The False Start
It was Wednesday night, October 2nd, and I was sure I was in labor. We were planning a homebirth so I called our midwife, Barbara, who told me to monitor the contractions that had been five minutes apart for the past hour. I got comfy on my sofa, turned on a movie, and waited. But soon the contractions grew farther apart and I called up our midwife telling her not to come. I felt silly for calling her in the first place.
The Real Deal
Two nights later, around 7pm on October 4th, the same thing happened. But I knew what this was, and I wasn't going to be a drama queen and call the midwife again only to back out thirty minutes later. I got comfy on my sofa, turned on a movie, and waited. But soon the contractions grew closer together and I found myself quickly not-so-comfy. Instead of getting lost in the movie, I couldn't concentrate on the movie. I moved into the bathroom around 8pm, hestitant to believe that this was the real thing. In all my other labors my water had broken before labor commenced. So how could this be real labor if my water hadn't broken?
Tim was putting the kids to bed while all this was going on (we all sleep in the same bedroom). Right next to our bedroom is a room we call the rec room. I moved into the rec room and found myself digging my head into the sofa during contractions. Maybe this was the real thing! I decided that I should probably tell Tim, so I slowly crawled to the bedroom door where I not-so-nicely told Tim to hurry up and bring out the labor bag. The kids became inquisitive at this point, asking all sorts of questions about whether the baby was coming and what I'm doing. But thankfully Tim quieted all of them down and got them into bed and still had the presence of mind to grab the labor bag on the way out.
Here Come the Pros!
It was about 8:30pm when Tim called our midwife and she was on her way by 8:50pm. He then, like a tornado, whirls around the room, cleaning up all the toys, put towels under me, and set up the video camera. I hadn't moved; I was still on my hands and knees and my head was still in the sofa like an ostrich. Barbara calls at about 8:55pm and Tim asked her to stay on the phone with him.
The Amateur Delivers
At about 9pm I felt the urge to push, and so I pushed and pushed and pushed and it felt like it was doing nothing. Fear took me and for a moment I started to panic. The thought that all this work is doing nothing is very scary. But there was grace in that moment and I was able to believe that God was still in control and it was going to be ok. I was very thankful for this.
At 9:35pm, with one big push my water broke- no, my water exploded. Tim can testify to this as he actually got some amnitoic fluid on him. At the next contraction I pushed again and Rhythm's beautiful little head emerged with a beautiful little hand under her chin. I reached back to feel her head and I felt a little hand grasp my pinky. Tim began sunctioning her (something I later learned was not needed) and in another push she was out. Barbara was on speaker-phone this whole time and was guiding Tim through the process. Although it was a bit nerve-racking for Tim, I was so happy that he was the one to deliver Rhythm. I probably should have called Barbara earlier to tell her I was in labor, but I'm glad I didn't.
It's a Girl!
Tim exclaimed, "It's a girl!" I was just happy she was out! I righted myself so I was sitting after we figured out how to pass Rhythm, still attached, between my legs and held my new daughter. Barbara and her assistant, Heather, arrived one minute later and delivered the placenta. I had another little girl! Rhythm and I both got cleaned up and I nursed her for the first time. She then was content to suck her thumb in my arms for awhile. She looked like Fiery, except with very dark hair instead of a light brown. I hope she keeps it!
The next morning was like Christmas morning. All the kids awoke to their new baby sister and it is a memory I will always cherish.
The recovery has been fantastic. We encapsulated my placenta this time around and it's made a world of difference. It's been so nice to be clear-headed. Taking it slowly with three littles running around is hard, but doable. I still cannot believe we are now a family of six!