Today we’re talking birth timelines! Pregnancy, birth, and parenting are wild rides. Labor and birth can look so very different from one baby to the next, yes, even to the same woman. No two birth timelines are the same, and that is normal!
Fifteen years ago I gave birth to our daughter. I am sharing her birth timeline with all of you because I truly believe sharing about all of our trimesters are important. No matter how you give birth, no matter where you give birth, and no matter the circumstances surrounding how you became a parent! You matter!
Birth is a normal function of the body. While many things may make us individually unique in this life one thing we share in common is that we were all born!
Discussing birth timelines and how vastly they vary helps couples see there is a wide range of normal. The birth timeline in this blog is for my 3rd birth. There is 10 years between this birth and the last.
There were key parts of this birth that led me to my work as a doula! I share about those in the next blog. Stay tuned!!
T-29 hours before giving birth:
- I was 41 weeks and 5 days pregnant and felt great.
- We were planning an out of hospital birth with this baby.
- I had a healthy textbook pregnancy.
I went in for an appointment and asked about having my membranes swept. I knew that it wouldn’t be fun, and I could risk premature rupture of membranes and being exhausted from contractions when I finally gave birth. I knew the risks and benefits and chose to try this induction method in hopes she would make an appearance before I tired completely from contractions or risked a hospital transfer.
T-24 hours before giving birth:
- Period like contractions started (normal from membrane sweep).
T-20 hours before giving birth:
- I was walking to see if labor would pick up or simmer down.
- It simmered down enough for me to get much needed rest.
- Tomorrow my life would change forever.
T-9 hours before giving birth:
- Longest night ever, but I rested and dozed off because I knew I need to reserve energy.
- Contractions were picking up.
- I was tired AND over it before I was even well into it.
- I had my husband go ahead and get our son ready for his football game and he and our three boys headed out (just a few miles up the road).
- I showered, ate, and labored alone with Bud, our sweet Labrador. It was peaceful there, just me, my birth ball, and Bud.
T-6 hours before giving birth:
- Noted in my birth timelines for each baby is, when “Shit got real!”
- I was extremely hopeful now that she would make her appearance before the 42 week cut off. When I said two weeks early that I was enjoying this pregnancy so much I could be pregnant forever I was only expressing how well I felt, I didn’t literally want to be pregnant forever.
T-5 hours before giving birth:
- I no longer wanted to be alone.
- I needed words of encouragement and the presence of another woman I trusted through this part of my labor.
- I called my neighbor, she made me feel safe.
Only a few hours later, after our daughter was born, I would learn what a “doula” was and those wheels were set into motion.
T-4 hours before giving birth:
- Things were pretty intense i was saying things I normally wouldn’t say and getting a little discouraged.
- Our son’s game had ended and he was about to have cupcakes with his team. Instead he tooks a cupcake to go. I remember how excited our son was to be a big brother!! Our son had told us if it’s a practice I’ll miss it to be there when she is born, if it’s a game keep her in there till it’s over. Now, eight years later he truly understands that’s not how that works right. She must have heard his request though because she stayed put.
T-3 hours before giving birth:
- I entered transition in the car.
- Once there our three boys and my mother-in-law waited in the other room, listening one ear at the door so they could hear the moment she was born.
- My husband was my soul support through the most intense part of my labor.
- My husband had no idea what the hell was happening, this was his first baby and the first birth he had ever seen.
- My husband believed in me, he held me, he told me he loved me, he gave me sips of juice, and he turned the video camera off and on like I made him promise he would do!!
T-1 hours before giving birth:
- These were the final moments that my daughter and I would be one.
- The last moments as a family of 5.
- The last time I would have the honor of becoming a mother.
- As I pushed and waited and waited and pushed and wondered why in the hell it was taking me so long.
- I knew the process, but in the moment we can over think things sometimes, I was in this moment.
- My midwife sat patiently. She assured me everything was o.k., and waited peacefully as our daughter inched earthside.
I knew all about letting go of preconceived ideas of birth timelines and how long it should take to birth a baby, but when you’re in the hot seat, or your “seat” is hot (pun intended) it’s a little different .
As I lay there with my husband by my side I knew I was surrounded by love and I was safe with my caregiver. It seemed like I had pushed forever, but in all actuality I think it was more like an hour or an hour and a half.
Happy BIRTHday to me.. oh I and our daughter!
You see, 8 years ago today I gave birth to a little girl who would forever change me. She is compassionate, gentle, forgiving, smart, and funny as all get out. Eight years later and I never forget our story, just like the first baby I birthed 20 years ago and the second baby I birthed nearly 18 years ago.
Our births matter! Our stories matter! From generation to generation from one culture to another, when I celebrate the birth of my children I celebrate the birth of new mothers everywhere!