Well, it’s been one week.
How is that possible?
Here she lies next to me, making those little sounds. Those little sounds that you only get to enjoy for a few weeks out of your entire life as a mother.
Deep breath- don’t cry.
I never imagined a 5th baby could be late.
I read the stories of course but thought, Oh that’s just ridiculous.
All my kids have been on their due date of a couple days before.
My last one was 11 days early so I just thought naturally of course…
At 39 weeks I was 3 cms just as I had thought, but hadn’t really felt as much of that “grinding” as I should have. You know, that feeling like they are doing a breakdancing head spin on your cervix??? And I hadn’t had hardly any of those nerve shoots down the inner thigh… you know, the ones that make you jump in public, that you can’t quite describe? I call them zingers.
So, I started to work for it. Walking like CRAZY with the kids. Dance parties EVERY night with them after dinner. Then came 40 weeks and still no baby. But oh! The pressure! I thought she was going to fall out if I moved wrong. My walk began to look like I was riding a horse.
It was not pretty.
Every day I thought – this is it.
I country danced with the kids. I Lord-of-the-Danced with the kids (they are obsessed) I booty danced with… well, not with the kids.
Tues-day, I surprised the kids and took them to the theater to see Planes (don’t bother).
Earning BEST-MOM-EVER status.
Discomfort melt down.
Wednes-day. Took them into town for new coloring markers at Target.
Earning Certifiably Crazy status.
Wednes-afternoon – got the house COMPLETELY picked up. All my ducks in a row.
Discomfort melt down.
And that was the straw that broke the camels back.
I was SO done.
I wanted my baby.
Thursday morning I woke up at 5:05 and crept downstairs for my secret,
One mini bottle of vodka.
2-3 tablespoons of castor oil.
6-8 oz orange juice.
Pray to not barf.
Back to bed.
At 6:30 I woke up with that cramp.
Not a braxton hicks, but the real one I had been waiting for! Julien (still needy sometimes) nursed for about 5 minutes and I knew we were in business. I sent him downstairs, rid myself of the effects of the castor oil (TMI – But come on, it’s a birth story – the whole thing is TMI)
and went back to sleep for an hour.
At 7:45 I woke up.
Hollered for Joel to call my Mom and get her on her way (she watches the kids downstairs for us, but she lives an hour away). Told him to call the midwife.
I got up, thru on a skirt and my favorite Minnie Mouse t-shirt and a little makeup just to feel human (cause that matters) and marched downstairs, announced to the family,
“I am going to walk the driveway!”
to the delight of my kids who began to celebrate the arrival of their baby!
Oh, and walk I did.
Back and forth.
Up and down.
Taking no mercy on myself.
For the first little bit I wasn’t really contracting…
and I just really pushed myself but then they kicked in.
Marching thru contractions with that awkward, there’s-a-head-in-my-crotch gate.
I am Parisienne Farmgirl.
Hear me roar.
I had to rejoice.
It was beautiful out.
God had answered my prayers again – I always pray I will have my babies in daylight… pain is so much worse for me mentally at night.
There were no neighbors walking by with their dogs.
No one to wave to.
I was alone.
Well, not quite.
The chickens and the goats were cracking me up.
Everytime I would walk by they would run (in their run/pen) to follow me.
Then when I would walk back the other way they would follow in that direction.
Like an old Atari video game.
Soon children came out to run and play with kittens.
Soon I waved for Joel.
No more contractions on my own.
I needed him to hold on to.
I think I walked out there the better part of an hour during which my Mom showed up – perfect timing. Couldn’t focus on anyone else now. Then… there was that one contraction where I said to Joel that as much as I didn’t want to, we had better head upstairs.
Once we got upstairs things slowed down a bit.
Just for a minute but I had two more contractions where I “heard myself” and I knew we were rockin.
With the one we were in the bathroom and I looked at Joel and said, “Where IS she?”
Not REALLY wanting another bathroom delivery!
Finally after what seemed like an eternity… I only later found out it was about 15 minutes from the time I came in from outside to the time the midwife and her two helpers arrived.
I was back in the bathroom after walking up and down our little hallway and had another doozy. She called from the hallway that she needed to “check me” after hearing those sounds, you know, that slight grunt at the end of the contraction, I don’t blame her.
I told Joel, like I always do (especially after the blank-hole that attended my first birth — I am still bitter.) that if it was “bad news” as far as my dilation, I didn’t want to know. Nothing is more defeating than going thru all that pain then to have someone tell you that you haven’t progressed. But, I was at SEVEN!!!
And she told me I wasn’t quite ready to push but that
I could a bit if that would help me manage the pain.
“So, I am not going to be doing this ’til 4 in the afternoon?” I desperately asked.
“Oh, honey, You’re gonna be holding this baby at lunch time.”
“That’s all I needed to know. I am just going to sit here and cry now.”
And wept I did. Like I seem to always do in labor.
Then the transition.
One after another.
Me crying that I just wanted to sleep.
Me confused and walking back and forth from the bathroom to my bedside.
Walking, swaying. Not knowing where to go… what to do.
Then this lady, who I had never met before hopped up on the bed across from me and told me “how great I was doing” and reminded me to breathe out and down to the baby… channel the air… use it. Who the hell was she?
What the hell was she doing on my bed?
Her voice grated against me like sandpaper.
Didn’t she know I’ve done this before…
I almost slapped her.
But then I looked up, I knew she was right.
If you’ve ever helped a woman in labor before there gets that point for some where they need a little firm re-direction. I obeyed. In thru the nose, out thru the mouth, down toward the baby,
lowering my tones…
Then, that feeling,
That INCREDIBLE feeling that I will never feel again.
As crazy as it sounds, despite what I was saying aloud my heart was saying,
“Remember this. This is birth. This is your baby coming down to meet you. In however many years God blesses you with, remember this feeling of your baby… inches from your world.”
It was an eternity.
It was a second.
As I felt her finally break thru the cervix.
“Here she comes!” I cried.
Two pushes and her head came out.
I was SO relieved I flopped forward on the bed and then realized she wasn’t out.
Everyone telling me to hold on.
I HATE THAT!
Screw you guys, I thought.
My contractions had stopped so I took a deep breath and pushed.
That amazing feeling of the shoulder pop.
That second/eternity ’til you feel “the slither” – and you know it’s over.
“Thank you Jesus” I must have said a hundred times.
“It’s over.” A hundred more.
They untangled her (she was looped around her neck, shoulder, legs… no wonder they were telling me to hold on) and handed her to me.
And that was that.
The unexpected little one.
The one that rocked my world the morning after we moved to the farm.
I can still feel the world spinning, I’ll never forget how I almost fainted.
I’ll also never forget the tears I shed.
Thinking I was done having babies.
I struggled for so long with it.
I cried so many nights praying that God would take away the desire or else…
I guess He chose the “else”.
Thank you Father for this new, “last time” I hold in my arms.
How in heavens name you see me… so fallen… fit to raise another child of Yours…