I am going to try to find the happy medium of sharing details without getting too into the nitty-gritty, but if words like dilated weird you out go ahead and stop reading. Rhett's birth story starts a few weeks before his actual arrival because he sent us to the hospital twice with prodromal labor.
Rhett's Birth Story
Despite having a January 4th, 2021 due date, we thought that he may actually make his arrival as early as the middle of December. We thought this because I was 3 cm dilated and 80% at my December 8th appointment and kept having contractions that would at times get to 4 minutes apart and 45 seconds in duration. He faked us out so many times that I finally resigned myself to just carry on with making plans as if I wasn't going to have a baby at any time.
We went to a Christmas party on the 18th, hosted Christmas morning at our house, then when there was still no baby we decided to host 7 of our closest friends at our house to celebrate the New Year. We had spent every New Year with this group of friends for the last 5 years so why break with tradition because of our impending baby? The night of December 30th, we cooked burgers at the house, had a bonfire (people made many jokes about smoking the baby out), and played a board game with everyone before heading off to bed. Later that night at 3am, I started having contractions that were stronger than any that I had felt in the weeks before. I started tracking the contractions and waited until around 4 am to wake John up and tell him it was the real thing.
My goal was to labor at home as long as possible, so I kept trying to sleep in between contractions. Finally, around 5:30am the bed was no longer comfortable so I got up to take a shower to distract myself. At this point, the contractions were about 5 minutes and 45 seconds apart. John kept laughing at me because I was blow drying my hair on my birthing ball in between contractions. Just a reminder, that we literally have 7 of our best friends asleep in our house while all of this is going on LOL. At 6:45am we called our doula, Lucia, to let her know that we were skipping ahead in the plan to go to the hospital because my contractions were 4 minutes apart and lasting about a minute. John did an excellent job driving me to the hospital and did his best to keep the smart comments to a minimum.
When we arrived at the hospital, they confirmed that I was 6cm dilated, 90% effaced, and in active labor! Once they confirmed active labor, they transferred me to a labor room. After we were settled, I decided I wanted to walk the halls for about an hour to help move the process along. After my walk, I had dilated to 8cm and I decided to get into the bathtub to try and take some of the pressure off. Thankfully the hospital allowed me to decline the IV and have intermittent monitoring so I could labor unencumbered in the bath. It was funny because we could not keep the bathwater hot enough from the bath faucet so John and Lucia took turns filling up a clean trashcan with hot water from the sink with the hottest water possible. If I didn't say it before, thank you John and Lucia for all of your efforts. I stayed in the bathtub for three tough hours and by the time I got out I was 10cm dilated and 100% effaced.
After about ten minutes of pacing and bouncing on the ball my water finally broke on its own and I started feeling ready to push. I pushed for an hour and a half but Rhett's head was stuck in a difficult position. I was in complete agony and my midwife told me that I needed to relax enough for his head to change positions. There was no way for me to relax enough unmedicated so I made the decision to get an IV to push fluids and ultimately to get an epidural.
At 2pm I got the epidural and was able to nap until around 3:30 pm. While I was napping, John went across the street to get some lunch while Lucia stayed with me. After my nap, I had relaxed enough for Rhett's head to move on its own. At 3:30 I started pushing and pushed for another 2.5 hours. Rhett was born on December 31st at 6:01 pm and was 7lbs 8oz and 20 inches long!
You can find the items I actually used in the first month after Rhett was born here and take a tour of our nursery here!
What is your child's birth story? Let me know in a comment below!