Keira’s Birth Story – Part 1: Pre-Labor

The Plan

Before taking any childbirth classes, my birth plan consisted of me sticking my head in the sand and trying to ignore the fact that pregnancy ended with painful labor or a painful surgery. I’m known with the people who know me best as being the one who passes out from giving blood or even getting my eyes dilated. It wasn’t until I took a 6 week birth class through the hospital that I finally got comfortable with the idea of childbirth. And researching different comfort measures, I felt I could handle doing a natural childbirth without the use of any medications using the mantra “I can do anything for 60 seconds.”

Pre-Labor

About a month before Keira’s May 14th due date, my “fake” Braxton Hicks contractions started getting more painful and regular. While the BH contractions felt just like tightening around my belly, these contractions seemed to start in my back and radiate over to my belly. There were many times that I thought I was in the beginning stages of labor and would have Jason begin packing the bags.

Dress Rehearsal

On Monday, May 3rd, I woke up to find my contractions were getting a lot more painful and were 4 – 6 minutes apart. I found myself having a hard time concentrating through the contractions. After a month of false contractions, I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it but was quickly talked into staying home from work by Jason and my dad. I had my 39 week prenatal appointment that day anyhow so I figured that if it turned out to be false, I could return to work that afternoon.

However, just an hour before my scheduled appointment, I was having a hard time focusing on what people were saying to me and contractions had come to 4 minutes apart. Jason called the doctor’s office to ask if we should be going to their office or the hospital. They asked us just to come in early to our appointment.

As we got into the office, I was shaking and having a hard time figuring out what the nurse was saying to me. Somehow I finally ended up on the examination table to be told that I was about 2 cm dilated. The doctor informed us I was in early labor. When Jason asked if we were talking days or weeks, she responded that we should expect a baby “in 12 to 24 hours” and asked us to go ahead and labor at home until I couldn’t take any more and felt I would be more comfortable at the hospital.

For the next 24 hours, we tried to speed labor along. We went for a walk through the mall, Target, drove over bumpy rides, and tried pressure points but contractions stayed at 4 – 6 minutes apart with varying degrees of intensity.

Around 5pm on May 4th, we decided to go to the hospital as the intensity of the contractions brought tears to my eyes (still at 4 – 6 minutes apart). However, as soon as I was laying on the table in Triage and hooked up to the machines, the contractions slowed down to 15 minutes apart and the intensity died down. We were sent back home with a sheet on “false labor” and told that it may be dehydration that had caused the false labor.

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