My due date was June 26th. It came and went with absolutely no sign of baby coming (except for maybe a few Braxton Hicks contractions), which was discouraging. I had even walked 3 miles the day before my due date in hopes that would get things moving along. It didn’t– it just exacerbated my pelvic and back pain. As much as I just wanted to lie down and sleep all the time and not do anything the last week of my pregnancy, I tried to stay up and moving, hoping that would start labor.
On June 29th, I had an appointment with my midwife. She checked how dilated I was and said I was 3 centimeters. I was excited, but I also knew that didn’t necessarily mean anything. I had kind of accepted the fact that baby boy probably wasn’t coming anytime soon. I continued my normal activities all day, went grocery shopping and walked all around the store. After a very long, busy day, I finally fell into bed a little after 10pm. Colin and I were lying there and I told him how at first, I was super disappointed when my due date passed, but now I had accepted it. I told him that before, I was like “get this baby out of me.” But now I was scared, I didn’t know what to expect or how much it would hurt (I was hoping to have an unmedicated birth). I remember saying something along the lines of, “it would be funny if I went into labor tonight, now that I’m feeling scared instead of totally ready.” And then it was not even 10 minutes later, that I felt a pop, and sort of a thud.
“Umm… that felt really weird.” I said, as I began to have a cramping feeling in my lower abdomen. I had a feeling that my water had broken but I was kind of shocked. I got out of bed and stood up and sure enough there was a big gush. “Yeahhh, my water just broke.” I said. We checked the time and it was 10:28pm. “Should we go to the hospital?” Colin asked. “We should probably wait a little longer…” I said.
After that I guess I got a huge rush of energy cause I didn’t feel very tired. I wanted to keep moving around so that things would progress faster. So I didn’t go to sleep. Part of me regretted that later since I had already been awake for about 17 hours, but another part of me was happy I kept moving around because I had a fairly short labor, especially being a first time mom. I remember in the birthing class I attended they said that the average first time mom is in labor for about 18 hours.
I continued to labor and time contractions while Colin slept. I was getting so excited, but also kind of nervous. This was still all so new to me. My contractions were pretty irregular at first, sometimes only 5 minutes apart, sometimes 15 minutes apart. After a while I got super sleepy so I laid in bed and tried to sleep. I kept dozing off between contractions but they kept waking me up and hurt so bad that I had to get out of bed and sway to help ease the pain. Finally at about 4am I woke Colin up and told him we should go to the hospital, since my contractions had been about 3-4 minutes apart for almost an hour. We gathered our things and left. I listened to music with my earbuds and timed contractions on my app on the way to the hospital. When we got there around 4:30am, they took me up to triage. They checked me and I was only at 4 centimeters! That was a little bit discouraging since I had only dilated one centimeter since they last checked me, but I tried not to let that get me down. I was admitted to a room and after taking some blood and explaining a few things, I was left alone with my mom and Colin for a while. Once we were admitted, things got pretty intense really quick. My contractions got closer together–1-2 minutes apart. I started not being able to talk through them, and I was also half asleep. I kept dozing off between contractions (even while sitting up) because I was just so exhausted. It helped a ton to have Colin there and to be able to lean on him both literally and figuratively. My mom rubbed my back, Colin swayed with me, we listened to music, and things kept progressing. Really fast, actually.
It was getting almost unbearable. To the point where I thought, if I’m only at a 5 or 6 I might have to get an epidural. This hurts too much if I’m only at 5 or 6. I was shaking uncontrollably. I felt freezing and then I felt like I was overheated. My mom said that’s what always happened to her in transition. The nurses came in for a minute and she mentioned that they should maybe check me again, but since my water had broken already and they had just recently checked me, they didn’t want to check again and risk infection, so they brushed it off and told me I could hop in the shower to help with the pain if I wanted to. Then they left. I went to the bathroom a few minutes later and I could barely move when another contraction came over me. I just felt kind of different, and it hurt a LOT. It felt like my back and hips were on fire and going to fall off. When I came out, my mom said, “you know, you can have them check you whenever you want.” I felt like they should, so we called the nurses in and had them check. I was fully dilated. This was at around 7:30. I had gone from a 4 to a 10 in just three hours. The nurse was surprised I was already at 10, heck so was I. I didn’t even know what was happening until I heard them say to call the midwife. Then it really started speeding up. They called my midwife and told me I couldn’t push until she got there, but I was lying on the bed which made my contractions even worse. I couldn’t get up though, and I was so so tired.
Finally she got there, said hello, and got to work. It took me a while to figure out how to push, but once I did it was way easier. It helped a lot with the pain. Finally I felt like I could actually do something. It seemed like everyone was saying “almost there!” for forever… Not going to lie, I was starting to get a little frustrated. until I channeled some of that frustration into my pushes. I ended up pushing for about an hour and a half and finally Colin caught Landon Thomas Harasti at 9:42 am on June 30th. (He happened to come out as the Harry Potter theme song was playing.)
I was kind of shocked. I did it! I just gave birth without pain medication! And now I was finally meeting the beautiful baby boy we had created. I couldn’t believe it. They laid him on my chest– well, more like my belly since the cord wasn’t cut yet. He didn’t really cry, he just looked wide-eyed around the room, and at me. It was beautiful. Finally getting to meet him was one of the best feelings ever. I suddenly wasn’t focused on anything except for our little family–me, Landon, and Colin. It kind of felt like we were alone in the room. After a few minutes, Colin cut the cord. The next few hours were spent alone, doing skin-to-skin and trying to breastfeed. Then the nurses came back in and took Landon to weigh him and do a few tests. The second best thing to being a mother is seeing Colin be a father. I could see the love he had for Landon.
It was such a beautiful, empowering experience. I loved it. As much as it hurt, I’d do it all again for Landon.
Just when you think you know love, something little comes along to remind you just how big it really is.