I knew it. I knew it like it was a universal truth, that I would have this baby before my estimated due date of May 11th. I knew it. But I doubted it. It was the 8th of May that I had a very low, sour day. Dark clouds sank from the atmosphere to hover directly above my head. I wanted to go into labor on the 8th, so I made an OB appointment for that morning, just a check up, but I thought… I don’t know what I thought. He told me that it looked like I wouldn’t go into labor for at least another week. Now, if I had my head on straight I would have called BS on that statement, because there is no way to know something like that. However, his words shot right into my heart, and I sank like a stone. I cried myself through the day. And no one cared.
At the end of the day I made up my mind that I would stop thinking so much about it. That I would be happy and just live my life without constant anticipation for labor. So on the 9th I cleaned the house, did all the laundry, rubbed birch essentially oil on the belly and feet. I had Adam bring home super spicy Indian food. After Mae went to bed, we watched home videos of her getting dressed for the first time, playing on the grass, rolling over, sitting up, walking, eating birthday cake, and a short clip of her getting her hair cut. We were in the best mood. Even my floors were all swept and mopped. I had no worries in the world.
As I lay in bed, I felt the familiar pain of a contraction. It was 11:45pm. I willed another one to come. When it came I knew that everything was going to be great, because I would have the two things I have wanted for so long: to no longer be pregnant and have my daughter. I woke up Adam, who wasn’t very happy to be waking up. I didn’t understand it. We were having a baby! I couldn’t stop smiling. I made him get up and run me a bath with epsom salt and more birch EO. While in the bath, I demanded that my body contract more, and it did. After that they came on their own. We pulled out the stop watch and determined they were about three minutes apart. I focused, relaxed, and enjoyed myself. Adam packed my bag with a list I had already made up for him, while I curled my hair and put makeup on. (I did this for several reasons, the number one reason was because if I felt beautiful I knew I would feel good in general, and the other major reasons were so when I looked back on pictures I didn’t just see bedhead and have that be my only take-away). I labored until 2:30am until my dad and stepmom arrived to watch Mae. After that I lost my focus and the labor pains were more than I wanted to handle. My lovely, clean, dark home was a perfect place to labor. A car ride, hospital staff, hospital questions, and being plugged into machines is not a pleasant nor adequate place to focus and labor, in my experience. Thankfully, my lovely epidural came just after 3am.
Several things happened when I got my epidural. Firstly, my contractions were super painful because by this point I had no focus whatsoever and only longed for the painkillers. Secondly, as soon as the epidural was placed, I felt a large gush under me and had to tell the nurse that I peed the bed. Much to my satisfaction, it was not pee, but my water broke on its own. Thirdly, once I laid back, my blood pressure dropped significantly (I typically have really low blood pressure anyway), turned white as a ghost, and vomited. I thought I was going to die. My nurse quickly did something, to which I cannot remember, but she thoroughly explained it to me once I was recovered and I still can’t remember, and got me back fairly quickly.
Some time after four I was all ready to go. I was bearing down, all the way dilated, and all that good stuff. But they hadn’t called my OB, and he wasn’t by the hospital, so it took a bit and the nurses made me keep my legs shut and wait. I pushed for five minutes and there she was, my daughter, in the world.
Adam cried. I nursed. In no time at all, we were all alone in the room with the sun still below the horizon. The three of us in that room together is one of my favorite memories.
Mae came by later in the morning with my parents to meet Nina. They had taken her to the gift shop to have her pick out a gift for the baby. It was a stuffed monster. Don’t worry, she picked her self out one too. She kissed Nina several times, then explored the room.
I only stayed the night then went home with my husband and two daughters in time for Mae’s mid-day nap on Saturday the 11th. And I knew it, like it was truth, that I would deliver before my due date. I didn’t know it would only be the day before, but that is ok.
That evening, as Adam cleaned up from BBQ take-out, I nursed Nina on the couch, Mae colored in her new coloring book in between my feet on the floor, and the season finale of the Office played on the tv. That is when I cried. I finally had my family. It was perfect.