I have decided to break up The Little Monkey's birth story into a few separate parts. Hopefully I can get the entire story posted within the next few days, but of course, much of that depends on how much computer time Eva gives me.
Before I begin, let me warn you that I am planning to include quite a bit of detail regarding the labour and delivery of my daughter. If you don't want to read about the icky stuff - you might want to skip these posts. I find that in our society, women are often bombarded with negative images of childbirth, which can result in a sense of fear regarding the experience. While I was pregnant, I found it so encouraging to read positive birth stories from other bloggers. I found that they really helped me to approach childbirth with an open mind rather than with fear. I hope that for someone, Eva's story will help accomplish the same goal.
As I look back on the events leading up to the birth of my sweet girl, I am filled with awe at just how perfect it all was. When I wrote last week that God had picked the perfect birthday for my baby, I didn't know just how true that was.
I will begin her story on the morning of September 21st, 2010. This was the second of two days that I had predicted she would be born on (the first was September 14th, which had long since passed).
The Dude had to do some work in the morning in the area of the city that is close to my midwife clinic and I was scheduled to have an appointment at 11 am so we decided to head in together, and I would wait for him while he worked, then we could kill time together and head to the appointment.
He finished worked, we headed to Tim Horton's for some coffee, apple cider, and a biscuit and then killed a few hours at the mall where we picked up some cutes for the baby and a birthday present for the BFF. Soon, it was time to head to the clinic. I was anticipating that my midwife was going to sweep my membranes and was hopeful that it would get things moving. As I mentioned before, I was beginning to have this sinking fear that I would never go into labor and was dreading the possibility of induction.
When we got into the office and she asked how I was feeling I did not hesitate to say, "Alright, do we get to do a stretch and sweep?"
You cannot imagine my disappointment when she said, "I'm sorry, we can't do a sweep today because Carrie (the on-call midwife this week) is at another birth". Even though they know I could have easily went into labor on my own, they don't like to set themselves up for having two simultaneous births, which I could understand. Yet, I was still sorely disappointed. She checked everything out, and told me that I could come back the next morning and we would do it then.
As soon as we left and reached the truck, I broke down in tears. I started sobbing. The Dude reassured me that it was okay, the baby would still be here soon, and we'd try again tomorrow. I told him I wanted to punch the lady who was in labour in the head.
I called my mom and told her what I thought was the bad news. We stopped at the pharmacy (oh, did I mention I also woke up that morning with a sore throat that was on it's way to turning into a full blown cough and cold?), and then headed home where the Dude fixed lunch for the two of us.
Immediately after lunch, I crashed in bed and slept for a good few hours. Little did I know how much I would value those few hours of sleep! When I woke up around 3 pm, we headed out to go for a big walk in the woods where the Dude hunts. During our walk, I started to notice some cramping that felt a little bit different than what I had been feeling in the past week or so. I didn't say anything to the Dude, of course, because there was no way that I could possibly be in labor for real.
By 4 pm, the cramps were definitely changing and I was pretty certain that they were real contractions and this was early labor. I still didn't say anything to the Dude, I had long since learned better than to get myself hopeful when "I thought something might be happening". After our walk, we stopped to rent a few movies and headed home where I fixed chicken, black bean and pepper quesadillas for supper.
While I was cooking supper, the contractions kept coming, each one feeling a little stronger and a little longer. I was getting hopeful, waiting for that magical longer, stronger, closer together trifecta.
We spent the evening watching a movie and skyping with a few family members, while I found myself getting in and out of the bath tub a number of times, feeling like this must be it. Around 9:30 pm, I said to the Dude, "I sure hope this is labor because if it is not ... I am a major wuss".
He said, "You're not being a wuss. You're doing fine. But let's try to take it easy and take it one step at a time".
I got out of the bath around 9:30 after half heartedly timing a few contractions. I wasn't paying super close attention, but I figured that they were coming somewhere between 6 and 8 minutes apart so I decided to call my mom.
Of course, her bags had been packed for weeks so I told her to get to bed and rest because hopefully she would be getting a call in the night telling her it was time. She asked me when I started feeling contractions and nearly blew a gasket when she found out I had been having them since 3 pm and hadn't called her. She said "How close are they? Are they 15 minutes or less? Because, if so, I'm coming now". I lied to my Mama. I said "Oh I don't think they are that close. You don't need to leave just yet". At this point, I was still so uncertain whether or not this was the real deal and I didn't want them to make the two hour drive if I wasn't sure.
She made me promise that if I had 6 contractions within the next hour I would call her. I had way more than six contractions. I didn't call her.
At 10:30, we got serious about spending a good half hour timing things and discovered that they were coming consistently at 6 minutes apart, lasting anywhere from 35-65 seconds each. At 11 pm, I took my midwives advice, and took the magical cocktail consisting of tylonel, gravol, and a warm bath and headed to bed.
Over the next few hours, the Dude was able to sleep quite a bit and I was able to relax and drift to sleep between contractions (and warm baths). The contractions were steady but they weren't hard to deal with on my own. I knew I wanted to get through as much as I could on my own so the Dude could save his energy. I also knew we were in for the long haul so I might as well ignore it the best I could for as long as possible.
At 2 am, I felt like things were certainly picking up so I woke the Dude up and asked him to help me time the contractions. By 2:45, we realized they were coming 3-4 minutes apart.
We knew then that it was showtime, so we called Nana and Papa and told them to get in the car and get their butts over here! We were going to have a baby.