My mother-in-law, Elaine, arrived on Wednesday. A few days before my due date. Tim's last day of work before the Christmas holidays was on Thursday. And it was Thursday night right around when Tim came home that I started to have contractions...
I was induced with Marisa and obviously had an epidural. With Natalie, my water broke in the middle of the night, which obviously started labour and I only felt a few contractions before receiving my epidural at the hospital. So it was a first for me to have my labour start by feeling contractions first and having to monitor the timing between them. Part of me was saying, this is the real deal, the other part of me was like, nah...
They started around 7:30 pm. I was at the dinner table talking with Elaine all while they were coming every 13 minutes for the first hour. "I think I'm having contractions...These feel different," is what I told Tim to have him start keeping time while changing from his work clothes to his 'I'm heading to the hospital to have a baby' clothes. There was one 20 minute gap between contractions so it made me think that it was just a false alarm. At that big gap Tim and I decided to take a walk in hopes of getting the contractions going again. And sure enough, during our lovely evening walk in the brisk cold London air the contractions were now coming every 8 minutes apart for the second hour.
They were pretty darn strong contractions. As I felt them coming I would stop and hold on to Tim, well, more like squeeze his jacket or his arms until it passed and then keep on walking. At times I wanted to just buckle in my knees and fold over from the pain but I did pretty darn well to stay calm and focused and bear it.
(To back track, in England, I noticed whilst talking with some British women, that most women here have natural births. Hospitals here have birthing pools so you could labour in it or even have your baby in it. My first thought was "Are you kidding me? How am I going to have a baby here? I'm going to die doing this naturally!" But at the same time I didn't want anyone sticking a needle in my spine if they weren't used to giving them out all the time! So dilemma...
I pondered long and hard on my alternatives and come up with a baby plan that felt right.
So, when in Rome...)
So my plan, thanks to my hippy SoCal friends, was to do this labour thing naturally using Hypnobabies and labour in the pool to ease the labour pains and contractions. I was so ready to do this. I prepped for months before D-day and I felt pretty confident moving forward...
Well, when we arrived to the hospital, I was lead into a waiting type room where they checked me to see if I was progressing before admitting me. The nurse said, "You are at a 5!" And as she pulled her hand out my water broke! "Great," I thought, "this baby is coming quickly." When my water broke with Natalie it was only 4 hours later until she was born. I just knew this time would be faster and my midwives have warned me repeatedly that this one would be faster as well.
The nurse in the delivery room upon looking at me when entering the room said, "You are very calm. You don't seem to be in labour." I sorta smiled and said, "Well, I'm trying to stay focused by using Hypnobabies...(yadda, yadda)."
That quickly went out the window...
Of course, the birthing pool wasn't filled even though I called before hand to have them fill it before I arrived and I was just praying it wouldn't take long to fill so I can start concentrating on my Hypnobabies and feel some relief from the contractions in the warm water. But my fears came true.
Another nurse came over and said, "I would not feel good if I didn't know the tub wasn't 100% clean. We are going to clean the tub and it will take about 15-20 minutes."
In the back of my mind I just knew, I wasn't going to make 15-20 minutes. Yet my stubbornness denied it. This wasn't part of my plan! I will be in that pool!
So I was brought to the room next door so I didn't have to breathe in the fumes from the cleaning supplies. I was pretty ticked but all I could do at this point was get through the contractions that were now progressing quite rapidly.
In fact, the next little bit was a complete painful blur. It consisted of contractions one on top of another allowing me only one breathe in between them and me in complete dismay that this was actually happening to me. Natural child birth.
The pain I was feeling was crazy intense. I just held onto Tim's hand moaning and literally screaming, "I CAN'T" or "OH MY GOSH!" or "THIS IS SO PAINFUL!" It must be hard for a man to stand by and watch your wife go crazy suddenly. My dear husband even tried to caress my stomach and I just snapped, "DON'T TOUCH MY TUMMY!" haha Looking back that comment cracks me up. Can't you tell we have young children? I used tummy instead of stomach. ha.
"I'M NOT PUSHING!!!"
"If you push before you are all the way to a 10 there can be swelling....." (I don't remember what else she was saying. Her voice was a muffled blurb.)
"I'M NOT PUSHING!" I repeat over and ever again. And I really wasn't! It was sort of an out of body experience. I had zero control over what was going on.
Then suddenly, Darren's head is crowning. The nurse quickly comes to my side because Darren is literally flying out. Now she is telling me to push. "HOW DO I PUSH??" I yell. Again, I had zero control to stop pushing or to push! I couldn't tell what my body was doing! I was just a bystander going along for the ride. "Put your chin to your chest!" Umm, ok, I nod my head downward and "pop" he was out! I swear I didn't push. Just like that, Darren arrived.
And in that very instant, just like the movies, I felt zero pain. Not because I was in a dreamy state of looking at my new child but because literally once he was out, there was zero pain! It was unreal. Just like the movies.
My dear friend in an email after giving birth asked me, "Does 'ring of fire' ring a bell?" Oh YES! Ring of fire perfectly describes giving birth naturally.
Yet, the feelings of holding a new child are always magical. Darren's very warm body against mine, looking into his eyes for the first time, finally seeing his face I always dreamed about. Tim and I were instantly in love for the 3rd time again.
We are so grateful that the Lord has entrusted us with another sweet spirit and here we go again to adjusting our lives and schedules with our new little addition! We love our baby boy!