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When I woke up, I didn't immediately jump out of bed or anything. I like to lounge if I can. The girls were being cooperative, so my husband and I lounged for a little while playing on our phones. I was feeling kind of crampy, so I headed to the bathroom to see if I could feel better. I wasn't too concerned because I had experienced cramping episodes for the two previous nights. They always ended up going away. After spending some time in the bathroom, I noticed the slightest tinge of pink on the toilet paper. It was so light, I thought maybe my eyes were deceiving me. I went back to snuggle in the bed for a little while longer. I told my husband what I noticed and started asking questions to my doula and Birth Boot Camp Doula group.
At about 8:45am I posted this in my Birth Boot Camp Doula group:
"My midwife is still out of town. Should be getting in tonight. Pink spotting this morning. What is that? My mucous plug? I've never noticed losing a mucous plug before. I'm pretty crampy, but I could still have days, right? I've still got some stuff to do. Besides the fact my midwife isn't back yet."
At that point I still thought she was getting in a day earlier than she actually was. Oops.
I then texted my doula, "Pink spotting and cramps. No big deal right? Could still have days?"
Then I complained, "I really don't have time for this today. I still have to buy some chux pads..."
She responded, "Shhhhh, you'll upset the birth gods!"
We have fun. We like to joke. We decided to just go about the day and check in periodically.
I may have decided to try the bathroom one more time at this point. When I went back to the bedroom, the cramps were really starting to get on my nerves. I was complaining to my BBCD group that I had stuff to do today, that my midwife was still out of town, and that I hadn't written this blog post yet. It was a little after 9am at this point.
Then one of the cramps made me need to lean over the bed and sway my hips. Robbie asked, "Are you going to have that baby?" I was adamant that, "No. I'm not having the baby. I just need these cramps to stop."
I think we decided that we should probably get the house cleaned up just in case we would have people coming over. I don't remember where he went, but I started putting away the laundry in my room. It was getting hard to do because I kept having to stop and lean over the bed during each cramp.
About 15 minutes after we all decided to go about our day, I sent another message to my doula, "I don't know about this. This is new. I'm not prepared and trying to do stuff is making me uncomfortable."
She asked me to describe what I was feeling. I responded, "I'm not sure, but they might be starting to develop a pattern. I feel like a storm is brewing or something. I need to do the thing where it stops. How do people do that? I see it all the time! I'm drinking lots of water in case I'm dehydrated.
Oh, and when the cramp goes away, it feels really good."
She then asks me which midwife was on call for me, which is good. I still wasn't sure about that. My midwife had left me with the name and number of another midwife just in case. I'd never met nor talked with her before. We agreed that I would start to time my "cramps" for the next hour to see what was going on there.
I moved into the kitchen at about 9:30am to try to tackle the mess of dishes we left the night before. I sent a message to my primary midwife to ask her if I should give the other midwife a head's up that I was cramping and spottimg. I didn't get to see her response until much later.
My husband started getting antsy and asking me what I wanted to do. I downloaded a contraction app and started timing. I forgot a few times, and it was hard to figure out exactly how long they were. They looked to be about 2-3 minutes apart according to the app. I had to keep stopping to sway and breathe through the "cramps." I don't remember the order of everything, but at some point, my husband called the midwife to let her know what was going on. She started to head our way.
At around 10am or so, I remember washing a bowl and Robbie asking me what I wanted to do. I said I really wanted a shower because I felt gross. He said to go and that he would take care of the rest of the dishes. So off to the shower I went.
I washed my hair and started crying because the cramps had me worried. I thought, "It is really going to suck once labor gets started." Robbie was in and out of the bathroom asking me what I needed. I remember him bringing me some water and my birth ball. He had also called everyone and let me know they were all on the way. They'd be there in about twenty minutes. I decided to see how much progress I could make in that time. I remember thinking, "Fine! I'll vocalize, then! Time to relax." I was really trying to resist vocalizing, but I just couldn't anymore. I was uncomfortable.
I vocalized one good time, and I really felt the baby move down. I dropped to hands and knees. The intensity picked up. Robbie was telling me how great I was doing. I hit the wall and yelled, "I don't want to do this!" Robbie chuckled. Good thing I didn't hear it.
I vocalized through a few more contractions when my water broke. I screamed, "My water broke!" I felt some burning and felt the baby's head coming out. I thought I screamed, "The head is coming out!" but apparently I was just screaming. At that point I started making peace with God because I thought the baby and I were about to die. I remember thinking, "I guess this is it then."
Then I felt a hand on my back and a voice saying, "I'm here." I rejoiced inside because I no longer feared death. My doula was here! She said the head was out and encouraged me to push. I pushed with all my might for what felt like ten minutes but was probably less than a minute and the baby was born. He arrived at 10:28am.
The way my husband tells it, my doula banged on the door, he opened it, and she ran in just in time to catch the baby. She told me that she happened to take a new, but shorter, route that day. I'm glad she did.
A few seconds later, the midwife and her assistant arrived just in time for all the third stage and postpartum stuff. I felt bad because I was so unprepared for a birth that day. I didn't even have a baby blanket to wrap him in. We wrapped him in a t-shirt!
So this is it. My last baby. My last hoorah. I'm not sure when labor officially started, but I know it took me longer to type this (one-handed and nursing a baby) blog post than it did to have a baby. And I'm totally ok with that.