I've finally gotten around to typing up Seth's birth story. I do this mostly for myself, and for him some day, because it's important to me to remember all of the details. It's rather long this time, so I'm breaking it up into several posts. Read or skip, at your discretion.
Wednesday, November 12th, I woke up in the foulest mood imaginable. (Exhibit A: See my post of that date.) I was crampy and exhuasted and just irritable in general. I drank my coffee, and told Owen that school was delayed for an hour that day because I figured it was my due date, perhaps I should pack those hospital bags (procrastinate much?). So I gathered everything on my very long list, and packed two bags - one for clothes and toiletries, and the other bag which I called the "Comfort Bag" which housed my birthing items such as essential oils, rice heating pack, water bottles, snacks and so forth. Then Owen and I finished his school work for the day, and it was noon. Also on today's agenda, besides packing hospital bags: shave legs in case of labor. So into the shower I went, and about halfway through, I had a pretty decent contraction. And at the end of it, I felt a leak of fluid. Interesting, I thought to myself, but I was in the shower after all, and how can one be sure if one's water has indeed broken while taking a shower? So I finished up my shower and got out - and there was more fluid. And contractions. My thought was, FINALLY! And on my due date. Very exciting, but very scary, as this is, after all, my first attempt into the world of natural birth. So, I made some calls. First I called Keith at work, who very calmly said he was on his way home. Then I called my mom, who had a 2-hour drive to watch the kids while I was at the hospital. She was much more excited (now that's the response I was looking for!) and got in her car and headed over. We had planned to labor at home for as long as possible, so the 2-hour drive didn't worry me. But, as back up, I called a few friends and let them know that the Big Event was here, and that in case of emergency, I might need their help with the kidlets. And then, during one of my phone calls, my water broke. Like, really, REALLY broke, in the big dramatic gush you see in the movies. 12:20 PM. I happened to still be in the bathroom after my shower, and thank goodness, because that would have been such a mess.
It took about 10 minutes after my water broke for the contractions to start in earnest. I went from zero contractions to the kind where I'm having to stop and focus through. Keith arrived home and we managed to get lunch together for the kids. After they were fed, I retired to our bedroom on my birthing ball and tried to time my contractions. There was absolutely no pattern to them at all. I drank about 10 bottles of water, swayed and counted, and bounced up and down. Keith was a faithful partner, but his job seemed to be mostly just getting fresh water and keeping me company. I didn't use any of our hard-learned Lamaze techniques. It just didn't feel right. But he did wonderful at loading the car, putting in the infant seat, and texting friends and family. He did try a few times to either rub my back, or count, but was quickly rebuffed. This was something better handled in my head, it seemed. So labor continued, contractions getting harder, until my mom arrived right around 2:30 PM. And although we had already decided to labor at home as long as possible, I think Keith was starting to get nervous. He suggested we leave as soon as my mom arrived. So this meant I had to put on pants and walk, two very difficult things in my condition. It was around 3 PM when we finally got into the car and out the driveway.
(to be continued)