On Tuesday, May 22nd I started having contractions. They began pretty early in the morning but weren’t painful in the slightest. They were just uncomfortable and never happening more than once an hour, if that often. I had been hoping labor would start for at least a week already so I was hopeful this was something starting but I didn’t want to get excited just yet. That evening I went with my parents to get my Grandmas from the airport. I mentioned to my mom in the car that I had been having these contractions but that they weren’t painful and had no pattern. The Grandmas’ airplane arrives around 9:30 and we went to Cheesecake Factory for dinner. While eating dinner, I texted Kevin to check in on the boys and to let him know that the contractions were starting to feel a tad stronger but still not painful. He asked if I was in labor and I told him no, but this could be the beginning of it starting. I got home around 11ish and went to bed, thinking I should get some rest just in case I went into actual labor.
I woke up at 12:30 with my first painful contraction. I had another painful one that woke me up at 1:00. Then another that woke me up at 1:30. I gave up on sleep at that point and went to the bathroom to discover bloody show was happening. Since I could still walk through the contractions pretty easily and they weren’t close together yet, I decided to let Kevin sleep as long as he could. I did text my mom to let her know what was happening and I started timing the contractions. I spent the next 2 hours having contractions that had no real pattern. Some were strong, some were weak. At 3:20 I decided to wake up Kevin. The contractions were getting to be all strong and I couldn’t walk through them any longer. I texted my mom to let her know I was waking up Kevin. I asked her to come over so either she or my Daddy could drive Kevin’s car to the birth center so the boys would have a ride home after William was born and Kevin and I would be there waiting for when William and I could be released to go home. I woke up Kevin, told him it was time and to start getting the boys ready to go. I called the midwife to let her know we’d be heading in and would arrive around 4:30 (it’s usually about a 40-45 minute drive to get there from our house). Looking back at my contraction timer now, I don’t know what took me so long to go in!
From here it goes fast and sort of becomes a blur in my memory. Kevin is getting Lex and Sam up and dressed, I woke up Jack and told him to get ready to go, and then I started having contractions that were right on top of each other. I was on my knees with the top half of my body resting on a chair, breathing and moaning through a contraction. Jack was on the couch, dressed and ready to go. I asked him for some water so he brought me a glass. After that contraction, I got up and tried to help Kevin with the boys but another contraction came immediately so I again got on my knees but this time I had my top half on the couch. I thought I felt his head coming so I got a little panicked but kept telling myself it couldn’t be his head because I was making it to the birth center and would not be birthing at home and having to call an ambulance. During this contraction, my water broke. I told Kevin and he said, “Oh shit.” We were just waiting on my parents to arrive at this point but knew now we couldn’t wait. I called the midwife to let her know my water had broken, she told me to hurry up and asked if I was using the tub because she’d start filling it up and have it ready when I got there. Kevin started putting the boys in the car while I continued to have back-to-back contractions. Jack got me a cold washcloth for my face and that thing was my saving grace from here until I got to the birth center. I got up to try and walk to the car, grabbing a towel that was in the living room because I was gushing water out with every contraction. I made it as far as my front yard before I couldn’t stand anymore. The contractions were insanely intense. This was me going through transition. I was on all fours in the grass, Kevin was trying to help me into the car, and I told him I wasn’t making it and the baby was going to come right now. He wasn’t too calm about that notion and called my parents, who were nearly at the birth center. Either I didn’t actually ask my mom to come get Kevin’s car or she was still mostly asleep when we talked. We aren’t sure what happened ha ha. Kevin had started up his car because he was going to drive me to the birth center in that and have the boys go with my parents in my car. His car is much faster and he wanted to channel his inner Speed Racer to get me to the birth center. Since my parents weren’t coming, he got me into my car and we started driving. This was around 4:00.
The whole drive there, I kept willing my body to hold the baby in until we got there. My bag of waters kept filling up and would pop again with every contraction. The pressure from it was SO intense. Poor Sammy was scared but Jack was being very reassuring and kept telling him it was okay and this is how labor is. Sam asked what would happen if the baby came out in the car and I told him his dad would just keep driving us to the birth center. By some miracle, we made it to the birth center in less than 30 minutes. I was in the middle of a contraction when we parked, so my parents got the boys out of the car and we waited for my contraction to be over before I went in. I was soaked from the waist down and my poor passenger seat of my car was no better off. The photographer arrived right after we did. We got inside, Michelle checked me, and I was fully dilated and +2. I got in the tub, asked Kevin to get my birthing shirt for me, and then we settled in.
After a few contractions, I could feel him crowning. I was in a squatting position near the edge of the tub, Kevin was behind me applying counter pressure, and Michelle reminded me to take slow breaths. Crowning is seriously the worst. I remember hearing the midwife ask for the mirror so they could see what was going on down there, Michelle said if I wanted to I could put my hand down there and feel his head, and I have no idea who was even there from my family watching the actual birth. His head wasn’t all the way out and I wasn’t in a good position for pushing. None of my kids have ever had their head half out like that before so I was worried he was stuck and verbalized that. The midwives assured me he was not. The student midwife asked me to lay back against Kevin and open my knees. This helped tremendously. I think I pushed through 2 more contractions before he was fully out at 4:57 a.m. I remember thinking that they seemed to be holding him under water for a long amount of time but then they brought him up to my chest. He wasn’t crying or really clearing his lungs/airway out so they kept telling me to talk to him as they rubbed him. The midwife was tickling his feet and they asked for the oxygen to be brought in. Luckily, he didn’t end up needing it. He made some noise and started clearing his airways himself. They did bring in some homeopathic tablet for him too but he didn’t end up needing that either. He didn’t cry for the first time until we had already been home and he was having a diaper change.
From first painful contraction to birth, my labor lasted a little less than 4.5 hours. My parents took Sammy and Jack to their house around 6. Lex stayed at the birth center with me, Kevin, and William and we headed home around 8:40ish. Once I looked over William’s birth stats sheet at home, I saw he had a 3x nuchal cord. This is why he seemed to be under water for a bit longer after he was born, as they were unwrapping his cord. He was also the biggest at birth of my 4 kids. The 3 other boys were more than 6 but less than 7 pounds.
William Slade Wilson
May 23, 2018 @ 4:57 a.m.
21 1/4 inches