On the day I went into labor, I was out grocery shopping in the afternoon, when I got that strange feeling like “I need to hurry up and go home. This is the day.” I quickly put it off as my imagination because I knew first-time moms almost always go overdue, and this happened 5 days before my due date. That evening at around 7:30 pm, my water broke over the toilet (woot! good place!). I texted my midwife who advised me to go to bed and get some rest, because my contractions weren’t likely to really kick in until early morning. I waited for my husband to get home, and prepared to go to bed. It was around 9 pm when contractions started, although they were irregular. It only took about 20 minutes for them to get strong and painful—- but I was determined not to be a typical first-time mom who makes her midwife come way too early, so I decided to stick it out on my own. I got into the shower to make the pain more bearable, telling my husband that this is definitely going to take a long time still, and it would be silly to call the midwife so soon.
Thankfully, he didn’t listen to me and called our midwife, Faith Morie, anyway. She at our house around 11 pm.. the contractions were strong enough by this point that I couldn’t talk through them. I was glad my mom had arrived a little earlier and helped me through them. By midnight, the birth pool was set up, and I asked to get in. The rest is a blur, and I don’t remember much because I was mentally unprepared to handle the pain. It was a quick labor for a primip (first-time mom)– only 5.5 hours from the first contraction to the time Lucas was born– so the contractions were incessant and strong. My midwives did everything they could to make me as comfortable as possible, but I was simply not prepared for such an intense labor experience. I had pictured a perfect YouTube birth– relaxing in the tub, classical music playing, peacefully breathing through contractions.. in between chit-chatting with my midwives and husband; all in joyful anticipation of the baby who was about to be born.
By the time I was ready to push, all I knew was that I wanted this to be over NOW. I pushed with every ounce of strength I could muster during every contraction.. and Lucas was born at 2:44, after 19 minutes of pushing.
I did need suturing after the birth, thanks to my overzealous pushing and Lucas’s elbow position, but my midwives were able to do that for me and then I got to soak in a delicious herbal bath before sinking into my own bed to snuggle up with my gorgeous baby boy.
From that moment on, I felt like I could do anything. My birth was not the picturesque experience I had envisioned, but it was so empowering and beautiful in its own right.