I felt really off during Thanksgiving Dinner Thursday. I wasn’t in pain but it just felt loud and chaotic and I wanted to be home. The only part I really enjoyed was when I was talking to Aunt Santa, Aunt Cynthia and Angela about names and I found out that my sister and Angela’s middle name (Marie) was after my Dad’s mom. Her name was Sally Marie, which I never knew. I love my Nanny so much and I started to consider Marie as a middle, since we didn’t have middle name.
Sine I wasn’t feeling well and Henry was really acting up, we left early and went to bed. Then, at 5:30am on Friday November 25th, I was asleep in bed when I felt my water break. It felt like I peed, but I went to the bathroom and it kept coming out, I knew my water had broken. I called the emergency line, Martine (midwife) picked up and she said to call her in a half hour if contractions hadn’t started yet. Curt (DH) and I spent that 30 minutes getting our bedroom ready for a birth, and I called Patricia (my sister), her phone and my parents cells weren’t answering so I called the house and she and my mom picked up. (Patricia and Mae spent the night on City Island the night before (Thanksgiving). My sister said she’d be right over to stay with Henry till he woke up and then take him out for the day.
So after 30 minutes without a contraction I called Martine and she said she was coming over anyway. Around 6:00am, just after hanging up, contractions started. They were really mild and came about every 30-60 minutes.
Patricia arrived. She helped us set up the room and get everything ready. While Curt was setting up the birthing pool and packing up Henry’s stuff for his day out, Curt had a total emotional breakdown and cried. He drank a shot of vodka to calm himself but he took too much at once and spit it out everywhere.
Then Martine came. Henry was still asleep. I asked Patricia to go to the bagel store to get us breakfast. She went and came back. Chantia, the birth assistant, arrived. She was a midwife who had just moved here from California and it just so happened that she is a hypnobirthing instructor. Henry finally woke up at 7:30am. He sat with me on the couch while Martine listened to the baby’s heartbeat. He seemed to know something was up. Martine felt the placement of the baby and told me that she had turned and was no longer posterior. I was sooo relieved that I wouldn’t have to deal with the pain of laboring a posterior baby.
When Henry was all packed up, we took a picture together as a family of three for the last time and then he left with Patricia. Curt continued setting up the birthing pool and Martine and Chantia got all their stuff unpacked and set up and asked me lots of questions and took notes.
I took a shower and it really intensified the contractions. Since I was feeling pretty good with mild spaced out contractions, I decided to take a walk with Curt. We walked to Rite Aid and bought a few things we needed. I needed a headband for labor, some playing cards to pass the time and we needed a toy for Henry that would be from the baby. We got him a set of construction trucks...On the way to Rite Aid, I had a contraction that was so strong I thought that I needed to rush home in case the baby was coming, but it passed and we continued. I had two in the store and one or two on the way home.
When I got home, we all played cards while I sat on the birthing ball which really intensified the contractions. While we were talking, Martine mentioned that she was going to Haiti on Monday to rebuild her house from damage from last year’s earthquake. She said that her mom had died in the earthquake. I had no idea and I felt really sorry for Martine.
I would occasionally have hard contractions, when I did I would just stop and breath and Chantia would say hypnobirthing phrases to help me deal with the pain and her and Curt would give me light touch massages until the contraction passed. I got up to use the bathroom and had two really strong contractions in there, Martine came to check on me and she said it wouldn’t be long. All this time, my water was still leaking and I was having the “bloody show”, my mucous plug never came out, or if it did it must have slowly broken down over the previous week.
We played cards until the contractions were too intense to handle. Then Martine suggested I get in the pool. I changed out of my clothes into my swimsuit which took a long time because the contractions were pretty much nonstop and they were too intense to actually do anything while happening so I had to wait for a break in order to get changed and get in the pool. In the pool, I started to get scared of the impending task of pushing out a baby but Chantia, Curt ad Martine were right there saying encouraging things and giving me counter pressure and light touch massage. Josephine was born thirteen minutes after I got in the pool.
I stood up out of the pool, squatted over a pot and “coughed” out the placenta. Then I got in bed and breastfed Josephine. Pushing was really painful and I was sure that I had torn but Martine examined me and assured me that I didn’t even have a “knick” from the pushing. After weighing and measuring the baby and making sure everyone was ok, the midwives left and Martine said she’d see us tomorrow for our 24 hour check up.
When they were gone, Curt asked me what her name was. I said Josephine, but still didn’t have a middle. Curt said “what if we used Martine’s mom’s middle name?” I instantly knew it was the right thing to do. I looked up her mom’s name online and saw that it was Marie-Therese. It felt like fate. So we chose Marie Josephine after Martine’s mom, Nanny, my sister and Angela.