Due to both time and memory constraints, I'm sure I'll have to write this down in pieces, but before the recall gets even fuzzier, I'll embark on ...
The Birth Story
Monday was a conflicted and emotional day. After starting the midwife appointment thinking we were about to induce then leaving Ike's with a bottle of castor oil and a complete change of plans, I spent the evening trying to step back and relax, consider my options, and take a night just to rest without worrying about what would happen next.
Anyone else hear the whistle of the Irony Express?
I went to bed around 11pm, feeling nothing physically stronger than my usual fatigue. But then I woke up about an hour later. And then ten minutes after that. And ten minutes after that. Still not convinced I was breaking out of the pre-labor pattern, I fought to go back to sleep, but then at 1am I got the, "No, seriously" call from my uterus. Contractions were five minutes apart and after another half-hour, I couldn't lie down and be still during them. I got up and watched the clock for another twenty minutes or so and then woke up The Admiral at 2am.
Since she had the furthest distance to drive, I called Andrea first. She answered the phone excitedly and asked, "Is it time?" It was thrilling to be able to finally say yes. She said she'd call Amy and head right over.
The Admiral was off to a slightly groggier start than I was. Maybe it was all the false alarms, or perhaps just the 97 minutes of sleep he was running on, but it took several reminders to get a pot of coffee made for the midwives (and him). He was in gear after about ten minutes, though, and we both spent the next hour puttering around, picking up the house, lighting candles, picking out music and contracting every 3-5 minutes (that was just me).
Miss M woke up and stumbled into our room, but The Admiral scooped her up and got her back into bed without incident. We kept an ear open for her moving around, but she didn't seem to be aware of the activity around her. The dog, on the other hand, was no further than ten feet away from me throughout the entire process.
When Andrea arrived around 3:15, we were in a very peaceful yet productive mode. I was resting between contractions, rocking back and forth to Julie London, and then up and circling the dining room table when they hit. The repetitive movement was my primary motivation, but it was also an instinctive desire to get away from everyone and into a dark, quiet room. Andrea checked my blood pressure and the baby's heart rate and position and said we looked to be in good shape all around.
Amy rolled up about 4am, and she and Andrea set about getting things prepared. It didn't occur to me how much stuff they'd show up with, and it was pretty cool to see how they'd organized a mobile birthing center into a couple carry-on bags. They both quickly adapted to the mood of the house and, although they did their work and carried on conversations, they moved and spoke smoothly and quietly, never interfering with my own rhythm.
As the morning rolled on, The Admiral asked if we should wake Cha Cha up. I said no, since I didn't see much need for her to sit around and watch me hurt. I also figured it would be better for her to get as much rest as possible before Miss M arose and she had to entertain her for an indefinite period of time, even though I was thinking we wouldn't have all that much longer to go.
Turns out, this was a good call.
Continue to Part 2.