During this time our birthing pool was shared amongst a couple other moms in the hopes to start a new tradition. It was passed to three mothers only one of which was able to fill it during labour but was unfortunately able to use it.
I hoped that when it was my turn again, I would be lucky enough to experience another water birth. I still remember vividly watching a video of an infant swimming underwater and learning that some women have water births in elementary school. I’ve always felt so happy in and around water that it’s just always been something very important to me to bring my humans into the world this way.
I remember the anticipation I felt the week leading up to labour day. I had much stronger Braxton Hicks contractions right from 6months of pregnancy so it clouded my sensory a little.
Nearly every night I would wake up to a Braxton Hicks contraction and find myself lying there… counting… wondering if it was go time.
This resulted in many poorly rested nights!
My spouse Adam would ask me excitedly and through random times in the day “is it time yet!?”
I had some very specific goals this time around in preparation from the last birth:
1. Video of the birth and at least a minute of video every hour.
2. Cold/ frozen wipes- because you get so hot from pushing near the end.
3. Quick suturing of the vagina- most painful part once the adrenaline wear off.
How did you know ?
We always wonder how pregnant women know it’s “go-time.” The truth is not everyone knows. (From the many moms I’ve spoken to.) For myself, I have a good understanding of my personal base line so when things deviate in less than normal ranges… I pay more attention.
Being a second pregnancy, I also hoped that I had more insight from my first. Though I knew not to expect the exact same circumstances as the first, I essentially had established a good baseline.
Like I mentioned before- the week leading up I would wake up due to a Braxton Hicks contraction and find myself counting to see they had become regular.
On the morning morning of April 2, 2020 at 03:11hrs I found myself thinking (again) “is it go time?”
3:11am water broke ?
Try to sleep between contractions
Patti and Adam sleeping.
It started perhaps a bit before but it was at this moment I began recording the intervals on my phone and setting a timer.
The first pregnancy they were regular and quite spot on in terms of being spaced apart at regular times. (8mins when I started tracking.) This time… they were regular in the sense they were coming in waves and not “one offs” but the time between each would range from 6minutes to 12 minutes the first few hours I was tracking.
Due to the irregularity of the intervals I paid more attention to the other signs. Unlike the first pregnancy where when I relaxed my cervix during the contraction and had a huge pop and gush of water- this time when I started to relax through what I expected to be regular contractions I felt tiny gushes of water each time. This is how I also knew it was “go time.”
I remember asking myself “am I peeing? Naw I don’t think I’m peeing- pretty sure it’s my water breaking.” This was all around the 03:11hrs mark, where I was confirming whether or not I was in labour.
One of the other specific things I wanted this pregnancy was Adam to rest. So for the next few hours… I counted… breathed heavily… alone.
I remember vividly thinking I would go downstairs and make some masks to pass the time and distract myself, while not risking waking up Adam. I made it to the front foyer and found my myself leaning up against the wall and breathing deep lying through a painful contraction all the whole thinking “how am I going to sustain this for at least 14hrs (how long the first labour took) and potentially longer??!”
On a scale of 1-10 I felt like I was already at 6/10 which is nuts to be able to sustain that level and more for another several hours. This is what I felt at the last 4-6hrs of the first labour. (Instead of thinking this might be a sign I was closer to deliver- I used this as reference point for it being a lot worse before it was going to be better.)
It was then I was worried for the first time. Worried that I didn’t get enough rest the past weeks and was going to have a much harder labour due to it. When I finished the contraction I knew there was no way I was going to be able to do anything so I went back to bed.
This was around 05:30hrs I tried really hard to sleep between contractions. The excitement of acknowledging that I was in labour was settling and I was going into conservation mode. Adam and my mom were sleeping- good. I wanted them rested for whatever was to come.
6:15 – bathroom braiding hair
6:16 – bloody show
Around 06:15hrs I made a few video journals of what I was enduring. I braided my hair in preparation for the imminent “workout”. Capturing the progression of contractions. 06:16hrs I had my bloody show. Game on the babies coming!!
6:51 making breakfast
7:11- carb loading
06:51 I tried to make some breakfast but the contractions were so strong. I ended up carb loading with some cereal.
The contractions were so strong. I kept thinking how am I going to make it potential 20+ hours if they were already so intense.
We had planned an open house labour day party where people would drop by throughout the early stages of labour but with the beginning of pandemic season… there were so many unknowns and we still invited people to wave from outside to cheer us on. Sadly only 1 set of friends came by. Yay pandemic.
My family was still sleeping, I was intent on prolonging waking anyone for as long as possible.
I think the family started to wake up around 07:30hrs/ 08:00hrs. The next video clip I have is of my Big Human at 08:22hrs sitting on me in bed playing.
This was the last time I kept track of contractions.
8:40 – 1min30sec