On January 13th at 11:48 pm, our sweet little bean, Sofia, made her debut! Before she arrived, I wasn’t sure that I was going to document her birth story, but something about seeing this little cutie come into the world & all the amazing things that happened leading up to & into my labor and delivery, I just knew that I wanted to remember every single thing!
The morning of the 13th, I woke up, took care of a few things around the house & went off to my midwife appointment. When I got to the clinic, the receptionist asked me how I was doing to which I jokingly responded, “Oh, you know…still pregnant!” Lol. We chatted for a few minutes more and I went in to meet my midwife so we could see how things were progressing.
After hearing that I wasn’t really showing any signs of labor, we took a look at LB on a scan and noted that although my amniotic levels weren’t bad, they were a little lower than they should have been at that point. It still wasn’t a big deal though and I was given the option to either wait it out or have a membrane strip done. I had read up on the membrane strip before arriving to my appointment, so I opted for that knowing that if it worked, something would happen within 24 hours, otherwise I would be back for another appointment that Saturday.
The appointment ended and Amir went back to the office while I went home. Membrane strips are not comfortable and I was explicitly told to go home and rest…and rest I did. I spent the next two hours in bed, uncomfortable and crampy, but unsure if anything would happen.
Around 4 pm, I started feeling what I thought were contractions, but because they were very sporadic and not super strong, I wasn’t confident enough that something was going on. And so, I spent some time chatting with my mom, making one of my favorite dishes for dinner (Quinoa Pad Thai), and waiting for my BIL and Amir to get home.
Just as we finished making dinner, things got a little insane 😉 Haha.
By 5 pm, I had texted Amir that I was pretty sure I was having contractions, but because they were starting in my back & wrapping around to my abdomen, I still wasn’t entirely convinced that they were contractions. To be on the safe side, Amir quickly wrapped up at work and came home just in case anything progressed. I also called my midwife clinic at this point & the midwife on call told me what else to look for & asked me to call back if and when my contractions got to be 5-7 minutes apart.
Between 6 pm – 8 pm, I definitely started to feel the cramps and knew that I was officially in the early stages of labor. Even though we all knew what was going on, none of us were in any hurry to do anything about it. I spent time those couple of hours walking around the house, sitting on a yoga ball (which truly did nothing for me), asking Amir to massage my back with as my strength as he could and watching TV with the family. Eventually I started timing the contractions and they were still coming up around 18 minutes apart, 15 minutes apart, 10 minutes apart & then back up to 20 minutes apart.
Sometime right around 8, my contractions started coming much more quickly. Amir & my mom suggested I take a warm shower and see if that helped the pain, and just as I was getting into the shower, I had 3 contractions all within 5/4/3 minutes apart. Amir got on the phone with my midwife, told her what the contraction timings were and she said, “OK, I’ll be there in about an hour.” LOL. Do you see how relaxed people in the Netherlands are?!
About 9 pm, my midwife, Floor, arrived at the house. I was still up and walking around — I had gotten into comfortable clothes, Amir was making sure our bag was ready to go and everyone was just waiting to see what Floor said. She checked to see how dilated I was and quickly proclaimed that I was 4 cms and it was time for us to go to the hospital. I’ll still never forget how she told my mom that she was going to go ahead and call the hospital and “make sure that there was a room available for Myra.” When my mom asked what would happen if there wasn’t, she replied that she would just “call another hospital and inquire there.” I didn’t know if I should be laughing or panicking, but I went with laughter since that seemed to be the theme of how I was approaching pretty much everything at that point.
Luckily, the hospital had room for us! Floor said she’d meet us there, so my mom, Amir & I got bundled up and hailed ourselves an Uber. Yes, you read that right…an Uber. Since we don’t have a car here, and I was already seeming to be moving quickly with my labor, the tram was out of question for us, hahaha. Our Uber driver didn’t realize what was going on until he saw me waddle out to the car and then it all snapped into place for him and he got us to the hospital in no time at all. (P.S. Remember the Uber driver because I’ve got a funny story at the end about him too…)
We got to the hospital around 10ish, I (very proudly) refused the wheelchair and walked myself into the hospital and to my room while stopping every 2 minutes to breathe through my contractions, haha, and was settled by Amir, my mom & my midwife into the birthing suite. By 11:30 pm, I was ready for the delivery portion and at 11:48 — just 12 minutes shy of my own birthday, Sofia arrived and made our little family whole 🙂
Our very first picture as a family of three (well four, because we can’t forget Kobi, duh.)
I had always said that I wanted to have a natural delivery with no pain meds, and with the way my labor progressed from 10 pm until when Sofia was born, I got my wish! There wasn’t even a second there where I could’ve requested an epidural if I had wanted it! Haha.
My amazing midwife, Floor, who kept me sane & calm through the whole process.
In the Netherlands, if you have a good, natural delivery, you are also discharged within hours of delivering, so we were all headed home around 4 am with a newborn in tow! And to round out the crazy of the whole birth — remember that Uber driver I told you about who picked us up to drop us off to the hospital?! Yeah, well he turned out to be our Uber driver who picked us up at 4 am from the hospital to drop us back off at home too!! LOL. He got to see me pregnant and not pregnant all in the span of mere hours!
And that, my friends, was Sofia’s birth story! I’m so glad to have gotten it all written out before I forgot any portion of what an amazing day/night it was.