Sunday, 6 p.m.
I am a pelvic rehabilitation Physical Therapist and delivered my first child, Dylan, on March 23, 2015. I hired a doula and planned to have a natural birth in a hospital. I went into labor on a Sunday night around 6 PM and called my doula at 9 PM. She said when your contractions get 5 minutes apart lasting 1 minute for 1 hour, then call me. So I took a bath, a Tylenol PM, and ate a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Contractions were every 6-8 minutes, or so my nifty little timer on my App told me.
Monday, 2:30 a.m.
By 2:30 a.m., I was so uncomfortable I was having difficulty talking and rocked my hips back and forth around every 6-7 minutes when a contraction came. Within the next 30 minutes my contractions went from occurring every 6-7 minutes to every 2 minutes but were only 30-45s long. My husband decided to call the doula to ask if we should go to the hospital, and we got no answer. We proceeded to call her six more times, YES six more times, and got no answer. We had no idea what to do. My contractions were getting stronger and more painful and I started shaking uncontrollably. My husband said, “I think we should go now.”
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It’s all somewhat hazy after this point. My husband started packing the car, and I curled up in a ball on my bed writhing in pain and heard a “pop” as water gushed out from between my legs. I crawled completely naked on my bedroom floor and sat on the toilet. I started to feel such an extreme amount of pressure at the bottom of my vagina and thought, “I am about to take the biggest shit of my life or I am about to have this baby.”
Monday, 4 a.m.
My contractions are SO severe at this point that I am screaming, like blood curdling screams, every time a contraction comes. As my husband continued to pack the car (this felt like foreeeeever) I crawled to the front door. He picked me up and carried me into the back seat of the car. We raced to the hospital at 4 AM and thank goodness there was no traffic.
When we arrived at the hospital, I literally spilled out of the car as my husband raced around the back of the car to help me. I could not walk and slid to my knees and could see the sliding glass doors at the entry way in front of me. Moments later (they must have heard me screaming), a group of people ran outside with a wheelchair and scooped me into it. They raced me down the hallway and practically tossed me onto a hospital bed onto my side. “Let me check you” someone said. “She is 3+. The baby is coming NOW.”
3 minutes, 3 pushes
I looked up at my husband at the head of my bed and we likely both thought, “Holy shit, is this happening?” Three minutes from arrival at the hospital driveway to the birth of my son. Three minutes and three pushes and we had a baby boy in our arms. The doula didn’t make the birth, nor did my OB. A first year resident doctor and a team of amazing labor and delivery nurses brought him Earthside.
I guess all is well that ends well. Despite the excitement and the making of a good story, my labor was not the blissful natural delivery I envisioned. But my husband did tell me to let my friends and patients know he is available for hire for future doula services 🙂
This blog was originally posted on Lucie’s List and updated July 2019.
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Sara Reardon PT, DPT, WCS is the owner of NOLA Pelvic Health and founder of The Vagina Whisperer, a resource for online pelvic health education and therapy to help women worldwide with pelvic health conditions. She is a board certified women’s health physical therapist with a special interest in treating pelvic pain and pregnancy and postpartum conditions. She is a mom, wife, Saints fan and wanna be yogi.