I was pregnant with my third baby. My first two both came during the 39th week of pregnancy.

Closer to the end of my pregnancy I started to go to bed earlier... after my other kids went to bed. I’d wake up a little worried that I haven’t been feeling my baby much. I was getting kicks after a while and knew I had an NST coming up so I just thought I was sleeping through my baby’s normal active time. She would always be more active when I was relaxing watching TV with my husband after my kids went to bed, but I was going straight to bed lately.

At 12:45am at 39 weeks 6 days, I woke to contractions that were taking my breath away. I couldn’t sleep and had to really focus on my breathing to get through them. Timing them was difficult but they did start getting close together. First thing in the morning I called my doctor’s office because my contractions spread out again and were a little less intense. I’ve never had labor that starts, stops, or eases up before... so I was a little nervous. Plus, I was GBS+ so I wanted to know when I should go to the hospital.

The doctor's nurse practitioner saw me and did an NST. She decided to send me to the hospital because I was 4cm and while the NST wasn’t alarming, it also didn’t look reassuring. I'd had an NST before with my first baby, I remember clicking the button every time my baby moved, it was often. He’d move and I would click, click, click, click.

For this NST I didn’t click much. Two times to be exact. And even then I was unsure whether I should have because, while I might have felt something, I wasn’t convinced it was a kick or the baby moving.

We headed to the hospital and I got situated in the room. I got dressed in my hospital gown and the external monitors were placed. I labored for a little bit... baby was showing occasional dips in her heart rate but they recovered, however, my doctor knew she needed to be born sooner rather than later. My contractions were very light and spread out until they broke my water. It had meconium. They said not to worry as it just means the NICU will be present for her birthday party.

I continued to labor with Pitocin to help me along, but ultimately my doctor needed to order an emergency cesarean. I was 9.5cm and was taken to the OR fast. Under general anaesthesia, my baby was born and they found out then she had her cord wrapped around her neck at least 4 times, and a true knot. She needed to go to the NICU for some respiratory help due to the meconium.

I am so incredibly thankful that she put me in labor that night. I’m not sure what would have happened if I didn’t go into labor. I’m thankful for the people who cared for me during that stressful and painful labor. My care team made all the right calls and kept us safe. I don’t know how she managed to wrap her cord around like that.

In hindsight, my gut was right... I was noticing her reduced movement accurately and, ultimately, there was a scary reason for why she wasn't moving much.

While in labor, things felt off from the start. My feelings about how things were going held a cloud of intuition above me that day. I found a quote to go with one of my photos I have of her and it states, “gut feelings are guardian angels.”