X-posted from my FB
Due date by my own estimate: Nov 1st
...by my mws' calculations: Nov 5th <--this was the date we went with
...by the 25-ish week ultrasound: Oct 25th
Nov 9th (a week before): I had been having bouts of semi-convincing contractions nearly every day for at least two weeks already. I'd gotten my membranes swept several times as well, and had been taking labor herbals since 37 weeks. I took 4oz of castor oil, which gave me many more contractions but no luck.
Nov 10th: drove an hour away and paid for a non-stress test, which showed a completely non-stressed baby, who looked to be due exactly on Nov 5th (so 40 weeks, 5 days at that time), and was supposedly 8.5 lbs already. At this point I was having near-constant, regular contractions, that would sometimes stay at 3 minutes apart for hours and hours....but nothing. (By this point, I was already half-convinced the whole thing was a ruse, and that I was never going to go into labor--LOL--so since I was already an hour away from home, I also opted to go SHOPPING
Several days that week I was up having the kind of contractions that make you go, "hmm...should I call somebody?" but every time I'd go to sleep, they'd either peeter out or stay in a holding pattern instead of getting stronger. Twice I did call DH home from work, which was making him crazy and not really endearing him to his new bosses either, heh.
Sunday, Nov 15th: I thought it'd be a good idea to take a walk, so I rounded up the kids and stroller and went to the park with that nice walking trail. We walked for about 1.5 hours, 'til it got dark, and then I stopped for an Auntie Anne's lemonade (YUM), and thought I should pick up some more castor oil too. I thought that I'd rather try castor oil again in a day or so, before I'd relent and go to the hossy. I was already worried about having to pay for another non-stress test and more gas to drive out there the next day. At this point I was 3+ cm dilated, and 50% effaced, and had been for a week at least (?).
6pm-ish: I thought, it was early enough, and I was such a night owl anyway, that I should have another go at some castor oil tonight. I figured if anything happened, it'd be recognizable within a few hours (stupid!). I did NOT want to take the full dose again though, so I only had one ounce. It didn't even give me cramping, and so I figured it was a waste and went about the evening--dinner, kids to bed, etc.
***disclaimer: i have NO IDEA if that 1oz of castor oil did a thing, or if my body was just ready, or WHAT! Tho my mws were annoyed I didn't call them when I took it! *hides*
9pm-ish: I set to work on my college paper--you know, the one I'd procrastinated about until the very last minute. Actually, it was due Monday at midnight--so starting it on Sunday night was some sort of record for me. I had this German dance music CD on the whole night--for some reason it was what I wanted to hear. All the while, I was having contractions, but no physical feeling of it being different than the last 3 weeks, LOL. On the other hand, I knew the new moon was on the 16th, and I had a curious vibe about that in the back of my mind--but it wasn't anything I felt like I should share, lest I was wrong again!
Whether it was the labor hormones, the dance music, or just interest in the subject matter (LOL), but I wrote a really bang-up paper--11 pages on the problems with America's public school systems and how to fix them (which, if you know me, is very fitting!) =D
Nov 16th, 4am: I had been having to pause typing to focus on my new tree-of-life tapestry during contractions for who knows how long. I was tired at this point, having walked 1.5 hours earlier, and given that I usually go to bed around 3am, but I felt like I shouldn't go to sleep for some reason. I called up DH and we talked; I told him something might be starting to happen, but not to hold his breath for it. He was bummed, cause we both wanted him to get off work early! I stayed up and did a bit of crash cleaning--I think I scrubbed the bathroom floor, even.
5am: I was having to hold onto the countertop to brace myself against contractions as I finished up the dishes. I still didn't think it was "real labor" tho, and I was half-expecting it to go away once I laid down. All the same, I felt like I didn't want to be alone, and DH only had one more hour of shift anyway, so I called him and he came right home. I sat on the couch folding laundry, and I didn't look that "serious", so he played Call of Duty for awhile.
6am: I was putting away laundry and couldn't walk across the apartment faster than a 90-year-old. DH told me I should call the mw, but once I sat down, I realized that I barely felt up to talking, let alone finding my phone. I think he called, and then gave the phone to me--I can't remember.
7am-ish: My mws get there, and I'm sitting up in bed looking cranky and feeling sort of like I wish I could go to sleep and do this later! They check me, and I'm at 4-5 cm. Gahh, ONLY?? Things keep going, and at some point I start needing to hum, then moan, then holler through the contractions. They're not painful so much as they make me want to crawl out of my skin--I always experience labor that way, tho I'm not sure it's a good description...
8 or 9am, something: They check me again, cause I'm feeling pushy, and WOO I'm 9+ cm....but there's a lip of cervix in the way. Apparently his being posterior made me dilate and efface "crooked", so I need to change positions to put pressure on this lip of cervix to get it to move. Now this sucks. I can't push yet, and I have to be in a position that makes me lean forward. The contractions are noticeably more intense this way, so I'm whiney and changing positions with great bursts of energy in between every contraction, and sometimes in the middle of them, trying to "get away" from this feeling. I was on my knees on the floor hanging over the bed, on all fours, on the toilet even--and wishing I could fall asleep in between.
Almost 10am(??): Finally I'm sitting/kneeling in the middle of my bed and CANNOT NOT PUSH. I think my water broke about then, I'm not sure. They tell me I can't push the baby out so close to the bed, so I rock forward onto all fours. DH is holding my hand, in my face whispering encouragement to me, my mws are behind me with hot oil compresses, and I'm excited now, cause I know it's almost over. I think I must have forgotten how hard it is to push a baby out, cause Nik didn't just slip out after his head came--I had to really work to push his shoulders and belly out, too. It was funny, because I was on all fours, they had to pass Nik to me through my legs so that I could sit/lay down and hold him. I have no idea how long it took to push him out, but it felt longer than my others, so I was curious about his weight.
Nikolas was 8lbs 1oz, 21 inches long, and born at 10:11am on the new moon of November. I was 41 weeks, 4 days.
DH's premonition of the birth-date was, annoyingly, correct
What I didn't know until then was that the 16th of November is also DH's uncle's birthday--you know, his uncle Dieter, whom Nik is named for, because if it wasn't for Dieter's generosity and help several years ago, DH might never have been able to come home again.
I am SO THRILLED that I finally got to have a homebirth, and I will be forever thankful to my dear friends J and L (my mws) for making it possible and taking such good care of me (or rather, making me take care of myself!).
After my last birth, Nik's was soul-moving in its calmness and simplicity. I couldn't have wished for better.