A week ago today I was choosing patience, making the most of every day with just two kids but feeling about ready to pop. I had read the books, googled the questions and studied all the handouts. I thought I knew how this labor thing worked. Pretty early on Jason and I decided to try a different approach with birth #2 and settled on a hospital delivery with midwives. While most of my mom friends go to midwives because they are all-natural, I'm-tough kinda girls, I confess I only wanted to go because I didn't like some of the results my body endured after an epidural. So, midwives at a hospital with a water birth sounded great though still scary for this self-proclaimed wimpy girl.
On Wednesday, October 15th, contractions came and went through the night sporadically. False labor I kept telling myself. I went to my midwife appointment the next day and when leaving began having stronger, more frequent contractions. Finally I was beginning to think maybe this was early labor. By the time we made it home and got kids in bed I started packing final things knowing we'd surely be headed in that night. What I didn't realize was that my body hadn't read the book I read and perfectly timed ten minute apart contractions looked a lot more like 8 min, 15 min, 12 min, 9 min intervals. But really we were okay, right?!, because everything said head on when contractions were 5 to 6 mins apart. Surely my body would slowly work it's way down those numbers?!
Sometime close to midnight we called the midwife to travel but because I was at around 10 min. intervals she asked me to walk a bit, see if things got closer and call right back. I don't know quite what happened in the next few minutes except that 10 turned to 2 then virtually zero. I called back, handed Jason the phone and, feeling incredibly sick, tried to make it to a trash can. Standing I realized it. Somehow I'd made it through every stage of labor and was now at transition with my body beginning the process of delivery. So long hospital hopes and dreams, hello home birth in the bathroom!
While Jason and I had read we were not prepared to deliver a baby... so Jason called 911. Local paramedics were close but getting them to our college campus home was a bit tricky, and Jason stayed with me until the last second to run out to flag them down. Never have I ever been so relieved to see a burly, red-headed man in all my life. The EMT assured me he had delivered babies and crouching in our tiny bathroom with a laboring woman, another EMT and a super supportive husband began the ten minute process of helping our sweet little bundle of a girl enter the world. She was perfectly tiny and healthy and was scooped up quickly by Dad who stole her first kiss. Pretty soon after the two medics and a surely traumatized teenage male paramedic moved us into the ambulance where we made the trip to finally meet our midwife who'd been sick with worry when we didn't call back for a long time.
Baby deliverer up front, assistant at my side and traumatized boy pushing
At the hospital they admitted us and cared for me and our 6 lb. 14 oz. Lerah Joy for about 36 hours. So often through this pregnancy we were asked about our birth plan and the hopes we had for how labor and delivery would go. My written plan was simple but now in hindsight I realize how often a birth plan is us trying to control a situation that can often be out of our control. Sure, water births or epidurals or no drugs are fine to plan for, but really, really I think every woman's simple plan is that she safely deliver her baby. If that simple plan is accomplished, she should celebrate. We sure have!