On March 31, 2009 I woke up about 3:15 am to what were definitely contractions. Kind of crampy feeling and low, under the tummy. I lay there for the next 3 hours with a big goofy grin on my face because first of all, this is LABOR and it’s still 3 days before my due date and second of all, these are EASY and I can’t wait to meet the baby.
Then the contractions all but stop when I get up.
I went to the grocery store with the kids which was an exciting experience (what if my water breaks?) and I still have that goofy grin on my face. ‘I’m in labor! and nobody knows!’
At about 3:00 in the afternoon I decided that the contractions were becoming difficult enough to climb into the bathtub. Of course my littlest had to climb in with me. Which is how my husband found us at about 3:45. I officially declared myself ‘in labor’ and we had to talk that through for a second because; I am always late, and this was early, and what do I mean I’m in labor, and could I be mistaken?
At 4:15 the contractions are more difficult, though I’m exhilarated in between them, but I have a moment in which I really want to throw up. Which excites me even further because everyone agrees that that’s a sign that transition is upon you, and this has been so easy and it’s almost over!
From 5-6ish My thoughtful husband brings in the ipod cued to Eddie Vedder’s Into the Wild soundtrack. I sing along. Then I get cold but can’t be bothered to add more hot water so I decide to get out. The contractions are slamming me at this point and I can feel them all in the lower back.
6ish and so forth and so on… The contractions are coming one after another and all I want to do is lie down, but I found that if I shove my lower back into the door frame of the closet I can feel a little relief, but man, all I want to do is lie down in between them and the bed is so far away and getting back up to the door jam is so awful and I begin to despair.
My knowing husband, reading my mind, begins to appear during contractions to give me a lower back massage.
7ish, when time stands still. I talk myself out of an epidural. I talk myself into getting back into the bath tub. I talk myself into ‘checking my progress’ while on the toilet and then give myself a pep talk because I can’t tell if there’s any progress at all. And I end up back in the bedroom for a doozy of a contraction and finally my water breaks. Something tangible!
I go back into the the bathroom because the toilet seems like the most comfortable place to be, but because I have filled the bathtub with steamy water, it’s also hot. Horribly hot, sweat pouring down your face hot. I wonder if my husband can open the window, but I am seriously, loudly vocalizing through all the contractions (who am I kidding? I’m vocalizing like a banshee almost constantly now!) so I decide to go into the bedroom again.
I throw my top half onto the bed in absolute despondency, I am at the end of my rope. I’m carrying on and sobbing and Oy! the pain in my back, and how much more can I take, and my husband continues to rub my back and I have 2 huge contractions right there and then PUSHING! immediately. No lull at all. I’m pushing! I thank the heavens and stars and a few choice deities and start to push like crazy wanting to get the baby out. right. now.
No ‘breathing the baby out’ for me. (I do remember to put my hand back there to support my perineum a bit while I shove like mad though.) I have three pushing contractions, the burning ring of fire, and feel the squirming legs turning the baby(up surprisingly high) and then plop! out onto the towels right between my knees where I’m kneeling.
8:15 pm. A boy! We called the girls in to see their new brother.
He was gurgly, so I put his bottom higher than his top until he sneezed.
Then he nursed brilliantly and everyone helped me roll into bed for some much needed sleep.