We’re back to the birth story!
After going to the doctors office and not having contractions, I got sent home. Luckily, the contractions came back in a regular way. It felt good knowing I was truly in labor.
We labored at home for a couple more hours. It was a sweet time, filled with West Wings, words of love and some cramping pain. At one point my parents and sister came by. I was surprised at how easy it was to hang while being in labor. You see, up until I actually went into labor, my only reference for the experience had been the movies. So I thought it would go down a little like this…
1) My water would break, and I would know it had broken because it would exit my body in a monstrous gush. At which point I would look at calmly at Dave and say “It’s time.”
2) Dave would run around the house in a total panic, grab our overnight bag and other birth related things, pack them up in the car and drive towards the hospital…forgetting me in the process. He would drive back to the house and hustle me into the car.
3) At this point I would be doing some kind of crazy Lamaze breathing to quell the intense pain I was feeling. Dave would try to comfort me at which point I would curse him
4) We’d run into the hospital, and almost immediately I’d be in a hospital bed, legs in stirrups, still breathing all Lamaze-like (he-he-he-hoooo), every once in a while screaming something at Dave like “You got me into this!!!! Damn you!!!”
5) A baby would be born. We would both cry.
Really the only thing that went down like the movies was that last part. Everything else was different. In fact, the first 18 hours of labor were kind of a breeze.
Like I said, my folks and my sister came by, and we talked and laughed. Every once in a while I’d check out to get through a contraction, and then it was back to visiting.
After they left, we called Debra Day, the midwife who we hired to help us with labor support, to come over. She was awesome. She checked the baby’s heartbeat, and we talked about whether or not we should go to the hospital. Her advice was to head down there before the contractions got too intense. That way we could check in and make the space our own before the real poop went down. Excellent advice.
At this point, I had been laboring for about 12 hours. The pain was pretty dealable. We went to the hospital and got checked in, and for the next six hours or so we climbed the labor hill slowly but steadily. The pain increased a little bit at a time, and the time in between the contractions was actually pretty fun.
Fun you say? Well, we had decided to go drug free on this adventure. And we also decided to let it happen pretty naturally. Luckily, the doctor who delivered us was down with that plan so there was no inducing, no early breaking of the water. Consequently, it was slow and steady build.
In between contractions I was pretty much me. I could chat with Debra and Dave. Debra also encouraged Dave and I to experience the labor as a couple, so periodically she would us alone in the room. We put on some music --a little Getz and Gilberto, some Marley, lots of Ray Charles. At one point even Dave put on the Paul Anka hit “Having My Baby” (What a lovely way of sayin'
What you're thinkin' of me!). We dimmed the lights and danced through the contractions. It was fun.
That’s one thing no one really tells you, That labor can be fun.
And then the doctor broke my water…
Tomorrow. The most pain I’ve ever felt, and the happiest I’ve ever been!