On Monday, April 22, 2024, at 38 weeks and 5 days, I started experiencing contractions. Initially 90 minutes apart, they were distinct enough to recognize. Along with contractions, I had bouts of diarrhea and vomiting, prompting me to call my OB for advice. They recommended monitoring my symptoms and advised heading to the hospital if they progressed. By evening, the contractions had intensified, so I headed to the hospital where Amber and the intended mom met me.

After being triaged, monitored, and tested, it was determined that I was only 2 cm dilated, and I was advised to return home. Reluctantly, I followed their recommendation. The next day, my contractions were closer together but still inconsistent. With my previous labor and delivery experience, I knew most facilities prefer not to induce before 39 weeks. Understanding this, I decided to wait until I was 39 weeks and 6 days, knowing they would be more likely to admit me.

I called my midwife, Cheryl, requesting an in-office cervical exam that day. I was 4-5 cm dilated. I informed Wombmate’s mom, Amber, and the cardiac team at the hospital, and we prepared to leave at 5 PM. Upon checking in and getting settled, I told my night nurse that I did not wish to be induced overnight since my contractions were still not consistent. This also allowed time for the intended father to arrive the next day. The on-call physician agreed with my request based on my current condition.

The following morning, I received my epidural at 6:30 AM. Contractions were about 15-20 minutes apart, and I was now 6 cm dilated. At 12 PM, we started Pitocin to induce labor, and by 2 PM, my water was manually broken. The intended father arrived that morning, so we all waited patiently for Baby M’s arrival.

By 4 PM, the contractions were strong, and the epidural was wearing off. At 9 cm dilated, I started getting into comfortable laboring positions to help bring her down to the birthing canal. After 45 minutes, I was ready to push and was fully dilated at 10 cm. We moved to the designated delivery area, and after only 4 minutes of pushing, Mom, Amber, and I welcomed Baby M into the world. She was immediately taken to the NICU for heart monitoring.

Baby M was born weighing 7 lbs and 7 oz. I was taken to recover safely, and after a few days of monitoring, we were both discharged. Astonishingly, Baby M had no heart complications and no signs of clubfoot. We were all over the moon with joy and relief, celebrating the healthy arrival of our little miracle.