Is This Labor?

Yes, the clueless Taylors actually were able to get a birthing class in before our Vera was born. We, at the time, were still in the motor home here in Kentucky and our doula came out to us and gave us a private birthing class in the motor home. I am sure that was a first for her:)- Wow, how amazing is that?!

It wasn’t what you typically expected from a birthing class, but was more educational. There wasn’t any rhythmic breathing or weird positions (although more to come on that). It was more of informing us on the birthing process and coming up with our birth plan. We discussed all of the things that could happen in labor and what to expect, because honestly I was not well-informed on much of it.

By now, many of you know my researching nature, and it was ironic that I did not know as much as I thought I would know about labor and delivery. I knew I wanted to experience every part of the process, but outside of that, I didn’t know much of what would occur. It is quite different to see someone in labor and then to experience it yourself! I guess there is a part of me that thought that some naivety would be good:) I didn’t want to be too scared about the birthing process!

As our doula left the birthing class from our motor home, she left with giving us the signs of labor and a plan of what to do if I was in labor. We decided that if I thought I was in labor to first call her, then I would call my midwife. I did not want my midwife to head up to the hospital to only learn that it was false labor, so to know my doula was the first in line to get that call made me feel better.

I know that most of my readers at this point are women, so I will keep that in mind while writing these posts on labor and delivery. But, I will try to not be too explicit in my descriptions to not gross you all out:) Labor and delivery is intense, isn’t it?!

I had been having cramping since I was about 35 weeks, and everything I read and heard was that contractions were like really bad menstrual cramps. So, when I would have cramping, I would time them and I wasn’t sure if they were contractions or just cramps. Our doula had recommended a contraction timing app on my phone, so I would always time what I felt just in case they got super close together.

One night at the motor home, I woke up in the middle of the night with bad cramping and began timing it. I now know they weren’t contractions, but how was I supposed to know? It really is confusing!

They stopped the next day, so I wrote it off and went about life.

I continued to have cramping and some small contractions that doubled me over at times, but nothing consistent.

Then, finally, I started having consistent contractions! It was Thursday night, August 11, and at about midnight I started having cramping that doubled me over every 6 minutes or so. I really wanted to labor at home as long as I could, but I still was questioning if this was it. I was 2 days overdue at this point, and it was hard to question whether or not I was wanting it to happen or if it really was happening! I did not sleep a wink all night!

I finally got out of the bed around 3 o clock and thought “This is it!” I hadn’t felt anything like this in the earlier times I had experienced cramping. I didn’t wake up Josh because I knew if this was it, he would need as much sleep as he could get! I packed a hospital bag in addition to the one that was in our car, fixed my hair, packed Genevieve a bag, wrote instructions to Tammy of Genevieve’s schedule for when our parents came to the hospital, and tried to get other things together thinking that this could be it.

So, I decided to call my doula (bless her- I hated to do this in the middle of the night), but after our birthing class, we all decided that would be the first call once we thought I was in labor. She quickly answered the phone and told me to try and rest some. If this was it, rest wouldn’t stop my contractions, and if I could rest, that would be good because I wouldn’t be getting much for the next few months of my life:) Help me Lord!

So, I laid back down, and to my surprise, I went to sleep and when I woke up, the contractions were gone! Dangit! I thought this was it! I still was convinced that I had to be in some type of early labor because I had consistent contractions for hours, and I wanted to be wise, so I called my midwife and asked if I could come in her office that day to just see if it was for real or if the contractions helped my body progress any.

If you know me, this is so not like me! I typically write things off, but with a baby, I knew it was better to be safe and make sure there was nothing wrong. She was still moving in me like crazy, so I knew she was okay, but still wanted to get checked out.

So, Friday morning, we headed to the doctor’s office to see if I was indeed in labor. I did make some progress with those contractions and was more dilated, but I was not in active labor because my contractions stopped. Vera’s heartbeat was still strong and everything was still in place– so, nope, not in labor. I was really hoping to avoid a false labor scare! But that is what we had.

Our midwife and the staff did not make me feel silly at all, and if anything reaffirmed my decision to come get checked out. They gladly let me come in their office that day to check me even though I wasn’t on their schedule and I didn’t have to go to the hospital—they really are the best!

So, we got back in the car, now 3 days overdue, to head back home and not be in labor.

Even though I was so ready for Vera to be here, all throughout I had so much peace about the timing of her coming. I just kept saying, “God I trust you. I want her to be here in your perfect timing.” That was a hard prayer to pray when I was overdue and so convinced she would have made her appearance already, nonetheless trying not to worry about me and our birth mother being in labor together–but I have learned that when I pray prayers of surrender—praying for what God wants and not what I want–it is truly beautiful.

At this point, our moms had been here for several weeks, Josh’s dad had been here several days, Tammy had come in just for the week, and we all thought Vera would have been here by then! I was really struggling with feelings of guilt for my family continuing to wait when they took time off of work, drove and flew to a state they were completely unfamiliar with to only still be waiting for a baby that was taking her time!

I kept having to pray the prayer of God’s timing and what He wanted over what I wanted, knowing and trusting His plan was way better than mine anyway. Man, has he proven that over and over and over…. I wasn’t about to start questioning it now.

Josh was amazing in continuing to remind me to trust and wait.

So, we had our first false labor, and my due date had passed, and we were inching closer to our birth mother’s due date—“Lord, please help these babies not come at the same time.” That was another prayer I kept praying in conjunction with “thy will be done” prayers…

So, we just continued to wait.

I’ll share more of leading up to the REAL labor tomorrow.

I want what you want, Lord,

Aly