Almost three months after the actual event, but it is done!
I woke up on a very rainy June 4th with an awful cold. My throat was sore and I was coughing a lot, which really hurt the muscles supporting my giant belly. I decided to have some tea; all we had was Red Raspberry Leaf. I debated if I should even have the tea since I did not want to provoke my uterus- I was sick, kids were sick, didn’t need the baby coming. My sore throat won out over my uterus, I drank a few glasses of the tea, and laid down to rest.
While trying to rest my oldest told me that water was coming in the hallway on the lower level. I went to assess the damage and noticed my entire garage had an inch of water in it. I called the landlord; they said they would be over to clean out the water- no rest for me. While I was helping them sweep out the water I noticed I was having Braxton-hicks contractions that were starting to irritate my sciatic nerve. Another storm rolled in and figured it would be the perfect time to nap.
I lay in bed trying to enjoy the sound of the rain and thunder, but I could not fall asleep. I decided to make some more tea and see what my oldest was up to. I was looking out the window in the kitchen and thought I saw soap foam covering the back yard, which I thought was very odd. I looked harder and noticed my entire back yard was flooded and the white color was just a reflection of the clouds. This gave me an awful feeling, I ran to check the garage and noticed that there was about 4 inches of water in the lower level of the house and it was rising rapidly.
My adrenaline kicks in and I tell my roommate the lower level of the house is flooding (his bed room is down there). I run around trying to get towels and help dry off his things while he brings possessions up stairs to dry land.
Finally, the water stops rising and most things he could save are upstairs. I was able to stand still for a moment and I notice that I am having a lot of painless contractions. I assure myself that my body wouldn’t go into labor with all that is going on. I then start to worry that my home won’t be suitable for a birth anytime soon. I also feel like I don’t want to see anymore water in my home, in a birth tub or otherwise.
My husband finally gets home from class and is able to take over and deal with the landlord and the clean up. I am so ready to lie down and rest as I am feeling really crappy all around. The painless contractions continue for the rest of the night, but I am able to rest and eventually sleep until morning.
June 5th is a beautiful, sunny morning; quite the opposite of the day before. Everyone in the house gets up and tries to attack the wet mess downstairs. I still have my awful cold but I am not feeling any contractions. There was so much stuff we had to throw out, so much we had to lay in the sun so we could try and save it. I knew I probably shouldn’t be doing so much lifting, but we had to get this place in order before the forecasted storms returned.
My landlord came over to take everyone out to lunch and for some reason I really don’t want to leave the house. I knew that I was having some serious nesting and secretly worried that my labor was going to start within the next 24 hours. On the way to lunch I had two “real” contractions; I had to breathe and concentrate to get through them. All I could hope was that it was false labor.
We returned home to finish cleaning and sorting. I had another contraction but didn’t think this could be it because they were an hour or more apart. I tell my husband that I have had a few contractions; he immediately sends me to lie down and reminds me that there is way too much to do before the baby comes. This really annoys me and I sarcastically tell him I will hold labor off because it is something I can control. I lay down for a few minutes, but I really want to help them clean and organize. I decide to get out of bed and reorganize the upstairs so it didn’t look so cluttered. My husband catches me and sends me off for some more rest, assuring me that he would take care of it.
While laying there I felt a few more contractions. I debate with myself how much really needs to be cleaned before I could birth at home. I finally decide that if the bathroom was spotless I would allow myself to enjoy the contractions. I tell my husband that I am probably in the early stages of labor and to organize the upstairs and make it aesthetically pleasing. He told me he would after he brought in all of the stuff from outside. I couldn’t wait that long, there was A LOT of stuff out there!
Around 6pm I begin trying to sweep the floor and picking up, this make my contractions come more often, not too painful though- I was still debating if this was it. I did the laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and shifted piles of clutter around all while contracting here and there. Nothing regular though.
A bit before nine I decide to call my doula, who was conveniently out of town, and let her know I thought this might be labor. I hoped that by verbalizing my thoughts and concerns of being in labor I might just scare it away. No luck. I called my midwife to give her the heads up. Other than irregular contractions I have no other signs of labor- she tells me to try and get some rest.
I attempt to shower with toddler, the contractions start to pick up at this point, I have to breathe and really concentrate on the contractions- I had three during my short shower. My husband is frantically cleaning the house so that the upstairs would be orderly and clean for the birth.
Around 10pm my husband decides to run to the store and stock up on food for the midwife and the labor. I really did not want him to leave, but it was now or never. There was no way I could lay down with my toddler and put him to sleep. I put Shrek on for him and sat on a birthing ball while waiting for my husband to return. I started to vocalize through my contractions and was really worrying my oldest. He wanted to know if he should call someone, I couldn’t respond, which scared him even more. When contraction was over I explained to him that labors take a while and promised him the baby wouldn’t come out while we were alone.
My husband returned about a half an hour later, but it seemed like hours had gone by. He was shocked to see how far I had progressed in such a short time. He immediately started to get the birth pool ready. Back labor had started and decided to kneel on the floor and rock through my contractions. My husband wanted to rub my back, but it hurt too badly, it caused me to feel enormous pressure on my pubic bone. I told him to tend to the pool and leave me be.
The pool was finally ready around midnight and I am so ready to hop in. The pool was so relaxing, it felt great on my back. I ask my husband to bring me some Gatorade, I took a swig and immediately feel like I am going to vomit- I wonder if this is transition. I was feeling so proud how well I was handling labor, but really curious about how far I had to go.
Contractions were starting to get closer together and getting longer, but still irregular. I asked my husband to call the midwife and let her know this was it. He told me to wait a bit to see if they regulated. At 1am he called the midwife and she said she would be over. At this point, my back was so uncomfortable that I could only stand being on my hands and knees, but the water didn’t cover my back in this position. My husband had to pour water over my back during the contractions and I had to sort of slither and rock while moaning. I imagined myself as snake gliding through the water.
It seemed like it took the midwife hours to arrive, in reality it was only a half an hour. Right before she arrived I started to feel a bit pushy. I was grunting and couldn’t really control it. As soon as I saw my midwife my body stopped contacting for five minutes or so, a very welcomed break. I remember thinking how easy it had been so far and how I didn’t think it was hurting enough to being close to over.
I contracted for the next half an hour alone in the pool while my midwife gathered and organized supplies. All of a sudden the urge to push came back. I told my MW I was pushy, she told me to go ahead and push. I gave a little push and “pop” my water broke. I assumed everyone else heard because it sounded so loud to me, but apparently they didn’t. My MW asked if she could check me, I allowed her to. I was kind of worried that I wouldn’t be very dilated and then become discouraged, when I heard her say “hello, baby” I knew I was almost done.
On the next contraction I had the urge to push and felt the baby descend into the birth canal. Pushing felt so good, like an itch I had been waiting to scratch. I leaned over the edge of the pool and grabbed onto my husband’s waist for leverage and I pushed again. I felt the ring of fire and thought maybe I should let myself expand, but I couldn’t wait. While pushing I heard my husband make some odd sounds, I thought he was crying because the moment was so beautiful, actually he was grunting because I was pulling on him so hard. One more hard long push and she was out. It was so quick, with my other labors it took fifteen minutes or more, but it only took a whole minute with Elwyn.
I turned around and sat in the pool, my MW handed me baby Elwyn and she was screaming and bright pink. I was shocked at how easy it had been and so happy to have her in my arms. It was such a great experience even though it happened amidst chaos in our home.
Mom to DS1, DS2, DD1 and DD2!