At 16 days past dates, we were more than ready to meet our sweet little son.
Throughout the final weeks and days of my pregnancy - my body showed no signs of impending labour. No practice braxton hicks contractions, no added discomfort...
i began to wonder if my tiny dolly would ever make an appearance.
On February 13th, i felt a few tightenings throughout the day - so mild that i had to stop what i was doing & concentrate & ask myself, "Was that a tiny contraction? Or am i imagining things?"
Neil had taken the kids swimming - and i stayed home with little Gagey & vacuumed, did laundry and tidied the house.
Gagey and i had a sword fight, a snuggle on his floor, a tubby together. He wanted to nurse a lot - & i sure didn't discourage him, he has been feeling so crummy lately & i hoped that him nursing would bring on labour. i didn't know it would be the last day before his little brother rocked his tiny world... i'm glad we spent it the way we did.
That evening, the 2 big girls were babysitting at a benefit for an orphanage in Haiti that was happening at our church. While they were gone, i got a couple of nice contractions. Nothing timeable- (i tried - 15 minutes+ - if i could feel them). That was sometime after 8:30pm. When Neil went to go pick up the girls at 9pm, i decided to get up & check my email & update my friends on my birthboard. i knew i was running out of time as far as an induction - & i was sure hoping that i could avoid the usual braxton hicks at the end of pregnancy & that these first tentative contractions would lead to the real thing.
i sat down at my computer - Neil & the girls walked through the door & were visiting in the kitchen. Suddenly, i felt a familiar "pop" & felt the warm water soak my dress and my chair.
i stayed where i was for just a second, in shock - not sure if i should sound the alarm to Neil right in front of the girls, or if i should just sit where i was till they went downstairs & Neil & i could form a plan. It was 9:20 & Gage was the only child who was already asleep. i called Neil over, & mumbled, "Um, my water just broke..." as it dribbled over the side of my chair.
Neil was like a 4 year old, hopping into the kitchen & immediately setting a tone of frenzied excitement.
i stood up - and created a tiny flood on the floor - something i'm sure my big girls will remember for the rest of their lives. Sloanie ran & got a towel & i went and changed into some fresh clothes (including my bikini top!) and we started to get ready to go. i didn't figure i would be in for a long labour, so i wanted to get to the birthing center (a 25 minute drive) as soon as possible. i phoned the midwife & we arranged to meet at the birthing center as soon as we could both get there.
In those moments, we made decisions as to who would come, who we would need to phone, & what we needed to bring. We decided that Sloanie would sleep upstairs with all the little ones & that Cai and Peyton would come with us to the birth center. i was sure glad i had packed a little bag already & as we jumped into the van - contractions started to hit hard - & that made panic start to rise up in my chest. Maybe it was just the speed with which labour had begun, but i vocalized with those first contractions more than i did later on - just getting myself under control. Nice low moans, keeping my mouth loose and my body relaxed. After a couple contractions like that, i realized that i needed to let go of my fear. i knew it was fear that was making me vocalize - & that things were going to get harder before the night was over. That drive turned out to be the best thing for me. i let go of all fear & gathered my wits about me. i laboured the rest of the way in a sort of hypnotized silence. Neil offered his hand for me to squeeze, but i just wanted to touch him, lightly - with my eyes closed - to know he was there... He was amazing - i just let the *feelings*, the *tightenings*, the *pain* - wash over me...
In between contractions, i could talk, smile, laugh with the girls... and it wasn't long till we arrived at the birthing center.
Part 2 tomorrow.
My tiny assistant coach, Peyton - she did an incredible job - getting whatever i needed & being supportive and excited. So proud of my bigs.