I think I left off on Friday night. We weren't sure what my body was doing and I knew I needed to get some rest. I knew I did... I just wish I had really really known. I decided to take half an ambien after trying to fall asleep on my own. (Really hard when you are excited about labor plus your body is contracting plus you have sleep issues.) The half an Ambien worked pretty well until about midnight. I was awake again so I took the other half. Maybe the smartest thing I did all weekend. Sleep was what I needed.
Woke up the next morning probably around 5... I just couldn't make myself sleep any longer. Just so you know, if you have never experienced contractions, they are not comfortable. :) The good thing about them is that they are gradual, they start out uncomfortable, maybe slightly painful and then gradually increase in pain. As everyone was telling me that if I can walk/talk through a contraction then I probably am still in early labor. Thanks. That was somewhat discouraging when I would hear that because I knew I still had a long way to go. Why was my body taking so long? Was she ever going to come out? Would my body open up? I only made it to three cm with Levi when we found out he was breech, they said my cervix was soft so I had a good chance for a VBAC. I kept thinking about all the women who were not able to have successful VBACs and thinking I might be one of them. It's crazy how your mind goes to all of these places of doubt so quickly, so automatically.
We didn't want to just sit around our house all morning so we decided to go to my parents house and visit Levi.
Oh yeah, there's a huge detail here: Cora, my doula had another client who was due on the 8th. I was due on the 5th. Leading up to the birth we talked about the possibility of her needing a backup doula in case we went into labor at the same time. I told her I would love to work with her backup, Amy, I had Amy at La Leche League and ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) and my friend Debbie (our photographer) loved Amy. Amy was supposed to be the midwife for Debbie's home birth about a year ago but happened to be out of town when Debbie went into labor. I remember Debbie saying she was really disappointed Amy didn't get to be there because Debbie loved Amy so much. :)
But really, what are the chances that we would go into labor at the same time, doing the same thing? Apparently, pretty good. :)
Friday night Cora's other client went into labor. It must have been the excitement of the Hogs game, Cora said they were big Hog fans and that she really hoped she wouldn't go into labor that night because they didn't want to have to watch the game on a tiny hospital TV. :) If that says anything. Ha! I love it.
So Saturday morning I kind of got passed on the Amy. This was the providence of God. Let me explain, Amy is training to be a midwife, she has delivered several babies, had 6 natural births of her own, she knows her stuff technically about positioning and such. Looking back, we really had the best of both worlds. Cora is very hands off, we weren't sure if Aria was posterior and we were just going to wait and see. Cora was great though, during the really intense labor, she is a masseuse (I think that's what it is, gives massages and has been to school for it and everything...) and she knew exactly where and how to rub, she just touches you and you relax. It's amazing. But Amy came in vitally when it came to really looking at positioning and calling a spade a spade. Amy had more practice at feeling around on bellies and feeling for exact positioning of the baby. Sorry, I am jumping way ahead of myself here...
Okay, so back at my parents house... We ate breakfast and the guys decided to go for a walk, I wanted to go to help with getting labor going but I was pretty tired after not sleeping tons the night before. So I laid down and slept for about an hour and had a couple of contractions in between. I woke up, we were all sitting in my parents living room and I just began to cry. So many doubts going through my head. I had doubts even before I experienced my first contraction, just about the fact that I would open up at all, but now I had been in labor for 24+ hours, not active labor, but still regular contractions that I had to breathe through, I was tired. I didn't know if I would make it to delivery if delivery would ever happen... The beauty of that moment and being there with them was just the opportunity for mom to pray over me, Ben to hug me and Levi to just come and cuddle. I was able to surrender all over again. I was yet again lifted up. I remember leaving their house and thinking, I'm glad we did that. I'm glad that is part of this birth story.
The next stop was the grocery store. My contractions definitely picked up then because I wasn't able to walk through them. I remember standing next to the oranges and telling Ben to wait a minute so I could breathe.
On the way home I called Amy and she talked my through a lot of my apprehensions. We decided it would be a good idea for her to come over and assess the situation as far as positioning. She came and said I might be at 2 cm. Yep. Been contracting for about 36 hours at this point and had only made it to a two. Her encouragement was that my cervix had come far forward and that those contractions had been doing a lot of work. She was able to even feel inside of me and determine which way Aria's head was facing by feeling for her seam lines in her skull. (In case you don't know, the baby's skull is divided up into three separate plates so that it will fit through the mama's (tiny) birth canal. Crazy, I know.)
Amy knew exactly what to do. She had me get into a position called Deep Knee Chest. I had heard about this and oh how scary/hard it is. Basically, you are putting your face to the floor, supported by your shoulders/chest and knees with your butt in the air. The idea is that gravity will pull the baby's spine down during a contractions. Amy explained that she wanted 20 minutes in this position and at least two or three good contractions. I would have stood on my head if it meant turning the baby. I did it without complaining. I wanted to know if I should do it again. Between the Deep Knee Chest positions we did pelvic rocks. Pelvic rocks are where you get on your hands and knees and rock your pelvis up and down. Every pregnant woman should do pelvic rocks every day. Birth Works recommends that you do a hundred every day. You can break them up, but they want a hundred. I didn't do a hundred every day and look what happened to me :). Haha!
We felt like it would be okay for Amy to go home and tend to her family at that point. (She has six kids, did I mention that?) I would be okay and we were ready for another evening of labor. I would take half and Ambien again and the other half midway through the night.
But before we did that we decided to go out to eat just to take our mind off things and have at least one good hurrah before we entered baby world. We went to this new place called Big Orange in the Promenade. We split a burger, fries and a milkshake. As you can tell, we knew it would be another while and we were getting settled into this whole waiting thing.
I think I'll leave it there. More to come. :)