It all started because of a mouse…
My husband only had one week of vacation, and as a plan to use it as wisely as possible, he tried to work as much as he could instead of accompany me to The Farm. We live only 2 hours away and he came on weekends and on Thanksgiving and he did take a few days ahead of time (we thought the baby would be more punctual…). But on November 30th, it was my mother who was staying with me (our families have been so supportive of us throughout all of this and my parents and in-laws were all “taking turns” staying with me).
On November 30th (9 days overdue and counting…, 16th day at The Farm waiting), I had tried a castor oil–brisk walk–more castor oil–warm shower–and then an enema natural induction and it hadn’t worked. My blood pressure was high, my back ached, and my emotions were frail just sitting around waiting for a baby. In the evening, my mother and I were playing a game in the cabin we had rented for the birth and I saw a leaf, and then I saw the leaf move. It wasn’t a leaf, it was a mouse. For the next 20 minutes, my mother and I tried to locate and brush the mouse out with a broom (I know, it wasn’t a very good plan, but it was all we came up with). We couldn’t find the mouse, but I just lost it. I started crying and couldn’t stop. My mother called one of the midwives over and she brought a humane mouse trap (much better idea). While she was there, she decided to check my blood pressure since it had been a concern. Well, not surprisingly, it was very high and a plan was made that I would see a doctor the next day to test for pre-eclampsia and a non-stress test to make sure the baby was okay.
The tests showed that baby was just fine and that I didn’t have pre-eclampsia, but that I needed to lie on my side to keep my blood pressure down. While we were there, I had the doctor strip my membranes (my midwife had done it twice before, but she had mentioned that this particular doctor was very good at it and might do a better job). Later that evening, my husband made it back to The Farm, and contractions began! This was Friday, December 1st.
We started timing the contractions and they were 2 to 4 minutes apart, so we called my midwife and she came over. She checked me and I was 3 centimeters (I was 2 the last time she had checked). It was late at night, so she advised us to get some rest (which I didn’t do a good job at) and she went upstairs to sleep.
The next morning (Dec. 2), my husband followed me around with food and even walked to The Farm store to get me some ginger for nausea. I spent some time in the bathtub. When I was checked again, I was 5 centimeters. I was a little disappointed for going so slow, but I wasn’t in too much pain so we kept on…
Later that day, the contractions kept feeling stronger and stronger and were beginning to be harder to manage (I was making low pitched noises and standing or “slow dancing” with my husband through contractions). My midwife checked again and I was still 5 centimeters…
In the afternoon, we decided to go for a walk. We met with my mother, father, and mother-in-law and we all walked. We walked for a long time because it made my contractions barely noticeable. I needed the break, but I was afraid my labor was stopping. A few hours later and I was checked again… 5 centimeters…
In the evening, I spent some more time in the bathtub. My husband continued to be supportive and chased me with food and water. My contractions became very difficult to manage again, and my parents showed up with a pizza and a Frosty. We kicked them out, but kept the food.
I couldn’t eat, so my husband put the Frosty in the freezer for me for later. I was checked again… 5 centimeters…
My midwife advised us to get some rest again, so we all tried to sleep. After I realized that sleep wasn’t happening, I got up and got in the tub. My contractions were difficult to manage at this point and the water really helped. Around midnight (after about 20 hours of active labor), I was in the tub and called to my husband. When he came in the bathroom, I told him I didn’t think I could take any more. I had been 5 centimeters for almost a day. I had hardly slept and wasn’t going to get hardly any the second night of labor. I didn’t think that I would have enough energy to do the next part. I told him that I wanted to go to the hospital. They could give me an epidural, so I could sleep and finish labor in the morning. My husband was supportive of whatever decision I made, so he went to get our midwife so I could talk to her. I told her what I had told my husband. We decided she would check me one last time… 5 and a half centimeters!
Thankfully, the good news enticed me to stay. My midwife showed me how to breathe better (which helped a lot), and I tried to get some rest. Around 2:30, my water broke in bed. More good news! I was started to get excited. I laid back down in bed and tried to rest some more, but pretty soon my contractions were back to back. My midwife came and checked me again… 8 and a half centimeters!
She called the other midwife to come over and assist. By the time the second midwife arrived, I was pushing. My husband fed me the Frosty in between pushes—nothing has ever tasted so good! I squatted to push until the head started coming closer, and then I got into the bed. Out came a healthy 7 lb. 14 oz. baby boy.
Elijah Blue was born at 4:53 AM.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience. My favorite part was that Elijah’s first lesson was how safe and secure the world is. Hours after he was born, we all took a family nap—a memory I will always treasure.
P.S. We never did find that mouse.