Another Unmedicated Hospital Birth Story

Before the Birth

This time around I really wanted to go into labour spontaneously instead of being induced like I had with my first two (read about them here and here). However, I had been struggling with perinatal depression the last couple months of pregnancy and was ready to be done, so I was scheduled to be induced at 40 weeks 6 days.

40 weeks pregnant

The Day Before – 3:00 a.m.

At 3:00 a.m. the day before my induction date, I woke up to mild contractions. I tried to fall back asleep but they were strong enough to keep me awake so I timed them – they were about 10 minutes apart. Since I couldn’t sleep I got up and cleaned the kitchen! I was excited that the baby might come that day, without being induced! By 5:30 a.m. the kitchen was sparkling, but the contractions were still only 10 minutes apart. I was exhausted and fell back asleep until 8:30 a.m. When I woke up I was so disappointed the contractions seemed to have stopped.

I spent the day cleaning and organizing, meanwhile having super sporadic contractions. Sometimes I’d have several in one hour, only to go another hour without anything. I gave up on going into labour on my own, but thought at least my body seemed to be getting ready, which would hopefully make the induction the next day easier?

6:00 p.m.

My sister in law had arranged to take me for a pedicure that evening (so thoughtful!). I sat through the pedicure with mild contractions every 10 minutes, telling myself they were just Braxton-Hicks, and they would stop eventually like they had all day long. I had a couple errands to run afterwards, which kept my mind off of them. I truly thought nothing of it, because, like I said, I was scheduled to be induced the next morning anyways!

9:00 p.m.

After the kids were in bed, around 9:00 p.m., it finally dawned on me that I had been having contractions consistently for the last 3-4 hours. I mentioned this to my husband and we started timing them again – still 10 minutes apart, but getting stronger. I was still in denial that I was in labour and was sure I’d be getting induced the next morning. Around 10:00 p.m. they suddenly started getting closer together – 7 minutes apart, then 5, and sometimes 3 minutes apart. They were also getting stronger to the point I wasn’t talking through them like I had been all day. My husband made sure we called my parents, who would be coming to stay with the kids when we went to the hospital, to give them a heads up. Meanwhile I was sure there was no rush and we still wouldn’t head to the hospital until the morning.

11:00 p.m.

By 11:00 p.m. I had changed my mind and finally realized I was actually in labour and would have a baby soon. The contractions were really strong by then, although they weren’t consistent – anywhere from 2 to 7 minutes apart, and lasting anywhere from 30 – 90 seconds. My parents arrived around midnight and we got to the hospital about 12:30 a.m. The contractions were strong and frequent on the car ride in, but once we entered the hospital they slowed down again – becoming milder and less frequent. I started to think I’d still end up being induced anyways.

12:30 a.m.

I remember checking in on the labour and delivery floor and the nurses asking, “So… you’re having contractions now?” because I literally just walked in no problem, easy conversation, with no obvious signs of labour. It was the middle of the night and they assumed I was in early labour so everyone moved slowly. They monitored the contractions for a while then a nurse said she’d check my cervix. I literally saw her eyebrows raise and mouth drop in surprise before she told us I was 8cm dilated and mostly effaced! After that everyone sprang into action and rushed me to a room. I remember sitting on the bed breathing through contractions as a flurry of nurses bustled to get everything ready around me. The nurse in charge said at one point, the Doctor will break your membranes and you’ll have a baby!

The Birth – 1:51 a.m.

They broke the membranes and the contractions were immediately more intense, although not closer together like I had been expecting – still a couple minutes between each contraction. Shortly after they said I was at 10 cm and needed to start pushing. I honestly didn’t even feel the urge to push, but thought I had to. I wished I hadn’t been so rushed through the end of this labour. After 11 minutes of pushing baby boy was born at 1:51 am. He was our smallest baby weighing 7lbs 14 oz.


I was so grateful to finally go into labour on my own without being induced! I enjoyed the slower pace of this labour compared to the others, but in retrospect I’m disappointed they didn’t let me labour on my own for longer before rushing everything at the end. I would have listened to my body’s cues and only started pushing when I felt the need to, instead of when the nurses said I should. But overall it was a good experience!

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