Whenever I share my labor and delivery story with people they always tell me my experience was unique for a first time mom. On the day I gave birth, everything happened so fast and in a completely unexpected way, but that’s what I love about my story.
On Friday, April 29th, I went to work just like any other day. That morning I experienced one of the early signs that labor and delivery were imminent. I lost my mucous plug. That was a good sign as I was anxious about getting closer to my due date. After being at work for a few hours I started having back pain and cramps. Those symptoms were enough to lead me to make the decision to go home. A few of my co-workers predicted that I wouldn’t be back, but I was optimistic. I guess I didn’t want to accept the fact that I was most likely in early labor and that I could possibly have my baby that weekend.
Once I got home I spent most of that day resting on the couch with persistent back pain. Tommy ended up coming home to be with me. After some time of rest, we went for a walk and to dinner. During dinner, I started to feel what I thought were infrequent contractions. After dinner, we came home and I went to bed and slept just fine.
The next day, I woke up early feeling like I needed to have a bowel movement. I kept trying to go, but nothing was happening so I tried to go back to sleep. I had no idea that what I was feeling was a sign that I was in labor. Around 6:45 am I felt what I thought was a pop in my abdomen. I got up and went to the bathroom thinking my water had broken, but it didn’t. That’s when I felt it. A contraction! It was nothing like what I felt the day before. I knew this was the real thing. I started trying to time the contractions, but they began coming too fast. In our birthing classes, we were told to call our doctor when our contractions were 5 minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute each, for at least 1 hour. Well, I surpassed that point quickly. Those first contractions I felt were coming almost 3 minutes apart! I called the doctor and she told us to come to the hospital.
It felt like it took forever to get out of the house. The contractions were coming pretty quickly. I had to keep sitting down and I was still feeling like I needed to have a BM. We finally left the house and got to the hospital around 8:00 am. When I was checked in at triage I was dilated to 4 cm and the contractions were still coming pretty quickly.
I wanted to try to labor and deliver naturally, but I was still open to the idea of an epidural if I felt like I needed it. By the time we got to our labor and delivery room I was 8 cm dilated and I felt like I wanted the epidural. The pain of the contractions was pretty intense and I had no idea how long labor was going to last. Before the epidural could even be administered I felt the need to push! I dilated to 9.5 cm in no time. At that point, the epidural was off the table. I was going to have to delivery with no pain medication. With the guidance of the doctor and nurse, I began to push. After about 20 minutes of pushing, our baby boy was here! We welcomed Jaden Thomas Sullivan into the world on April 30, 2016 at 10:05 am. He weighed 8lbs 50z and was 20.5 in long.
For me, it was so hard to imagine what labor and delivery would be like. Through my experience I learned that you are never really prepared for the labor and delivery process, no matter how many classes you take or stories you hear. Every woman and baby are different and that’s what I find so beautiful about pregnancy, labor, and delivery. No two stories are the same, yet every story is meaningful.