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Telling My Birth Story

Feb. 12th was kicking off the week of when I would turn 41 weeks (I was 41 weeks on Tuesday, Feb. 13th). Any mom who has gotten past their due date knows it feels like an eternity once you hit that idealized “finish line” of 40 weeks.

I had my 41-week appointment at the birth center that day and at the appointment, they were going to check to see how dilated I was and my midwife said she could do a membrane sweep to try and get things moving along. I had experienced some Braxton hicks contractions so I assumed at that point I would have been at least 1-2 centimeters dilated.

But I wasn’t dilated at all - my cervix was still completely closed. I tried to not let this impact my mindset but I started to mentally prepare that my birth might not go how I had hoped and I might have to give birth at a hospital. If I hit 42 weeks, I would no longer be able to give birth at the birth center due to increased risks.

Since my cervix was closed they couldn’t do a true membrane sweep so instead my midwife just attempted to irritate my cervix to see if this would get things moving a bit.

It was quite uncomfortable and left me with some bleeding but they said I might experience some more discomfort that night and the next day because of the irritation.

The morning of Feb. 13th (officially 41 weeks),

I woke up around 2 or 3 am feeling some discomfort. I wasn’t quite sure if they were early labor signs or just the discomfort they had told me about due to the irritation of my cervix. I tried to sleep and breathe through as the contractions/discomfort came.

We had a 41-week ultrasound scheduled 8:30 am that Tuesday morning. Once you hit 41 weeks, they recommended a check on the placenta to ensure the baby is still getting enough nutrients and the placenta is still in good health.

Laying on a table was definitely a bit of a challenge as I was experiencing the same discomfort that started in the early hours. The good news was everything looked normal on the ultrasound. Baby was doing all the things they needed to see and the placenta looked good.

We went home and I tried to eat a bit but it was hard to with the discomfort that was getting more intense. I texted my doula to ask if she had any recommendations and to update her on what had happened so far that morning. She told me this definitely sounded like early labor and to try completing the Miles Circuit (which is a rotation of 3 different positions I had been doing daily since 36 weeks), resting when I could, taking a s shower, and just laying in bed on my side to work through contractions.

Around 4:30 pm after much back and forth with my doula and the midwife on the phone, we decided after hearing me work through contractions and the timing being 4-1-1 (4 mins apart, lasting a minute, going on for at least an hour) that it was time to head to the birth center.

The number of times I prayed and manifested I would not go into labor during rush hour traffic... and here we were driving at 430pm into Phoenix. Joey said it took us 45 minutes to get there. I felt every bit of those 45 minutes in the back seat laboring on the highway! When we got there, we went into the room and the midwife wanted to check to see how dilated I was.

I was only 1.5cm.

Again, I would have thought for how intense and long the contractions had been going on that I would be farther along than that. Since there was still so much left to go, they recommended we go home so I could try and rest in the comfort of my own home. They gave me some muscle relaxer/anti-nausea medication that should help me rest a bit since I was already so tired and the hard part hadn’t started yet.

This was definitely hard to hear both because of how little dilated I was and the fact I needed to sit in the car and more traffic to go back home, and was setting me up for a 3rd trip back when the time came.

It took us another 50 minutes to get back home.

When we got home after being sent back from the birth center, Joey ran a bath for me to try and help my muscles and body relax. This helped for a bit and then I got out and went back on the bed with lights off to try and rest through contractions.

We were home all of maybe two hours and after trying to lay down and rest (which was not really working), and trying another bath (which didnt work the second time), Joey was on the phone with both my doula and midwife and decided that it was time to head back in. This time at 8:30 pm, it only took us the normal 30 minutes to get to the birth center but for me in the back seat with intensifying contractions, it still felt painfully long.

This time when we arrived, I was thankfully 4.5/5 cm dialieted so I had progressed and it was time to start working different positions during contractions. This was exactly what I needed to hear since I was starting to feel mentally discouraged if I wasn't progressing. I had told Joey if I hadn’t progressed far enough I would need to go to the hospital because I needed something stronger to take the edge off. Thankfully it didn't come to that!

After about 3 hours, around midnight on the 14th, they broke my water and I started pushing around 1 am. After pushing for a while, my midwife felt that the amount of effort I was putting into pushing wasn’t producing what she would have expected for progress on getting him out. She suspected there were potentially 2 things working against us

1 - that part of my cervix, even though I was fully dilated, was acting like a rubberband against his head keeping him from getting past a certain point.

2 - that my sit-bones were acting almost as roadblocks.

On that next push, she was able to work and move the cervix with her finger and his head started to make its way down and stay down. Next push - similar she pressed my sit bones open to create more space and out his head came out.

That last push and final push, Joey was able to place his fingers under Beckham's armpits and guide him the rest of the way out!

After an intense 25 hours of labor and 2.5 hours of pushing, Beckham Patrick Vinck was born at 3:24am on February 14th. Our little valentine

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