My pregnancy was generally very smooth and without complications all throughout. This was my first baby and I did not know what to expect, but it turned out to be the most amazing experience. Going natural was not a popular option for many around me, but I knew this is what I wanted for me and my baby. As I neared my due date and then passed my due date, the suspense just grew. I ended up getting acupuncture to induce labor. I heard about this method of induction first in my Bradley Class and my midwife confirmed that it was safe and was very happy to say that I should try it if I wanted to. After 3 sessions of it, I went into labor about a week after my due date. For me, labor started before I could even feel it. I had gone into a midwife appointment to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and to check for contractions and I was found to be having contractions every 10 minutes or so, but I could not feel anything. The next morning was when I started to feel mild contractions which felt like gas cramps every 10-15 minutes or so. This lasted for a little over 24 hours and I was able to do pretty normal activity around the house and continue to eat meals as usual. I was able to fall asleep that night, but awoke around 2am feeling more intense contractions. I waited until they were 3 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute long and then we were off to the hospital. As I labored, I used ALL the techniques I learned in my Bradley class to RELAX. I paced the halls, I sat on the birth ball, I dipped into a warm tub, I used different positions of standing, squatting, leaning on objects, etc., all with the wonderful support of my husband and Bradley instructor. It turned out that I was VERY fortunate to have these 2 people come in with me, because my midwife coincidentally was delivering 2 other babies at the same time, so the extra support was great. I also had soothing music playing with dim lights and I took sips of water after EVERY contraction. Each of these components was crucial to getting me through. After about 8 hours of laboring in the hospital, my water finally broke and I was about 9 cm dilated, but the head was too high to start pushing. We waited about 3 more hours, and I was still at 9 cm, so my midwife just flipped the rim of my cervix and I was at 10 cm. It was time to push...
On the night of June 21, 2011 I went to bed around 10, feeling incredibly tired but keyed up at the same time. I had a hard time falling asleep, and felt like I was only half drowsing the whole night. In retrospect, my body was probably already gearing up for labor in ways that. I could sense but wasn't consciously aware of...
I awoke at 5:09 a.m. when I felt a "sploosh" as I rolled over. Immediately, I wondered if my water had broken -- that was how my labor started with Maggie -- but after going to the bathroom, no further water seemed forthcoming. I went back to sleep, and awoke again around 6 when I realized I was having very soft cramping at about 10 minute intervals. (I'm going to use the term "cramps" instead of "contractions" here, because up until the pushing stage, they really just felt like menstrual cramps.)
Second time momma-GREAT JOB!