The Story of How Matthew William Rippey Came Into the World
Part One: The Easy Part (hours 1-7.5)
I’ve been thinking about how to write my birth story for a while. Quite honestly, it’s going to be very difficult because of how emotional the whole thing was for me. I know that because of who God is, there will eventually be a testimony in here somewhere, but right now I can’t see it. I’m finding myself filled with a lot of bitterness about how everything went, and here is the story of what is simultaneously the worst and best thing I’ve ever been through.
My whole life I’ve wanted to be a mom. I’ve always wanted to experience childbirth and the joy and pain that comes with it. I’ve never once considered having a birth that was numbed or augmented. Since the day I found out I was pregnant, my heart and soul went into researching the best way to have a natural childbirth. How to make it quicker, easier, less painful. What ways did women of the past give birth? How come there are so many interventions now, and what can I do to avoid them? How can I birth my child in peace and experience this moment of time that will make me closer to God, my husband and my child?
Five weeks before my estimated due date I began having Braxton Hicks contractions five minutes apart. They were strong and regular, but not getting closer together or more intense, so they were not “real” labor contractions. For weeks, I went about my life experiencing these contractions, positive that they would make my labor quicker and easier as my uterus geared up for the big day.
On Monday, April 4th I had an appointment and I was still contracting every 5 minutes. Later that afternoon, I went to the post office to pick up a package. As I got out of the car, I felt a lot of moisture and I thought it was weird. I kept walking, and more and more fluid started to pour out until my jeans were soaked all the way to my thighs! When the lady opened the window to help me, I said very calmly “I’m sorry to say this, but can you please hurry because my water just broke?” The man behind me in line left!
After I got my package, I walked to the car while calling Scott. I told him my water broke and he should meet me at home. I hung up pretty quick because I couldn’t really think straight. After I called Scott, I called our doula Robin and my mom. I found a blanket in the car to sit on and I drove home. By the time I got home I was calmed down a bit, but still praying I didn’t run into a neighbor in the hallway or elevator! I jumped in the shower and waited for Scott to get home. At this time, I wasn’t feeling any real contractions.
When Scott got home, we took a picture and then started picking up the house and getting ready to go. We did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen, picked up the living room and put the packed bags by the door. We had a lot of stuff, but 4 days in the hospital later, I’m glad we did. I had a tuna sandwich. My mom showed up around 5pm and all three of us went on a walk. By this time I was having some painful contractions, but I was still able to talk through them. On the walk, we had to stop several times for me to have a contraction.
(After my water broke – cleaning up!)
Contraction at home
We went back to the apartment and I decided to labor in the bath for a while. By 6pm, my contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart and about 35-60 seconds long. Our doula, Robin, showed up at 6:35 and begun timing contractions for us. We put on some worship music and I labored on the birth ball in the living room for a while. Scott decided to take a shower and get ready to go. My contractions were picking up and I was having some pain in my lower back so we used the heat pack and it was great!
My sister Tina and her boyfriend Chad showed up and brought some food. At about 8:40 the contractions were pretty steady and I was starting to feel nauseated. I decided after I threw up, we should go to the hospital. We got there around 9:40 and by the time they checked me in and put me in a triage room my contractions had slowed a bit. The midwife checked me and said I was at 1 cm but because my water had broke, I could not leave. They checked me into a delivery room.
Using the birth ball – with the heat pack tied on my stomach
Ready to go to the hospital
Stay tuned for Part Two: The Part Where Nothing Happens (hours 8-19.5)