My due date was June 2nd, 2019. I never would have guessed I would go past my due date with how big I was, how anxious I was, and the progress made each doctor appointment. But here I was, continuing to get Braxton Hicks all the way up to my due date. One day past my due date, contractions were picking up. Most of the contractions were between 6 and 10 minutes apart. I was timing them on an app and even received a notification that said “we recommend that you get ready to go to the hospital.” I was prepared, but then the contractions faded off and I went to bed for the night.
During the rest of the week, I discovered I was going through prodromal labor. It wasn’t until Saturday (40 weeks 6 days) that my contractions were consistently under five minutes apart. I went out to the Lighthouse Bakery with my mother and one-and-a-half year old daughter, Piper, as my contractions continued to get stronger and closer together. The contractions continued when I got home. I finished making pulled pork sandwiches for Levi, Levi showered, and my mom came over to stay with Piper.
We checked into the hospital at 5:00pm and I was 4cm, 90% effaced, and either a 0 or -1 fetal station. They then gave me time to walk around and do whatever I could to make progress. I walked suicides and stairs for 50 minutes before I came back to be monitored and checked. Contractions started to space out – I couldn’t believe it! I was only given 20 more minutes to make some kind of progress. They made it clear that there was not enough staff for the weekend, and unless I made progress in 20 minutes, they would be sending me home. After working and walking so hard, I was checked… still 4cm and 90% effaced, so it was time to go home. They were unable to tell my doctor that I came into the hospital because I was not considered “active labor” and it was upsetting. I continued to pray for patience and to be able to go into labor on my own.
Before bed I had to use the restroom again (for the 100th time) and without going into details, I thought that my water may have possibly broke. Sometimes your water can break unlike the big gush you see in the movies.
The contractions continued all night, but father apart and weaker. Another sign of prodromal labor.
During the middle of the night, I still thought my water possibly broke and had other symptoms to think that it could have happened. I called the hospital (in the middle of the night) and with what I described, they thought it would be good to come get it checked out soon. After waffles for breakfast with Levi and Piper, I went back to the hospital for take two. They checked me and I was now 4.5cm! It appeared that my water did not break, but with the head being so low, they thought it could be acting similar to a wine cork. I’m sorry to put that picture in your head when you open your next bottle of wine. Cheers.
It was Sunday and I was sent home once again. I walked my mother’s hill with her, went shopping, and did things around the house. I was prepared and doing everything in the books to get labor going. While my husband went to celebrate his brother’s birthday, I took a nap while Piper napped. Levi continued the day with one of his favorite activities, golfing with my brother Justin. Justin, Brit, and Max came down to visit the family and (hopefully) be here when our baby was born. We spent the evening together, had pizza, and I finally crashed for the night with an induction planned the next morning at 8:00am.
My mom stayed at our home just in case I were to go in to labor during the night. Piper woke us both up at 6:30am. My mom made all of us breakfast at 7:00am, and Levi and I headed to the hospital shortly after for our appointment at 8:00am.
My experience started off very nice compared to my first labor. The nurses were wonderful as usual and the IV went in with zero issues this time (Thank you Gara)! The same lady let me know that if her daughter was giving birth, she would be comforted to know that she had the same nurse that I was assigned to, Lisa, which was very comforting to hear.
My contractions were far apart and I knew I needed something to help me get things started. The plan was to break my water and see if things could progress without pitocin. Mary broke my water at 9:10am. Because contractions were not coming on as quickly and strongly as I would have liked, I decided to pump to help things get going.
We were encouraged to walk around, so we went to the cafeteria to get some things to drink and snack on, in addition to the amazing ice cubes down the hall. We brought it back to the room as I kept walking around. Levi asked if I would like to go walking again and it sounded like a good idea. We headed for the stairs, but the contractions were too strong that I was only able to go up and down the stairs once (barely). We then walked outside, but just a few steps out the doors, Levi could tell it was a little too much for me. So, I came back to the room to sit on the yoga ball and unpack/organize between contractions. My sweet nurse brought in some new handmade newborn hats for me to chose one for baby girl when she arrived.
Doctor had planned on giving me some medicine to get the contractions going stronger around 3:00pm if needed. I was really hoping that the contractions would continue to grow so I could do it without pitocin.
The nurse monitored the baby’s heart rate next. I couldn’t talk or do much during the contractions. They were 3-4 minutes apart. She mentioned the heart rate was found a little lower in my belly, which was a good sign.
Next was the jacuzzi. I don’t remember how long I was in there, but the nurse would check me every half hour. I think I was in the jacuzzi for almost one-and-a-half hours! It was getting really intense and painful at this point. The nurse had me get out of the tub to get checked and monitored. Levi had to help me out and the contractions were back to back as I was getting out of the jacuzzi, which made it very difficult to transition to the bed.
I was checked at 3:15pm and I was 7cm. She said that I could get out of the bed to move around, but I felt like I wanted to labor the rest of the way in bed, as the pain was so intense that I had to hold onto the railings and brace myself. I couldn’t believe I was only a 7cm, yet Levi kept me calm and encouraged me: “that is great!”
30 minutes later, I let the nurse know that I had a little urge to push. She checked me again at this time and I sure enough I was 9cm. She walked directly to the door as she said she needed to let Mary know that I was getting close. Levi stood up as I was white knuckled and almost breaking the rails during contractions. This was moments after the nurse left the room. Between contractions, I told Levi to “tell her that I have the urge to push now!” He quickly went out to get our nurse and another contraction came on….
From Levi’s story, he stepped out of the room to find our nurse. He started to say, “she has the urge to…” and then heard me yelling/grunting from the hallway.
They both came back into the room quickly. Although, during that short period where my husband left the room and I was alone, I truly thought I was going to be delivering this baby myself!
The nurse whipped everything out and I heard someone say Mary was on her way in the car. There was no way she was going to make it, I thought. The contractions were urging me to push and my body was doing it on it’s own… quickly. The nurses told me “it’s okay, we’re ready to deliver the baby if needed.” I’m not sure this was reassuring, but I didn’t have much time to think between contractions. Oxygen was held on me and multiple amazing nurses were at my side making sure the baby was safe and I was taken care of.
Another big contraction came and it was like the angels were opening the doors as Mary walked in… minutes later! I couldn’t believe she was there. She threw on a gown and gloves. With one look, she told me to push. She let me know when to take a breath during the contraction and when to keep pushing. In a total of about two minutes, Mia Pepper Chappell was here. She came out at 4:06pm crying (which I prayed for) and was laid on my chest. 7 pounds 13 ounces of pure blessing from the Lord.
XO, KATLIN LINDSEY