I was doing a great job and really pushing efficiently and I told them they were all lying. Andrew reassured me in between contractions that I was really making good progress. At one point I literally screamed “GET OUT” (Friends reference anyone?). Baby is
The sensation of the baby coming out was the greatest feeling of relief ever! While it felt like eternity, I was told it was 20 minutes and our baby boy was born! I was kneeling at the end of the bed and the doctor told me to reach through my legs and she handed me my baby. There are no words to accurately describe that feeling. I was holding the life that I jointly created with the man I love. The baby was perfect in every single way and WE created that. Him and I. There is nothing that we will do that will be better than creating a perfect little human.
Andrew was able to capture the most amazing pictures that we will cherish forever. They are raw and emotional and so beautiful. Holding my baby for the first time was indescribable.
From the time my contractions started to the time our baby was born was 5 hours…FIVE!! 10:30 am to 3:41 pm. The castor oil contributed to the speediness, but I’ll take some credit too!
Little man didn’t have a name until all our family was done visiting later that evening. We had a short (ish) list of names that we were toying with. Andrew was really pulling for Nash for the last few months of the pregnancy (which I thought we weren’t “cool” enough to have a kid named Nash). As soon as he laid eyes on our baby, Andrew knew he wasn’t a Nash. We both decided that he looked (and continues to) like a Lawson, which is my maiden name.
Lawson Gray Coleman born on November 14th, 2018. 7 pounds 12 ounces and 19 ¼ inches long. Every day we love him more and more.