Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Birth of William Brawford: Part Three

Get caught up:


By 11:40 we were texting everyone that this was "Go" time. I had been having contractions that had averaged a minute long since we began timing them a little over an hour before. As time crept on, they were getting noticeably closer together jumping from about every 8 minutes at 10:30 to every 5 minutes by 11:20.

Lori had been at the commissary grabbing some groceries and we texted her at about 11:45 (after texting Haley to let her know to “Come on Down”) to let her know that she should probably swing by our house on the way home to pick up Evelyn.

I hated that we were going to have to wake her up from her nap, but I also knew that it had already been super distracting for me to have her around while I was laboring. I just kept thinking and worrying about her and not focusing at all on labor and the task at hand, let alone focus on the monumental life change that was about to happen, or get excited. Where was my giddy attitude that had accompanied the earlier stages of labor with Evelyn? I knew I wouldn’t be able to pull it together and get in the zone until she was safely tucked away and having fun elsewhere.

Lori and Auntie Emily knocked on the door shortly thereafter, and I think they were surprised when I answered the door. I smiled at them and pulled the headphones I had been listening with out of my ears. (It had been my plan to compile my birth playlist that morning after making the list of songs I wanted a few days before. Alas, I didn’t ever get to it, so I was just listening to my workout mix and trying to get amped. ) They both had big smiles on their faces as they came in and chuckled with me as I went about my business grabbing all of Evelyn’s “gear” for them to take.

A headed in to grab Evelyn from her nap – she had only been sleeping for 30 minutes or so – and brought her downstairs. Baby girl has had the tendency if she wakes up too soon from her nap to want to snuggle for a while with the person who gets her up…and have nothing to do with anyone else. Since this is the norm for her, I tried not to be too offended when she wouldn’t give me a hug, kiss or even a smile before she left, though it made my heart break a bit inside. I knew this was the last time I was going to be with her before we became a family of four and I selfishly wanted my last little snuggle. I tried to take it in stride as she headed for the door, her little tousled head of hair on her Daddy’s shoulder. I got some hugs and wishes for luck from the other ladies and decided to get myself in the zone.

First, let’s make sure this labor is strong and on track. I knew that last time the midwives had wanted me to wait until I had one minute long contractions every 3 minutes, and that they had been that way for an hour, before we called. But this time? I had neglected to ask if the procedure was different for a second baby, which seemed from most stories to be notoriously quicker. I still felt like I had early in the morning when in labor with Ev – totally normal in between contractions, able to carry on a conversation, etc.

Ev was getting loaded up in the car and it was about 12:15 or so. I figured I would hop in the shower. If they stopped, or slowed down, I wouldn’t call. If they didn’t – I would.  Plus, even though I had done my hair, I wanted to shave my legs. (Crazy lady in labor)

I started running the water and A came upstairs. I plugged in my iPod into a dock and told him to make sure all the bags were in one place, ready to go.  I listened to the music and let the water run over my belly while I shouted out “Another one!” and “Ok, it’s over!” to him so that he could continue timing.

Twenty minutes later and I started getting bored in the shower. I thought to myself how lame it was that someday I may have to labor like this at a hospital if they didn’t have tubs available. And what if they didn’t even have showers? Ugh. I mean, the water was great during a contraction, but it only sprayed directly on my belly, and I had to stand, and when I wasn’t having a contraction? I was just bored looking around…standing in a shower.


“What is wrong with me?” I kept thinking. “Why aren’t I more excited about this?! Did I not prepare myself enough and now I am letting anxiety take over? No, I don’t feel anxious, necessarily. Surprised? I mean I am surprised – it is a day before my due date, after all. And I had half convinced myself this baby was going to be as late as Evelyn so that I didn’t keep getting disappointed that each day wasn’t “Baby Day”. Hmmm, maybe that’s it? Maybe I just don’t want to get too excited in case I get to the hospital and they tell me, jk, turn around and go back home you silly laboring Momma – you have hardly progressed at all! Don’t you know what actual labor feels like? Haven’t you given birth before?”

I called out to my husband and had him come into the bathroom. I instructed him to tell me in great detail how excited he was, what he was feeling and what he was most excited about, etc. I told him I was trying to get pumped and giddy, and for some reason there was some sort of mental block.  For those of you that know my husband, you probably realize that this was a large task for him – putting his feelings and emotions into words? Whaddya mean crazy lady?

Bless his heart, he tried to be convincing. I didn’t say anything to him, but I knew he STILL didn’t really believe me. He still didn’t believe that this was happening. Or at least not that it was happening as quickly as necessitated the crazy preparations that I was instructing him in. Things weren’t like last time. I hadn’t thrown up at all, I hadn’t had to go to the bathroom a bajillion times.

I let him off the hook and told him he could stop timing these things. Labor clearly wasn’t stopping and they had been every 3-5 minutes for an hour. It was time to call the midwives. I sent him to place the call and wait for the return one while I toweled myself off and tried to figure out what the heck to wear to the hospital – my laboring clothes were packed (the exact same ones as last time) but it was about 80 degrees colder than it had been when I headed to the hospital with Ev. I didn’t think my flip flops, a short shirt and cami would cut it. I grabbed a pair of yoga pants – non-maternity, which would later prove to be a huge annoyance – an jumped back on the phone with Jennifer, who had just called us back. It was a little after 1pm.

She listed to me through a contraction and said, “You are doing great! Based on the state of your cervix at our last appointment, I am going to go ahead and tell you to come in. We aren’t busy, so even if you aren’t that far along you could probably stay, and from what I am hearing, I think these contractions could very quickly transform into transition.”

I laughed on the phone with her and said, “Ok Jennifer! Whatever you say! We will see you in a bit.”

She also told me that there was a student midwife with her that day and asked if I would mind if she attended my birth with Jennifer to observe. I believe my exact words were, “Sure! Who am I to stand in the way of education?”

Yes, I am aware that I am a crazy person. Who says stuff like that in labor? And with that, I was suddenly excited! At least Jennifer believed me! Even if I wasn’t very far along and had a long day, we were going to the hospital to meet our baby! Huzzah! Progress!

When I told A that she had given us the green light, I could tell that he was still in denial. We gathered our things, in no real rush, A started lugging them out to the car, and Haley popped right up onto the porch! As we joked about how she had made it to the house this time (when she came for Ev’s birth she met us at the hospital), she asked if we would mind if she used our bathroom really quickly before we all left. I inwardly laughed about how Haley and A both have smaller bladders than a hugely pregnant woman.

With that business all wrapped up we loaded into our perspective cars and hit the road. Again, I found myself thankful that I only had to labor in the car a short while. The contractions were much closer together now and were all still centered and pointed right at my cervix – coincidentally RIGHT where the band on my yoga pants rested. Sitting was obnoxious, and since I couldn’t stand in the car I was relieved when we finally parked.

A quick call from Nana.

We made our way into the hospital with all of our gear in town and I had to stop for a couple of contractions. Each time I would reach down and yank the stupid waistband of those pants and hold them out from my abdomen. What was I thinking, putting those damn things on? I joked about how I wasn’t wearing any underwear and hoped I wasn’t giving anyone a show. In between contractions we were all pretty light hearted and happy. We cracked jokes and smiled and laughed with one another and I could tell that my excitement was starting to creep to those around me.

The office assistant took me right into the room that had been prepared for us – the very same one that I had delivered Evelyn in! That was so fun for me! Same room, same tub, same bed. It was just after two.

She explained that Jennifer would come in and check me and we would see what the plan would be from there. From the way we were all in such a jovial mood I could tell the nurses thought we might have a long road ahead of us. To be honest, I did too! I got up, went to the bathroom and waited for Jennifer, hoping to be at 5 cm. That was where I was when I had arrived with Ev, and I thought it would be awesome to already be that far. I didn’t really think I was – after all, no throwing up, and I was still laughing during some of my contractions!

Jennifer waltzed in, introduced the student midwife and got to know the rest of my team. She had my lie back for what would be my first and only cervical check.

“You are a good 6cm, completely effaced and zero station. Your waters are bulging. As soon as they break, we are going to have a baby. Want to get in the tub?”

With such a matter of fact statement that we were indeed having a baby – and sometime soon – A and I looked at each other and burst into giggles.

Things were about to get real.

Evelyn Rae is 20 months old, Liam is 5 weeks old

...and I would like to take this opportunity for another HUGE thank you to my SIL for being with me through both births to capture these photos. 

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