Dashiel’s Birth Story

The day my second son, Dash, was born seemed like the shortest day of my life. That’s right, SHORTEST. 

That’s not a word most moms would use to describe the day they gave birth, I sure wouldn’t use it to describe the day Desmond, my first son, was born. You’ll see as you continue reading how this came to be true for me.
The day Dash was born I only labored 42 minutes, and after about an hour of snuggling, measuring and snacking, we slept until the sun came up. A little less than 12 hours after giving birth, we were sent home from the birthing center. 
Seems like an easy enough day, yeah? Let’s rewind almost a week. 
It’s Father’s Day and we have plans to attend a barbecue at my parents’ house after church. The whole family will be there (mostly) including my brother, Dustin, from out of state. (but minus my baby sister, who also lives out of state). 
I wake up cramping. It only lasts a minute, but it’s a feeling all too similar to that of a year before when I went into labor with my first born son. With Desmond, I woke up to contractions, and 17 hours later had a baby. 
I’m quite certain today is THE day. Despite both pregnancies being completely different (nausea with one, not the other. Cravings with one, not the other. etc). Yet I’m positive the labors will be similar, only the second comes quicker and easier, so I’m on alert and very attentive to keeping track of these contractions, just waiting for them to get close enough to head to the birthing center. 
We go ahead and go to church, we go to the barbecue, I keep tracking contractions.
Around midday I’m walking laps around my parents’ house, and realize the contractions are ranging from 1.5 to 4 minutes apart. It’s inconsistent timing and they aren’t at all painful. What’s going on? I should be on the floor crying at this point, and they should only be coming closer and closer in timing…. 
I call the midwife. 
I’m having prodromal labor. That’s false labor. FALSE LABOR! 
The midwife instructs me to sit down, take a bath, put my feet up and relax. She wants the contractions to stop and for me to go to sleep early that evening. 
Now, at this time we had just moved into our fixer upper home, and didn’t have a bath or shower at home. We had to shower at our old house that we were working to put on the market, or at my parents’ house. 
I took a bath at my parents’. I hung out. I relaxed. They stopped. I went home. I slept.      
I wake up to contractions. I’m sure this is it. I keep my husband, Joel, home from work. We go over to my parents’ house to spend some time with Dustin while he was still in town. 
I walked around the house for an hour, I bounced on an exercise ball every time I sat. The contractions got closer and closer and again, never intensified. They were down to 4 minutes apart when I called the midwife. 
False Labor. 
I took a bath, I went home, I slept. 
I send Joel to work. I head over to my parents’ house to hang out with my brother, all the while still having contractions. 
I’ve given up hope. This child is never going to be born. Contractions mean nothing. 
Tired of being at my parents’ we all headed to the zoo. It was me, both my brothers, nieces, sister in law and (at the time) 1.5 year old Desmond. 
I walked. Miles. Pushing a stroller up and down hills. Waddling after a toddler who liked to run off. Having contractions the. whole. time. 
My medically trained brother, Dustin, keeps giving me side eyes whenever I contract. He seems to be the only one who notices when I brace myself, hold my stomach and breath deeply through them. 
At this point, having these contractions were just normal life to me. I had no hope of delivering that day, but I’m fairly certain he was mentally preparing to deliver this baby here at the zoo. 
After the zoo, after we stopped for dinner, after I took a bath, I went home. I slept. 
I woke up to contractions. My husband went to work, I hung out at home and bonded with my little guy, Desmond. We watched movies and snuggled and enjoyed one of our last days, just the two of us. I contracted through most of the day. That evening, when Joel came home form work, he tried to install a shower tub combo for us, but discovered the shell was broken and needed to be exchanged. We went over to my parents’ house to hang out.
My brother had taken my nieces to Taco Bell before we arrived. I made a big deal, jokingly, of how none of them thought to bring any tacos for the pregnant lady. 
At some point of the evening, an argument breaks out. Dustin looks at me quizically and laughs as I’m sitting in the corner chair, quietly having contractions. I’m literally the most uncomfortable person in the room, and I’m the quietest. Silently going into labor, or hoping to, at least. 
I called the midwife, because after 4 days, I’m getting concerned that I won’t be able to tell when the “false” labor stops and real labor starts. 
I take a bath. They stop. I went home and slept. 
Joel goes to work. I wake up to contractions. Starting to see a pattern yet? Some of my week blurs together, and I think this is the day I do some light grocery shopping? In the evening we all head over to my parents’ house again. 
Dustin went and got me Taco Bell. We all just hung out and ate burritos while binge watching The Office. 
Contractions still happening. I don’t care anymore. 
I take a bath. They stopped. I went home. I lost my plug (if you don’t know what that means, you’d be completely grossed out. If you do know, you’re a mom and nothing grosses you out anymore) 
Joel heads to work. I wake up to contractions. Desmond and I hang out at home most of the morning, bouncing on my exercise ball together. I have such fond memories of this day, with my one little boy. 
Later on, we headed over to my parents’ again.
I walked around the house. I bounced on that ball. I was so freakin sick of this false labor. I didn’t care that the midwife said to just relax until they intensify. At this point I was losing my mind just taking it easy. 

I walked. I bounced. I walked. I bounced. All. Day. Long.

My mom made spaghetti for dinner. I was HUNGRY after all that moving around that day. I had several helpings of spaghetti. The contractions kept coming. 
After Joel got off work that night he went home and installed our newly exchanged shower tub combo in the new house. 
I took a bath at my moms. I called the midwife from the tub. They weren’t stopping, and they were feeling different. They didn’t HURT, but they were tighter and on top of the stomach. Things were changing. 
It’s around 10:30 when Joel comes to my parents’ house and finds me in the tub. At the same time he shows up, the pain starts. This is real. 
It’s 11 and I’m screaming from the bath tub, at my parent’s house. Joel calls the midwife and tells her we are on the way.
I get out of the tub and dressed between contractions. I tell my mom we’re heading in, and I kiss Desmond goodbye before I go.
It’s almost midnight by the time I am to the birthing center. 
I rush up the steps and into the birthing room between the closely coming and incredibly painful contractions. 
As I enter the room, there’s plastic laid over the large, white, plush rug, and one of the midwives is filling the tub for a water birth. 
I had planned for a water birth with Desmond also, but after 4+ hours of pushing in the tub I had to get out and try something else to get him out. Read more about that experience here.
A contraction hits and I collapse to the floor, on that plastic covered plush carpet. I’m writhing in pain on the floor, Joel next to me. 
I’m practically crying already, wishing it would all just end. 
My water breaks, my wet pants come off. I can’t keep track of where both midwifes are, but someone is monitoring the baby’s heart rate with a doppler, and one is talking me through the agonizing pain. 
I’m screaming on the floor as an oxygen mask is held to my face. On all fours, I am overcome by nausea. I vomit right into the oxygen mask, and all over my shirt. 
“I’m sorry, I puked” I breath out through the pain. A metal bowl is placed in front of me, my vomit covered shirt comes off.
Naked and in labor, I realize for a moment that I have just vomitted up “Mom’s Spaghetti”. I’m reminded of the Eminem song that my sister and I often joke about. (There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti). I’m tempted to name my son Marshall… 
Only a small laugh is able to escape my mouth before another contraction blinds me with pain. 
A midwife asks if she can check my dilation. No. He’s coming now. I puke a little more into the bowl and push it away from my face. I am so done laboring. I hate these contractions. 
I bare down and push. And just like that, I’m a mother of two. 
A midwife hands my baby up to me from between my legs. So much for a water birth.
“Oh you’re so gross. I love you” I say as I hold him for the first time. 
And I do love him. So much. I am so instantly in love with this boy.
It’s 12:42 AM on Saturday morning. My greatest accomplishment of the day is already behind me. 
After a moment too short, I hand him off to Joel to hold as I deliver the placenta. 
I wash off, get in bed, and snuggle my baby all night long.

Published by Brittni Clarkson

Hi, I'm Brittni, author, podcaster, transformational speaker, and a mom of 3 boys, passionate about helping moms overcome the overwhelm and actually ENJOY MOTHERHOOD.

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