If you’ve had me as your Birth Doula (or even if you haven’t!), you’ve probably also had the pleasure of hearing my gospel:
“Labour and birth are so unpredictable each and every one is unique.”
And it’s so true! Yet every birth I attend still surprises me in some way just in case I’d forgotten what I preach!
My most recent experience in the labour room was exceptional and in being so, no exception to my gospel!
My client contacted me early on a Tuesday morning after a sweep (a common procedure whereby the doctor strips the membranes between the amniotic sac and the cervix hoping to help stimulate labour). She was dilated 2-3cm, so I made sure my Doula bag was ready and the phone ringer was on LOUD. But labour being labour, and this being a first time mom, who knew when she would give birth.
What happened next?
Can you guess?
I invite you to take a few moments to imagine...........
Ok, here’s how it actually went down:
Throughout the day, my client and I had periodical conversation about the explicit signs of prelabor that she was having. Her cramps were still “bearable” at 1pm. Fast forward to 7pm and her cramps were definitely contractions . They had increased with so much intensity that by 9pm this couple were preparing to depart for the hospital, and then her waters broke!
At the hospital the triage nurse informed my client that she was 8-9cm dilated and less than an hour later she had an epidural.
Note: an epidural at 9cm can be unusual, it’s very circumstantial and sometimes not an option
Up until this point she was using Nitrous Oxide to help cope.
Then at 11:34pm a beautiful, healthy baby was born vaginally.
Of course I left out a few details but to give you an idea that is how a labour timeline can look.
So returning to my original question, did you guess correctly?
You might be thinking “WOW that was fast, I hope mine is like that!”. That’s a valid thought, but I advise that you let that one go because remember my gospel “Labour and birth are so unpredictable each and every one is unique.”
Yours will be too.
You will hear a lot of birth stories during your pregnancy!
You will also be given a lot of solicited/unsolicited advice.
While I’m sure all of it is coming from a place of compassion and concern, it may not always be in the form of inspiring or empowering words.
So at the end of the day take it or (if it sucks) leave it, but despite everything you hear, trust in your personal experience and the process of labour as it unfolds because no matter how much you have in common with your bestie, your mother, your sister or any other wonderful woman in your life, her birth story will never be the same as yours.