we slow-walked this baby out {nash's birth story}

Early labor probably started  Tuesday morning of the 18th of June from 3-4am when
I was  38 weeks+ 1 day. I got very nervous bec I had clinic that day (all day). I moved from my bed to the couch and ended up falling asleep.  Falling asleep was a clue that labor did not progress. 

I made it through the entire morning and afternoon clinic - amidst the frequent bathroom breaks. Hubs and I were alone Tuesday evening. Usually we take the alone time as date nights. So when I asked him for take out instead - he knew that my body was telling me to slow down. If I pushed myself - would have I gone to active labor Tuesday night? Not sure. I knew for certain though that I was uncomfortable, with lots of ligamentous and back pain that I just wanted to recline on the couch after a full day in clinic. 

I rested well and slept in until 930 Wednesday morning.  I awoke with more Braxton-Hicks by mid-morning. It must have been hunger or my bladder that prompted quite frequent and painful Braxton Hick contractions. I called the OB office when I was contracting every 8 minutes.

I was told to go to the office if contractions were every 8 mins. But go to the hospital if contractions were consistently happening every 5-6 minutes.  After the phone call, we packed our hospital bag (finally). 

Since the office was closed from 12-1p, I just relaxed at home and ate.... I waited until 1p and when I noticed the contractions did not progress , I called the OB office again telling them that "I’m not going to clinic and instead we will try to walk this baby out. We are going to Costco." exact words. I bet the office staff thought I (we) were crazy. 

So hubs and I went to lunch (our rescheduled date) and then made it to Costco. I slow- walked around Costco. I made it to the restroom and then just passed the registers. Hubs went around the store and picked up our items. 

On the gross-side of things, besides contractions I’ve been going to the bathroom A LOT all day Wednesday. I was very, very constipated. I persistently had the the urge to empty my bowels or empty my bladder.  These were more clues of early labor. Going to the bathroom every 20-40 mins was exhausting. I also noticed more mucus. Not the bloody show but the sticky white stuff. I thought I was leaking fluid so I wore a pad. It wasn’t amniotic fluid either. Just my bladder not holding urine well bec of a heavy full-term baby in my uterus pressing on my bladder. 

The Braxton Hick contractions continued but still not progressing. Since we did not go to the hospital after our Costco run (I mean slow-walk),  we picked up the older three to bring them to swim lessons. I was at the natatorium having Braxton Hicks every 12-20 minutes. But they weren’t progressing. 

Things turned around by midnight June 20th. After a tiring evening post-swim lessons (tiring as in all I did was recline on the couch anyway bec of my low back pain), I was still downstairs in the couch at midnight when the contractions were consistent and happening every 15 mins. I fell asleep in between them (hello tired pregnant lady) but woke up every time I had a contraction. That’s a sign of true labor if unable to ignore the contractions. 

An hour later, the contractions went from every 15 mins to every 8 minutes. Another hour and they were every 7 minutes. At that point (almost 2am) I couldn’t sleep anymore. I went to the bathroom every 7-10 mins. I was uncomfortable and emotional. I cried. I was tired mentally and physically. The painful braxton-hicks of Wednesday all day and going to the bathroom every 10 minutes were exhausting. Hubs heard my sobs. I told him to call his dad and come over. We were definitely going to the hospital that morning. 

I called the oncall line. The operator upon finding out it’s my 6th baby said "so you’re a pro at this... "

I asked myself: Am I? I may be am. 
But that doesn’t mean I’m a pro at experiencing pain. 

The OB on call was not my primary OB but one of her partners. She told me to go to the hospital since it’s been 2 weeks since my cervix was checked. We skipped last week bec things were doing ok and I had the children with me. 

We had to wait for my FIL. As soon as he came I hobbled out the door and into the car. I was having contractions every 6 mins then. I just stopped tracking them. But I told Derrick when they’re happening. 

I remembered that moving helped. Staying still just intensified the contractions and made them the focus of my mind. When he dropped me off at the hospital entrance for laboring moms, I didn’t sit. I roamed around. I even leaned forward on one of the window sills. I refused the wheelchair and instead walked to the 3rd floor. We took the elevators. I pushed the L&D intercom. The registration staff member greeted us. I walked slowly to the triage room. 

We were met by one of the nurses who instructed me to change to a hospital gown so she can check cervical dilation. I first emptied my bladder because hello - all
I did was urinate, stool, then contract then repeat and repeat and repeat. 

The nurse  checked and I was 6 cm dilated and stretchy cervix 50% or more effaced. 
I mentioned I wanted an epidural this time. I was still on the fence and could have been persuaded by the nurse (or Derrick or anybody) to continue natural unmedicated labor. But the nurse was understanding and said it’s all up to me. I looked at my husband and I can tell he was tired. He only had an hour of sleep. He was with me all day and saw my on and off contractions. I told him that without his support I won’t be able to continue laboring without an epidural. My anxiety was awful. Every time I had a contraction - I remembered transition phase and the pain. What happened to the mental exercise of focusing on one contraction at a time right? Nope that went out the door. I was mentally exhausted. 

I was moved from triage to the delivery room. I have never been turned away for all the sixth deliveries. Every time I came to the hospital, it was go time. I was afraid that I’ll have false labor signs so on my five previous deliveries, I mostly labored at home. I made sure it was truly go-time before coming to triage. That was partly the reason I couldn’t get an epidural. By the time I arrive at the hospital I was 7-8 cm dilated. For the first three I may be even close to the transition phase. It was just enough time for me to finish giving my history to the nurses and first cervical check then we were pushing within an hour. 

For the first five's birth stories:
Lucy - part I, part II, Part III

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