Great to Meet You
I’m Sara, commonly referred to as The Vagina Whisperer. I am a pelvic rehabilitation Physical Therapist and this is the delivery and birth story of my first child, Dylan. As my profession may suggest, I had a full plan in place for my first birth. I had hired a doula and was mentally preparing for a natural birth in a hospital. It was a wonderful plan, but as they say…life is full of surprises!
The Beginnings of Labor – Sunday, 6 P.M.
I went into labor around sunset on Sunday night and called my doula with the update at 9 PM. She said to call her back when my contractions were 5 minutes apart lasting 1 minute for 1 hour (the 5-1-1 rule). 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.
Intensity Increases – Monday, 2:30 A.M.
At this point, I was so uncomfortable and was having difficulty talking. Within the next 30 minutes my contractions went from occurring every 6-7 minutes to every 2 minutes, but they were only 30-45 seconds long.
My husband decided to call the doula to ask if we should go to the hospital. We got no answer. We proceeded to call her six more times, YES six more times, and still no answer. We had no idea what to do. My contractions were getting stronger and were so painful that I started shaking uncontrollably. My husband said, “I think we should go now.”
Go Time – MONDAY, 4 A.M.
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.”
My contractions were SO severe at this point that I was screaming, like blood curdling screams, every time a contraction came. As my husband continued to pack the car (this felt like forever), 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 A.M. Thank goodness there was no traffic.
A Race Against the Clock
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. I 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 our son. Three minutes and three pushes and we had a baby boy in our arms. The doula didn’t make it to the birth, nor did my OB. A first year resident doctor and a team of amazing labor and delivery nurses brought him safely Earthside.
Looking Back On It All
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 previously had 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 November 2021.
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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.