I started having contractions at 3:52 this morning. Strong enough to keep me awake. They continued through the morning. They were sporadic but definitely noticeable. We called Sharon at 3 PM just to let her know what was happening. I noticed a bloody show about 5 PM. I realize now, that this is really it. So I call my mom in Tallahassee, and let her know that is official and she can go ahead and come. She says that the baby will probably be born about 10 or 11 tonight. Hmm, how does she know this? I wonder to myself.
I am so hungry and I try to eat a sandwich. Its very strange to be so hungry and only be able to eat about one-third of a sandwich!
I am starting to get more uncomfortable with the contractions. So John fixes me a nice, warm bath. I manage each contraction by sponging warm water over my tummy. It's around 6 PM and my contractions are between10-15 minutes apart now. We call Sharon to give her another bulletin.
Around 7:35 they speed up to 10 minutes apart. I'm still in the tub still quite relaxed. I'm listening to "Celtic Lullabies". It is very soothing and good to welcome a new baby. It's now 8pm and John calls Sharon to let her know that we are closing in on the home stretch, and would appreciate her company. She says she will eat, call a friend and then be over in about and hour and a half.
I ask John if he could please stay with me now, and stop running back into the bedroom to catch pieces of his favorite TV program. Too bad our commercials breaks are not synchronized! He very sweetly stays and begins to help me pour water over my tummy during each contraction. He is the perfect coach. He knows I do not like a lot of chatter during my labor, just gentle and loving support.
It is 8:30 now, and my mom has just arrived. What timing! The movie that the children were watching has just ended and it's their bedtime. I'm so relieved when I hear her say hello, and know that she that she will be here to help us greet our new arrival! It is now 9:30 and Sharon is coming through the door. Do you know what this means? I can now have my baby! This is it! The real thing! Like Coca-Cola! It is a great comfort to hear her voice and see her smile.
Some of these contractions are right on top of each other. I just keep thinking to myself: "There can be no baby without this contraction. Each one of these brings my baby closer to me."
It's about 10pm now, and I'm feeling that I need to do something different. We have kept a good routine going of pouring water, and replacing cold water with warm every 10 minutes or so. I have to stand up. I know this routine will not last very long. Transition has a way of keeping you moving! I can really feel those bones stretching out of the way. I cannot stay in here for even 1 more contraction. As I start to get out of the tub, I hug John so hard I feel him start to fall. "Hang in there Daddy!" I quickly grab my towel and get into the bedroom before the next contraction. When it gets this close, I feel like a cat trying to find that perfect place to have her babies.
I get onto my hands and knees. I feel like I could start pushing now, so I try it, but it doesn't offer any relief. Then a half-squat position, but still no relief. I get back onto the bed and start to feel that I'm more effective in my efforts. It is a relief mentally to push, but not physically. I can tell by the slight burning, that baby will be born real soon. In between contractions, I tell Sharon that this is the best part, then I get back to work. I don't recall ever talking calmly to anyone at this point before! I can't seem to get the leverage I need. Sharon tells me to grab onto a towel she is holding, and to not forget to tuck my chin as I push. The towel method works great! I can't believe what a difference this makes! I hope I don't pull Sharon's arms out of joint! I know though if she says its ok, then I will give it all I've got! Call your chiropractor Sharon! Within 10 or 15 minutes after starting the towel routine, I feel my baby's head emerging. It's almost over. I can't believe it! God did give me a redeeming birth! I believed He would, but seeing it actually happen is really awesome! The scripture that I have held onto, has become reality. Psalms 84:11-12 No good thing will He withhold to them that walk uprightly.
How could anyone be so blasé about birth? It's such a privilege and honor to be able to bring new life into the world! May we never take it for granted. My baby was born Anterior (what a concept!) with no complications. Not even a tear. ( Tear as in rrrrriipp!)
God is so good. His grace is sufficient. I had a wonderful birth, and to think, I didn't have to crawl down the hall! Inconceivable!
Caroline means "Song of Joy". Grace means "God's Blessing". No other name would have fit her!