I know I’m probably going to get some things out of order. Those who were there will probably think, “That’s not how it happened”. Nevertheless, this is Parker’s birthday to the best of my recollection.
I left you with me pacing my parents house giddy with excitement and praying I “stayed” in labor. Michael arrived back from work just about the time my friend arrived to pick Thomas up.
I remember sitting with Thomas at the bottom of the stairs explaining that he was going to go play with his friend Carter today. I told him that I thought mommy was going to go to the hospital today to have Parker. His face lit up as he looked at me and asked “Really?! Parker comin’?”. I will always remember his face–he was truly excited to meet his baby brother!
My friend arrived, and we loaded Thomas and sent him on his way. Mom went on to work, and suddenly Michael and I were just staring at each other in the living room. I wasn’t sure what to do next.
We decided it would be a good idea to check in with the doctor. Just to make sure she was in the Columbus hospital that day (she works one day a week in a town about 45 minutes away, so I needed to know if I had a 45 minute drive ahead of me!). Thankfully not only was she working in Columbus, but she was also on call. She would definitely be there for this baby’s birth. The nurse wanted me to come in to the office to be “checked”. I declined and assured her that Dr. Lacy and I had discussed me laboring at home as long as I was comfortable.
I continued my pacing about the house as Michael watched TV. He started cracking jokes to see if I’d laugh. While reading The Birth Partner to him earlier in the pregnancy in preparation for a natural delivery, the book noted that when the woman is in transition, your jokes will no longer be funny. Michael made it his mission to see how long his jokes would keep their humor. So far so good. I was quite giggly and silly. Just excited that this was really happening.
My doula arrived around 11:00. She watched me pace and lose my train of thought through a contraction. She placed her hands on my enormous belly to feel the next one and then assured me that I was indeed in labor. Contractions were still coming about 10 minutes apart and were relatively pain free. She suggested that we go get some lunch and either do some shopping, catch a move, or take a nap. She warned me that labor tends to slow in the afternoons as our bodies like to give birth at night. So our best option was to distract ourselves and let my body do its thing. Her one suggestion was not to eat anything spicy that I wouldn’t enjoy having come back up later in the day.
We promptly proceeded to Huck’s Place where I ordered shrimp and grits–New Orlean’s style. Very spicy. Apparently I’m not good at following directions, but it was SO good. I continued to have contractions through lunch. They were picking up a bit in intensity. I had to stop talking when one hit, but I would just smile through them. At this point, I welcomed each contraction because it meant my body was continuing to work this baby out on its own.
When we finished lunch, we stopped by KMart to pick up some snacks and headed to the movies. Only one other person joined us in the theater to watch Now You See Me. I remember going to the bathroom about midway through the movie. After that, contractions picked up steadily. I had to stand and sway to work through them.
After the movie, we headed home as I wanted to try to get a nap. I got settled in the bed for no more than 2 minutes when the mother of all contractions hit. I swear it lasted for two solid minutes. I was caught off guard so all I could do was grip the bed post and hold on for dear life. I could not even squeak out a holler for Michael to come help! At the end of the contraction, I felt something pop. I do not know what happened, but this was a turning point in my labor.
Earlier, I had asked my doula how I would know when I was ready to go to the hospital. She told me there would be a change in my emotions and I would “just know”. I hate being told I’ll “just know”, but she was right. I walked downstairs, had one more contraction that had me leaning over the counters in pain, and announced it was time to go to the hospital.
This was about 4 p.m.
How did you know “it was time” (to call the midwife, head to the hospital/birthing center)?
If you have any questions about natural childbirth or breastfeeding feel free to leave them in the comments or email me at newlifesteward @ gmail . com (remove spaces). I plan to address these topics in more detail after I finish Parker’s birth story and would love to address your questions as best I can!
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