It was a Monday afternoon, just turning 38 weeks, and I starting having discomfort. I timed my contractions to be 2 minutes apart but only lasting 30 seconds. I called the OB unit to ask what to do, since I was sure it wasn’t labour but the contractions were getting hard to talk through. The nurse told me it was up to me if I wanted to come in, but it was probably nothing. I decided we better head to the hospital, thinking I might as well see, but I told my mom “I’m sure I’ll be sent home without a baby”.
When we arrived at the hospital and were directed to the OB check in, I told the nurses “I might be in labour…?”. They hooked me up to the monitor and I found out the contractions were actually a minute and a half long, but I only felt the peaks. The midwife came to check me (who I was very surprised to see! I was expecting one of four OB/GYN MD’s that work rotating shifts) and she said she had to do a double take because I was 7-8 cm! I was astounded, as were the nurses, since I felt so normal in between the contractions. As long as I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply, I was handling them just fine. I did not fight them.
The midwife saw that I wanted a natural birth from my birth plan and asked if I wanted a water birth, to which I was even more surprised since I was told water births were not allowed at the hospital. She said she is the only one who will do them and she only works one shift once a week, so I was even luckier that she was there!! Shortly thereafter my water broke and I got into the tub. I was labouring for 2 hours before I felt the need to push. Meanwhile I was so bored in between contractions my husband started Netflix on his phone!
I started doing small pushing towards the end some of the contractions to help alleviate the pressure and eventually I felt the immense need to push. I was hesitant at first, because I wasn’t used to have this control. Once I was able touch the top of his head and I felt his hair which gave me the motivation to get him out. I heard gasps in the room as I pushed out his head and the rest of his body and my midwife told me to reach down and catch him.
Silas was born at 6:11pm, after being admitted less than 3 hours prior, and only six minutes of pushing. It was such a magical moment to reach out and bring him to the surface on to my chest. He was covered in vernix and was calm. My husband cut the cord after it stopped pulsating.
My labour was only 3.5 hours and I feel like I couldn’t have asked for a better birth. All of the staff kept telling me I was the calmest patient they had ever seen, and a couple of nurses witnessed their first water birth because of me. I’m so thankful I was able to have this experience, not just for me and my family, but for the hospital staff, in the hope that they can help more women wanting to be in control of their labour.