Sunday, July 14, 2013
This post is Part V in my story about birth and mothering.
After weeks of prodromal labor, starting and stopping and starting again, I thought my "labor engine starter" might be broken. I was getting no updates on my cervix from my midwives, and I think that helped me stay somewhat sane. The date I had guessed came and went...and went further. A week after this date I went in for my weekly appointment. David came with me since I was (once again) having contractions I could time.
The midwife did offer an update on my cervix this time, and also offered to sweep my membranes. I consented. With Nora I would have refused this procedure, but I had been subtly warned that I was on a tight time table to avoid pressure to schedule a repeat C-section. There would be midwifery call starting the next morning at 8 AM. (This was a stressful issue for us as the midwife I had sought out had moved out of state as I neared term. Now the practice was short, and the midwives couldn't cover call 24/7.) My midwife said she would see me back in five days and would have to do an ultrasound to check fluid levels then. I think she saw the look on my face, and on her way out the door she said, "I feel sure you will..." her voice trailed off but her experienced and slightly reassuring tone gave me hope.
Friday morning David decided to stay home from work. That day we did all we could to encourage labor. It was so hot out, we decided to go to Lowe's to walk briskly. I had every sign of labor. I was just waiting on a contraction to stop me in my tracks. I knew the start and stop labor pattern was most likely due the baby's position. She seemed to be lying in my womb the same way her sister had, and my midwife had agreed with my assessment. I prayed she would turn.
Saturday morning I woke up still pregnant. We had plans to spend the day with my family as my brother was home. I appreciated distraction, but I was battling with discouragement. It was looking like I might make it to that next appointment, where I would have to fight for things. David and I walked in the yard and prayed. "God, go before us. Make the path straight. This is our request, Lord. We give it to You." I had begun feeling contractions again. I decided to do my best to go about my business and not despair.
David and I decided to make plans to go to his sister's house the next day. We thought the pool would be a great distraction. That night we drove to town. I found a bathing suit top that fit my 10 month pregnant belly. David bought a road map to have just in case. His sister's house was about an hour away from the hospital if we knew the back roads. Everyone thought we had lost it, but we packed everything just case labor showed. According to my guess date I was now 41 weeks and 3 days. I figured labor may never come anyway!
Throughout that night I dreamed very vividly. Oddly, at some random points, I would see myself in my dream, dropping to a squat in the peak of a contraction. I woke to go the bathroom at about 5 AM. I thought it might have been just after a rush. I was able to go right back to sleep. Sometime around 7:30, Nora kicked me and I woke in the peak of a rush.
I knew it was labor but tried to stay prepared for the possibility that it may fizzle out again. I told David. We timed them at 4 minutes apart. I called Mom to catch her before she left for church. I called Grandma too. We made plans to get Nora to them before they left the house. I was hurried to get her ready. Contractions were still coming, even stronger. I was convinced this was the day! I watched Nora toddle over next door. She was holding her daddy's hand, Susie doll in the other. She was my heart. I felt a tear surface as I lost sight of her pink plaid dress, pink bow, pink shoes. "God, help her with the adjustment. Don't let her feel that I don't love her." Peace washed over me. I was ready.