It really started Sunday morning. I woke up completely incapable of handling work anymore. After much sobbing on my part and reassurance from Milton, I went ahead and started my maternity leave. I felt really bad that I’d be losing time with my baby but I was so beyond done.
That morning we walked a couple blocks to a local family restaurant and I noticed my constant early labor contractions felt…deeper but still sporadic. Wouldn’t it be funny I thought, if I went into labor today? But no I’ll probably be pregnant a month from now. No sense getting my hopes up.
Later that day L and I ordered the last things we wanted on hand “just in case” I went into labor before we made it to Illinois (we had planned on going there at 40 weeks as a friend wanted to give us a free birth and extensive babymoon). At that point in the day I was having no contractions.
After dinner I checked myself (everything was the same) and took a bath. During the bath I started having these deeper contractions again.
I checked after the bath, baby was definitely fully engaged all of a sudden, and low to boot. I sent Milton a text while he was cleaning that I was gonna lie down and see if the contractions would stop. They were only once every 20 min and not painful but they seemed buisnessy and I’d just spent money for birth supplies that wouldn’t get there till Tuesday.
After about an hour or two the contractions had not gone away, only once every 10 minutes and still not painful as such but I had an odd feeling.
Milton came to check on me and as I got up to pee I updated him. “I dunno babe, I think I may be in labor.”
And sure enough, a slight amount of pink on the toilet paper. “HOLY CRAP!” – I only thought that part- I checked again, definitely a little blood but still contractions were nothing so I figured…within 72 hours and went to tell the family the news.
I notified L that it was getting to be time, and labored through the night with milton’s help and support. He rubbed my back and talked to me…probably brought me stuff. It was very quiet, intimate, romantic and just…as nice as labor can be. By 1:30 am my contractions were slowing down and we were both exhausted. If I walked around they stayed steady but if I rested in anyway they petered out. I had a choice to make. Knowing I have long labors and wishing to avoid the pitfalls of my earlier labors I ate and slept. My sleep was strange and punctuated with periodic contractions.
When I woke up my contractions were slower but I still had bloody show so we were still in business. When the kids woke we told them the news and set them up with their tablets so they wouldn’t get bored waiting and waiting and waiting.
L came that morning, I remember she brought starbucks for Milton. They would each hold me and comfort me through my more painful contractions. I don’t remember much clearly about that morning, mostly that I was already tired and wanting to get on with it.
We got up and watched “Buffy, Once More With feeling” while I shuffled about.
Sometime mid day B came as well. I decided to walk outside. It was beautiful and my labor was wanting to slow down yet again.
They took turns escorting me down the street, to the corner, and back. Each of them supporting me in their own individual wonderful ways. I think that this was one of my favorite moments in my labor. I think that’s the moment ill still remember clearly when I’m 60.
My house was full of family and love. The kids played outside and the adults held and comforted me while I wiggled, waggled, and duck walked through contractions.
As it got later and I got closer to transition, I was worn out and just ready to be done. All the walk walk walking was exhausting me. Even with Milton literally holding me through each contraction. They were getting more and more intense. As my contractions slowed down again I got a little desperate. I felt like if I went to sleep, Id undialate and have to do all that painful work again. I was soo exhausted.
B had gone home for awhile, L had fallen asleep.
Milton talked me down from my exhaustion panic, crawled into the tub with me and did a few min of gentle nipple stimulation to help get things going again…but it didn’t seem to help. Finally defeated I went to bed…and then wow my contractions kicked in big time.
Finally I could maintain a good labor pattern without walking. Oh but it was an intense labor pattern. I labored on my side for a good while. With one person spooning me from behind and applying lowerback pressure, one person holding my knee up froggy style, and one person holding my hands, touching my face and soothing me.
I was in transition at this point. What follows is a haze. I remember being in pain and feeling totally incapable of handling anymore but also knowing that probably meant transition and transition meant the pain changed for awhile then id have my baby. I started calculating hours of torture left in my head. 3-5 maybe…I could do 3-5.
Finally completely over this I decided to get in the tub. I honestly didn’t care if it slowed things down. I needed a respite, I was having trouble staying relaxed at all through contractions.
I remember that while I was in the bath we worked as a unit. Im not sure who did what, but they perfectly communicated with each other and with me without anyone saying a word…I only had to twitch or gesture, I’d have water or whatever I needed right there.
At some point I started asking for perineal support/counter pressure. That helped quite a bit.
I had a couple contractions where it felt good to push *a little*, then I felt the baby move past my cervix a tiny bit, a strange bloop feeling. I still didn’t feel properly pushy. I was laying in the water, thinking, I should get up but i was in to much pain to actually attempt it.
Finally my water broke during a contraction, I was filled with overwhelming pain. I tried to explain that my water broke, that it hurt even worse, I was flailing around trying to find any position that might be slightly less horrible. All I could get out was “my water” and “no can’t” and I think “all hurts”
They decide im trying to get out. So lever me into a standing position. They ask me to step out but I can’t. They ask a couple times, I finally wail. “I can’t!”
The agony was the baby wooshing in just one moment from just past my cervix to being about to crown.
Luckily L realized what must be happening and said, “ok guys I think we’re about to have a baby”. She hopped in the tub to check. As she did that I felt my body reflex push/contract and felt the baby crown. At this point I was dangling from milton’s neck while B was bracing one of my legs on the edge of the tub. Funny that i ended up giving birth that way, since I’d been really feeling dangling would be a good birth position throughout my pregnancy. She said, “yup, I see baby”, my body flexed again, and her head was out.
I remember thinking at this point, *I hope she’s ready*. Not pushing wasn’t even contemplated. My lizard brain wanted that baby out now. I pushed…not even that hard, and the baby came flying out. Woo! L passed her between my legs and unlooped her from the umbilical cord, as it was wrapped loosely twice…the Khaleesi was of course already angry and crying vehemently. My girl. *bliss*