Handsome Hank: A Birth Story* (Part 1)

Well, if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll already know that the Hubster and I had some very happy news this week. Our beautiful boy finally arrived on Thursday morning and we couldn’t be happier. Even though I was three days overdue, his arrival was a little unexpected and happened in a whirlwind.

In thirteen short minutes our lives changed completely… but let’s take a step back, shall we?

On Wednesday I was two days past my due date and had a check-in with my midwife. Aside from some sporadic cramping, I still wasn’t really feeling anything that made me feel like labor was happening anytime soon. We went through all the routine checks, and she finished my visit with an internal exam. She confirmed what I already suspected: much like my first pregnancy, I hadn’t progressed at all. All the signs pointed toward an induction, and we selected a date for the following week. I made an appointment to see her again two days later, and headed home.

We didn’t do anything terribly special on Wednesday night–I was supposed to go get a few groceries, but as I figured I now had at least another week to wait before the baby arrived, I decided there was no rush. We made dinner, put Ruby to bed and curled up on the couch to watch TV. We went to bed around 11pm, and aside from my usual wicked heartburn, I didn’t feel anything different.

I was up a lot through the night, but it was only because I felt like I had to pee non-stop. At my 4:30am bathroom visit I started to feel some light cramping, but that was nothing out of the ordinary. I had had cramping through the night on several occasions and it always subsided by the time I finished my shower in the morning.

Ruby let us sleep in a little on Thursday morning, and it was after 7am before we got out of bed. I’m pretty sure I had kept the Hubster up half the night with my frequent trips to the bathroom, and he decided to take the day to spend at home as he was so tired.

I still felt a little crampy, but it was so light that real labor wasn’t even on my radar. I asked the Hubster to take care of Ruby’s breakfast so I could shower, fully expecting my cramps to subside, as they always did.

At 7:30am I went into the bathroom, and realized that something was different: I lost my plug. I don’t want to go into details, but basically it’s what seals your cervix shut during your pregnancy. It is supposed to fall out as your body prepares for birth, and for most women this happens several days before labor begins. It didn’t happen at all during my first pregnancy, so while I was thrilled that my body was doing something, I assumed it meant that I might go into labor sometime in the next few days.

I had my shower, and for the first time, the cramps didn’t go away. I was definitely aware of them, but they just made me a little uncomfortable and didn’t really hurt. I went downstairs, and told the Hubster what I was feeling. I knew that I could be in labor, but that it probably was a false alarm and told him not to get excited. After a bit of hemming and hawing, I decided to call my mom and tell her as well, you know, just in case. She and Big Dad were planning to come down and look after Ruby whenever I did have the baby, so I thought I would put her on standby on the off chance something did happen.

Thirty minutes later the cramping was becoming more consistent and was occasionally strong enough to hurt. I started to seriously consider that our little man might actually be on his way… I just didn’t know then how soon he planned to arrive.

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