{continued from Part I)

Sure enough, there was no doubt in my mind my water was at least leaking.  I looked at my watch.  It was 7:30pm.

Part II: Labor

My feelings went from rote preparation, to panic, to excitement, back to “let’s take one thing at a time.”  I called downstairs  to let N know what was going on and then called my doula.

Every single time I’ve called her, she has always, always answered. For the first time ever, I had to leave a voicemail.  Then a few minutes later, a text. I really wanted to hear back from her before I called my doctor or N’s mom who was on childcare watch.  I needed her to call me back before I could move forward.

To pass the time, we began getting MG ready for bed.  She begged to watch the “MG video” (home movie) as she ate her bedtime snack.  It is about 11 minutes long and even though we were already behind schedule, I obliged.  I sat her on my small lap space and just cried into her hair as we watched the video together and she munched on popcorn.  I kept whispering to her that I loved her and she spilled popcorn everywhere all over the floor, but I didn’t even care.  I sat with her and grieved for those few moments.  It was important.

While N bathed and dressed her, I finally heard back from Julie who had happened to be in a movie and explained that my calls and texts had gotten a delayed response on her phone.  She advised me to make our final preparations, to go ahead and call Grandma to come over, and then to begin walking to get contractions going.  We decided not to call Labor and Delivery until I was absolutely ready to go into the hospital.

With me being GBS+, they would most likely ask us to come in right away and that would defeat our intent to labor at home as long as possible.  This was especially crucial to me because while my water had broken at 7:30pm, I wasn’t having any other signs of labor.  No contractions or any of the other sure signs that I will spare mention of.  The last thing I wanted to do was be tethered to a hospital bed while having the fear and pressure of Pitocin hanging over me.  (and I say this because having a Pitocin-induced labor just makes a natural labor much more difficult).

About that time I called Grandma, who had previously warned us that she would be at a funeral from 7-8pm with her phone off.  It was about 8:30pm at this point and she answered.  I explained the situation and told her to finish her dinner, but to make her way over in the next hour or so.  She said when she got off the phone and told the ladies at her table what it was about, they all rejoiced.  To be at a funeral for a little girl with a terminal illness and then to hear  on that night, new life would be entering the world was a reason to celebrate.

At home, amidst both of our minds reeling about what we needed to do, we managed to get MG to bed and then added the last minute things to our bags, charged the camera, loaded things in the car, and N put on his bowtie that he had picked out to meet his daughter!   This was really happening!

It was such a surreal experience because I was only just beginning to feel the first signs of true labor. Other then the occasional gush of water down my leg, I was starting to feel significantly crampy, although I wasn’t having any timeable contractions yet.

I could not believe we were actually packing up to go to the hospital and the amazing timing of it all.  We got our wish to be able to put MG to bed (and had even been able to forewarn her that Grandma would be there when she woke up in the morning-which to her was invaluable).  We knew that we would be doing most of our laboring throughout the night when she was asleep, which meant we could be at home.  It also meant that Grandma wouldn’t have to drive in the middle of the night and on this particular weekend, Papa had been on a hunting trip but would be arriving home that night.  It was perfect.  Plus we had non-intense time to calmly(?) pack everything and rationally think through what was needed to be done.  I could not have crafted a better scenario to begin labor if I had wanted too.

The only thing I was a tad bit concerned about was that true labor would delay or take a long time.  With me being GBS+ this could be a real issue, as once your water breaks, you have 36 hours to get the baby out.  So we were on the clock, unofficially.

About an hour later, Julie called to see if any changes had been made.  I told  her no contractions yet, but I was starting to feel a bit crampy.  With her being an hour drive away, we decided that she should gather her things and then make her way over to our house to labor with us in the next hour or so.  She also advised N to call the hospital and ask them to set up the tub for us.

He called and we were relieved to hear the tub and accommodating rooms were available (it is a first come, first serve basis)  He also asked about the doctor on call and we rejoiced to find out it wasn’t the one doctor in the practice who won’t let you use the tub if your membranes have ruptured.  Everything was coming together beautifully!

Grandma arrived around 9:30pm and we got her squared away.

Then I excused myself to a quiet corner of the house.  I spent some quiet time praying and meditating on the Scriptures I had previously picked out for this moment.  I had grieved my time and said goodbye to MG.  She was taken care of, I had all my bags packed and loaded in the car.  It was time to mentally focus and get into the labor zone!

N and I started walking laps around our street in an effort to pick up labor.  We talked about how crazy it was that we were here, now, and how excited we were for our family to change.  Around 11:40pm, I noted my first contraction.  Later, Julie told me that she had been praying aloud  on the way to my house from 11-11:30pm that labor would begin and not stall.  At 11:30pm, she felt God giving her confirmation that it had begun and that she could stop praying.

One of the instructions Julie had given me was to make sure to eat and drink while I still felt up to it and to take some time to rest in between exercise.   While thinking about this, I suddenly remembered that we had not yet watched the Office series finale which was one of the things we’d actually been looking forward to that weekend.  I proposed to N that we take a break and watch it.  He was thrilled with that idea, so we came inside for a change of scenery.  I snacked on almonds and he began using his contraction timer app.

During the show I tried to either stay on my feet, swaying back and forth, or rest on my hands and knees as my chiropractor had suggested.  I signaled to N every time a contraction started and ended and he punched the appropriate button on the iPad.  Meanwhile, my water was still leaking and my contractions were moderate but I noticed that every time I went to use the bathroom, they became very intense for that short amount of time.  I kept my mind fixed on positive things and was able to think through them for the most part.

N was loving the Office, but he later told me that I wasn’t laughing at any of the funny parts.  I thought I was fully engaged at the time, but I guess I had other things on my mind :). Contractions were coming about 5 minutes apart and a little under a minute long.  At midnight, I happened to look at the clock and joyfully declared “It’s the 18th!!”.  Our baby would be born sometime that day on her due date!

Around 12:30am, I was breathing through a few of my contractions and N asked me how I was doing.  I was dismayed to tell him that I was starting to feel them in my back.  It was another thing I had specifically prayed against: back labor.  I hoped she would turn soon and not put me through the excruciating pain MG had. It was also around this time that  I felt my energy being drained and relocated for contractions.   I answered a few more last minute texts and began mentally checking out.  Julie arrived about 10 minutes before the show was over and N regretfully turned it off.

We chatted for a few minutes and then she observed me while I had a contraction.  She looked at our contraction stats and we made conversation in between a few.  I asked her what we were looking for to know it was time to go to the hospital.  She explained longer and closer together and a little less vitality from me.  It was during this time we discovered that if N rubbed my lower back during a contraction it helped the pain tremendously.

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Collectively, it was decided that we should attempt another few laps around the neighborhood.

I guess there were smiles in between contractions and yes, we did see a few cars.  One slowed way down, much to my annoyance.  I’m sure we made quite the spectacle.

It wasn’t long before the contractions seemed to be coming a lot closer together and I was able to continue walking through them, but I didn’t much want to.

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After about two laps, I brought up the hospital again and Julie answered that we could go whenever I felt that I wanted to.  I was ready.

“Are you sure?” they both wondered.  I couldn’t really explain why, but it was if something in me had changed and I felt sure that it was time.  It was around 1:00am.

Inside, I went to the bathroom and had another major contraction. Julie said she knew at that point that it was definitely time to go and if I hadn’t brought it up earlier, she would have suggested it at this point.

The car ride to the hospital was one that I had been dreading. I was in the zone and did not want to break my flow.  I also didn’t want to experience a contraction “on my own” without N there to help relieve me by doing counter-pressure. I prayed a lot as they set me up in the back seat (over a towel of course) in the most “comfortable” position.  I was mostly afraid of feeling out of control when the pains came.  Julie noted it was 1:14am.

Surprisingly, the car ride was one of the most peaceful experiences of the entire labor.  I believe that God helped me truly relax and I only remember having two contractions.  I feel that it was at this point that I was able to go completely inward and get into a trance-like state that I would stay in for the remainder.

My peaceful ride however, was not so much for N.  He exercised his “Daddy rights” and got us to the hospital in record-breaking time, possibly breaking a few laws on the way :).  He continued to encourage me from the front seat, letting me know our status and telling me what a great job I was doing.  He was a wonderful labor coach!  We arrived around 1:45am.

He pulled up to the free valet parking and I exited the back seat in between contractions.  I felt as if the valet, upon first sight of me,  got onto her walkie talkie and said,

 “Roger, we’ve got a live one here.”  Time to get this labor show on the road!

{part III: Hospital…to be continued on Monday}

4 Comments on Bea’s Birth Part II: Labor

  1. Granny
    June 21, 2013 at 9:36 pm (4 years ago)

    Exciting!!!
    That was so like Nate to put on his bow tie for his first meeting with Bea!

    Reply
    • Sweet Mama K
      June 22, 2013 at 12:40 am (4 years ago)

      Oh yes and it was a tie with MG. How his tastes have evolved 🙂

      Reply
  2. Granny
    June 21, 2013 at 9:36 pm (4 years ago)

    Exciting!!!
    That was so like Nate to put on his bow tie for his first meeting with Bea!

    Reply
    • Sweet Mama K
      June 22, 2013 at 12:40 am (4 years ago)

      Oh yes and it was a tie with MG. How his tastes have evolved 🙂

      Reply

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