The Best Laid Plans
It all started out with contractions that were three weeks early. I got so excited and they stopped. After that, I obsessed over the position of the birthing tub, the placement of the video camera and rearranging the CDs by genre. I spent three weeks doing little else but envisioning my birth. Then, one day (after my due date), I went in for some acupuncture. That night, I drank the tea the acupuncturist prescribed. Within a half of an hour, I was contracting. Yoo hoo!! It was finally happening. I had everything in its place and my vision was about to happen, or so I thought.
It was Wednesday, September 2 and I was going to get this little boy out and finally get to meet him. I was so excited. I had a hard time sleeping that night as I contracted irregularly throughout the night. I was sure it would happen soon. I even slept with the shower curtain under my sheets just in case my water broke in the middle of the night. Did it? No, no, it did not.
I got up the next day and was quite surly as I got very little sleep and had to chase a toddler all day WHILE CONTRACTING. That night, I was really bummed. I called Terri and she said that maybe the reason I was having ineffective contractions was that I messed with the process and he just wasn’t ready. I was so done with it and needed the baby to come. I had obsessed for far too long and needed it to happen. Terri suggested that I could get down on all fours and wag my butt in the air (in the event that he needed help getting in the right position). She said that I could do it every hour. I decided that I should do it for every contraction. Did I mention I wanted to get on with this already???
I put my daughter to sleep that night around nine and got into bed. I couldn’t sleep so I decided to get up and take a warm bath. I was sitting in the tub reading a romance novel. I started having bad gas pains and I just kept thinking whatever I ate that night really wasn’t agreeing with me. As the pain intensified, I would get to the part in my novel where the people were having sex and I was thinking-DON’T DO IT!!! You will end up like me!!! Eventually, the pain got so bad, that I felt I needed to get out of the tub. When I got out, I stood at the sink and it just hit me-I WAS FINALLY IN LABOR!!! It also hit me that it would not be long till my son came into this world. I remember feeling shaky and nauseated. Looking back, it was the same way I felt as I entered transition with Sarah.
I wondered as I left the bathroom if I should call Jenny. At first, I wasn’t going to as I wasn’t really having regular contractions for a specified period, but by the time I got down the steps, I knew I had to call her.
Upon getting downstairs, I told my dad to go upstairs and fill the tub. I called Jenny and she said she would be on her way. She got to hear a couple of contractions while I was on the phone with her and I think she knew I was close. I don’t think anyone knew how close I really was. The first phone call to Jenny was made at 12:11 am. I called my husband next.
Dave got to hear me experience a couple of contractions. I then told him that I had to go to the bathroom. I went in and felt the overwhelming urge to empty my bowels. At this point, I was worried that I was going to have the baby in the toilet. Briefly after sitting down, my water broke in the toilet. Dave told me to hang up and call Jenny again. I wiped myself and dragged myself onto the kitchen floor directly outside of the bathroom.
I called Jenny and she was already on her way. Thank goodness she lives so very close! She had me put her on speakerphone so that she could talk to my dad as well. She asked him to look and see if he could see the head. He could (along with poo, apparently). I knew we weren’t long from having the baby. I could feel his head. I had kept my hand down there to keep track of the progress. Jenny told me not to worry and if I felt like I had to push to do so. She said, “If you need to keep pushing and then just pull him up and put him on your chest.” WHAT!!!???? I was not having this baby by myself. I just wasn’t. I just kept hoping she would get there soon. When she asked if I lived past the Tidewater intersection, I almost lost it. If she got lost, I knew she would miss it. He was coming NOW!!!
When she pulled up, my dad went out to help her in. I will note that I was alone in the kitchen while he went to help her. Jenny, as always, was cool as a cucumber, came in. My Dad went to move her car. She got her gloves on and took a look to see where I was. She said, “Okay, Karen, if you want to go ahead and push, we can have a head.” I pushed, and there was his head. Another push and we had a body. He was out and he was so quiet. Jenny grabbed the closest towel and covered him and rubbed him. He let out a little cry then went to sleep. It was 12:40 am, Friday September 4 when my little prince made his grand entrance. My father was still not back from driving around the block so he missed it.
In all the excitement, my perfect birthing room with the candles, the video camera, and all the birthing supplies were where they were supposed to be UPSTAIRS. The towel that dried my son had earlier dried the dog. All my clean towels were upstairs in the really nice wicker basket with the other birth supplies.