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By Mary Caroline
Jeanne’s Estimated due date was Friday, May 30th. I really, really wanted to see my eldest daughter’s dance at her first recital, so I believe Jeanne felt this and waited. It sounds crazy but the mind is a powerful thing. I did have two nights where I was sure labor had started, but after 1-2 hours, it stopped. By Sunday I was antsy. I didn’t want to go too far past my due date as I was feeling and looking huge. I was ready, naturally, I mean. She was our 4th! And for many the 4th births are usually early and not late….
At 8:30am I decided to take a tablespoon of castor oil with prune juice, I had read this in the Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth book (Note: Please read disclaimer below or on side bar). I waited a few hours and nothing happened. So at 12:30pm I decided to take 1 tsp with scrambled eggs and waited and waited but still nothing. By 2:30pm I decided to take a brisk walk around the block to get the blood pumping and hopefully bowels moving :-). Low and behold when I came back the cramps began. At around 3:30pm, after a couple of more trips to the bathroom to move my bowels I noticed the REAL “cramps” of labor pains had begun.
Poor Azi wanted to have a tag sale in front of the house to sell her dolls (she was trying to save up for an American Girl Doll) but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to move from the rocking chair, especially knowing I will be running back and forth to the bathroom, the contractions were getting stronger and the timing was weird. At first they were coming 7, 3, 2 and 1 minute apart. They were coming in that order for about an hour. I realized I needed to shower and wanted to shave my legs in case this was the big day :-). Before I got in the shower I called my Doula, Gail as well as Sarah and Ana (My sister and mother in law). I then took a nice hot shower. I couldn’t help but noticed how beautiful and strong the sun was shining into the window. As soon as I got out Gail arrived. At that time it was 6:30pm and the contractions were definitely stronger. I was hungry but it was hard to eat because contractions were about 3 minutes apart. We called the Hospital to let the Midwife on call know that we were coming soon. The Midwife on call was Fran. She was also the Midwife that helped deliver Calvin (My third baby).
The contractions were now getting much stronger, I couldn’t even talk during them. I found something to help me focus on breathing and to help to sort of transfer my pain to. It was a little brown piece of clay that I kept turning in my finger and making into a cube shape. So interesting how calming that is. I didn’t even notice I was doing this until Gail brought it to my attention. Of course I left the hospital bag to pack for the last minute. Gail helped me pack the rest while my husband got all of the snacks ready. (I remembered how starving I was in the middle of the night in hospital after Calvin’s birth!). As soon as Sarah and Ana entered the house, we were rushing down the stairs to the hospital!
The Car Ride
During the car ride things got more interesting as it was similar to my 3rd baby’s birth, except we were driving from a different location since we have moved since then. As soon as I stepped out of the house the contractions were coming much closer in time. It must be something about rushing into the car that makes the transition into active labor happen very quickly! I had three contractions before I was able to get into the car. Probably because we were trying to figure out if Gail should follow us in her car or come with us in ours. I don’t know why they were asking me since I couldn’t even think beyond breathing and the pain! Before getting into the back seat I felt the baby move down and I got the sudden urge to urinate. I contemplated going back inside but Gail said “Let’s go!” because she knew it was the baby’s head engaging into the pelvis. So I got into the back seat on all fours.
In the car Gail put a chucks pad underneath me incase my water broke and we sped off like a bat out of hell! As soon as we started to move, this sudden urge to push came over me and POP, my water broke! I felt it all down my legs. I wanted to scream but my husband kept telling me to breath, which I did. I felt like all of the turns and me having to hold on helped her come down more!
At the Hospital
As soon as we pulled up to the ER entrance, my husband rushes in to get a gurney. Luckily there was an EMT at the door with one ready. I don’t even remember if my husband pulled me out of the car or if I go out myself but I do remember one shoe was stuck under the front seat of the car while the other was still on my foot LOL! I really didn’t care. One girl said I was Cinderella LOL!
I remember laying on my side on the gurney, feeling the baby move down more and me trying not to push. We were speeding down the hallway and I could feel her head starting to emerge. There was this burning feeling called the ring of fire. I knew this was it and she was almost here! I kept telling myself “I’m open, I’m open”. I was telling my body to open up, I did not want to rip. I placed my hand below and felt the top of her hairy little head as it was emerging. I was telling them that her head was coming out! I know I could have pushed her out right there but I wanted the midwife to be there, to help guide me.
As we entered the labor and delivery room my Doula, Gail suggested I push on all fours and I remember thinking “Oh heck no, I am not moving”. Later she told me that she thought the baby’s shoulders were stuck because only her eyebrows were visible. So she thought I couldn’t push more, but I was just waiting for Fran, the midwife to tell me to push and to guide me because I didn’t want to tear. Shortly after, Fran came in and she had a look, she then said, “Okay Mary push” and like a little wet fish, out she came!
Fran immediately put her on my chest and I was able to look into her beautiful eyes and squished little face. Apparently a lot of babies had decided to be born this day so the nurse and midwife gave us some time to bond while attending to another birthing mother. We let Jeanne lay on my belly and enjoyed watching her little legs push down on my abdomen while searching for my breast. Amazingly Jeanne was able to latch on my breast! A few moments later I felt the urge to push the placenta out, and did with no problem. It was such a relief to have Jeanne and the placenta out!
❤️❤️ Jeanne Scarlett-Snow ❤️❤️
8lbs 4oz 21.5”
Born at 8:01pm
Disclaimer: The information on this site is for educational purposes and is intended to motivate you to make your own informed choices based on your research, along with your partnership with your OB or Midwife. Please always talk to your care provider when making any decisions about your pregnancy and birth.