Today I want to introduce you to the newest member of our family – Eli Timothy Barranco. He is our fourth child and my third pregnancy. We are currently cuddling in bed and enjoy time to bond, breastfeed, and tons of skin-to-skin.
Eli’s birth story is a bit different than my previous pregnancies so I thought I’d share his quick adventure into the world here.
**Photo above was taken one week before birth.
My pregnancy with Eli was about the same as my others. I was horribly sick in the beginning, but had a pretty easy second and third trimester.
With Eli I started practicing the Bradley Method. Which is basically a way to relax through labor to help you have a very manageable natural birth experience.
I had noticed with my other pregnancies that as long as I was calm, relaxed, and didn’t fight the contractions they weren’t painful at all but powerful. I knew I desired a natural birth with Eli and I stumbled across the Bradley Method for Labor and Delivery. I won’t go into it to much here but if you are interested I highly recommend the book Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon.
The Night Before
The night before I went into labor I woke up in the middle of the night to bloody show and some very light cramping.
Bloody show doesn’t necessarily mean you will go into labor right away. But your body is getting ready and you’ll probably have your baby in the next day or two. But I wasn’t having any contractions so I just went back to bed.
The Next Day
The next morning I told my husband and my mother-in-law (who would be watching the kids when we went to the hospital) about the previous night’s bloody show and that we should expect baby any day now. I mean I was 39 weeks pregnant so it wasn’t a shocker, but it was nice having the heads up.
I went about my day as normal and didn’t have any real contractions. I would occasionally feel slight cramping, but they were so light I barley noticed them.
Around 6:30-ish I started making dinner and my husband got home from work. While making dinner I started to get slightly nauseous and tired. So, as soon as I finished making the food I told my husband that I was going to lay down and I wasn’t feeling great. This was around 7pm.
Beginning of Labor
Around 7:30 the nausea left and I had my first powerful contraction. It wasn’t a horrendous contraction. But it was powerful enough to make me tell my husband things were getting started and we would probably have the baby later tonight or even tomorrow morning.
I continued to lay down and the next few contractions came about 8-10 minutes apart (I think). Which isn’t that close when you consider how “normal” labor goes, but they were pretty powerful. None of this was really painful, because of the Bradley Method, but I knew this was still a pretty powerful start to labor.
No slow ramp up for me.
I texted a few friends to let them know and to pray for me. A friend asked me if I was timing them yet and I said, “no – but I guess I should”.
I was hesitant to start timing because I had just started having contractions and normally people labor for hours. So why get dramatic now?
But it was good advice because I could then see that my next few contractions were every 5 minutes apart and lasting about one minute long. Which shocked me because I could tell they were getting closer together and I had only been in labor for a little over 30 minutes.
I did call my mother-in-law to tell her she should probably come over tonight to watch the kids, but no hurry. At this point I was still thinking I was having the baby much later that night.
Things Picked Up Quickly
At some point my husband asked how often my contractions were coming. I told him every two minutes but there was still no hurry because it was so stuck in my mind that this would take awhile.
But I did call my midwife and talked to her around 8:20 pm and told her about my 2 minute apart contractions. She said I sounded really calm and told me to come on in when I was done getting packed up.
A few powerful contractions later it finally dawned on me that we really needed to get to the hospital. I told my husband to call my mother-in-law and ask her to come over as soon as she can, because the contractions were getting closer and growing in strength.
While we were waiting for my mother-in-law to arrive I felt my first very low contraction that I could not relax through. I could feel the contraction in my hip bones and knew instantly I was in transition. Personally I find transition the most painful part of labor. Out shining even pushing.
I’ll admit this is where I thought, “I may have waited too long…”
When my mother-in-law walked in around 8:50 I waited for a contraction to end and darted out the door to the car. I wanted to be in the car before the next contraction came.
On the way to the hospital I continued to have low and very powerful contractions about a minute apart. I told my husband not to hurry or speed because it was raining out. Luckily, we only live about 20 minutes away from the hospital.
Towards the end of the drive I was having contractions that seemed to last for forever and came pretty on top of each other.
I did vocalize at some point “I don’t think I can do this” to my husband. As soon as I said that I knew it was almost over, because that’s just how I feel right before pushing and it does go away. (This is called a Emotional Sign Post in the Bradley Method)
At the Hospital
When we arrived at the hospital I had to stop and stand there, in the rain, to have a contraction. Then when it ended I walked as fast as I could into the waiting room of the delivery center. I threw myself into the chair at the admissions desk. I just got out my name before another contraction hit and I couldn’t talk anymore.
My husband started answering questions for me, but through the contraction I felt the urge to throw up. I verbalized that I was going to be sick and she quickly handed me a bin. I remembered this from my last natural birth – it’s a sign I’m about to start pushing. But I’ve never actually thrown up.
Honestly – I have no idea what the admissions lady even looked like because my eyes were closed and I just kept trying to stay in calm during the contractions that were now not ending.
I remember her saying something like – “Okay, well let’s just get her back.” I also remember her calling the nurses in the back to tell them I seemed very uncomfortable.
She and my husband tried to get me to stand up and walk back to a room but the contractions were so painful and never ending that I couldn’t get up. They thankfully got me a wheel chair and somehow I got myself in it. But as soon as I sat down in the wheel chair I felt my water break and my body start to push.
This is where I feel like I lost control and started saying loudly, “I’m pushing” mixed with “I’m going to be sick”. I wasn’t screaming but I wasn’t in control of my pain at this point.
By the way there was a large family with children sitting in the waiting room watching this all play out. They got a show. lol
They quickly rushed me to a room where the nurses and my midwife swirled around trying to get everything ready. My midwife took off my leggings for me and after the worlds quickest check she said, “Okay there’s the baby.”
She tried to get me on the bed, which seemed impossible. I remember a nurse saying, “We aren’t having this baby in the wheel chair.” Which actually made me laugh and I replied, “Good point.” There was a brief break in my contractions and I flew into that bed.
Everyone was very very positive, which helped me calm down. As soon as I was laying down I let my body push, but I still laid back and grunted trying to stay in control through the pain. The same, very sweet nurse, kindly said, “No, no noises, we are pushing.”
That was so helpful because everything was happening so fast my brain was a little behind. I’m pretty sure I said something like, “Oh yeah that’s right”, and started actively pushing. Which is actually less painful than transition. The act of actively pushing is actually pain relief.
Then in about 5 pushes baby Eli was born at 9:12pm. Less than 2 hours after my very first contraction.
I was at the hospital for about 10 minutes (at the most) before he was born.
Meet the Baby
Eli Timothy Barranco was 7 lbs 5 oz. and 20 inches long. Our largest baby so far lol. But I know to most he is still small.
My mom who lives about 8 minutes away from the hospital didn’t make it in time. She was about a minute too late lol. None of us thought it was going to happen this fast.
Everything after the birth was perfect. I got to hold him for the longest time and spend time nursing him. Since everything happened so fast I didn’t need an IV or a port so I was very comfortable.
We were able to leave 24 hours later and came home to three very excited siblings.
Overall, I’m a huge fan of natural labor. Progressing so fast does make it harder to relax through contractions, which the Bradley Method does address (I would be a ‘Speedster’). There is a step ramp up of contractions but I just focus on getting out of my body’s way, not fighting it, and allowing it to do what it needs to do. It makes the whole thing very manageable and 90% of it painless.
If there is another baby I’ll be sure to start heading to the hospital earlier. I just had it so stuck in my head that labor takes hours and hours. For many it does, but for some it doesn’t. I learned the hard way 2 minutes apart means call the midwife or head to the hospital regardless of when contractions started.
Well now we are home, comfortable, and healing fast.
Thank-you so much for taking time out of your day to hang out here!
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