I went into the hospital the Friday of Labor Day weekend sure I was going to have this baby. Sure. And they sent me home…..and I cried. And the same thing at three in the morning on monday. I would wake up with full on contractions and by the time I got to the hospital….nothing. It wasn’t really the pain. Pain I can manage. It was the adreniline signals my body kept sending my brain, like “okay! any day now! any moment! stay ready!” They were so intense Christian and I agreed it was time to stop working. I literally felt like I would have to rush to the hospital at any moment and the thought of doing that from Roswell was just too much. So I called my department head and went to my appointment on Tuesday where I cried, and learned my body had been contracting for a week and was making no progress……same thing next Tuesday. 39 weeks, same as 37 sorry about your discomfort…the baby will come when she is ready…… That weekend was Jill’s birthday and since there was no baby, what the hey, her husband and I threw her a suprise party. Where I had contractions all day and the next day on Jill’s actual birthday.
I was pretty desperate when I walked in to my forty week apointment. If you had told me at 37 weeks I would have contractions on and off for three weeks we would no longer be friends, even facebook friends. Blocked. I had been praying that the Lord would provide the right midwife to see me. My practice has been expanding rapidly and they have added three new midwives in the last couple months. I like them all, but they are all different.
I ended up with Linda, who listened to me cry and told me I was sweet. She asked about my last birth and then checked me. Yes I was in labor….sort of. Head was in position, cervix was ripe, dialated three centimeters……Did I want her to strip my membranes? This is the point a month ago I would have told you my answer would be no! The less messing around you do the better, that baby will come when she is ready, just leave her alone! But your opinion changes when you are miserable, so instead I answered please, do something, anything to get this baby out!
So she did and then I dialated another centimeter and on the way home I started having contractions. Real ones. Enough that I called Christian and put him on notice and Elizabeth convinced me I probably shouldn’t be alone. So I came over to her place and took a huge nap in her bed. I figured if these were not real, this would stall them out.
I woke up still contracting. Enough that Elizabeth let me know I was under no circumstances allowed to drive…she knows me too well I am afraid. So I called Jill who checked out of work early and went and got Christian. Then they picked me up and got our stuff and went to the hospital. Where we discovered no progress had been made but I was in labor. And Anjili (the midwife) wanted to know if I wanted to walk around for a little bit, see where things were and decide from there.
This is the part where I beg her not to send me home. Anything but that, what else could we do? After talking with Anjili, Christian and I took some time to weigh our options. This was perhaps the coolest part. I got all the information from my care giver, and talked it over with my husband, and then I got to make the decision about what I wanted to do. No pressure, no intimidation. Every one was going to support whatever I decided. Really, whether a scheduled C or a waterbirth at 42 weeks, I wish everyone I knew got to be in charge of their birth.
My main concern was avoiding a C-section. Anjili assured me that this was probably not going to happen. And she even told me that if breaking my water didn’t move things along as we expected, then she thought I could handle a low dose of pitocin without an epidural. But I knew that I could make peace with an epidural, and being reassured I would most likely not need a c-section I decided to go ahead and get admitted.
Christian, Jill, and apparently Anjili went downstairs and got Chick-fil-a while I hoped my body made progress.We text messaged everyone we could think of to pray that I wouldn’t need the pitocin. I spent the next hour or so walking in circles with Jill around the labor and delivery floor hoping that things were moving along. When Anjili came to check I was still at four centimeters. She broke my water and encouraged me to do all the things that get gravity on your side, so I lunged and bounced on the birth ball, did squats and paced the floor. There was a marathon of What Not to Wear on, so that kept me busy too.
The next time Anjili checked I was 5 centimeters and the contractions were clearly picking up. She told me she would come back at around 11. At about 10:15 Jill asked me if I wanted to call Anjili. I said I was going to have at least two more contractions, but in the next contraction I told her to call. I wanted in the tub. And I was going to puke. I hate puking.
This labor was definitely more intense than my last. Anjili came in and didn’t bother checking me. I was clearly having this baby, no pitocin needed! I got in the tub and the contractions became more intense. I ooooohhhhhhed as loud as I could. The TV was on and it helped to be able to block out that noise with my noise. It also helped to watch the water vibrate as my sound hit it. I needed visual proof of the power of my noise. A couple times I freaked out, and I said I wanted drugs at least once. Last time I was keeping all of those thoughts I “wasn’t supposed to have” to myself. Not this time; I knew that for me when something is said out loud it has a lot less power than the thought I am hiding in my head. So I went for it. I said what I needed to say, and then I turned to look at each person in the room and every single person said I could do this, my midwife, my sister, my husband, the nurse. So I did it. Also, what choice do you have when your midwife refuses to get you out of the tub and give you the drugs, and isn’t even being firm about it but smiling telling you no!
In the middle of my biggest contraction I was OOOOOOOHHHHHHing away when I looked dead at Christian and said “this kid better look like me!” then went right back to OOOOOHHHHHH and when everyone started laughing I stopped the OOOOOOHHHHH to inform everyone “I wasn’t joking!” Especially at the beginning of her life Juliet resembled her dad. I don’t resent that at all, but I figured this one was my turn.
I had some trouble in the pushing last time. So this time I read that chapter about three times and did all the exercises the book recommended. I declared myself an expert pusher. Even as I was going through contractions I declared myself an expert pusher. I will keep that title thank you very much. It took about four pushes to get Priscilla out. I was getting frustrated because I could feel her go back in every time I quit pushing, but was assured I was making good progress. Then, one more good push and they were flipping me around and handing me my sweet baby girl.
Through out this whole pregnancy I knew this baby was relaxed, nothing seemed to phase her. Heck, I think that was the reason she didn’t come out when I started contracting. She simply was not bothered by them. Every time they checked her heart beat: 140 exactly. Because nothing phases her. Not even birth. We had to tickle her feet to get her to cry just to make sure her lungs were working. Because not even birth bothered her.
Holding Priscilla for the first time was incredible. I had asked the Lord a couple times to show me what she was like. And every time the Lord answered “she is perfect for your family, exactly what I have for you. And when I held her, I understood. This didn’t feel like a new thing, it felt like…..Priscilla, the next piece of my family….like something I didn’t even know was missing had been returned to me.