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Friday was a long day. I was having random contractions all day and even though they were increasing in strength, they never became consistent. I new it could be soon or it could be another week. So, I went about business as usual. Took Kurtis to school, ran errands, etc. Friday night Kurtis and I had a mother and son night out. Asian Star and Baskin Robbins. Yummy! By the time the night was ending I was very tired of having these random contractions. They were anywhere from ten to thirty or forty minutes apart. Nothing serious, but enough to try ones patience.
Fast forward to 1:50am. Wow, that was a strong contraction! Then, finally, they began with a pattern. For the next hour I lay awake in bed timing contractions that were ten minutes apart and feeling like they mean business. THIS MIGHT BE IT! Trying not to get excited, I know how these things can come and go, I did my best to get some sleep.
5:00am I could no longer sleep through contractions. Very excited that I am finally in labor I busy myself around the house as quietly as possible. I ate breakfast, I cleaned, checked my email, lit candles, got together things I would need and want for the birth. I even put a chicken in the crock pot for later!
By 7:30am my contractions are a pretty steady six to ten minutes apart and are not stopping me completely, but I am certain this will be the day! HOORAY! I call Rebecca (my midwife) to give her a heads up. ďRebecca, itís Renee, how would you like to deliver a baby today?Ē She is excited and tells me to call her whenever I need her.
Finally around 9:00am I wake Jeff and tell him we will be having a baby TODAY! Lila wakes up and then I busy myself fixing her breakfast and getting her ready for the day. I call Rebecca again around 11:00am to tell her that my contractions seem to be at a plateau. They are of the same strength and consistency as at 2:00am! She tells me to take a bath or shower and go for a walk, then call her back. So, I do just that. After a nice hot shower I load Lila in the stroller and am off (only to circle the block mind you, I donít want to be caught half a mile from home with contractions I can no longer handle) to walk! As we walk I can feel my contractions strengthening and decide to head home when Iím certain I look a bit ridiculous leaning over my stroller huffing and puffing every six minutes!
Itís mid-day and I call Rebecca yet again who heads over to do a little check up on baby and I. When she arrives she checks me cervix and low and behold all this work is getting me closer to my new baby! I am 4cm dilated and 80% effaced. Plus, the baby is LOW in my pelvis and the bag of waters in bulging into my birth canal. We hook up to an external fetal monitor to make sure baby is handling contractions to find that indeed this baby seems to be ready and more than able to deal with these contractions! All very good news to hear.
I decide that itís certainly not necessary for Rebecca to stay as my contractions are still about the same as they were hours before. I agree to call her as soon as I feel I need her, or if my water breaks. Feeling elated that all this work is getting me that much closer to my baby I keep on my feet. Lila and I make a birthday cake to eat after the baby arrives and I continue to pace through the house and only stop to breath through contractions. Jeff and Kurtis are busy in the back yard and I am thrilled that we are all together as a family for this event!
Finally some time in the early afternoon my contractions began to ďget betterĒ as I like to say. We are getting down to business, FINALLY! By this point I am using Jeff as my leaning post during contractions. I call Rebecca back and she is over within fifteen minutes. We go over what my plans are. Where are all the supplies? Where do I want to give birth? Rebecca makes my bed up to ready it for birth. Jeff continues to hold me up through increasingly difficult, but not impossible contractions.
Soon thereafter it gets serious. I enter and exit the shower. The best relief seems to be standing and leaning on Jeff. Contractions are now about two minutes apart and I am starting to feel them, I mean really feel them. Ok, Iíve done this before; I can do it again, right? I get in the shower again and up come Lila and Kurtis from the basement. I somehow manage to tell Lila Iím alright and that her baby brother or sister will soon be here!
Back to the bed after my contractions hit the wall. Iím at that point where I donít think I can do it any more. It hurts too much. I might explode! I tell the baby (well, yell at the baby is more like it) ďI want you out!Ē and with that my water breaks! Seven minutes of pushing later out came my baby! What a set of pipes on this one! AND all that hair. I call to the kids to come over and see if itís a boy or girl, so there all together in our bedroom we all see that itís a girl for the first time!
I did it! Wow! She is amazing! The birth was amazing! Jeff was amazing! I couldnít have done it without him to hold me up and hold my hand and tell me ďYouíre almost there!Ē I canít imagine a better way to be welcomed into the world. Born in the bed which you will sleep snugly at night with Mommy and Daddy (and sometimes big sister too.) No bright hospital lights. No one to whisk you away. Straight from the womb to the breast, the way nature intended it to be.
After Clarissa was born (and of course after a bit of after-birth business and a shower) we all went into the living room and ate cake and talked about how great it was to all be home, as a family. Rebecca stayed to clean up (there really was very little to do) and check my blood pressure and do all the newborn routine. She left around 9:00pm and there we were, family of five.