The acupuncturist was amazing. She explained what the purpose of the needles were for and why she placed them as she did. I laid, relaxing in the quiet, dim room, and felt contractions come. The weren’t as strong as the were that morning, but they were there and they seemed regular.
After an hour, we removed the needles and I headed home to grab some food and “rest” before my midwives arrived. We ate as a family and I tried to rest, but I had been out of the house for 5 hours and the girls needed Mama’s attention. Drew attempted bedtime and my midwives and doula arrived. We did accupressure. We talked about herbs. I went for a walk with Drew and Lady Lou. At around 10 they gave me red raspberry leaf tea and we discussed my options. We all agreed that I needed rest since I had been out all afternoon and we’d meet back in the morning at 10 for - CASTOR OIL.
I really didn’t want castor oil. REALLY didn’t want it. After everyone left, I settled in to watch the last episode of The Tudors on Netflix and try to relax my mind so I could sleep. I noticed that my contractions were a little more intense and a little more painful, but I assumed that was from the tea. At around 12:30, Drew tucked me in and I was able to drift off amidst the slow waves of pain.
At 2:45, I woke up. Why was I awake? A contraction hit and I tried to lay through it. I squirmed. I sighed. I gripped the pillow. Well that was, unpleasant. I rolled to the other side and got as comfortable as I could. I felt the twinge and then the wave again. I glanced at my phone 2:49. Interesting. I sat up to decide if I should move or just wait. Twinge and wave - 2:52 am. I got up and headed to the bathroom and had several more contractions sitting on the toilet. Each more intense. Each 3 minutes apart.
Drew heard me lingering in the bathroom and came in to see if I was okay. I looked at him and asked “Am I in labor?” He grabbed his contraction timer and we sat together through several contractions. “I think maybe, yes?” he finally replied. I now had to breathe through the contractions. He coached me through and timed them all. On average, they were over a minute long and about 3 minutes apart. At 3:30 I went to stand to change positions and lost my mucus plug. I called my midwife.
She told me to monitor the contractions for 30 minutes and keep her updated. I shifted to the floor and took the next few contractions on hands and knees. 15 minutes later she called me back and told me she was heading over to my house. I grabbed a towel to make the tiles a little more comfortable and hung out in the bathroom. Drew made himself a cup of coffee because he hadn’t been to bed yet. At this point, I began to realize that this might be it.
When my midwife arrived a few minutes after 4, G told me to keep doing what I was doing. Her assistant was en route and she wanted to see how I labored. Contractions kept coming and she checked the baby’s heart rate. He was doing great. After a few more contractions, I moved to our bedroom so I could kneel and lean on the side of the bed. The contractions got a little closer and more intense.
At 4:45, M arrived and we checked the baby’s heart rate again. At this point, they went downstairs to let Drew and I have some privacy. It was time for me "to do my work" as she presented it. I asked about the pool and she said she wanted to wait until I would be at the “get me meds” point at a hospital. They shut our door and Drew knelt beside me. As the contractions came, I had a harder time just breathing through them. Soon, I was moaning on the exhale to try to focus on something else. Drew stayed by my side: holding my hand, reminding me to breathe, and that the contraction was almost over. At a few minutes after 5, I looked at him and said “I need something, NOW.” He went downstairs to give my message to G and M. They entered the bedroom and G said- "I’m going to check you now." I laid on the side of the bed and she did a quick check - 6-7 cm and very stretchy. At the time all I heard was 6-7, not the stretchy part. I asked if I could have the tub and she said she thought it was time.
It is at this point in my birth story that some aspects get hazy. I know that Drew and M went to the laundry room to get water going. I know that G stayed with me to keep me calm, relaxed, and hold my hand during contractions. I also remember asking to go to the bathroom because there was so much pressure I had to pee AGAIN. I remember going down the hall because the pool in our bathroom was still filling and I didn't want to trip in the hoses.
When I made it to the bathroom and say down, another contraction started to form. About 1/2 way through, my body tried to push on it's own. I freaked and told Andrew to get G. "I don't want to have my baby on the toilet!!" G came to listen to my next contraction and told me this was all a good sign. M had finished up with the tub and it was ready and waiting for me.
I walked slowly back down the hall, into our bathroom, and sunk into the heavenly water of the birth pool.