Tom's birth story: part 1
Tom is about 8.5 months old right now. The telling of his birth is something I've been meaning to write down. I've shared little bits of it here and there, but here it will be, altogether in one series. If you don't like birth stories, just take a pass on this one! It won't be to graphic, I'll just tell it as it was. [also, the gender was a surprise until delivery.]
Wednesday, January 27th, 2016, around 4:30 p.m.
Pregnant for: 37 weeks, 5 days.
I had changed my hours at work a few weeks before, was only taking clients for hour-long sessions, and I was slammed. All my clients wanted to get in with me before my maternity leave, and that was totally fine by me. I was uncomfortable, not huge, he had gone head down around week 26, and had dropped around week 34. He was a mover, kicking, scratching, but I did not get to the point of feeling he was bouncing on my pelvic floor. Because of the relaxin and prolatin hormones, my joints were loose and cracky; I had injured one of my thumbs from hyperexension. But so is the nature of growing a baby. Things just need to happen in order for the body to prepare to expel a human being from within.
My boss was insisting I give an end date before maternity leave. I was insisting that I did not want to, as I would be bored and start overthinking everything if he arrived late. She asked if I could give an end date for the sake of my clients; I relented. She told me she had a feeling I would give birth in the next few days. I laughed, told her that I was still two weeks away from the due date, but she had this feeling that sweet baby would come earlier.
Approximately 8:30 p.m. at night
I get home from work, exhausted. I don't remember what else I did after getting home later than usual, but at some point I told Alex that I NEEDED to go to Target to get the things on my "prep for baby and helpers" list. I was in a T-shirt and leggings, grabbed my parka, keys, and list, and headed out the door.
At Target, I grabbed toilet paper, paper towels, toothpaste, shampoo, granola bars, coconut water. I grabbed a lot of other necessities too, no chocolate though, since I still had a good stash from Christmas. Cheese sticks and yogurt were the last things to purchase, but I would wait to buy those once I was in labor, or close to my due date.
I mosey on out, fill up the car, and drive on home. There was a gorgeous full moon shining over the road. I called my mom briefly to tell her what my boss had said and just to tell her how gorgeous the moon was.
Once home, I put things in their proper places: the pantry, bathroom sink, hospital bag, night stand. All was ready, but I still had a lot more to do before his arrival: research on a couple of different cultural norms, print off our birth preferences (don't ever call it a plan, because that sets you up for disaster), find a pediatrician, and so on. I got ready for bed, and conked out.
Thursday, January 28th, 2016, around 3:30 a.m.
Pregnant for: 37 weeks, 6 days.
I had insomnia most of the pregnancy. It wasn't horrible, but that doesn't mean it was pleasant. I was awake for about 1-2.5 hours every night, and I just laid in bed, or chatted with the other moms (in my Facebook due date group) who were also awake. If I left our room to turn a light on, I would have been awake much longer.
Some nights I would practice what little acupressure I know. Sinuses one night, liver another, large intestine the next. I used to provide and give induction massages to any of my patients who had met the 38 week mark, and acupressure was involved, though usually given by the chiropractor. I did some researched on the points to help the body along, and decided to work on those points. I mean heck, a couple days before I was 70% effaced, and 2 cm dilated. Pain wise, I didn't feel anything had changed, so the acupressure would just help aid in dilation and effacement I thought.
I fell asleep around 5:30 or so, the acu points no longer painful, and the deep breathing involved had relaxed me enough.
I think I had been dreaming a bit, but all of a sudden I heard a water balloon pop. Twice.
I ran to the bathroom, and voila! My water had broken. I had NO clue that my body had been ready, nor that the acupressure would work. I mean, it was also a full moon too, so all odds against me.
Me: ALEX. MY WATERS BROKE.
Alex: WAIT, WHAT DO WE DO NOW?! [he turned on all the lights]
Me: Nothing yet. You can go back to sleep.
Alex: Well I'm awake now, so I'll just study. How do you feel?
In truth, I didn't feel any different. I put a pad on, called my mom, and laid down for a bit. I had tested strep B +, so my midwife wanted me to check into the hospital within four hours after my water broke. I was a little bit bummed that they had broken first. I had been hoping to chill out in the bathtub to help ease contractions, but nope. Oh well! My mom was ecstatic, and as she was going to be helping us out the first week of baby's life, she started packing, and they were to leave when Alex gave the "yesbabyiscomingnowsoyoucometoo" call.
About an hour later, I took a shower, Alex made me breakfast, I blow-dried my hair, put on make-up, and packed up. We tidied the house too. Alex was happy that this was all going down on a Thursday, because that meant he had a long weekend, haha, and I agreed with him.
I made a "labor-aide" (read: lemonade with baking soda and salt, for electrolytes), and didn't feel any different physically. Just mentally. I don't know if it was a conscious or unconscious shift, but it was happening. I felt quiet and more focused, trying to prepare for the task ahead.
He loaded up the car, and I got on in, remembering that I wanted cheese sticks and yogurt. We stopped at Target, and I told him I was going in. Literally the longest walk through Target. EVER. I wasn't in any particular pain, but I had this vision of me experiencing my first contractions there while walking through the store, so I walked slowly to hopefully slow things down...(huh?)
Alex picks me up, and we head on to the hospital. He kept asking how I was doing, and I said just fine. I wasn't really looking at my phone, I honestly didn't tell anyone I was in labor, maybe a friend or two? I don't remember at which point I told my due date group. I just felt super serious.
Part two to come later. Hopefully this week! Thanks for reading the saga.