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January 12, 2012

Annabelle's Birth Story {Part 1}

It was a typical Thursday morning when I woke up on January 12, 2012 at about 5:50 am. Annoyed that yet again, my urge to pee woke me before my alarm clock at 6am... and we all know that 10 minutes in the morning can make a difference. But by this time, I was used to it. I sleepily made my way to the bathroom. Tinkled and felt something weird, so i went to turn on the light to make sure i wasn't releasing any bloody show or other such things. Nada...

As I laid back in bed, Larry asked "is everything alright?"

I responded "yup, just had to pee."

and as soon as i finished that sentence... GUSH!!!!!!!

"Oh crap, my water just broke!" I said.

Larry jumped up a bit and said "ok what do we do!"

I laid there thinking "this little kid is sooooo uncooperative." Yup, my first thought. My second thought was the realization that earlier that morning around 3 am, after another tinkle break in the middle of the night, the menstrual like sensations I had and I noticed were slightly different than in the previous weeks, were in fact different. I did notice they came at me like waves instead of on overall aura or sensation... and it was as i fell back asleep at 3am that i thought, "if this is different, this kid could come on Friday the 13th"...

So i said "could you get me a towel?"

Larry ran up, got me a towel and we worked to try to get it under me, all the while more water gushed out of me. It was during this time, the words of my Bradley teacher came to me... "it won't be like the movies, it may not be a gush... it could just be a trickle." And i thought, this is definitely a gush not a trickle.

So Larry is hovering by the bed and I ask for another towel to put on the ground so i can get out of bed. I tell him we need to check the towel for any color to see if there is meconium in the bag of waters that just broke. We check, and the water is clear with a slight pink hue. I make my way to the bathroom as i continue to leak like a wet leaky faucet and am able to get a pad on.

Larry asks me what we should do... so I calmly tell him "I'm going to walk Kota, to see if that gets anything really started. Why don't you shower and get ready for work?" He's hesitant, but i told him that this could go all day, so he may as well get a few billable hours in... so he agrees.
Kota's last walk before his baby sister arrived!
I walk Kota, all the while i could feel myself leaking onto the pad (luckily its absorbing it) and feeling very minor waves of contractions. I get back home and go through my BirthCare packet. Instructions on what to do when you are in labor... and in bold CAPS it states "CALL IMMEDIATELY IF YOUR WATER BREAKS". Oops, my bad... So i call.

I speak to Marsha, a midwife at BirthCare and then to my doula, Claudia - both of whom say to rest and to call back when things start to progress. I send Larry to work, although he's really excited and anxious and doesn't want to go. I start figuring out new flight plans for my mom and wake my brother. All in all, i do things to keep myself busy as i enter the first stage of early labor.

I pull out my Bradley book to look at the chart to help figure out where I am in the process. I sit back, text and IM with friends. I'm still working on getting my birth bag ready (yup, obviously not prepared for this little girl) and we haven't even cooked our Birth Day meal to eat after the birth.

Larry comes home a couple hours later. He begins to prepare our Birth Day meal of Baked Ziti (yay Carbs!).  When he is done, we decide we should eat and have lunch as well. Things start to progress a little bit, so I start to time things, but I realize that if i walk about my contractions were coming on stronger but shorter and if I laid down they were further apart but longer and more intense. Soon after lunch, we both realize how exhausted we are from the early morning excitement. So we try to take a nap...this is about 1pm.

We successfully fall asleep and are awoken to a call from Marsha asking how things were going. I explained that while nothing was consistently getting stronger because movement would give me strong short frequent contractions while laying gave me longer but less frequent contractions. She suggested nipple stimulation and castor oil.

So Larry and I get up, leash Kota and walk to the CVS closest to us. During this walk, my contractions are stronger but i'm still able to get to and from without too much hesitation.

We first try nipple stimulation which definitely works but is hard to do for a really long period of time, so after a while of that, we decide to try the castor oil - fun!!!

Now while Castor Oil doesn't cause labor and pretty much only causes massive diarrhea, the idea is that it stimulates your body and may cause contractions in your uterus. It doesn't taste good and keeps you close to the toilet. I'm not really sure if it did anything that wasn't already happening.

So About 3pm, the castor oil is down and I was told to touch base with them again as soon as I had my first movement. About 4pm, I give them a call to let them know my progress. At this time, I am talking to Laura, another midwife with BirthCare who i had just seen earlier in the week. I give her my status report and then she says, "well why don't we have you come in after traffic dies down around 7:30 pm. We'd like to check you. If you aren't progressing enough, we may want to give you cervadil to move things along. Are you ok with this?" I respond with "while I don't want to do any interventions, I think you are right. We will be there in a couple hours." But before that I would also call at about 5:30 to update my progress should there be any changes.

Not much changes, i'm still having waves of contractions that are increasing in intensity but i wasn't completely aware of how intense they were actually getting. So I checked in at 5:30 with the same status, that the contractions seem to increase but they change when i move about. So we make plans that Larry and I will head out after traffic to arrive at the Birth Center.

Just to point something out, as a first time mom, I had no idea what to expect or how to explain my contractions. My Bradley chart said that my contractions would increase with frequency and length. Because I felt that my movement changed the strength, length and frequency of the contractions, I wasn't sure if i was really moving along in the stages. I became a little hung up on figuring out where in the chart I was, that the doubt crept into my voice and the midwives felt that i just wasn't progressing as we would have liked with my descriptions.

NOTE TO SELF: you may not fit neatly into any particular phase of labor, but that doesn't mean you aren't progressing.

Stay tuned for the second part of my story!


  1. Wow I can't believe how calm you were. Anytime I thought I was in labor I freaked out. I'm glad to see you went into labor on your own and didn't have to be induced like I did, I'm sure that made things easier overall. Can't wait to read the rest!

  2. Wow, I would have been so freaked out, but it's great that you kept calm and handled it so well. Looking forward to reading Part II!

  3. i havent been online in a couple of weeks because of work/school but i'm so happy you had baby fry and that we can call her annabelle now! such a gorgeous name :) i loved reading part 1 and can't wait for part 2. btw, i loved when you said ""CALL IMMEDIATELY IF YOUR WATER BREAKS". Oops, my bad... So i call." i died laughing :)


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