Real-Life Birth Stories

Is It Time Yet? Three Days of Contractions

newborn mom baby birth labor braxton hicks

Kimberly L., Manchester, New Hampshire

My son was born on a hot day in July and I had been in mild, aggravating "is-it-time?" labor for three days. I was tired of going to the hospital only to be told that I wasn't ready. The night before I delivered him I decided that I would keep moving until this baby decided he was coming out of me.

I was three days past my due date, and I was huge and it was hot. We were living with my mother at the time and my sister was visiting us. She decided to keep me as happy as she could and agreed to accompany me to the mall. We walked the distance to the mall (no more than 1/2 a mile there) and had lunch at a family restaurant. I was pushing my 14-month-old daughter in her stroller and every so often I would stop and bend over slightly using the stroller for support as a contraction ripped through my body. All day long, strangers would stop and stare at me as I would work on managing my pain. At one point my sister had stopped in a Dunkin' Donuts for an iced coffee and as a contraction came up on me I gripped the back of a chair and closed my eyes, breathing through the pain. When I opened my eyes I found myself staring into the eyes of a woman sitting only a few feet away who begged, "Please don't deliver that baby here." :)

By late afternoon the contractions were severe enough and coming frequently enough that I felt confident that it was time. We made the 1/2-mile walk back to the house and waited for my mother to come home. I called my husband and told him to meet us at the hospital. As soon as my mom came home and saw me on all fours on the floor breathing through another contraction she agreed that this was the real deal. I left my daughter with my mom and my sister drove me to the hospital. A funny little side story...I'm a huge Family Guy fan and there was one scene in an episode that focused on Wilfred Brimley and those medical commercials he now does. During my entire pregnancy just the mere thought of this scene could have me laughing hysterically. Once I'd registered myself and my sister had me in a wheelchair and we were on our way to labor and delivery, this scene popped in my head. I began laughing hysterically, to the point where tears streamed down my cheeks. My sister was worried that the nurses would see me laughing and send me home again. Instead the nurses mistook my tears of laughter as tears of pain and kept trying to soothe me through my pain. I had a quick epidural and as with my daughter I was told that it would be several long hours before I delivered. My son was delivered less than 5 hours after my check-in. Perrin Eugene was delivered at 11:12 p.m. and weighed 9 pounds, 3 ounces, and was 21 inches long.

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