Sunday seemed like a fairly standard one around our place. We went to church in the morning and then enjoyed a great day of rest, including a great nap that afternoon. As we got into the early evening hours, Jen was having some light practice contractions. But that was nothing out of the ordinary. She had been experiencing these for several previous weeks. Their timing was rather sporadic, not falling into a definite rhythm; Sunday evening was no different. I went to bed fully expecting to get up the next morning and head off to work. I set my alarm for 6:20.
At right around 6:15, I woke up to Jen coming back from her ritual morning trip to the bathroom. When you have a baby on your bladder, it is without exception the first thing you do in the morning. She climbed back in to bed and started to lay back down. Then all of a sudden she said, “Hold on. I need a second here.” Then after a short pause, “Either my water just broke or I wet my pants.” It was immediately obvious that her water had broken.
We were instantly both excited. We’d been waiting a while for this. Jen started experiencing strong contractions almost immediately, and it became readily apparent that her labor was going to progress without intervention at this point. We called our doctor, who instructed us to pack up whatever else was left and then get to the hospital pretty quickly. We made our last-minute preparations and then got in the car.
It’s a 25 minute drive to Alma; by this point, Jen was having even stronger contractions; they were coming every 3-4 minutes. We arrived at the hospital and were into our birthing room by a few minutes before 8:00. A quick check showed that Jen was dilated to 4 cm.
For the next two hours, Jen experienced strong contractions that we spaced around 2 minutes apart. She was free to walk around our room as she needed to find a comfortable position. She often leaned on me or held on to my arm as she went through the painful contractions. Luckily, this part of the labor went very quickly. After 2 hours, Jen was already fully dilated to 10 cm and it was time to push!
This had happened much faster than either of us expected. I’m not saying this was an easy process, but it was certainly faster and less painful than Jen had expected.
Then came the last part of labor — the pushing. This lasted for 2 hours and was really painful as Jen’s body stretched to allow Kayla through the birth canal. Although this was a difficult time, Jen did fantastic. She dealt with the pain and stress extremely well. She kept pushing hard despite being tired and never even asked for any type of pain medication, which we had together decided that we wanted to avoid.
We could see the head clearly for most of this final hour. We could tell that Kayla certainly had hair, which looked rather dark. And then all of a sudden, she was there! Jen gave a strong push and Kayla’s head was finally full visible. They instantly began to lightly suction out her mouth and nose to clear them of fluid, and we got to hear our first cry. Jen gave one final push and Kayla slid fully out.
They set her up on Jen’s stomach and I came around to cut the umbilical cord. And that was it. We had a very healthy, incredibly beautiful baby girl. And we are SO thankful to God for how everything went. He clearly answered every prayer we had for Kayla’s birth process and hear health. We’re excited to get to be her parents.
I’ll pass on more details soon…