I’m typing up Chase’s birth story to share with you guys today in between feedings, diaper changes, tons of baby cuddles and intermittent naps, so I apologize in advance for any typos and exhaustion-induced rambling. I have never really been short with my words and since I am also documenting Chase’s birth story for my own memories, this is going to be a long one!
I am planning to break it up into two parts to capture the details for myself, but if you’re looking for a quick summary, here it is: My labor and delivery were unbelievable. I tried my best to be honest in my pregnancy recaps and think I conveyed to you guys just how terrified I was of actually giving birth. I feel like as an expectant mom, I heard a lot of labor stories that scared me (I truly could not make my way through 90 percent of the birth stories I read online), but when Chase decided it was his time to come, my mind went to another place and I felt so ready to meet my baby. I feel incredibly fortunate that my labor was a fast one and a little more than 6 hours after we checked into the hospital, Ryan and I were holding our baby boy in our arms.
Now for the Iong version…
Chase’s Birth Story: Part One
On Tuesday evening, Ryan and I got into bed around 10 p.m. and I felt a little restless as I tried to get comfortable and drift off to sleep. I was wide awake and antsy, but restlessness during my final trimester was pretty much a nightly occurrence at this point, so I didn’t think too much of it. Around 11 p.m., I felt some light cramping in my lower abdomen. The cramps reminded me a lot of menstrual cramps and I found myself tossing and turning for an hour or so as I tried to get into a comfortable position that would make them go away.
The cramps then started to make me feel like I really had to go to the bathroom, but every time I went, nothing would happen and I returned to bed with the cramps and urge to go to the bathroom progressing. A little after midnight, I grabbed my phone and Googled “What do contractions feel like?” because I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that told me something was up. I read countless answers from women that made me realize what I was feeling was likely the first signs of labor. Ryan noticed me getting in and out of bed a lot and when he asked me what was going on around 1 a.m., I told him I wasn’t sure, but I thought something might be happening. I didn’t want to say I thought I was in labor because I also read a lot about people who had light contractions weeks before they actually went into labor and didn’t want to get either of us too excited about something that might end up being nothing, especially since I truly believed I had a solid two weeks to go!
I told Ryan I couldn’t fall back asleep and headed downstairs to distract myself by working on the computer, cleaning and walking around. In my head, I continued the internal debate as to whether or not this was the real deal. About 30 minutes later, Ryan came downstairs saying that now he could not sleep and sat with me as we both chatted about whether or not this might really be the real thing! I was still unconvinced because my contractions weren’t incredibly intense and were so irregular. I was confused by the irregularity, especially since my OB/GYN previously instructed me to call when I experienced contractions that came every five minutes and lasted for a minute for more than an hour. I never had that kind of consistency but at around 3:30 a.m., the pain had intensified to the point that I was pretty darn positive I was experiencing real contractions and they were coming fast… Every two to five minutes or so and lasting 25 to 60 seconds (still very inconsistent).
(The above pic is a screenshot of the app I used to track my contractions right before we left for the hospital! The big rest between them was when we were driving to the hospital and I missed tracking a few.)
I called my OB/GYN’s office and spoke with a triage nurse who asked me a bunch of questions before she called my doctor and told me to go ahead and make my way to Labor and Delivery. From everything I read, I knew I didn’t want to get to the hospital too early and get sent home, especially since the pain I was experiencing wasn’t unbearable at this point.
I told Ryan I really wanted to shower before we left which gave him time to pack the car and a hospital bag. A warm shower felt good, but by the time I got out and started to get dressed, my contractions significantly intensified. I found myself folding over and holding onto the countertops in our house as I tried to deal with the pain. A little before 4:30 a.m., we gave Sadie hugs and headed out the door to the hospital.
Here are the final belly pictures we took in the minutes before we left to have our baby!
Part two coming soon…