I woke up around 2-2:30 AM on November 15th with contractions (I was 5 days overdue). I tried sleeping but the contractions were too intense (as well as I couldn’t stop thinking that this could be it!). At 3 A.M. I started to time them and they were 2 ½ - 3 minutes apart lasting 1 minute. I decided to get up and finish packing the last couple of things for my hospital bag and kept timing the contractions.
At 4 A.M. I woke my husband up and we left for the hospital at 5:45 A.M since my contractions were coming so close together (now 2 ½ minutes apart or less). We got checked in and the nurse measured me at 4cm dilated with contractions every 2 ½ minutes apart, water intact! Officially in active labor! The labor process went really smoothly and I was able to walk around and had friends and family in the room with me to help distract me and keep me from focusing on the time. When I had a contraction I would just close my eyes and breath through it and then rejoin whatever conversation I was having.
Every 2 hours or so the nurse would come in and monitor the baby’s heart rate. At the next cervical check, I was 6 cm dilated, water intact. Around 1:30-2:00pm I got in the shower to just sit in the hot water- it helped so much! I didn’t even realize how much it helped until I got out about 1 ½ - 2 hours later for the nurse to check me again and my contractions were much more intense! At this check the nurse measured me at 8 cm dilated, water still intact (it was around 3:30-4:00pm). Now I really needed to start focusing through the contractions and I got my husband to ask everyone to leave the room. I sat on an exercise ball and my husband gave me counter pressure through the contractions (with the nurse showing him how to do it best- she was really helpful). The nurse also showed me how to do some squats through the contractions to help bring the baby farther down.
My husband was so supportive and encouraging and really helped me relax and feel confident that I could do this! The nurse checked back in on us after an hour and said she would come back in 20 minutes to do another cervical check. During the 20 minutes I started feeling extreme pressure and asked the nurse to come back in. I got back in bed and she did another cervical check and I measured 9-9 ½ cm dilated. As she measured me my water broke! Immediately the baby’s head was engaged, and I think possibly crowning, and I was ready to push!
I pushed for about 15-20 minutes (though it felt like forever) and my sweet baby girl, Lillie, was born at 5:13 pm weighing 8lbs 9oz and measuring 20 inches long. I was so thankful for such a smooth labor and delivery and for my husband being such a supportive coach. The whole labor and delivery experience was really positive- I felt very equipped from taking the Bradley class, had a supportive and encouraging doctor, and a very helpful and caring nurse.