There's nothing quite like waking up to contractions in Week 39 to start the day! For ages, I've been trying to get everything organized: birth pool, hose, tap adapter, waterproof sheets, where to put the pool... etc etc etc. My husband, inundated with work despite his very best efforts, has been helping where he can. But we haven't managed a single day of just being READY!
Til this afternoon...
Today at dawn, I woke up with crampy, wavy pain. By 7 a.m., the pains were coming every 16 minutes... then 10... then just 6 or 7. We called our midwife, thinking, 'Holy cow! This is IT!!!!' She seemed to agree and came over by 9.30.
By which time, everything had... well... stopped. Six hours later, there are still no contractions, but it's definitely focused everyone's efforts! As a result, we've managed to rummage a birth pool from a neighbor, complete with various pumps and some hilarious pre-birth stories. As you can see above, if all goes well, baby will come into the world in a room filled with the fragrance of a fresh Christmas tree! (And our son may enjoy an indoor swim once it's all over!)
I'm wondering if my feeling of just not being ready actually stopped labor? They say a woman's emotions can have a dramatic impact on birth - both positive and negative. Well, I'll never know for sure, but I'm grateful for the early warning... as well as for the chance to get ready, physically and emotionally, however last minute!
Having the pool - whether I end up using it or not - has given the whole home birth experience some ritual. When the contractions started coming regularly this morning, I felt deflated that there was no focal point for the birth... no room ready to welcome the new baby. And a bit panicked too, that my husband and I haven't even managed a serious discussion about a name! Or just had a few moments to savor what's coming...
Between work, moving, the sale of a flat, and our 2-year-old... this year and this pregnancy have just whizzed by!
Last time, with my son, I developed pre-eclampsia and the birth became very much about managing a medical emergency rather than the arrival of our first child. Having been chemically induced and hooked up to multiple monitors, I was so mentally strained and physically diminished by the time he was born, that I was barely able to respond.
Today, after all the initial excitement and scurrying, I'm relaxing in our bed... listening to music...having bits of cheese and orange popsicles and feeling relieved that I don't have to rush off anywhere, or be confined to a hospital smelling bed with nothing decent to eat or watch. And both my husband and son can relax at home too.
More importantly, I feel the contractions this morning forced us to focus on the imminence of our baby's arrival... and to push everything else aside, something I'm sure many of us fail to do even when it's really, really important.
We might even manage to agree on a name before baby comes!
Our midwife has gone off to watch her local football team play on a cold, drizzly day with her family... but at least I know when things kick off with me again, she's just a phone call away!
C'mon baby!!! Mama and Papa are as ready as we'll ever be!!!!