“We have a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful. It’s that women are strong.” – Laura Stavoe Harm
If there's anything my pregnancies and births have taught me, it's that every experience is unique. My experience with Brooks was a complete 180 from my experience with Savannah. My pregnancy with Brooks was smooth sailing and I felt great, albeit big, the majority of the 9 months. Conversely, with Savannah, I was sick for a good chunk of the pregnancy and stayed pretty petite even toward the end. I knew I didn't feel good when pregnant with my first child, but I didn't realize how bad I felt until going through my second pregnancy (does that make sense?). Could it be that I was chasing after a toddler and didn't realize the toll it was taking on my body? Or that it was my second pregnancy and my body had already been through the hormonal roller-costar? Could it be that I was having a boy and not a girl? There are so many factors that play into this, it's impossible to identify!
I said all throughout my pregnancy that I was going to work right up until I gave birth because "that's what I did with Savannah" (I sounded like a broken record with my "that's what I did with Savannah" statements). I didn't expect to gain as much weight as I did (35 pounds) and to feel as uncomfortable as I did toward the end. I hit the 40 week mark on a Monday and after a long, sleepless night with Savannah, I had had it. I was exhausted mentally, physically, emotionally and (this is serious) I had absolutely no clean work clothes to wear that fit me so I decided to start my maternity leave. I wasn't having contractions or any signs of labor, but I needed to take some time for myself before the baby arrived and in retrospect, I'm SO glad I did!
On Monday, January 7 (my first official day of maternity leave), I started to lose my mucous plug. With Savannah, I had lost my entire mucous plug after hours of mild and consistent contractions. I was excited that things were slightly progressing (in my mind), but I was trying not to get my hopes up. The next morning at 8 am, I lost the rest of my mucous plug and thought today could be the day (again, no contractions or serious signs of labor)! Losing your mucous plug is not a sign of labor since it can still take days/weeks before actual labor begins- wahhh!
That night, I went to bed a little disappointed but I was trying to remain calm and patient. I was pretty uncomfortable and not able to sleep but it was nothing new at this stage in the game. I was so uncomfortable that I decided to go downstairs and sleep on the couch at 4 am. At 6 am I woke to feeling like I had peed a little bit- also not unusual, especially when baby decides to give you a left hook just because! I stood up to go to the bathroom and felt a gush of water- FINALLY!!! My water broke...things are progressing...or so I thought...I remember feeling a little baby kick right after my water broke, but still no contractions. When my water broke with Savannah, my contractions became unbearable immediately. My adrenaline was going and I was too excited to go back to sleep. I decided to take a shower and pack Savannah's diaper bag and lunch for the day. I called the midwife at 7:30 am (an hour and a half after my water broke) to let her know my water broke and I haven't felt the baby move since 6 am. She suggested I drink a large glass of ice water and lay down on my right side to get the baby to move (you're supposed to feel 10 kicks/hour).
At this point, I was having some mild, inconsistent contractions. The midwife called me back 20 minutes later and told me to come in so they can check on the baby for everyone's peace of mind. I still hadn't felt any movement at this point so I was relieved when she asked me to come in. I finished packing my hospital bag, Savannah woke up, and we left. Normally Savannah doesn't have a problem if we leave her (especially if she is with her grandparents), but today- of course- she started to cry and my heart was breaking for her. She knew something was different that morning, life was about to change.
I love this picture of Savannah waving goodbye to us as we drove off to the Hospital.
...stay tuned for part 2 of 3....
Welcome to Moms in Harmony, I'm so glad you're here! My name is Meg and I'm a healthy lifestyle enthusiast, holistic advocate, wannabe blogger, Wife, and Mom trying to get the hang of it all. Kick off your flip flops and stay awhile!
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