38 Weeks



After I published my 37 week post last Wednesday, things started to get interesting!

Let’s rewind to last week for a moment. Last Thursday, I woke up in the middle of the night with a very strong pain that wrapped around my entire lower back and front. I’ve read about real contractions feeling like a “ring of fire” (among other things) and this was exactly what it felt like. I also had this weird shooting nerve pain that made it difficult to walk. I thought this could be the start of early labour. I stayed in bed and monitored what was happening for a bit. The pain wasn’t cyclic, coming in intervals, or getting more intense with time, so ultimately I figured it was just another “test run”. I was probably awake for an hour or two (while Eric slept in blissful ignorance) and then I eventually fell back asleep. I woke up in the morning and the pain was gone, but I continued to have a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions and menstrual-like cramps for the next 3 days. Things settled down after that and I’ve had barely any prelabour symptoms at all, aside from just more frequent Braxtons. The body is a mysterious thing at times!

As it turned out, I had my weekly appointment with the OB the next morning, so I told him all about my experience on Thursday night. As usual, he didn’t think it was anything out of the ordinary, but he seemed excited that things were getting ready. I also found out that my Strep B test came back negative so I won’t need to be hooked up to antibiotics. He ended up checking my cervix and found that I was 50% effaced with no dilation. At this week’s appointment, I was 60-70% effaced and still not dilated. Nothing surprising at this stage in the game, but interesting nonetheless. The doc says things can change in a matter of hours, so while baby girl might be cozy in here for another week or two, our guess is as good as any when she will come.

We had a lot of baby-related events over the past week and a half! The first was a meeting with our doula where she went over natural pain relief techniques with us. I’m skeptical as to how much these techniques will help when the pain is really severe, but we’ll see. I’ll try to keep an open mind about the whole experience. We were talking about contractions and I said something to the effect of “when the contractions get worse” and she encouraged me to re-frame the way I think about contractions. Rather than calling them something negative, why not use the word “stronger” rather than “worse”, or “expansions” rather than “contractions”. I like it. She also said to think about each contraction as one contraction closer to getting to meet our baby. Wise words!

Our car seat inspection was last Saturday and we also pre-registered at the hospital. I’m not a big hospital person (is anyone?) so when we were walking through the maternity ward I started to feel quite nervous! It felt much more real. I couldn’t believe that our big day would be here so soon and I would be occupying one of the L+D rooms. Total butterflies. Anyway, it was good to see it in person before the big day because I can mentally prepare myself a bit more. It’s the same hospital my sister delivered in too – although when I was there last it was under much difference circumstances!

We also met with our lactation consultant for a breastfeeding session this week. It was super informative, and also a bit overwhelming if I’m going to be perfectly honest. The package with our doula includes 2 visits from the lactation consultant after the baby comes too, so she stressed that I didn’t have to remember everything on the first go and she can come to the hospital if I need extra support. I’m so thankful that we have both of them. As my due date approaches, I’ve started to feel more anxious about taking care of a newborn, but I try to remind myself that we will take it one day (or one hour) at a time. People have been doing this for a LONG ass time. hah.

On the work front, I’m keeping myself very busy preparing blog posts and working on the new business. I’m also freezing soups and meals whenever I have a spare moment. The freezer is officially bursting at the seams! It feels good after 2 months of many lackluster, renovation “meals”. This weekend, we’re moving everything back into the kitchen (finally!!) and things are slowly but surely coming together after a long 2 months. I can’t wait to have the house back in order.

I’m still going on my daily hour-long walks and I hope to keep walking right up until labour! And hey, even during early labour if I can. =)

Food: Two words – Honeycrisp apples. Oh my gahhhh. Baby is a huge fan and gives little kicks of joy when I eat one. I’m also craving sweet, comfort-food baked goods like crazy this week. In case you couldn’t tell by my recent recipes! It must be fall, the end of pregnancy, and the joys of having an oven again. Other foods I can’t get enough of: pepita seeds, almond butter, cereal (2 bowls a day), homemade almond or hemp milk. No nausea to speak of right now and my appetite is very strong….whohoo.

Aside from the increase in BH contractions and menstrual-like cramps, I’m feeling great and have no other signs of impending labour right now. I’ve been a lot more emotional over the past couple weeks though – must be another shift in hormones. I’m reading birth stories every night (obsessed) and also a lot of “how labour started” stories. I find it so fascinating!! I seem to be retaining a bit more water than usual. Everything just looks a bit puffier. My nails continue to grow at a breakneck speed. I can’t believe how much I’m trimming my nails each week!

Well, that’s all to report this week. It’s crazy to think that baby could come before my next weekly update or that she might even be here by this time next weekend.

Speaking of labour starting, if you’d like to share your own “how labour started” story, feel free to do so below!

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{ 124 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathy September 13, 2014

I made the delicious raspberry chia oat squares and thought of you this morning!! :)


2 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 13, 2014

Glad you tried them out! I have 2 left in the freezer….will be sad when they are gone!


3 Lisa September 13, 2014

I’m getting so excited for you! With our first, I was induced at 41 weeks 3 days. I mention this only because I was terrified of induction, scared it would lead to a C section, and it did not. It was a relatively routine labor (though maybe not as it was all back labor) which culminated in the greatest joy of my life. Best of luck to you as you prepare to meet your little one – I predict that you will surprise even yourself with your ability to handle labor. The female body and mind are quite powerful!


4 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 13, 2014

I’m so glad to hear your labour was quite routine even with the induction. :)
Thanks for your well wishes!


5 Samantha September 13, 2014

My first was induced at 42 weeks and was a wonderful labor/delivery. My second pregnancy, my water broke at 37 weeks (at work, in front of two police officers!) and my third was another induction at 42 weeks. I agree with everything your doula said about reframing your perception of contractions–that is so powerful! I am so excited for you–it will be a beautiful experience for you, your husband, and baby :)


6 LN September 13, 2014

Just curious what kind of cereal are you eating? I am a huge cereal fan and i couldnt stand it while i was pregnant. What an exciting time for you!! Cant wait to hear your labour experience!


7 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 14, 2014

This is probably going to sound weird, but I’m obsessed with this little combo:

any type of puffed cereal (rice, millet, buckwheat, etc) + a spoonful of carob powder + sprinkle of cinnamon + super cold almond milk. Stir it all up. The carob powder gives it sweetness and a chocolate milk-like consistency. Strange, but delicious!

I also love to throw in my homemade vanilla cinnamon buckwheat crispies (need to make more!) http://ohsheglows.com/2012/05/31/vanilla-cinnamon-buckwheat-crispies-inspired-by-one-lucky-duck/


8 Nicole September 13, 2014

I had those exciting moments in the weeks leading up to labor, too. I believe I read that it’s called prodromal labor… exciting, yet frustrating! Anyways, I finally went into labor at 40w 3d (my second baby) and for the most part, I had that “feeling” it was finally the real thing. My menstrual type cramps changed to contractions and they were very different from the BH contractions I had been having. I started timing them when I was having to breathe through them and not long after, I was on my way to the hospital. 5 hours after arriving, I had my baby girl! She’s a week and a half old today! Sleep while you can, Angela! ;)


9 Jen September 13, 2014

ohhh you said those magic words – HONEYCRISP APPLES! ‘Tis the season! Glad to hear you are feeling well!


10 Tegan September 13, 2014

I am very excited for you!!! I only experienced Braxton hicks a few times. My husband and I were on our daily weekend 4 mile walk when my water broke two blocks from the house. We went to the hospital and my contractions were 2 min apart but I was not feeling them. It took 12 hours before I felt them and then had 6 hours of intense labor. I did do it naturally with no pain medication. The only words I have for you are, at the time you may feel like you can’t do it but you can!!! It is amazing what the body can indure. Once your baby arrives all pain goes away and you then have this precious little person.


11 Marie September 13, 2014

Good luck with your impending labor and delivery. With my first my water broke in the morning, but my doctor still allowed me to labor at home for up to 24 hours and told me to still go to my previously scheduled appointment with her that afternoon. That day I had contractions, but I felt no pain and so I thought they weren’t productive. I walked into her office almost six centimeters dilated and had my first painful contraction while she was examining me. She sent me straight to the hospital, I started transitioning soon after and my baby was born about six hours later with no pain medication. Labor was painful, but the trick is to take it one contraction at a time. I kept telling myself that I could get the epidural after the next one if things were unbearable. The pain did seem unbearable, but somehow I managed to make it to the end. Other things that helped were: 1) my hospital allowing intermittent monitoring so I was only on my back for 10 mins of every hour; 2) turning off the lights; and 3) turning the sound off the fetal monitor when it was in use. I don’t think I used one thing that I learned in my childbirthing class. I just needed to focus on the contraction and the pain so that I could deal with it and I needed absolute silence to do so.


12 Karen September 13, 2014

My labor started before they could induce me. Great thing. I had no labor pains with my daughter (2nd birth)…just like with my son (1st birth ). I prayed to God to let me feel labor with my daughter. I felt one mild cramp. Dilated to 4 and they put me in birthing room. Within 7 minutes she was born. Yes! From being dilated to 4 to birth. She came so fast it took my breath away. And…the doctor made me postpone bearing down. #lovemybabies


13 Karen September 13, 2014

Forgot to mention…only 2 percent of the population gives birth with no child birth pains. Rare if your 2nd one comes that way too.


14 Erin September 13, 2014

I have two children. With both of them, the first sign of real labor was my water breaking. Once when I was at work and once at home on my front porch. It’s not as dramatic as what they show in the movies, but was an interesting (and messy) experience. I read that only about 15% of women actually have that happen.

Fun fact: both times I drove myself to the hospital. I don’t recommend that, although it worked out ok for us…

BTW, love your cookbook!


15 Shannon September 13, 2014

My last child (3rd – only girl) we call our budda boom budda bing baby. I met my doctor for my weekly appt. (5:30 pm) and I told her I was leaking fluid all day or peeing myself LOL and she said I was 3 cm dilated. She said to go home and have dinner and then head to the hospital to have them check the fluid. My hubby was nervous since I was due in 2 days and last time I went from 3 – 10 in quick time and we don’t live in the city I would deliver in so we instead headed to East Side Mario’s for dinner. We arrived at the restaurant at around 6:40. We sat down and said that we were probably in labour so please bring drinks, food and bill to the table at once as we already knew what we wanted. Mine was chicken caesar salad and I took 3 or 4 bites and felt a slight gush. I told hubby I was going to the bathroom. I proceeded to hobble to the bathroom in pain and releasing short bursts of fluid. I made it to the ladies room into a stall and let out a bloody show and gasped. A woman had followed me in to the ladies room and asked if I needed anything. I said “my water just broke but I’m on my way to the hospital”. I cleaned up as best as I could and hurried out asking a waitress for something like a garbage bag to sit on in the car and she panicked when she heard the words “in labour” and gave me a table cloth. I hurried back to the table loudly saying “let’s go” to hubby who had been wise enough to pay while I was in the bathroom. We got to the hospital at about 7:20 and by then the pain was horrific and I knew she was coming fast. They put us right into a room and I begged for an epidural. They knew I wouldn’t have time but were humouring me as they prepped me with my I.V but all the while were telling me I had done it before with no pain meds and I could do it again. They said the doctor (anesthesiologist) would try to come soon but was in surgery so I’d have to wait. Our little one was born at 8:25 with no drugs weighing in at a whopping 10 lbs 4 oz. It was so incredibly fast so we joke that she is the budda boom budda bing baby.


16 paula September 13, 2014

very exciting time for you! Curious….you mentioned a new business? what is it?


17 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 14, 2014

Hey Paula,
We haven’t announced it yet, but I will on the blog as soon as we are ready to launch!


18 Anna September 13, 2014

Your Doula is really amazing! You will do great! I didn’t have much mental preparation before my first labor, but my midwife was very helpful when I was already in labor. I don’t remember much, duh… but I remembered one thing she said, “Love the contractions, embrace them, they are good, they are very good, they are helping your baby to be born.” It helped me get through my first 27 hour labor. Nothing to fear! You’re very strong! Its our first purpose in life, and nature carved us for that purpose! Good luck!!
And thank you for the amazing recipes. Hoping, that you stored a lot up your sleeve for when the baby girl is here, so we don’t starve :)


19 Shalyn September 14, 2014

My baby Lucy was overdue..I mean REALLY overdue? Like 16 days overdue. Leading up to her birth, I would furiously clean our house before bed, in case I would awake in labour, and didn’t want to have the midwives arrive with a messy house (I had 2 older kids as well). So every evening I would clean and then go to be.

After 16 days of this, I quit. I was mad and half expected to never go into labour, I went to bed discouraged and tired.
with a messy house at that.

I woke up with horrendous cramps at 2 am that night. Half asleep and half dumb, I couldn’t figure out what I had eaten to cause such cramps (this was a 3 rd pregnancy..I should have known) I shot up in bed, realizing it was labour…and what a mess my home was!!!

I cleaned and tidied for the next 5 hours…labour ing on hands and knees, cleaning and washing dishes, floors etc. This was the BEST labour encourager ever. My midwife showed up at 7 am to check on me, and I was 9 cm ready to deliver soon…with a clean house I might add.

You will do fabulous. Remember, in labour you will always have a break. So take those breaks, close your eyes and rest. You are going to be such a wonderful Mom and this baby girl is so immensely blessed to have you and Eric as parents…


20 Ashley September 14, 2014

Good luck! I finally delivered my little boy on Wednesday (sept 10) at 39 weeks and 6 days. Up at 3:30 AM nursing him at the moment…my labor started at 12:40 AM on Wed morning and I ended up at the hospital at 4AM that morning – they told me I was 2 cm dilated/70% effaced and sent me home. Came back around 11AM because the contractions were too painful. I had only dilated another half cm but they felt bad for me and kept me! They broke my water and Logan James was born at 5:36 PM after what my husband tells me was a couple hours of pushing but I was oblivious to time at that point. So far it has been awesome and exhausting :-) I hope you go earlier than I did, is the worst part! And what they tell you about labor seeming like no big deal after you have the baby is totally true…during I told my husband “we are adopting from now on” and after I had him in my arms I was like “maybe I can do this one more time”. :-)


21 Cheryl September 14, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It’s so fun to hear how things are going and I am so excited for you to very soon meet your little girl! I was like you, reading everything I could get my hands on to get ready for labor. I was adamant about having a natural birth and did just that with my three boys. The first labor was very hard and I coped with the pain by retreating to a dark, quiet room and trying to summon the strength and support of my female ancestors and all of the mothers in the world past and present who had done this before. Like you said, humans have been doing this for quite a while. Still, I was surprised that no one told me it could be so hard. I think people are afraid to scare pregnant mothers, but honestly, I felt a little betrayed. Having said that, the whole experience was akin to running a marathon or climbing a mountain. So many times I wanted to give up and felt I couldn’t go on, but the view and feeling at the end was totally worth it… When I felt the weight of my baby in my arms and looked at his precious face for the first time…that feeling was pure euphoria. I have never, never experienced anything like that. It was the highest high of my life.
For what it’s worth, I did get really good at labor eventually. By my third, I knew just what to expect and just what to do. Here are some things that really helped me:
1. Sitting and gently bouncing on an exercise/yoga ball during contractions
2. Taking a shower at the beginning of transition (labor 2 and 3) and having my husband direct the water onto my belly. It was the LAST thing I wanted to do, but my midwife firmly told me it was a good idea and it was. I was ready to push by the time I got out.
3. I figured this out with my last labor and it was the most helpful thing I did. I brought my ipad with a soothing album I had never heard before. For me it was Sarah MacLauchlan. It has to be something new, so your brain is distracted and delighted by the novelty. It was crazy how well this worked for me. It was very, very calming.
Oh and my labors all started with regular, but comfortable contractions that I believe could have gone on for days and days. In every instance, my midwife broke the waters to get things moving.
I wish you the very, very best. Even though it’s the most natural, ordinary thing in the world, I still think every birth is a miracle. Life is just amazing. You will have your own, unique story and it will be a beautiful one!


22 Kim September 14, 2014

My (prenatal) yoga teacher told me to think of contractions like waves. You have periods of ebb and flow. A tip I have been given is to your my back massaged by your partner during strong ‘waves’. Supposedly it’s really nice when pressure is applied to your lower back. I still have some time to go. Before this pregnancy I miscarried and had really bad back and leg contractions for which I was not prepared at all. I have learned so much this pregnancy, I feel quite confident and prepared for the whole experience.


23 Lorie September 14, 2014

If you think your nails are growing fast now… wait till you see your baby’s nails, hah! I swear I clip hers every other day, they get so long so fast! (Speaking of which, make sure you have a pair of baby nail clippers and that you throw them into your hospital bag so you can clip them before she starts scratching up her face)


24 Laura September 14, 2014


I just had to pop in and give you some encouragement! Natural childbirth is amazing! Your body was MADE to have babies (the baby even kicks against the uterus to help push herself out)!….I actually looked forward to labor with both of my kids (even more with my second because I knew how awesome it was)! If you haven’t yet, check out the Bradley method…working with our body instead of fighting against it during labor. I can honestly say that while giving birth is uncomfortable, I wouldn’t say it was painful. You’ve been staying active and keeping healthy so you will do great! I had two very different labors, my daughter was born 14 minutes after we arrived at the hospital, while I was in labor with my son for two days! No matter how your sweet girl decides to come into the world it will be amazing. Enjoy it!!!!!! :)


25 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 14, 2014

thank you all so much for your comments & stories!! Definitely tearing up over here. So beautiful.


26 Kimmie September 14, 2014

When things seem most difficult, remember there is a grand prize at the end. It’s a great focus during the difficult part of L&D to have a pic in your head your husband snuggling sweet baby girl all swaddled and comforted and breathing easy in her daddy’s arms.

And please don’t fret about caring for a newborn. Sometimes they just cry and eventually you will know what the different cries mean.

Baby fingernails: I had special baby clippers which were handy, but when the babies were so new, I was petrified about clipping their sweet tender skin and causing tears. I admit, at times it was easier for me to use my teeth to trim nails. I know, gross, but at least I could be confident I wasn’t clipping skin.

Relax and go with the flow in L&D, you won’t have any choice but to finish it. It’s a miracle of an event.

You are a great Mama already! Good luck!


27 Jill September 14, 2014

Hi Angela,
I was obsessed with reading birth stories before my first (and only so far) daughter was born 16 1/2 months ago. I went into labour at 39 weeks and 4 days. I woke up at 2am with what I can only describe as menstrual cramps. I feel mine normally in my back and they felt EXACTLY the same. The only difference was that they had an unmistakable start and end. They were about 9-10 mins apart and I stayed up totally excited and terrified about what was happening. By 6am I couldn’t wait anymore and I got my husband up. Until that time the contractions were completely manageable. They lasted for 30 secs and were still 7-8 mins apart. By 10am I was struggling more to get through them. I tried all kinds of positions but in all honesty, nothing helped except gritting and breathing. I called my midwife at 10:30, when they were 4-5 mins apart and had been for about 45 mins straight. She told me to get in the tub, and that REALLY felt better. I had to call again at 11:30, when the contractions were lasting about a min and had progressed to being 3-4 mins apart (there were a couple of 2.5 mins in there that felt scary!). She came over at noon and assessed me and I was already 6cm dilated. We headed to the hospital immediately, and let me tell you that was the worst car ride and wheelchair ride of my life. By 4pm I was completely dilated. And labour was HARD. I’m not going to lie. As a marathon runner I can assure you that nothing compares to the exhaustion I felt near the end of my labour. I didn’t take ANY pain meds because it all happened pretty fast and my midwives would assure me it would all be over soon. When I finally decided I couldn’t deal with it anymore, I asked for the epidural, but it was too late in the game.
My daughter was born at 8:15pm, and nothing else mattered from that point on.

Yes the pain of a “natural” birth is as unbelievable as you hear. But your doulas advice is excellent- every contraction is one step closer. In the end it wasn’t the pain that overwhelmed me, it was the exhaustion. Because yes the contractions hurt, but they don’t last the entire time. You get breaks between them for almost the entire labour (except for that nasty end part, but then you’ve got your friend adrenaline working for you). It’s a mental endurance challenge. You think, “I can’t do this anymore” but your support partners are there to tell you that you can and that you will. And yes, everything they say about the pain disappearing the moment you lay eyes on your babe is also true. Words can’t describe. I’m very excited for you. It’s magical. However it happens-induction, c-section, epidural, all natural- none of the stuff we all obsess about beforehand, matters much when the baby arrives. Good luck! All the moms and moms-to-be are cheering you on.


28 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 14, 2014

Jill, this brought tears to my eyes….SO beautiful. I appreciate your honesty and encouragement! I will be thinking of yours and others comments during my labour.


29 Ruth September 16, 2014

Jill, thank you so much for your perspective! I am a mother of a one-year old girl and also a labor and delivery nurse. So many times I see moms come in with a set idea in their minds of how they want their labor and delivery experience to occur. Some are so focused on how they want things to progress that they experience extreme disappointment and powerlessness if their plan doesn’t happen. It’s great to have a plan beforehand but so important to keep an open mind too. Like you said in your post: “However it happens….none of the stuff we all obsess about beforehand matters much when the baby arrives.” Thanks! :)


30 Britt September 14, 2014

So exciting that you’re so close now! And that’s great that you’re so on top of things. It will definitely come in handy to have a stocked freezer once the little one arrives!

Since you’re into birth stories right now, I posted mine on my old blog. I had a homebirth and really loved the experience–and the way it all started was a little crazy, so that’s always fun. ;) It’s here if you’d like to read it: http://www.gfinthecity.com/2013/05/my-birth-story-part-1-water-water-everywhere.html

Enjoy these final days of pregnancy and try not to stress too much–you’ll be amazing!


31 Kristen December 6, 2014

Beautiful birth story! I am also planning a home birth with my first (due in 2 weeks) so loved reading this. :)


32 Keri September 14, 2014

My little guy was born last January, and I was due the 11. I remember a friend saying to me that maybe our sons would share the same birthday–the 20th! In my mind I thought no way, he’s coming early! But he was 10 days late. I had the same period like cramps for three weeks before labor started and about a week of regular BH contractions. Sometimes, they were quite painful, and I wondered if they were labor contractions. They would start in the evening, and then be gone by the time I woke up in the middle of the night with a baby on my bladder! One night, the pain sensation was quite a bit more intense, and I couldn’t sleep. We went to the hospital because they were 4 minutes apart. When we got there, I still was only a centimeter dilated, so we were sent home. I woke up at 5 am the next morning with contractions I could not ignore. I couldn’t stand through them. After four hours of laboring at home, with contractions at 4 minutes apart, we went in–this time to stay :)

Hopefully, your doula will come to your house and help you labor at home. I’d try to stay home as long as possible, but people told me the same–ha ha! It’s just so hard to know what to feel when you are having your first child. So maybe, in addition to trying to labor at home, be forgiving of yourself when your own labor takes whatever course it will. No matter what, it will be one of the most powerful & amazingly beautiful experiences of your life!


33 Milissa September 14, 2014

Oh, wow! How exciting! Those menstrual-like cramps are how labor with my second started but there was no delay…contractions began an hour after the cramps and water broke an hour after that. Labored at home for about four more hours, was six centimeters dilated when we got to the hospital. I kept moving, rolling on the birthing ball and when I began transition I sort of draped myself over the side of the bed and swayed my hips from side to side while my husband rubbed my low back. I found making noises like I was a ghost in an old-time movie helped….think Ohhhhhh…..Ohhhhhh….OHHHHH…haha. It was a tip from our natural childbirth instructor and I thought I’d feel totally ridiculous doing it but it felt so natural and help with those strongest contractions. I finally climbed into the bed, was fluky dilated and pushed for about 20 minutes. Total labor time was right at eight and a half hours, half as long as my first! Labor is labor…it’s hard work, and yes, it can be very painful…but no one has ever died from the pain of birth. It really will depend on your own personal fillings about it, your level of pain tolerance and how relaxed you can keep your body. Husbands can be such a wonderful help with this, along with your doula. However, while natural birth is beautiful, ALL births are blessed, miraculous events that YOU achieve. Doctors are great but only you can birth your baby because only you have carried her all these amazing months. However she makes her appearance will be one the most incredible, life-changing moments of your life. You’ve kept her safe and both of you will learn the caring for part as it comes. You’re going to do great!


34 Liz September 14, 2014

My first daughter came at 37 w 3d. My water broke at 6pm and I showered , ate, and headed to the hospital. I’m so glad someone told me to eat a good meal , because once you are in the hospital and checked in they don’t let you eat. Also, my water broke and the flood gates opened. I filled my husbands bucket seats full and my clothes were drenched top to bottom by the time we hit the hospital. I was not prepared for that. My labor went all night and all the next day until 2pm when my daughter was born. I was almost 100% effaced but wouldn’t dilate past 3cm so had to have pitocin and then lots of waiting until I could get my epidural.
When my 2nd daughter was born I went into labor at 38w 2d and started having contractions that sent me to the hospital immediately. My daughter was born 3 hours after we arrived and 1 hr post epidural. The 2nd birth was much quicker and so much gentler on my body. I think it had to do with being in active labor 3-4hrs vs 20 hrs. My recovery with baby 2 was a breeze, but baby 1 did a number on me. Everyone’s story/recovery is different. Just focus on the prize!!!


35 Therese September 14, 2014

I went into labor at 38 weeks and 4 days. I’d been uncomfortable for a few days (sore hips and back) but that Tuesday morning, my mucous plug came out and then contractions started a few hours later while I was at work. Story here: http://thereseandross.blogspot.com/2014/06/39-weeks-end-and-beginning.html?m=1 Labor was nothing like I thought it would be. I loved it!!!


36 Laura September 14, 2014

Hi Angela,

Love your website, made carob freezer fudge and doing your creamy tomato mushroom pasta tonight! Like you, Iam craving comfort food too! At 30 weeks pregnant I am right behind you and love hearing your weekly updates and you keep me inspired to write to my little one each week as well! Just wondering where you read the birth stories, as I want to start doing that as well? Thanks for the wonderful vegan recipes and baby posts! xo


37 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 14, 2014

Congrats on your pregnancy Laura :) Glad you are enjoying the recipes!
As for birth stories, I usually just search “birth stories” in Google and see what comes up. I find there are a ton on the Babycenter websites.


38 Aimee September 14, 2014

Has your doctor checked to see if you might be having round ligament pain? Sounds an awful lot like that, especially if it’s more common when you’re relaxed.

Oh, and I love hiking so I pictured each contraction (7 very long slow labors=lots of contractions) as a mountain that I would climb up one side and slide down the other. Weird but it worked. But I should say I pretty much ignored my contractions till I absolutely couldn’t anymore- none of this endless timing for me.

Hope you enjoy your last weeks!


39 Lori September 19, 2014

This is the kind of thing I think really works too, and I barely timed contractions either. Just a few out of curiosity, but I think its pretty unnecessary.


40 Jessica September 14, 2014

With my son. I went to a doctor’s appointment two days before my due date and had NO progress. At 3 am that night my water started breaking. (It was a continual trickle throughout labor. ) So just goes to show it really can happen anytime. :D I had scattered weak contractions in my back until I got Pitocin which picked things up a lot. I ended up having an unmedicated birth.

My daughter was 5 days late and my water BROKE at 4 am. This time it was that crazy rush of water people always talk about. My contractions started a few hours later and they kept having me lay still on my side to monitor her because her heart rate wasn’t quite what they wanted. Going through labor while lying still on my side was impossible so I got to 6 cm and got an epidural. It was magical, lol. :)


41 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 14, 2014

hah love both stories! It’s amazing how different they can all be.


42 Karissa September 14, 2014

With our first I woke up at 6 am feeling BH type tightening, but it felt ‘for real’ some how, I just knew it was different. Every few minutes my bump would get really tight and then stop and I would be fine. We went to the hospital around 9pm, when my contractions were 5 minutes apart and feeling very… um, ‘strong’. I was only 1cm dilated : ( I labored at the hospital forever. I recommend staying home as long as possible! Its so nice to be able to move/ sit/ kneel, whatever you need to do during your labor and not have people interfering or feel like you are being watched or judged. Our little guy was born at 3:15 am, 21 hours after I started feeling contractions… He was worth every second. Times 100!
Our second little man was a totally different experience. Labor started around noon, same kind of all over tightening, my belly would get super hard and tight for a while and then relax. Not too much pain really. But, labor went much faster and and the strong contractions started to roll in around 4 or so. I called my husband and we headed to the hospital. But, when we got there this time I was fully dilated! Our baby boy was born a little over hour after we got to the hospital.

This labor thing is like a long training run. When you start out you will be nervous about having to run so far, and will be unsure if you can do it. But you start any way and you find your rhythm. You’ll hit a time where you think you can’t keep going. Yes, its painful and you want to stop, but your still 10 miles from home and you don’t want to walk the rest of the way, so you keep running. You’ll hate the hills, they’re horrid but you keeping going up them. Somewhere along the way you rise above the run and just move, not really thinking about it. All of a sudden you’re a few blocks from home, you start to visualize all the things you want to do when you get there. You’re super excited about getting your shoes off, stretching, a hot shower, maybe some chocolate. And then you’ve made it, you ran the whole way.. and you know what, it wasn’t that bad. Now you feel amazing, you’re a rock star.

Keep putting one foot in front of the other and don’t worry about how long it’s taking or how far you have to go. It will be over before you know it. And your sweet baby girl will be the best finishers medal you ever get! We are built for this, you are built for this. You can do it.


43 Pina Colada September 18, 2014

What an interesting description, thanks for this post!


44 Jenny September 14, 2014

Very excited for you and your husband! I love your recipes. One question: I am sensitive to chia seeds, most tree nuts, and just wondered how to modify those recipes that include those items?

Thanks so much!


45 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 14, 2014

Hi Jenny,
Thanks for your excitement!
As for subbing seeds and nuts, it really depends on the recipe. My advice would be to check out my nut-free recipes; http://ohsheglows.com/categories/recipes-2/food-allergies/allergies-nut-free/?posts_per_page=40

And then if you have any specific recipe questions let me know and I will try to help!


46 Kathy September 14, 2014

Can’t wait to hear the baby announcement! I’m a grandma and not as young as your followers, but I love your blog, recipes and gifted your book twice to friends! What will your beautiful girl call her “Grammies”??


47 Leanne September 14, 2014

With my first child, I woke up (at the scheduled 3 am potty break!) and my water broke whilst on the potty, 13 hrs later my boy was in my arms! My 2nd I woke up at 4am on the morning of his due date, with “HOLY MOLY THAT HURT LIKE HELL” contractions and 4 hours later my boy was in my arms. My 3rd I woke up 11 day early with the HOLY MOLY contraction and 4 hours later she was in my arms. My experience I CLEARLY knew I was in labor! I was thankful for that, I was always worried about the “How will I know?”. Blessing to you!


48 Kate September 14, 2014

My little one decided to stay in there a whole week after her due date (womp womp). I was a bit worried I was going to have to be induced (I had heard some not so nice stories from friends about how intense this can be), but on a friend’s recommendation I went to an acupuncturist and I went into labour THAT NIGHT! Maybe it was going to happen anyway (who knows?), but if your little miss decides to hang out a little longer than her date, it may be worth looking into – it can’t hurt! :). I had a long and slow labour at home, and I really appreciated being in my own space to move however I wanted (hanging over the ball, sitting on the ball, leaning on my husband, sitting on the toilet, sitting on a stool in the shower etc etc – although I am sure you can have most of the same freedom to move in the hospital), and I found it really helpful to make very low and loud moaning noises (which sounds ridiculous, but was awesome). Eventually things picked up and we welcomed our little girl into the world in our bedroom at home after 25 minutes of pushing (total labour time was about 20 hours). It was definitely painful at the end, but it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought (I think I ramped myself up so much that there was no way it COULD have been as painful as I thought), and when I started pushing it felt so much better. It was easily the most profound and amazing experience of my life (although the first time I heard her laugh is a very close second!). I honestly really surprised myself, because until the very moment she came out, I didn’t think I could actually do it. Women are amazing, and our bodies are insanely awesome. All the luck in the world to you and your husband. You’ve GOT THIS!! :)


49 Nickie September 14, 2014

Firstly, I love your site and cookbook. I have never made a recipe of yours that wasn’t awesome, so thanks so much for sharing your ideas. And I’ve really enjoyed following your pregnancy experience. The pictures are great! I wish I’d done the same – it will be nice to look back on them.
Birth story: my son was born 2 and half weeks early and was 8 pounds, 2 ounces, so I’m glad he didn’t wait until the end! My labor started with my water breaking at about 6am. We called the midwife, who advised us to wait a few hours and call them back. However, both of my mom’s labors were very short (90 minutes and 45 minutes), so they decided we should come in anyway. It took at least an hour or two before I even started having contractions, and 22 hours later, my son was born! There were some difficulties with the birth, but it worked out just fine and I wanted to tell you what I learned about labor pains. I think that normally pain is scary because it means something is wrong, that you’re sick or injured. But labor pains don’t mean that – they mean that your body is helping your baby to be born. So yes, it hurts like hell and sometimes it’s overwhelming, but it’s nothing to be scared of. Focus on one contraction at a time, rest when you can, and it will be over when your daughter is ready. You’re going to do great!


50 Jacquelynn September 14, 2014

I walked 4 miles the morning of the day I went into the hospital! I love walking and did it the entire pregnancy :) I was obsessed with listening to Pregtastic podcasts about birth stories… I wanted to just walk and walk so I could listen to all of them :)


51 Melanie September 14, 2014

Glad to see you are still feeling well Angela! Your energy levels for posting and cooking up a storm are amazing! My waters broke when I was in the supermarket holding a carton of milk…I was 30 weeks and 3 days pregnant and it was a ridiculous terrifying shock. I gave birth 6 hours later (amazingly it was a normal vaginal delivery). My precious little girl was resuscitated and intubated, I got the briefest of cuddles and then she was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit, where she stayed for 85 looonnngg days. She is 8 months old now and doing quite well but we have no idea what developmental problems she may have. When I see/read anyone’s pregnancy journey that has reached greater than 30 weeks gestation I feel so happy for them and the future of their baby. ( that said the outcomes at 30 weeks are remarkably better than earlier gestations-it gets to a point where each day in utero is so precious). Anyway I didn’t mean this to be a grim story I just wanted to share my joy that your little one is full term and wish you much patience in the weeks that follow- becoming a mama is such a overwhelming, wonderful, important and scary thing. Can’t wait to ‘meet’ her. Xx


52 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 15, 2014

Thank you for sharing her story! It’s amazing how strong the human spirit is. Sounds like she is a fighter!


53 Jen September 15, 2014

My water broke while I was working at home, I was 40 weeks plus 1 day. I had gone to use the bathroom around 1pm, when I realized that just wasn’t a normal amount of fluid. So I did the sit/stand test to see if more fluid came out, and when it did I realized my water actually broke. Since I wasn’t having any contractions I could feel, I called my midwife and made a plan to come to the hospital at 6pm or call sooner if contractions started. I called my husband at work and told him the good news- requesting that he bring me home a smoothie so I could drink it on the way to hospital. Then I tried to “rest”, but I couldn’t I was so antsy. So I just started cleaning the house, doing dishes, and getting ready for the visitors that I knew would be staying at our house while I was in the hospital. We arrived at the hospital an hour early so we could take a nice walk and snap a few photos- I still can’t believe how big my bump was on that day! (Make sure to get this photo if you can!) Then upon check in at the hospital it was a whirlwind of things going on around me, but one of the most amazing things ever. I tried to think of my contractions (or should I say expansions) as wave and just ride them out. My husband says I just went into a “zone” and was so focus. We had a healthy 9lbs 3oz boy with no issues- and I even got to pull him out once the midwife made sure his shoulders cleared. We actually didn’t know what we were having…and I kept asking my husband because I couldn’t take my eyes off his beautiful face, but he was crying so it took a minute to find out I was holding our beautiful Cameron.

Best wishes to you…you’ll do beautifully!


54 Diane September 15, 2014

Despite growing up in the US and also working there, as a nurse, in women’s health care, I had an enormously lovely experience – twice! – birthing our two children in our very own bed, with a midwife, in the Netherlands. For inspiration before L&D #1 I read “Spiritual Midwifery” and took away some important ideas. One of them: your cervix can be relaxed (allow itself to dilate) when your mouth is relaxed. Making your lips flutter like a horse helps. Another: watching a dog vomit is a good lesson. The dog just allows its body to do what it needs, without making a big deal out of it or getting in the way.
When the time came for #1 I just had a bit of bloody show and then nearly 24 hours of gradually intensifying contractions. Exciting and focusing. When the midwife came early on to check me, she said I looked like a buddha on the bed. L&D #2 was more turbo, but that’s beside the point: this is your first! My advice is to relax and enjoy the ride. (BTW: I breastfed for years. It was so nice to be doing something I new was good for both me and my babies!) Good luck!


55 Jamie September 15, 2014

I have three children (2 boys and a girl), but with my youngest, a 5 month old girl, the beginning of labor was most interesting. I had gestational diabetes and it was a few days after my due date so my doctor wanted to induce me. I came in for my scheduled induction and was waiting to be induced and then my body just kicked in (the menstrual like cramps got really strong and frequent) and I went into labor naturally on my own. I was thrilled to not have to be induced! I wish you the best with your labor and baby girl. Little girls are so sweet!


56 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 15, 2014

Wow, talk about good timing! hah. Isn’t that amazing?
Thanks for your well wishes :)


57 Kat September 15, 2014

Not gonna lie; bfing is overwhelming at first, and this is coming from someone who’s been nursing her little one for 16 months and counting. Use those LC appointments and help yourself gain confidence! I also found a ton of support from other nursing mamas following The Leaky Boob and The Badass Breastfeeder on facebook. Trust yourself, trust your baby, and don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you’re struggling and you’ll be great. :-)


58 A September 15, 2014

Angela, I’ve even following your blog for your wonderful recipes for the better part if two years, and now your baby journey is as fascinating to me as the rest of your site. Curious to see baby-friendly recipes once your little girl starts on solids.

Your pregnancy journey is even more interesting since I had my baby just about three weeks ago, and so much of what you’re feeling is what I went through, as well.
My labour story was an anti-climax, though. I was induced, twice, as my son seemed a little too comfortable in there :). I also went for long walks, especially in the last months, and it was an amazing help in recovery, especially since I had a complicated birth. So do keep that up, it will help you way more than you realize.

Love, luck and light to your whole family from India :)


59 tara @ the mama modern September 15, 2014

My water broke while I was sitting at the bar of a restaurant. no big signs until that moment. You just never know when baby will decide to debut :)

As for medication, go with the flow as it happens. Don’t overthink it. You will know what to do in the moment. I wanted an unmedicated birth. After labor and pushing for four hours, unmedicated, baby still wasn’t coming. An epidural helped me avoid c-section at that point. In the end, ALLLLLLLL that matters is healthy mom/healthy baby!!

Good Luck!


60 Emily September 15, 2014

Hi Angela,
So excited for you!
Not sure if it too late, but I watched the Documentary “The Business of Being Born” I found it to be informative but also kept an open mind!. My midwife had told me about it and I was so glad she did.
As for my Labour, I was hoping on going natural in the hospital using the Birthing tub but at 37 weeks my pre-existing Fibroid was blocking my son from moving down my cervix and also taking the blood flow away from the placenta causing him to stop growing. He was still healthy and doing fine but had to have a scheduled C-Section right away as it would get dangerous for my son. I found this all out at my regular check up. It was a good thing I had an Ultra sound a few days prior as I’m not sure what would have happened. It was very nerve wrecking for me to find this all out while I was still working and had to go back to the office and inform my bosses that I’m having my son the day after (pretty crazy)
Needless to say I nested for the remaining evening right into the early morning (too excited and nervous at the same time that my baby boy was coming) I also carb loaded as I couldn’t eat or drink after midnight which helped but man was I thirsty especially as I naturally drink loads for watch. Long story Short it was the BEST day of my life and as I was being rolled into recovery with my sweet Baby Boy and I told my husband that I wanted another one right away =0) It was Love at First Sight!


61 Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen September 15, 2014

Look at you! I can only imagine how excited you are getting to meet your little girl – how exciting!! I love that you and your little girl are enjoying the delicious apples available this time of year! :) Wishing you two a wonderful week!


62 Nina Vrolijk September 15, 2014

Pfff how labour started. I was actually running around and doing all sorts of things. Visiting my parents, having diner with them hah. And all the time I was having contractions, but did not notice. I was having pains but they were (in my opinion) not severe enough to be contractions. I was scheduled on the 28th. On the 29th I had an appointment at the hospital for a check-up. I told my doctor that I had been having some pains but that I did not think it was anything. She said to me ‘you’re much too happy and cheerfull so I do not think those pains are contractions’ (LOL). But she wanted to check just to be sure. And she said ‘did you bring your(hospital) bag? You’re 6 cm dialated! So that was a surprise!

It’s exciting to be pregnant, give birth and take care of a baby. I think everybody worries, some more and some a bit less. But you will manage. I’m a bit (much) of a ‘tiger mom’ now but when I was pregnant I was totally unprepared. You on the otherhand are doing so great. I wish I had done it more like you! So you are going to do great! Please don’t worry to much and just enjoy these last days (or last few weeks) as a pregnant women!


63 Stephanie September 15, 2014

They will come when they are ready! My cervix was first checked at 36 weeks, and to my shock, I was 90% effaced and 2.5 cm! I had felt ZERO contractions or cramping. I had to go on rest for the next week to make it until full term. At 37 weeks, I was 90% and 3 cm. I started walking and exercising again, but getting uncomfortable with how low he was and already being dilated. At 38 weeks, I was 100% and 4 cm. At 39 weeks, I was 100% and 5.5 cm!!! Talk about uncomfortable. I went into labor naturally at 39 weeks, 5 days at 2 pm, and he was born at 6 pm. I was over 9 cm dilated by the time I got to the hospital and they had to break my water. Natural birth, had no other choice, and there was lots of pushing. Also, he was sunny side up at first, and the pain on my lower back and hip was so excruciating that we actually flipped him over–yikes. Then he came out pretty quickly after we got him in the right position! :)


64 Erika September 15, 2014

My labor started on the morning of February 28th, 2013. I woke up with a mild back ache and thought nothing of it. I was 38 weeks and 1 day and really was not expecting to go into labor at least for another week or so. I continued having mild back cramps on and off all day but continued going about my day like usual. I went for my daily 4 mile walk, got my hair cut in the afternoon and starting prepping dinner around 4:30pm. My back ache started getting a little stronger, but I really kept convincing myself it was nothing so I took the dog for a walk hoping it would help a little. By around 6:00 the back cramps were becoming really uncomfortable so I took a shower. While in there, my back pain moved to the front and I started having what I now know was labor contractions. I got out of the shower and started timing my contractions and realized they were coming about 4 minutes apart. So I called my doctor who said to come into the hospital because it was go time. THe only problem was, I was totally alone and my husband was at rugby practice and not answering his phone. I really started thinking I was going to have this baby on the floor of our living room with no one else but our Chihuahua assisting me with the birth. Luckily one of my friends who lived nearby was home and was able to drive me to the hospital. To make a long story short, I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl only 2 hours later completely naturally with no drugs after only 30 minutes of pushing, with my husband barely making it to the hospital in time to see her head coming out. And this was my first baby! Basically, labor can happen at any time and in a way that you’re totally not preparing for. Listen to your body and you’ll do great! I can’t wait to see your lovely little girl. Good luck, Angela!


65 Marissa September 15, 2014

I’m 33 weeks pregnant and have been getting very dizzy at times and have to lay down a lot. My ob says it may be because I’m low on protein. I’m vegetarian (not vegan) but I eat a lot of protein such as almond butter, nuts, legumes, cheese and eggs. She seems to think I need to eat more protein. I think she’s also worried about me not eating meat. Have you had these symptoms during your pregnancy? I had to go on leave early because of my dizziness/weakness. Also praying that everything goes well in the area of labor/delivery. This is my first also :)


66 Brooke September 15, 2014

Hi Melissa,

Just wanted you to know that I had that same dizziness feeling (especially when standing up) when I was vegan. As soon as I started eating meat, it went away.
I’m sure there are vegetarian/vegan ways to fix the dizziness, but since you are pregnant, your best and quickest solution would be to eat meat. Maybe just do fish and a little bit of red meat for the iron? Good luck and remember that every body is different and just go with the flow.


67 Shanny September 18, 2014

I would think low iron or blood sugar issues? Hope you figure it out. I have always had a tendency to get dizzy even as a meat eater. All the best.


68 Marissa September 18, 2014

Interesting. They checked my iron and I’m not anemic. I think it may be the low blood sugar sometimes. I try to snack often but even sometimes after I eat, I feel dizzy. Everyone’s body responds differently to pregnancy I guess!


69 Glenna Anthony September 15, 2014

So excited for you! Motherhood is wonderful.
I am 63, had my daughter when I was 44. I had a doula, my Bradley Method coach was there.
Husband asleep in the room, had the flu. 36 hours labour, BUT, probably would have gone a lot faster had I not followed the recommendation to eat 100 g of protein (difficult) per day to avoid premature rupturing of membranes. Once my doctor broke membranes at hour 35, Katie popped out within the hour! I had back labour the whole time and could not lie down during contractions. As a result, my cervix started to swell due to the baby trying to get out through
the membranes of steel. The doctor said they had to get me on my back or would have to do a c-section. In order to get me lying flat I would have to have an epidural. I was able to sleep for two hours.
If you need/want drugs, have them. Despite the touchy feely types on those goofy birth movies they show you, the last thing I thought before Katie’s arrival was “I have to get this baby OUT”. It is all worth it, and I would do it all over again.


70 Christabel September 15, 2014

My labor started with cramps every evening for a couple nights and then one night they started and didn’t stop. Contractions were initially about 12 min apart and got closer over 3(!!) nights. Even during the hardest parts at the end, I still tried to remember that somewhere in the world another woman was laboring too. It made me feel a little less alone.

You will do GREAT!


71 Sarah September 15, 2014

Wonderful to read your latest post! As far as pain management goes, I’ve had three kids, and this is what I found worked through trial and error. I had been told that focussing on one thing (a picture, an object) during the contraction would help, but there was too much distraction for that to really work well for me, too many other things to get into your field of vision. What I finally discovered with the third baby was this: I sat in a chair with a warm blanket over me, listening to classical music with earphones, closed my eyes, and envisioned I was in the ocean, swimming up the crest of a wave. As the feeling increased, the wave and I got higher, so that we were towering over the beach. As the contraction subsided, I coasted gently down the other side. It really, really helped. Somehow tuning everything out (with the music/earbuds) and visualizing the wave did the trick. I had read about this being a technique they use in Sweden or Denmark, I think, and it was super helpful. I wasn’t against pain medication (had a small amount with the first two) but for this baby number three, it was just visualizations, no meds, and he was 10 pounds! Good luck, I’m sure you’ll do fine.


72 Kristi September 15, 2014

Hi Angela. This is all so exciting:) My first child was 2 weeks overdue and came 2 days before my midwife would have induced. I was praying so hard my daughter would show before that. It’s hard to see your due date come and go. I walked and even ran, raked leaves, you name it, I did it to get her out! She was just content to stay there. My contractions started in the middle of the night and they were pretty constant. I had a 15 hour labor and she was out. My 2nd, my son, was completely different. I started contractions in the middle of the night again, but they were not as strong as with my daughter. We decided to go ahead and get to the hospital. On the drive to the hospital they stopped. I was worried my midwife would send me home, but she said I was 4 cm dilated. That labor was 21 hours. BUT, I had no other pain from contractions with my son (until pushing time came). I would have preferred my daughter’s labor, because though it was strong and steady, it didn’t give me time to fret. I was 9 cm with my son and walking around the hospital wing waiting for something, anything to happen. That made me think too much. I’m not a sit still laborer, so I was so thrilled to have a midwife. I stood up both times while giving birth. My husband was there with my mom and midwife. The midwife let nature takes it’s course and once she broke my water (both times), I couldn’t help but push. I remembered my mom telling me that it’s such an odd feeling, but you just can’t help but push and that is so true. My husband was the first person to hold our children and he broke into tears both times and he is NOT a crier. I remember feeling so overwhelmed that “I DID IT!” I couldn’t believe that I got through a natural birth. I was so proud:) It’s so true what they say, once your baby is there in your arms, nothing else matters. Everything else is sort of a blur. I would go back to delivery day if I had the chance, pain and all!
Good luck to you. You will do fantastic!! It sounds like you have a really great team to support you!


73 Jen September 15, 2014

My labor started early on a Wednesday morning when I was 40 weeks, 5 days pregnant. I woke up around 430 am and thought maybe my water had broken, but nothing much was happening, so I laid back down. Shortly thereafter things still felt weird, so I got up to set my away message for work, and then, WHOOSH! My water broke like in the movies! There was so much! I ran to the bathroom and soon after I started having contractions very close together, two, two and a half minutes apart. Labor had begun! 12.5 hours of back labor later my baby girl had arrived :)


74 Allison September 15, 2014

I just had my first baby 2 weeks ago, at 38 and a half weeks, a beautiful girl. I’ve enjoyed following your updates as it has been so close to mine :)

My labor started with my water breaking, very unexpectedly, while I was eating dinner and poking around on the internet. It wasn’t as dramatic as you’d expect it to be, but it’s pretty unmistakable. I had a planned home water birth with midwives and a doula, and it was very peaceful and went exactly as I’d hoped it would. My contractions started about an hour after my water broke, and just felt like really intense menstrual cramps. Almost as soon as they started they were about 3 minutes apart! I was in labor for 7 hours and pushed for about 20 minutes. It was an extremely intense 7 hours, the most physically challenging of my life, but at no point did I feel like I couldn’t handle it. Once you’re in it, time goes by very quickly, and your body just does it. Pushing was the hardest part for me- even though I read that it felt good to push when it was time, it definitely did NOT feel good to push into a contraction that was already very intense. But, you get to a point where you’re like “I have to do this or I’ll feel like this forever!” so, you do it. And the moments between your contractions are such a relief, I tried to be very present and focus on those peaceful moments and it helped me get through. Also, once she comes out, the relief is so tremendous, and the hormonal rush is so intense- I felt absolutely amazing. The most excited, giddy, incredulous, etc. that I’ve ever felt. I almost feel bad for men that they can’t experience pregnancy and childbirth… it is quite an experience! Unlike anything else. The truth is, despite reading a dozen books about pregnancy and birth, hiring a doula, reading hundreds of birth stories… nothing really prepares you for it, but it’s ok because your body just knows what to do. Good luck to you!

PS: I made the life affirming nacho dip last night for the first time, and it was amazing! My mom was like “I could be vegan if you’d make me this all the time” :)


75 becca September 15, 2014

Hang in there, you’re so close! I have two babies and both their labors were textbook–straightforward and no complications. Hoping the same for you! With my first son, my water broke at 37w5d in the middle of the night. I’d had no signs before then that labor was impending. 17 hours later out he came! I was convinced the second would be early like the first, but instead he came at 40w5d! With him, I started feeling a few random twinges in the early morning, and by 9 am I knew they were contractions. He was born about 5 hours later. No real signs ahead of time with him either except that I had been 4cm dilated at my last appointment, and lost the mucus plug about a week before. Best of luck with everything! Breastfeeding is hard the first week or so for everyone. Great that you have an LC already on call! That will be very helpful. And since I’m already commenting, just want to say I love your book! Everything looks so good, and I’ve loved everything I’ve made so far! Both of those are rare feats for any cookbook in my experience! So, thanks!


76 Kelly Childs September 15, 2014

I was 2 days overdue when funny enough, that my labour started when I was with my bank manager and working on a line of credit for my husband and myself. He was at work and I went there alone.
I suddenly doubled over in pain and the whole bank was so concerned over me.
I managed to drive home, and called my husband who came home thinking that it was time…
37 hours later, 3 epidurals (the first two did not take), an emergency O.R shout out over the P.A system for help (Erinn was stuck) and a team of 12 emergency doctors and nurses…..and a forcep delivery that pulled an 8 lb. 4oz baby (the doctor said there was no chance I’d have a baby over 7 lb.) out of me with nothing more than a bruised (Erinn’s) ear. I was literally exhausted and collapsed.
What joy I have every day that she is my partner in crime in business (Kelly’s Bake Shoppe) and in life and I LOVE her and am so grateful for the bond we share.
After one birth, I said no more… :)
She is my one and only and now she’s 24, and literally she is my best friend that shines brightly and brilliantly wherever she goes and helps me be a better person every day.
Angela, I wish for you all the love and happiness the world can bring you…..and a little girl – there is NOTHING like it. You’ll be buddies forever…
Kelly Childs


77 Christine September 15, 2014

I’m so freaked out my hospitals that at 32 weeks I decided to meet with a midwife and planned a home birth. It was the best decision of my life. My baby boy (2 years old now) was almost a full 2 weeks late but everything was looking good so we weren’t worried. Finally at 3am one night I started leaking and woke up my husband. It wasn’t gushing so he went back to sleep(!!) Then it felt like a water balloon burst in my belly and I grabbed a towel just in time for the whoosh of fluid. We both went back to sleep somehow and 26 hours later my son was born in the bed I’m laying in now.

I was terrified and really stressed about breastfeeding, but after my midwife said I was doing fine, it was a huge relief. Earth Mama Angel Baby nipple cream was a complete lifesaver, and once you get past those first two weeks, it’s a breeze!


78 Natasha September 15, 2014

Oooh so exciting! Getting so close now :) All of my three labours have started the same way. Braxton hicks that turn into real contractions in the middle of the night. Its nice and quiet and peaceful and i get so excited all on my own in the dark! My last labour i was convinced they were just BHs and i wasnt in real labour until my midwife got to our house and said ‘ you ARE in labour’ hahaa. I was thinking everything was going to stop any minute and i would have to go back to bed, but about 20 mins later my baby born was born all 9lb of him! Now hes 2.5 and im 12 weeks pregnant with my last bub!


79 Lauren September 15, 2014

I too read stories about the start of labour. Everyone told me I would just know when I was in labour and that drove me crazy. But they were right! I had braxton hicks at about 38 weeks and had a cervix sweep done by my midwife at 38 and 39 weeks. I was 90% effaced for about 6 days. I woke up on 40w 1d with cramps in my lower back. I didnt get admitted into hospital until 1130pm and had my baby boy at 924am the next day. He was born quickly..about 15 min of pushing maybe. I never had contractions in my stomach. They were all in my back which no one told me about. Good luck! It isn’t as scary or as bad as people on TV make it seem!


80 Katie September 15, 2014

My daughter came 4 days early…but I swore I wasn’t ready (I had just finished work 2 days prior and wanted to relax until my due date…plus we had a huge storm and lost power in Virginia in July so we were staying at a friend’s who had AC). I woke up around 6 am feeling crampy and there was a little blood (possibly my bloody show?). I didn’t think much of it and went back to sleep until around 9. Woke up, told my hubby I felt a tad crampy and off but otherwise fine. We went out to get breakfast and as I’m ordering my bagel at Panera it occurs to me that I’ve been feeling crampy at somewhat regular intervals. I insist it’s false labor and we drive back to our (HOT) house to get a few things together. Finally at 1:30pm the “cramps” start to hurt and I have to finally admit I’m in labor. Had her at 10:43pm that night! ;) Best of luck to you!!


81 Lynn September 15, 2014

I have always advised my pregnant friends to NEVER LISTEN to the labor and/or birthing stories of others…and here you’ve asked for them!! I suggest they don’t because people dearly love to share their horror stories and who needs THAT in their head?? You’re going to have the birthing story you’re suppose to have….and it sounds like you are plenty ready. I’m so excited for you!!


82 Sarah September 16, 2014

My labor started right outta the blue! I had absolutely no signs of labor. Nothing. I had been going to bed decently early in case the next day was “the day” as my due date approached so I could be rested. A fear of mine was going into labor at 10pm and having a very long labor and not having rest for over 2 days!!! But that didn’t happen. It never happens how you think it will. I went to bed late one Friday (of course … the one night!) After midnight. And woke up at 230am “having to pee” I knew it was my water breaking… well trickling down my leg. My husband and I were in denial that it was ACTUALLY happening. Finally took a shower, ate some food and left for the hospital at 7am. I was exactly 39 weeks pregnant! What’s funny was that Thursday my husband said “I think you’re going to go into labor this weekend” which was very shocking since a few days before we had talked and we both thought I was going to be induced at 41 weeks! So I got to the hospital, was checked. My water did indeed break. And if labor didn’t get started I would need pitocin. So I walked those halls and active labor FINALLY started at 1030am. My son was born at 443pm!! It was wonderful. No epidural. No tearing.
I keep checking to see if today was your day and you had your baby. Best wishes and I’m STILL obsessed with labor and birth stories so I hope you share yours with all the details and how you got through labor with tips from your doula.


83 Stephanie September 16, 2014

I just had a sweet baby boy on August 13! :) My water broke at 5:20am at 40 weeks 6 days. They started me on Pitocin as soon as I was admitted because I was only dilated 1 cm. Long story short, after 12 hours and high levels of Pitocin, I was only dilated to 2 cms. They ended up doing a c-section at 7:00pm and baby Jackson was born at 7:07pm weighing 9lbs 7 oz and measuring 22 inches long. He is perfect!

PS. Breastfeeding is much much better than I had anticipated. Make sure you breastfeed often and don’t give up! I suggest having a couple nipple shields on hand in case he has trouble latching. The lactation nurse gave me one in the hospital and it really helped. The doctor also recommended eating oatmeal and drinking gatorade (yuck!) to help with production. I also drink Earth Mama milkmaid tea. Stay hydrated! He did have a huge jump in how much he was eating at one point and the OB ended up giving me a script for Reglan, which is an acid reflux medicine that randomly helps with milk production. It made a HUGE difference.


84 Debora Basini-Herman September 16, 2014

Good luck to you and Eric Angela. You’ll be a super star!


85 Nadia September 16, 2014

I wish you a wonderful beautiful birth experience. I had two little boys and enjoyed both births. Totally natural, no medication. One was a water birth. The warm water took the pain out of the contractions and I only needed an hour. My second I needed 30 minutes so no water birth, he came too fast!
I didn’t experience it as painful as everyone else was telling me. I remember thinking “was that it with the pain?”

Yoga breathing helped alot, breathing through the contractions/waves. You will discover muscles you didn’t know existed! And use the intervals between cintractions to relax and refocus.

Nurse you baby immediately after the birth. Great bonding experience and they smell so beautiful. Even though I have been nursing a total of 3 years now (both boys), it didn’t come so easily at first. But don’t give up. The first weeks were hard work but keep going and then the magic happens. There is a good book, The womanly art of Breastfeeding. Helped me a lot and still is. Nursing a 8 month old gorgeous boy. My older son is 3.


86 Lisa September 16, 2014

Hey Angela, I’m so excited for you. Our baby girl is 14 months now, and the day she was born was just the most amazingly wonderful day. I went natural and would do it all over again. I didnt think it was so much painful, it just wears you out. The contractions come and go, so you can rest in between.
My husband was a great birth partner, and I couldn’t have done it without him. He was giving me counter pressure on my lower back most of the time, which made an unbelievable difference. Also, if you aren’t hooked up to the monitor the whole time and can move a bit more, it’s far more comfy than just lying there on our back. In fact, I preferred pushing on my knees leaning against the back of the upright bed until near the end.
Also I got into the warm shower and let it beat against my back while I kneeled against a bench. I resisted getting in at first, but it really helped. You lose all modesty let me tell ya.
You can do it girl! Focus on the end result. My recovery was easy peasy. I could get ight up afterward and go to the bathroom. I didn’t tear at all, so I didn’t need any repair. My daughter wasnt woosy from epidural, so she was so alert, and knew exactly what to do when it was time to eat. I can’t recommend it enough! Hope it all works out.
No matter what, it’ll be the best day of your life!


87 Charlene A. September 16, 2014

Good luck to you and your hubby, Angela! It’s such an exciting time, the anticipation of a new baby. I just had my 3rd – first girl!! – 8 months ago. While everything may seem new and daunting at first, it becomes second nature very quickly. Of course, babies are always changing, so get used to that, too! Having an LC lined up already is awesome! I was worried about BFing but it ended up being the easiest thing for me, and after having complicated pregnancies, I was glad for that! Another good tip is to have an awesome carrier. You might not know what you like until baby arrives, but try out ring slings, Mei tais, wraps and structures carriers. Can’t say enough about the Tula! You can be hands free and baby gets to be close to you, exactly where she wants to be :) Best wishes!


88 Clare September 16, 2014

I am coming up on my 4 year vegaversary and you have inspired me (and many others) in so many ways!! I wanted to throw my name suggestion in your name hat..Rose..For some reason I could see you having a little Rosie..Thank you again for all of you good work over the years..Sending good thoughts for an easy birth!!


89 Emily September 16, 2014

I’m glad you’re doing well! I am so excited for you!! My boys just turned a year old. I got sick a few years ago and had a hard time getting pregnant. I lost my ability to conceive naturally and started In Vitro. Our first attempt ended in heartbreak, but we decided to give it one more shot. That’s when I switched to a whole foods, vegan diet. I was determined to do everything I could to increase my chances. Well, it worked…double. I responded to the medication more, and after having no embryos take, this time I had two latch on. These two kept growing bigger and stronger. Then, at 6:30 in the morning on September 3rd 2013, I woke up and my dog was staring at me. I asked her what her problem was, and then I felt a pinch. I stood up and was pretty sure my water had broken. I tried to keep cool because I didn’t want my husband freaking out too much, but I was crazy excited…and nervous. That entire day seems like a dream. It went by quicker than I thought it would. I wasn’t even scared until I was told I would need a c-section. Luckily, our labor and delivery nurse was incredible. I don’t even remember what she said to me, but it gave me the strength and confidence I needed to get through it….And then I heard that first cry. It was the most amazing moment of my life…until I heard that second cry. Equally awesome.
You’re going to do great! Congrats!


90 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 17, 2014

So beautiful Emily! Thanks for sharing :)


91 Jeanine September 17, 2014

Hi Ang,

I’m in love with your blog, and your cookbook’s been attached to my kitchen counter since I got it! I work as an OB nurse and have been super excited for you and your upcoming delivery. It sounds like you have an amazing team to ask questions to, and it’s fantastic that you can have a doula and LC to help you out too!
My only advice is to try (I know, easy for me to say!) to relax and be patient, with everything – waiting for labour, labour, breastfeeding, recovering, the whole bit! ….and take it one day, one hour, one minute at a time. The little peanut (unfortunately? fortunately? I guess it’s all a matter of perspective!) gets to run the show for the most part from here, so the best thing is to sit back and go with the flow! Oh, and as for breastfeeding, you can watch all the movies and read all the books, which is always helpful… but I tend to find that the real learning starts for both parties when you’re finally holding the munchkin (hehe – forgive the pun!) in your arms. And try not to compare your experiences toooo much to others – everyone’s labour and breastfeeding experiences are like snowflakes – no two ever seem to be alike! It’s what makes it so special :)

Good luck! And enjoy! (Oh, and bring that breastfeeding pillow with you to the hospital, even into the delivery room if there’s space, it’ll come in handy!)


92 Emily September 17, 2014

Reading your post was like reliving what I had gone through just 5 months ago. I have 2 children, a 2-year-old little girl and a 5-month-old little boy. My labor with both of them started out in the early morning hours with me waking up feeling really sick to my stomach….like I took a laxative and needed to go to the bathroom now! sort of feeling. Ha! It wasn’t funny at the time, of course. But I’m sure you’ve read about your body “cleaning itself out” during labor. That was my first sign both times. I had very quick and very intense labors, 7 hours with my first (4 hours at home, 3 in the hospital) and then only 4 hours with my little boy. Not going to lie…the most painful 11 hours of my life. I gave birth all natural…and I’m not planning on doing it again. One girl, one boy, I’m done.

I wish you the very best of luck!


93 Monica September 17, 2014

Try to relax about it all (I know, easier said than done!). I just had our first child last year, at 34 years old, and I was still terrified about all of it! The delivery, the newborn care, recovery… none of it was anywhere near as bad as I feared. It is almost a natural transition. It is tiring and “big”, but it feels normal. At least it did to me! Good luck! You’re going to do great!!!


94 Angela September 17, 2014

Angela, I just wanted to share my recent birth story :) I was a week over-due and induced on August 28th. I was laughing and joking with my hubby all morning until the pitocin really kicked in. My contractions were by far the worst pain I’ve ever felt. It felt like my pubic bone was slowly breaking in half. I tried a bunch of different positions, rocking, moaning, but it was unbearable. My husband joked that the sounds I was making were the same sounds I make during sexy times, and I nearly crushed his skull!

I was only 3cm dilated but I begged my nurse for an epidural. They wanted to wait until I was at 4, but it was excruciating and I needed some relief. I’ve been practicing yoga for 15 years and I also love vipassana meditation, but every calming, pain embracing technique went down the drain when faced with pitocin driven contractions.

For me, getting an epidural was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my entire life! All of my pain went away and I was even able to nap for a few hours. When it came time for my little boy to arrive, I was still able to effectively push and all I felt was pressure and stretching ( I also felt myself doo-doo…twice). Unfortunately, even after 5 weeks of daily perineal massage ( I’m also a massage therapist! ) I required a small episiotomy. The baby immediately came out, he was placed on my chest for an hour, and he immediately nursed! It was so wonderful!

I definitely want another baby, and I’d definitely get an epidural again! Just keep in mind that although it’s possible to have a drug-free birth, you have nothing to prove to anyone :) Drugs are rad!! ;) best of luck!


95 Robin September 17, 2014

I also used the Bradley Method and I can’t say enough wonderful things about it. The relaxation techniques were really, truly effective when the pain came. My “little” guy is now almost 10 years old! He came out one month after our 20th wedding anniversary (I was 45!) We didn’t think I could get pregnant and stopped even thinking about it. We chose not to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. It is the best surprise I’ve ever gotten! The whole thing was an amazing ride, it still is! He is such a blessing, and I’m lucky enough to homeschool him now.


96 Sara September 17, 2014

You look stunning!

Everyone’s birth experience is different. It also gave me comfort reading about others experiences while I was anxiously waiting my own. It can also make you anxious when you hear some stories. Not knowing what to expect the first time can be scary. I’m the biggest wimp in the world.

To me contractions felt similar to gas pains (the most intense gas pains you could imagine)

I always feared the pushing and vaginal birth pain the most. To me this wasn’t nearly as bad as I imagined. Pushing was hard work but, the actual birth wasn’t as painful as the intense contractions were. I had an epsiotomy due to the possibility of tearing. No epidural or pain meds.

The moment she is born the pain is completely over. I felt like a million dollars then on.

Our bodies are AMAZING! I’ve never had so much respect for my body until I gave birth. I felt like an inner body experience. I could hear and see those around me but, It was like they were in a fog. My body naturally focused on the task of birth.

I truly feel eating healthy and being active before and during pregnancy helps the birthing process.

I woke up at 12:25am to pee and thought my water could be breaking. When I stood up from the toilet liquid trickeled down my leg. I went to lay on our couch to wait it out and see. Shortly after I had a few crampy like contractions and then they increased in intensity quickly. Within an hour I couldn’t keep track of the time in between. I was shocked and overwhelmed that they could even be five minutes apart. I woke up my husband and we got ready to go to the hospital. During that time the contractions got to a point that they were on top of each other. Once we got to the hospital and I was checked the nurse saw the baby’s hair. My doctor was still at home and I had to wait for her to arrive. I could tell the nurses weren’t comfortable delivering. That was the hardest part, waiting and try to hold off pushing. Once the doctor arrived my daughter was born on the fourth pushing sequence. Three hours from when I woke up at home. It was short but, extremely intense.


97 Jessica September 17, 2014

I delivered our last baby (#4) 3 days after his EDD. I had been having Braxton Hicks on and off and I really couldn’t sleep. I was up watching Independence Day (of all things) on the TV and hubby came down to check on me. He wasn’t feeling too well so I made him some tea. He actually started throwing up (he had the flu) so went upstairs to shower. I heard something fall in the shower and went up to check on him (he had dropped the shampoo) and as I was talking to him and my water broke! I really wasn’t having too many timeable contractions then. This was around 2am. I finally ended up in L&D at 6am.

I was a few centimeters and he was still wayyyyyy up in there. They wanted to start Pitocin, but I absolutely refused telling them I wanted to labor without it and my body would be ready when it was ready. I got some attitude, but nevertheless I got my way. Baby was progressing fine until about 2pm and then he just stopped coming. The contractions stopped. They started Pit. I got an epidural. I got to sleep a little. Baby was still really far up there, like he didn’t want to come out. I couldn’t figure out why. Nurses changed shifts and the one nurse came in and straight cathed me (since I was on the epidural) and literally as soon as she left the room it felt like he slid into home plate (apparently my bladder was holding him in there the whole time! Go figure!) So it was a mad rush because I had to push right then. I was ready to go. From the time I was cathed until the time he was delivered was 30 mins! He came out super healthy, happy, and he nursed right away. It was great!

So my advice: breathe, pee, and follow your gut. If you don’t want an intervention, remember that women having been doing this forever. Your body knows what its doing even if you’ve never done this before ;-) Good luck! Oh and I love your blog!


98 Elena September 17, 2014

So exciting! My first delivery was an emergency c-section so I was unconscious for it – no epidural in place so they had to just put me under. BUT for the second one I was determined to have a vaginal delivery and read all the books, etc. (not sure if they encourage this anymore – it was 15 years ago and things seem to always change). Anyhow, one of the best things I remember and something that helped me with the contractions was to visualize the cervix opening up with each contraction – the one book related it to opening up a turtle neck sweater to pull over your head. While the contractions were uncomfortable to say the least I could not BELIEVE how good I felt in between them. It was like night and day! During a contraction I would be like “honey – I don’t think I can make it through this without drugs” (I wanted to avoid drugs if possible due to a potential correlation between that and a uterine rupture on VBAC patients) and then in between I would say “I can totally do this” – LOL! Every time it got challenging I thought of that turtle neck stretching a bit more to go over my little Athena’s head. Once the baby was out and I got stitched up I was able to walk to the bathroom and take a shower (disclaimer – my labor was pretty quick which I’m sure was part of why I felt so good). Our bodies are truly built for this! Good luck – I’m so excited for you. It is the most amazing experience EVER!


99 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 17, 2014

love this story – so inspiring!


100 Cindy September 17, 2014

Hi Angela!
So glad things are going so well for you! I love your enthusiasm about it! No complaints for you–so refreshing. I don’t know you but I think you’ll be a super fantastic mom so forget about those doubts. You can tell you are a person that’s got their act together. Plus the way you speak about your daughter shows how much LOVE you have to give her! Such a blessing for her to grow up in a loving home. I vote for September 23 as the date your daughter arrives – it’s our “25th” anniversary! :) Praying that you will have a safe & easy delivery. Blessings to you & Eric, Angela! (loved the pics of the nursery that you showed!)


101 jen September 17, 2014

Ok, i can’t resist sharing! With baby girl my water broke and poured all over the place out of thd blue at 35 weeks. It was like the movies! With Baby Boy he was having a dance party at about 9pm, 39 weeks, and i felt a sharp kick to the cervix area and a snap. Uh oh, i thought, water broke… yup, just a slow trickle though. I’d had some on and off contractions with him though , so not such a shocker.

Best of luck!


102 Rebecca September 17, 2014

With my first, I was out to dinner at a steakhouse the night after my due date and I started to have lower back pain that came and went. I thought “Hmmmm….this is interesting!” My husband and I came home and went for a walk and that’s when the “real” contractions started. It was then that I realized that what I had felt at the restaurant was actually early back labor!


103 Brittanie September 17, 2014

Hi! This is my first time commenting! My water broke at home at 39w+6d and contractions started a couple of hours later. I know the midwives tell you to rest in early labour… Its hard to do, but I suggest you really try! When my water broke at 7pm I ran around the house trying to clean, finish packing, etc and finally fell into bed exhausted at 9:30pm, only to realize I was already contracting… half hour later they were too “strong” for me to stay in bed. So much for resting! I had a long night ahead of me and babe was born at 10am next morning on my due date. I wish you all the best!


104 Sophie September 17, 2014

Hi Angela,

I am so excited for you. I love reading all your blog posts and enjoy that you’re letting us be part of your journey. I hope you’re planning on blogging about raising a vegan baby. I’m sure a lot of your readers would enjoy that. You are planningon doing so…right? haha

Take care,



105 Linda September 17, 2014

Best wishes to you and your hubby whenever you new little one arrives. New life is endlessly miraculous. Namaste.


106 Hollyce September 17, 2014

You’re SO close! I’ve gone into labor spontaneously 6 times in 6 different ways. I ALWAYS worry about whether I will “know” even though I always do. This last part is mentally a little tough, but the excitement and joy to come are like no other! <3


107 Lori September 17, 2014

I’m so excited for you! I agree with your doula – try to think of contractions as productive. I just had my second baby almost 3 weeks ago, Bradley Method style! My first was 2 days before due date, second was 8 days late! Wasn’t expecting that! With both my water didn’t break until I was ready to push. I just started having contractions that kept coming, starting out very easy. Only way I knew it wasn’t Braxton Hicks is because they kept coming for hours (pretty far apart at first). First labor was 20 hours start to finish (only about 5 rough hours), second was only 9.5 hours (about 3 rough hours). My second was born 22 min after getting to the hospital! Ha! No interventions though, and that’s what I wanted! Anyway, don’t be scared, its amazing! Taking care of a newborn is a little scarier! You really do have to take it an hour at a time but just know that your instincts will get you a long way! Wishing you the very best!


108 Ashley September 17, 2014

I was also cereal crazy every time I’ve been pregnant!

Here’s my birth experiences (all drug free, except strep b antibiotics w/#1):
#1- 2 weeks overdue, 28 looooong hours of back labor including almost 3 hours of pushing. She came out ear first (ouch, caused a bit of damage to Mama) but perfect.
#2- 1 week early, water broke in the middle of the night, he was born 4 hours later after only 45 minutes at the hospital and 3 pushes. Fast labors are WAY intense.
#3- 6 days late, very, very light contractions the day before, then I wake up at 5:30am with stronger contractions…he was born an hour later in my bathroom 3 minutes after the very nice EMTs arrived and after like half a push (he was almost a toilet baby….). That was an exciting birth ;p I’m done having babies, but if I had another I’d probably camp out in the hospital parking lot about a week before my due date, lol!

Good luck! All of mine have hurt like hell, but the second they’re out the pain is gone and is replaced by the amazing feeling of holding a perfect, slippery, wrinkly baby. And female brains do have that crazy capability of somehow blurring the pain into a distant memory very quickly after baby arrives! You’ll do awesome!


109 Narcisa Jovic September 18, 2014

Hi Angela,

Congratulations on your pregnancy and upcoming birth! I’m so glad you’re so well prepared and have such an amazing support team. That’s wonderful!
As I’m sipping your delicious peanut butter smoothie, I thought I’d share a bit about my births. First was a c-section (scheduled, unnecessary in hindsight), second and third were VBAC’s. My labors were quite long and very similar. Contractions started about 5/6 minutes apart, felt like strong waves of energy from front to back. My story is not very glamorous, labors were quite challenging due to exhaustion and not being able to keep anything down. I was pushed to my limits, hit the wall so many times, but I did it! Support is so crucial, it makes a huge difference. Also, since I’ve been a doula and childbirth educator for several years now, I know that baby’s positioning is also extremely important and some labors (like mine) can be more challenging because of less than ideal baby positioning. If your doula didn’t mention it yet, check out this website, it’s really great for stuff you can do before and during labor to encourage baby to be in good position for birth: http://spinningbabies.com/.
Your birth will stay with you all your life, embrace the experience. Sending my best wishes for a great birth and healthy baby!


110 Shanny September 18, 2014

I love reading and sharing your pregnancy journey. Thank you for sharing it.

I’ve had six babies, so probably too many details to share lol….but regular contractions that are getting stronger and closer together have always been a part of the experience. Lol. Sorry it’s not more interesting than that. Of course I’ve experienced a number of other things along the way……but most significantly, most of my babies have been very overdue. Like….add another month on to where you are now, kind of overdue. That’s one reason why I suggest you don’t get too invested in that due date. You’ll probably go much sooner but just keep a little reserve for sanity’s sake.

Yes, it is stinkin painful, I’m sorry it just is. I think I would’ve coped better with my first labour if I had have had a better understanding of how painful it was. That’s why I’m saying it bluntly now. But labour is a MENTAL game, and as others have said, take one contraction at a time. Women lose it when they start imagining what the future contractions are going to be like. Don’t focus on those, just RELAX (as best you can) through THIS contraction. It seems you’ve seen your sister in labour – then that first hand knowledge should help you. :-)

All the best! So excited for you!


111 Julie September 18, 2014

As difficult as it is, try not to focus on the dilation and numbers your OB is giving you. It ultimately means nothing! With my two births, I have had a midwife and they don’t even bother checking until you are actually in labor since they have found it to be pointless. But I remember that at that point in your pregnancy, you just want any sign that the labor is imminent! I remember trying every old wives’ tale to get my first daughter out (she came 2 days late) – walking, cleaning on hands and knees, spicy food, foot massage, etc. Sadly, they seem to come on their own schedule, no matter what I tried!


112 Julie September 18, 2014

P.S. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend taking the time to go get a pedicure. It felt so amazing on my swollen legs and feet when I was 39 weeks pregnant!


113 Kim Ramirez September 18, 2014

My baby girl was born on a Sunday night. I cleaned our apartment like crazy all weekend, hoping the activity would bring on labor. I was expected at work Monday morning, but all I wanted to was to hold and see my baby. About 6 pm Sunday evening I rested on the bed and announced to my husband, “If she’s coming tonight she better hurry because we are running out of time.” A moment later I felt a strong, somewhat painful kick and then my water broke. Marissa was born right before midnight.
That was 21 years ago. Now Marissa is a senior at The University of Michigan studying elementary education. Your baby blog has brought me many tearful, sentimental moments and I am so excited for you and your husband. Your daughter is blessed to have a mom who is so sweet and knowledgable about nutrition. Keep us posted!


114 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 19, 2014

What a beautiful story Kim! Thanks for your sweet words. :)


115 Kameran September 18, 2014

Congratulations! My water kind of broke at 2am as I was going to pee, but it trickled alllll day. I had bought some overnight pads to have around for the post partum bleeding but was grateful to have them before too! Irregular contractions all day with lots of walking. One thing I had heard that helped me a lot was to keep any noises, grunts, moans (or whatever you need to make during contractions to release) low in pitch, rather than high and “squealy”, for lack of a better word. Higher pitch makes you feel more panicky while lower gives you more control. I found this to be true.

I’ll keep my thoughts with you! Good luck!


116 Jennifer Bobson September 18, 2014

Hi Angela,

thank you very much for all of your hard work in creating exciting recipes. When you follow your dreams you open doors for others and I want you to know that your creations have been a huge help to me. Congrats to you and your husband and I wish you all the best for a safe and easy delivery. I assume that your baby will be raised vegan and I strongly encourage you to post recipe ideas for baby and kids when you are ready to. Just like everything else you have been creating, I am sure that it will be beautifully presented, amazing tasting, and very easy to make.


117 Ulli September 19, 2014

You look great!!! I wish you all the best for labour (and for the first time with your little one). My little boy is 7 weeks at the moment and I love being a mum (so far ;-)). I shared my labour story on my blog, if you want to read it: http://fitundgluecklich.net/2014/09/18/baby-olivers-geburt-teil-2-olivers-birth-part-2/ (Thats part 2, with a link to part 1 – part 3 will be published soon, it ends with an emergency c-section unfortunately – but I’m just glad to have a healthy baby now). Again: all the best, everything will be fine!!! ;-)


118 Em @ Love A Latte September 19, 2014

I’m sitting here with my baby boy sleeping in my arms and it’s amazing to me that six weeks ago I was still pregnant. So excited for you! My water broke at 3 AM on a Sunday, but I wasn’t having any contractions, and my little boy was born at 5 AM on Monday. Lots of walking and tv and patience during the 26 hours… When my contractions got much worse, the best thing I did was get into the tub and listen to relaxing music. Enjoy every minute!


119 Stephanie September 19, 2014

Oh, congratulations. I am so excited for you guys embarking on this new adventure. There is nothing in the world that can compare to creating and nourishing life. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

It’s super soon, but if you are at all interested in making your own baby food (you know, in 7 mos. or so…) we found the Baby Bites cookbook to be very helpful. Many recipes are not vegetarian/vegan but are so easy to customize and were great “jumping off points.”


120 EMM September 19, 2014

SO excited for you! Wish you the best! I was induced–I was 8 days late. I was SUPER determined not to have a c-section. My labor was a total of 44 hours and needed a weighted foley catheter bulb to assist with a natural delivery (ouch!!). I pushed for 3 hours and the doctors said “if we don’t have this baby out in 2mins, we may need to do an emergency csection.” well, that worked because one min later, my son was born (with a 100percentile head). OUCH! LOL!! Best of luck! Just remember, if things do not go as planned, never feel guilty. Just enjoy!


121 Denise September 19, 2014

Baby #1–Woke up around midnight with off and on contractions. I had an appointment at 4pm that afternoon and ended up being admitted in labor and baby boy was born at 12:32am.

Baby #2–Woke up around midnight, again, but contractions didn’t stop. Left for hospital around 5am and baby boy was born at 7:47am.

Baby #3–Turned over in my bed around 2am and my water broke. We stood around debating what to do since I wasn’t having contractions. Took a shower. Waited for someone to show up to watch our kids. Left for hospital around 6am… Given Pitocin and baby arrived at 11:32am.


122 Julie September 20, 2014

My birth story started a few days after my due date. My midwife really pushed me to be induced after I had ultrasound to make sure everything was ok with my daughter. I was measuring a bit too big and turns out I had a bit too much amniotic fluid, but the doctor who checked me out at the hospital said everything was fine. That was a big relief, except when he pushed me to be induced just so I “could get it over with”. Rewinding to my very first midwife appt almost 6 months earlier, I discussed with her that I had a feeling my due date was actually a week or more later than what the typical charts were saying. I had lots of info that I kept track of when hubby and I were trying to get pregnant and I strongly felt my due date was wrong. Fast forward to my due date and when I didn’t go into labour, I wasn’t a bit surprised. Since I felt my due date was wrong, I declined many requests and even demands of doctors and my midwife of being induced. I said I would only be induced if I went to 42 weeks or my daughter was being stressed. To add to the feeling that my due date was off, I felt great…family and friends kept asking me if I was sick of being preggers, or how they were amazed I wasn’t uncomfortable. Nope, I felt great and walked everyday and even did housework…it just didn’t feel like it was time. The day before I went into labour, I had massive cravings for thai food which was weird since I hardly had any cravings during my pregnancy. I also was an emotional wreck, which was very weird since I’m not an emotional person…I couldn’t stop crying. I literally cried all day…it was baaaaad. Then that night I got mild menstral-like cramps that were pretty regular. My midwife recommended that I take gravol and Tylenol and try to get sleep. That was a bad idea…I didn’t get sleep, but instead felt like I was in a weird dream-like state and was super confused with each contraction, which by that point were getting strong. About 4 hours later my daughter, Sarah, was born naturally, without induction, and healthy at 41 weeks 4 days, and was 8 lbs 2 oz. Later the same doctor who first pushed for me to be induced said that Sarah’s weight indicated that she was born on time. While not everyone can go without being induced, the thing I learned is to trust your body and your instincts. :) I hope everything goes well with the birth of your daughter! You’ll do great! Labour wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought it would be…it felt more like stretching pains and pressure sensations. At one point I told my husband I thought my butt would explode, lol! And the cool thing about labour is seriously you forget about all the pains, stress, whatever, when you look into the eyes on your child for the first time. It’s amazing and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. :)


123 candice September 22, 2014

First baby’s labor started the night before her due date, and about 4 days after I lost the mucus plug. Just felt super uncomfy & crampy & achy all day, then the contractions suddenly got stronger at night fall.
Second baby’s labor started 10 days before her due date, and 2 days after losing the mucus plug. Also had gentle/uncomfy contractions all day, and labor contractions started as soon as I put my 3yr old to bed (like literally, as soon as I kissed her goodnight!).
So glad you are hooked up with a doula & lactation consultant— super duper helpful and important!


124 nicole September 25, 2014

Super late seeing this post, but thought I’d share my story, too. I had absolutely no braxton hicks contractions or any pre-labor symptoms at all. I was at work, presenting some designs to a customer when my water broke. That was 11am, and my little guys was born at 7pm that evening… at 37 weeks! Good luck to you!!! xo


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