. . . continued from yesterday’s post. If you missed it, start here.
My second baby arrived 24 days after her due date. Many people ask me 1.) Why didn’t you opt to induce labor? and 2.) Weren’t you worried that something was wrong?
“Trust your baby. Trust your body. Trust God.” –Midwife
1.) I had read a lot of informative books including real life experiences from intelligent women, so I knew I wanted to go into labor naturally. My favorite book on labor and delivery is called Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon. Induction was not an option in my mind. My first daughter was born naturally, without drugs, and I was determined to have my second baby the same way.
2.) We trust our digestive system, nervous system, circulatory system, respiratory system, every day. Why don’t we trust our reproductive system?
I was laboring slowly, for 20 minutes every night, for two weeks before the baby was born. Contractions started in the evening and then stopped. It was so frustrating! But I had read that it was normal, especially if your baby is on the larger side, and in fact it is a blessing–laboring slowly is less painful than laboring quickly.
In addition, my water broke a week before the baby was born. I was standing in the check-out line at the grocery store, chatting with my toddler and glancing through magazines when it broke. It wasn’t a huge gush, just a small gush. I stood there thinking, Really? In the grocery store?
It was a high leak, meaning it was just a slow leak where a little bit of fluid leaked out with each contraction. I had read in the book Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way that the exact same thing had happened to the author of the book. Her baby was fine, so I trusted that my baby was fine too. I trusted that my body knew what it was doing.
Another reason I was not worried was because I went in to the hospital for non-stress tests every 3 days for the last 2 weeks of the pregnancy. These 20-minute tests are important to make sure the baby has enough amniotic fluid. Also, the placenta has to be holding up, since it is getting older, and the baby’s heart rate mustn’t show stress or distress. (I did not tell them I had a high leak, because I didn’t want them to try to convince me to induce.) They used an ultrasound machine, along with one of those straps across my belly to listen to the baby’s heart rate. Every time I went in, the results were totally normal, and my baby was happy as could be, taking her sweet time.
I made sure to drink tons of water to keep the amniotic fluid regenerating. I also drank a lot of red raspberry leaf tea.
No one can force you to induce labor. It is each woman’s personal choice whether or not she will choose to induce. The more you self-educate, the more you will know the truth about what is going on in your body during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and breastfeeding.
The day came. Finally! It was the best day of my life! All the anticipation!
It was the day after Labor Day. Luckily, I had asked my mother-in-law to come over to help with my 2-year-old. Just before she got to my apartment, I had a long contraction. My 2-year-old and I were baking chocolate cookies with white chips. Most of the batches were done baking, and I thought I’d be able to finish all the dough, but my mother-in-law noticed that I was taking breaks to breathe.
“Are you OK?” she asked.
“Yes, just having contractions again,” I said. “I’ve had a few so far.”
“Maybe you should go get some rest,” she suggested. “Let me finish up the cookies.”
I took her advice and went to my room. I took a shower and shaved my legs, just in case it really was labor. Could it be? Had the day finally arrived?
The contractions continued and I called Andy to let him know. “Hi Honey! I’ve been having a lot of contractions.” (This didn’t mean much to him because I’d been having contractions for weeks.)
“OK. I’m picking up the new rocking chair, so I’ll come home after that.”
I labored on the bed by myself until Andy got home. Then he timed my contractions. “We should go,” he said. “I think this is the real thing.”
Yay! I was so excited!
In the car, I already felt like pushing, but I only pushed very gently with each contraction. When we finally got to the hospital, I really wanted to push, but the resident told me not to because I was only dilated 8 cm.
The baby started coming out before the doctor even got to the room. I wasn’t even in the labor and delivery room. I was still in the check-in room because it was a busy evening at the hospital. When the resident saw the head coming out, she yelled, “There’s a head!” and ran out of the room down the hall to get the doctor, who very gently instructed her to calm down.
We were so thrilled when the baby finally came out! I’ll never forget the resident’s words when she delivered the baby: “Hi, Peanut!” Everything was OK. The baby finally came! 8 lbs., 15 oz. “Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus!”
This information is merely my experience and should not be used as professional medical advice. Always consult your physician or midwife to determine what is best for you.