Finally getting around to documenting what happened over 5 weeks ago! I actually thought I would get around to it last week, but then after reading about a birth story of former classmate/friend of mine from my childhood that had a very different outcome than mine, I just couldn’t get myself to write about my experience. I felt too much sorrow for her and for all women who so very much desire for children but for whatever reason are unable to or have experienced a pregnancy loss. I cannot imagine the pain, and I’m so sorry for what those of you who have or are experiencing this must be going through. And I’m sure social media makes it worse, with all the pictures of pregnancy announcements, birth announcements, and of people’s children. I am guilty of all such social media posts, and I am sorry if it inflicts pain on anyone.
However, I still want to share Zachary’s birth story for both documentation purposes for myself, as it is a very big and important moment in my life, and for others who are interested, as I myself love reading about other people’s birth stories. Just know, though, that if you’re someone who is experiencing sorrow regarding pregnancy or there lack of, you are in my prayers.
So here it is:
Zachary’s Birth Story Part 1
My last day of work prior to my scheduled maternity leave was Friday, January 22nd. My actual 6 weeks of maternity leave was to start Monday, February 1st, which was my due date according to my first trimester ultrasound. However, dating by date of conception-which I was quite sure of-had me due January 25th. Because of the confusion with my due date, I was allowed to use one of my vacation weeks to extend the beginning of maternity leave in case I delivered before February 1st.
There were a lot of long days at work during that final week, as I made sure everything was squared away prior to my time off. When I walked out of the hospital that Friday, I was exhausted and relieved to finally be able to catch up on some rest. I was hoping to deliver the upcoming week in order to maximize the time I was to have with my son, but at the same time, I was sorta hoping Zachary would wait at least a few days before coming so that I could fit in a little extra of that rest I wanted.
However, I’m not always the best at “resting”–haha–although in my definition, “resting” also means “rejuvenating” which means doing things that you enjoy doing. Running outside in the fresh air is something I love to do, and something I don’t get to do too often; the only time I am usually able to fit in runs is very very early in the morning, which in part due to safety reasons forces me onto the treadmill.
So when I awoke early Sunday morning and Dean and Addison were still asleep and the sun was about to rise, I was like, “yes! I can run outside and see the sunrise!”
And so that’s what I did. I quickly changed, got in the car and drove myself and my ~39 week pregnant belly to the lakefront and headed out for a run. It was crisp, refreshing, beautiful, and I felt great.
I normally get frequent Braxton Hicks contractions when I work out. However, during my run I noticed that my Braxton Hicks contractions were a bit more frequent and intense compared to normal, forcing me to stop several times during my run. At the back of my head I jokingly thought wouldn’t it be funny if I went into labor today? But I quickly dismissed that thought as being unlikely.
After 5 beautiful solo miles along the lakefront, I made it back to my car, rushed home, and got ready for church.
At church, I again noticed that my Braxton Hicks contractions seemed more frequent than normal for this pregnancy (they were VERY frequent and intense during Addison’s pregnancy, starting as early as 20 weeks, but much less so during this pregnancy), but I still didn’t think it meant anything.
That night after putting Addison to sleep, Dean and I sat down to watch our TV obsession: the Walking Dead. At around 11:00, my (Braxton Hicks/early labor) contractions were occurring regularly and frequently…around every 3 minutes. Again, frequent contractions were very common for me during Addison’s pregnancy, but not this one. I also noticed that I was feeling the contractions down lower…as if my whole uterus was contracting, not just the middle and top parts as it would often feel like to me during a Braxton Hicks contraction. It wasn’t at all painful at this point, but this was exactly how my contractions felt the day I went into labor with Addison…they felt lower in the pelvis (in addition to being felt up higher). It was at this point that I turned to Dean and said, “I think we’re having this baby tomorrow!” I don’t think Dean was expecting this, and he started to get nervous/excited!
We finished the Walking Dead episode we were watching and then went to bed, perhaps around 11:30? During Addison’s pregnancy, I developed these contractions very early on the Friday morning before her birthday. I went to work, worked through the contractions all day, went home, developed more painful contractions that evening, went to the hospital around 10-11 at night, and then delivered Addison at 11:22 am the next morning. So there was a lot of time between the start of the early labor contractions and the actual delivery.
Not so much this time.
Dean quickly fell asleep after we went to bed, but I did not. The contractions were becoming more intense, and I was starting to feel them in my back. They soon started to become uncomfortable, around 12-1:00 am. I also noticed that it kept feeling like I was peeing in my pants (sorry if TMI). Turns out that I later discovered this was my water breaking, which was more of a leak than an actual gush of fluid, but I did not realize this at this point.
At this time, I thought there was still time, and I irrationally thought I’d just wait it out to the morning, drop Addison off at her Montessori School at 7:30, and then head over to the hospital. haha, yeah right…not according to Zachary’s plan! The contractions were then starting to become downright painful, forcing me to tense up whenever I had them. I then realized we would have to go to the hospital much sooner than I thought.
I woke Dean up and told him to start getting ready. Luckily, his family is nearby…he called his family around 2:00 am, and his brother immediately jumped in the car and drove down to our place to be with Addison (thanks Paul!).
At around 3:00 am, Dean and I were on our way to the hospital.
To be continued…