Five things you can do to determine if you are in Labor

Updated: Feb 9



Although, the average healthy mom carries 41 weeks and 1 day to birth a baby full term. Sometimes, baby has a different idea. Sometimes, the moon phase can get the uterus all riled up. Sometimes, bacteria, virus, etc. could contribute to an early water break. Sometimes, due dates are simply wrong and sometimes, it could be the RIBS! No matter the reason, it is not always possible to stop premature labor as in the second labor of Melissa & Shane Leach.



Melissa was 33 weeks gestation when her husband took his last work trip to Dallas, Texas. Labor and birth were the farthest from everyone's mind. I woke to a text message that Melissa had sent @5:40a. She thought maybe she had just eaten too much salty food and had allowed herself to become dehydrated, therefore, she had been over hydrating just in case with extra water. Her message shared she began having Braxton Hicks throughout the day, but then she had noticed them all through the night, as well. They had only been lasting approximately 20-30 seconds and were not painful. She had asked for advice to help make them go away. She had tried changing positions and shower. I reminded her the five things that typically make false labor or practice contractions space out or completely go away:

1) Eat

2) Drink

3) Change Positions

4) Shower/Tub

5) NAP/Sleep

Melissa began trying the others to see if any changes. She phoned some friends from church since Shane was out of town and put them on notice for help with Shane Jr's care. She requested assistance in driving her to doctors office to be checked out. Fortunately, she was able to have the Pastor's wife from church help out. She phoned Shane to let him know her contractions had not spaced out. She also phoned the doctor's office. I sent a text to Tina Hayes (her nurse midwife), who advised to have Melissa head to labor & delivery to meet with her and get checked out.


By 9:43a, it was established the baby was coming and Melissa would be admitted. I phoned all the Your Birth Helper team and put them on call. I immediately threw all my things in the car and headed toward Charlotte. Meanwhile, Melissa learned she was already 6-7cm, CRAZY! The goal of her medical staff was to do Nothing we normally would. They desired the baby to cook until the next day to administer the second shot for baby's lungs. In an effort to keep baby in as long as possible, as well as, get Shane (her husband) back on the ground in Charlotte before baby, Melissa was put on bed rest. Not even allowed to go to the restroom ~ Oh, the dreaded bed pan. Many women struggle emptying their bladder in the bed... bless!


I touched base with Shane via cell, we created a backup plan just in case he could not get an earlier flight out of Texas. The plan would be the Doula with Melissa would Facetime him in to still actively take part in the birth. I gave Melissa this instruction, "We will do the opposite of what we normally do, you are going to uncross your fingers and CROSS YOUR LEGS...and to let me know when she desired doula help. Her immediate response was, "OK RIGHT NOW!"

Lena reported to room # 236 and meanwhile, Shane had been able to arrange an earlier flight back to Charlotte arriving around 2pm. Nancy arrived shortly after Lena and both found Melissa relaxing well accompanied by the Pastor's wife. At 1pm, I checked back in with Melissa, as she was still texting me"... go girl! I reminded her to let go of stress and trust that God knew what he was doing. That Shane should be landing soon and I was 35 miles out.


I arrived to get updates from Tina Hayes regarding the labor plan for Melissa. The plan was to keep Melissa in bed, with every effort to get the second steroid shot for baby the next day. That was the best case scenario, as it 6-7 cm dilated, no one expected her to carry weeks longer. Shane arrived while I was in the hallway speaking to Tina, she brought him up to date with plan and we both entered the room to greet Melissa. After, the couple Face timed with little Shane before his bedtime. Unfortunately, due to FLU season he could not be present at the hospital since no 12 and under allowed.



Melissa was doing an amazing job focusing on her relaxation despite the unexpected circumstances and stress of Shane being so far away from home when all this kicked in high gear. Just like the first labor, one of Melissa's challenges again was emptying her bladder. Bless her heart, she couldn't get up and well, lets just say it this way, "Whose idea of fun is a bed pan?" Poor thing struggled several times with it. Thankfully, finally some success, no need for a catheter this time!! We proceeded to try to maintain the bun in the oven, but lets just say the oven temperature was soon increased after Shane's safe arrival back to Charlotte and particularly bedside.


With some tender loving care, it wasn't long before everyone realized baby was not going to sleep inside another night. The sun went down and baby had decided the womb service was drawing to an end.



Tina Hayes, CNM entered to check her cervix and the green light was given for Melissa to assume a pushing position and help guide her baby out listening to the cues of her midwife. Curling up around her baby, with elbows up and out, legs back and bearing down she eased her baby into this world.


Nancy said, "Shane do you wanna announce what it is?" I joined in, "Shane tell us what it is?"... Shane called out with tears flowing, "Its another BOY!!!!!!"


Baby had special care from NICU, but is doing exceptionally well, as is MOM, despite the early arrival. However, arriving at 33 weeks @ 6 lb 1oz and 18.5 inches long, no one could imagine if he had cooked 7 more weeks what his weight would've been. We suspect a few things helped baby Ian William out a little sooner... possibly the alignment of Juniper & Moon? That certainly doesn't happen everyday, however, according to Melissa, nor does Shane cook ribs very often. I understand the ribs from Costco may have played a role, as well. It seems Melissa had warned Shane maybe they shouldn't eat ribs because the last time she had them, she went into labor with Shane Jr.. well, lets just say Shane didn't listen. Who knows? Anyone overdue want to test this theory for me? Costco Rib yourself into labor anyone, anyone?... Bueller? LOL

~ Day After Visit ~


Special thanks to midwife, Tina Hayes, CNM, of Carmel OBGYN, Nancy Cook & the entire

#YourBirthHelper Team aka the

#CharlotteDoulaDreamTeam

#NaturalBirth

#SymbioticBirth

#BirthWithoutFear

#PrematureLabor

#NovantMatthews

#CarmelOBGYN

#HusbandCoached

#MidwifeAssisted

#birth #SymbioticBirth #CharlotteBirthFamily #MidwifeAssistedHospitalBirth #DoulaApprentice #Doula #PrematureLabor

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