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Friday morning, March 3 – I get up at 7:30 to feed the cats and I notice a little pink trickle of water runs down my leg. This is unusual. I call the midwife, and as I wait for her to pick up, I feel a little crampy.<br><br>
She says, go on about your business and keep me posted. Go shopping, eat, have a nap – let me know how it is going.<br><br>
Meanwhile Tim has begun construction for the day in our bedroom, all of our clothes from the closet are on the kitchen table, stuff is piled up willy nilly and there’s sawdust and sheetrock dust and nails and screws and what have you all over the place. I inform him that the midwife has said, carry on about my business, and he is very calm.<br><br>
I had plans to attend a La Leche League meeting, but instead I call my sister to come and get me and take us to Babies R Us to return a bassinet we did not need, and get some towels and nursing pads and other miscellaneous stuff that I had meant to lay in before but had not gotten to, being so very large and slow at the end, with my feet swollen into balls –<br><br>
She arrives at my house with roses and chocolate cookies. We take the cookies and head off for Raleigh, 45 minutes away, to the closest Babies R Us. In the car, my BH increased and water started to come in gushes. Of course, I had forgotten to bring more pads. We were within a block or two of the store when I had a really big gush, and I panicked a little and told her, maybe we should turn around – and then I said, No, dammit, we are here, I am going to take that f*ing bassinet back if it’s the last thing I do.<br><br>
So we pull into the parking lot, I get out of the car and have her check my butt for huge stains, she says, uh, you can’t REALLY see anything, good enough for me, and we get the stuff out of the car and into a cart and roll it in and return it. Successfully. While water is gushing out of me.<br><br>
So, next stop the bathroom, by a miracle I have quarters for the pad vendor, and I go in to pee and note I am losing my plug.<br><br>
I get an extra pad on the way out and we commence to whirlwind shop – in about 40 minutes we have a cart full of stuff and then head home to Chapel Hill. We arrive home at 2 pm to find Tim still knee deep in his project. This causes me some agitation, and I express to him it is time to stop and clean up. He says, can I just trim out this door. I then must lose my temper a bit and say, THIS BABY IS COMING, DO YOU UNDERSTAND. He had not understood. He understands now. Clean up commences.<br><br>
My sister leaves to rest up and get her farm chores done, and I call the other half of our support team, who then goes out grocery shopping for the evening’s activities to come. I start ripping into all the baby gear and washing everything in sight, vacuuming the floors and I don’t remember what all at this point – cleaning the washing machine I think, and throwing things out of the refrigerator, that sort of thing, and check in with the midwife who says, keep on, and let me know when the baby gets your full attention. I am having BH that segue into menstrual type cramps low in my belly, and I keep having to remind myself that I am not just getting my period – brains are funny things. As the cramps become more noticeable, the brain says, oh, those are just menstrual cramps. Silly brain=<br><br>
We had received a changing table from my IL’s only the night before, so I clean that up and get it set up – finally sorting the various sizes of clothes and what not we had received – the changing table baskets provide the first nursery storage we have, so it is timely indeed that they had brought it over no later than they did. At some point in the early evening, I have a contraction so strong I have to stop and hang on to the side of the washing machine where I am transferring stuff into the dryer. I call the midwife and she says, sit down and rest and eat some supper, and call me if things progress.<br><br>
By 7:30 we are eating supper and I have to stop eating for contractions. Per midwife’s instructions, I keep shoveling it in in between though. I think it is time to start writing them down, and we discover that although they are not totally regular, some are coming 5 minutes apart. I call the support team to report, yep, we are going to have this baby tonight, so come over in an hour or so.<br><br>
I make raspberry tea, in a teapot, a huge cup, and a pitcher.<br><br>
Support team arrives with groceries and tequila (what were they thinking????) and we sit around for a while, shooting the breeze – writing down the contractions, which is becoming a ridiculous exercise because they are not stopping – at 10 pm I call the midwife and say, seriously, the baby is coming. She says, alrighty then, we’ll be along directly.<br><br>
The assistant is the first to arrive around 11 pm, and as she takes my vitals, Tim starts up with record playing, and the atmosphere is beginning to be set. It is cold out, and he has started a fire in the woodstove – the house is clean, the friends are here, the baby is coming, and I am so happy. We have candles lit – we have notified my blessingway circle of friends to have their candles lit as well, I have my labor beads in my hand –<br><br>
The midwife arrives, I begin drinking the tea which is bitter and nasty unfortunately, others are eating cookies, and Tim takes a picture of me having a contraction with a big grin on my face. We are all sitting around the kitchen table and I am laboring in a chair with arms – it feels good to grip the arms and lift up on one hip when the pain comes. They are starting to really smart, but I am not feeling afraid – I feel ready and safe.<br><br>
The pros go out and get the tub – although I am aware of the commotion of the logistics of setting up the tub happening right behind me, I don’t ever turn my head to look. They set it up right in front of the fire- I am drinking tea – I think we are listening to Songs of the Chain Gang recorded by Josh White at this point – soulful spirituals and deep strong voices – very appropriate labor music.<br><br>
The assistant, Wanda, is taking charge of my laboring now as it becomes more powerful – she suggests I stand up and walk, which I do a bit, that I try to pee, which I do a bit, but soon I am leaning over the table and she is moving my hips for me, and stroking my back, it feels like she is moving energy down across my body to my hips with the gentlest possible touch, and it feel so amazing, she is telling me to open, open my body to the baby, the baby is moving down, and I should open – I believe her, and we continue like this – I am kind of whimpering softly at this point when the contractions come, and she encourages me to vocalize, but this feels right at the moment.<br><br>
Soon I am on the floor. Squatting at first, feels really good, and she gets down there with me. I try hands and knees = yoga mats and exercise balls are brought, and I tell her she needs a pillow for her knees as well. Someone brings her a pillow. I find myself still laboring next to my good old kitchen chair, and now I am headed under the table for some reason – we laugh about that, in between – I say, I guess I would get down in the basement right now if I could. Which is particularly funny because our basement is essentially an earthen crawl space – very primitive. Cat like. I am feeling the cave woman in me really coming out. The raspberry tea is very bitter. I puke. They encourage me to puke – I want to reassure them I don’t need to be encouraged – puking takes my mind off the contractions momentarily.<br><br>
Finally the tub is filled and I hop in, and it is bliss. I lean back with my arms across the back, hot tub style, facing the stove, and I say, this is great. We totally have to get one of these!! For right here in the living room! My body relaxes, I am feeling way optimistic about this turn of events, smiling, and then I get another damn contraction and I realize, oh hell, it’s still going to hurt!!!! Shit!<br><br>
Anyway, labor continues. At some point it feels really good and right to vocalize – I have been saying, okay, okay, okay, okay, through each one, but now I am saying okay, okay, oooohh,OOOOOHHHHHHHoooooohhhhh okay okay okay. The contractions are starting to not totally let go in between any more, which is a drag. I am on my knees holding on to the side of the tub when the roaring commences. They encourage me to keep my voice in the low register, to save my throat I suppose. I am feeling the baby very low, occasionally feeling a wiggle down there as well, and I think, even in the haze of pain, how cute. Tim is dabbing me with cold compresses and then we run out of ice. I have certainly lost track of the support team but someone rouses my sister and my brother in law to go out to find ice – it is 4 am. They go.<br><br>
The midwives have been monitoring the baby with the fetal monitor all along, and now they ask me to reach down and put a finger into my vagina to see if I can feel the baby’s head. I do, and they say, can you feel something hard? I say, not really. I feel something soft though, and they say, well, have you ever felt anything like that before now? And it dawns on me, duh, no, that’s my baby’s head !! Wow!! And they ask me to show them how far on my finger I had to go up, and I do, and unfortunately it’s the middle finger, and I apologize to them for that. I tell them, it hurts, I’m scared. They reassure me. I blubber my lips, thinking loose bottom thoughts.<br><br>
Here is where we begin pushing for real. They instruct me to grab my knees, and curl my chin down , let the next contraction build and then take a deep breath and push three times. They are excellent coaches, and I have them repeat instructions the next few times until I get the hang of it. Ice has arrived – we have fresh compresses and I am eating little chips in between. Sometimes, just to prove a point, I push four times. They are pleased.<br><br>
Suddenly, they change things up on me – They ask me to get out of the tub and go sit on the toilet to push. I tell them, I don’t know if I can get out. They help me out – I grab Tim around the waist, and they half walk half drag me to the commode. I push maybe twice, and then I feel the ring of fire. Wanda asks me to check, I say yes the head is coming, she yells Nancy get your gloves, and we are off to the bed. I push on hands and knees maybe twice more, they roll me on my left side, I push and the head is born. I hear Tim say, oh wow, oh wow oh wow, and the commotion of the support team coming to see, and Wanda makes me look in her eyes and tells me not to push, so they can suction the baby’s mouth and nose – I don’t push, just getting the head out is such a relief I am quite willing to comply, but then, the urge comes again, and they say go ahead, and I say get it out, and by golly they do, and there’s a baby on my belly, and hands putting a tiny hat on it’s head, and I am overwhelmed with joy and relief – I can feel the cord between my legs, and my vagina is really smarting, and I note that it is still dark outside – they say, 5:26 am. Tim is at my side, and we are looking at our baby, and I am saying Hello, hello, hello- the baby’s eyes are open and looking at me, and I say hello, you, you, what are you? We didn’t even check right away – they say, Tim, look! And he looks, and I see too, she is a girl! And I put her to my breast, and in a minute or two, she is nursing, looking like a little alien in her hat, all covered in vernix (a lot of vernix, they say) and somewhere in there they check the cord, and when it has finished pulsing Tim cuts it, and I deliver the placenta without further ado, and they admire my placenta as being particularly large and robust (I bet they say that to all the mommies) and they get her Apgar scores, which are 7 and 9, and the order of operations is a little murky here – shortly hereafter Tim has conked out face down beside me and is snoring, to everyone’s disbelief (someone said, he can sleep through ANYTHING!) and then the babe is sleeping, and the midwife stitches me up (for which I gratefully accept the lidocaine shot – five stitches total) and then they get me up to take me to the bathroom, since I could not pee in the bed as instructed ( I said, I do have some pride! They laughed) – upon returning they had changed the sheets and brought me a t-shirt to put on, and the sun came up, and I ate toast with my babe under my arm and then we slept.<br><br>
Beatrice Abigail (“bringer of joy” and “father’s joy” respectively), born Saturday March 4, 2006, 5:26 am, 6 lbs 11 oz, 19.5 inches long. Pisces Sun and Taurus Moon. Looks like Tim in the eyes, she has my mouth and hands, beautiful and utterly good natured jolly little Buddha spirit. Belly button like a cinnamon bun. Loves to eat.<br><br>
Records played during her birth, not in exact order:<br><br>
Bob Dylan – Bringing it All Back Home<br>
Josh White – Chain Gang Songs<br>
Traffic – Low Spark of High Heeled Boys<br>
Beatles – Hey Jude<br>
Beatles – Abbey Road<br>
Junior Wells’ Chicago Blues Band – Hoo Doo Man Blues<br>
Kingdom of the Sun – Peru’s Inca Heritage<br>
Tibetan Buddhism Tantras of Gyuto: Mahakala<br>
The Genius of Ravi Shankar<br><br>
And then…silence….and roaring…..and silence.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> Good Job Mama, Enjoy!!!!
 

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I had to giggle at the part about returning the f**king bassinet and the other thoughts that went through your head "silly brain".<br><br>
I had some strange thoughts run through my head too whilst i was laboring, like staring at my nurse's purple eyeshadow and thinking when she blinked that her eyelids looked like grapes and i wanted to poke them, but not in a mean way, i just wanted to touch.<br><br>
CONGRATULATIONS! Happy babymoon! i love your baby's name!
 

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Yay for another Beatrice in the world! I have a Beatrice Ruth over here. And she's very joyful. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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oh how happy i am to have found your story! thank you so much for sharing it (and so soon - i applaud you!) it is so good to remember my night like that. rejoice! baby beatrice is here. and her mama is graceful and hilarious. my favorite combination. lucky little babe.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="heartbeat">
 

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lucky little babe is right on! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
mimi, your story is just awesome. I'm so happy for you that things went so well. I chuckled to myself many times while reading your/her story. you know I just love the way you write! I am also impressed that you were able to write and share that so soon. And, I got to do a little reminiscing about my babe's homebirth.<br><br>
good for you and good for Tim and most of all good for baby Bea! It sounds like you had a wonderful experience, and were surrounded by wonderful support persons the whole time.<br><br>
I do wanna know, though, is the tub still set up in front of the fire? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
low spark of high heeled boys <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 
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