Warning: If you do not wish to read a birth story, read no further.
Never going into labor naturally, (I had to be induced with Pear and Jovie due to the complications of Cholestasis,) I didn't really know what to expect. I had prayed diligently that I would go into labor and have Pike on Wednesday and I woke Wednesday morning with a feeling that "today is the day!" Mid morning, I began having slight cramps along with braxton hicks contractions. By 4pm I thought, yeah, this is probably it. But I was still really unsure if this meant that labor was coming soon or in 12 hours or 3 days. By 5pm My "braxton hicks" were about 7-8 minutes apart and still only crampy feeling. Nothing was painful enough to make me stop what I was doing and I was still full on tending to the girls, lifting, taking potty, cleaning after. It was at that point though that I called my mom and she came to pick up the girls to spend the night assuming that things would progress. 6pm rolled around, the girls had just left and Stephen and I decided we'd go to the mall and walk around a bit. On our way to the mall, my contractions began getting a little more intense and about 4 minutes apart. We thought we'd better head to the Lacey mall (closer to the hospital) and ended up at the Lacey Target where we walked around for about 30 minutes and I didn't really feel like we were progressing so I suggested we go over to the Westside mall to have a larger area to walk. We walked there for a bit and contractions seemed to remain about 5 minutes apart and not intense enough to stop walking or even to stop talking. So, I suggested we go home and I'd bake up dessert and stop thinking about it for a bit. If they got intense I'd start timing it again. We arrived home at about 7:20pm. I made some pastry cream and choux pastry for cream puffs. As I was making the choux pastry, I noticed an increase in intensity and started timing again. Contractions were about 3 minutes apart and were intense enough that I didn't want to talk and I would pause from stirring the pastry during them. It was just as Stephen sat down with his latte and hot fudge sundae and just as I stuck the choux pastry in the oven that I realized we'd better go to the hospital. Stephen was more than ready to give up his latte and sundae in order to not be delivering a baby at home, by himself. We got to the hospital around 8pm and everyone took their time checking us in, the nurse stuck me in an exam room with the NST machine and came back to check on me after about 20 minutes. In the meantime, my mom arrived and she said that as she came in, the nurse advised her that she didn't know if I was a keeper (she must have thought I'm just an inexperienced mom who was much too calm to be in actual labor.) I was dilated to 5, 95% effaced at that point and when I advised her that with both previous pregnancies I delivered babies within 2 hours of dilating to 5cm she frantically set up a room and called the doctor. I think I surprised her! We got settled into our room and the contractions increased in intensity. The doctors and nurses granted all of my wishes in my birth plan. I had intermittent fetal monitoring, no pain meds and no IVs. The nurse took a specimen to see if my water had broken as I told her I thought I was leaking fluid but not much at all. When the specimen came back positive, she asked me how long I had been leaking. She WAS NOT HAPPY to hear that I had been leaking for 3 days. (I took all precautions to avoid infection and was watching the quantity of leakage carefully. I didn't call the doctors because if I had, they would have induced me within 12 hours of the start of the leaking which I wanted to avoid.) I was given freedom to labor and deliver basically however I wanted. I found the only way to get through the contractions was to walk through them. I was walking until I felt I needed to push. Dr. Harriage arrived at 9:45. I told him I'm feeling pressure. He got changed and came back to check on me. I still had 2cm to go so I got up and kept walking and breathing through contractions. At 10pm I felt my water break and said that he's coming NOW! Dr. Harriage checked me again and said I was ready. 10:15pm Pike Henry Backholm entered the world cuddled up in my arms and was quite calm. We had to rouse him a little to make him cry. He remained calm all night. He'd wake or we'd wake him but after nursing he was completely calm and slept wonderfully. The doctors and nurses were amazed at the birth. My doctor said that it was really refreshing to be a part of a birth that went just as it should have. So, how long was my labor? I'm not really sure. I guess you could say that it started around 5pm. But labor the way that I pictured it didn't really start until about 8pm. I am blessed to have such short labors. I feel for women who have to endure longer. Also, I don't know how women do it when they are strapped to a bed with IVs and monitors. Walking around was the only way I got through it.
Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield;my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.