Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. --John Milton

Monday, February 23, 2015

Our Christmas Gift (the Sunrise)

I'm almost dozing off at 10:30 pm when a sharp contraction snaps me awake. I'm slightly nauseous and get a snack. Contractions continue too strong to sleep until midnight, when the Cowboy offers to watch a show with me. We watch an episode of Once, with the Disney characters in it. Well, just when I think it's time to call the doula, contractions peter out, and we go back to bed.

Contractions pick up at 5 am, so I text my friend. Before she arrives about 7, contractions are slowing to nothing again. Now I'm discouraged. She encourages me to take a walk with her.

The winter morning is crisp and charcoal gray. Up the silent street we walk. Already mild contractions return. Chattering away, I feel loved and at ease - discouragement forgotten with the breaking dawn.

We crest the hill. Before us, pastel purple mountains flaked with pink. I turn - glorious orange and pink floods over the South Mountains.

Contractions are back and I'm hungry for breakfast. Full of energy and hope, I cook breakfast and sit down with my husband, son, and dear friend.

It's 8:00. For a leisurely breakfast hour, solid contractions pressure every five minutes. Then just after 9, I'm reminded what contractions really feel like. I sit on the birth ball in front of a sunbathed window and close my eyes. Okay, these aren't going away. I call my doula.




Monday, February 16, 2015

Our Christmas Gift (Water Breaks)

3:43 AM Wednesday, I arouse to a leaking sensation. I hustle to the toilet where I know my water has broken. I assume that's most of it. (catch up on the story here)

I settle on the couch with a bowl of cereal - then hop up and hurry to the bathroom, leaving a trail.

I don't want my husband's experience with this birth to start with cleaning up blood. So I try to plug the flow to deal with the mess, but it's just too much - I call for his help.

He insists on cleaning it up and letting me shower. I'm gratefully amazed as he calmly mops the floor. The shower feels good.

4:35, it's back to sleep. Crampy contractions occasionally wake me.

7:40, I'm up for the day with no notable contractions. But surely it will all happen soon, right? The regular clear leakage continues, but the contractions are weak and random.

I call a dear friend to ascertain if she's able to help out in Mom's place. Even though I've caught her on an extra busy week, she wants to come. I promise to text her.

Bedtime comes without any regular contractions. I sigh and tuck in.







Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Our Christmas Gift (Indication by the Mucus Plug)

A few mild contractions stir me from a sound sleep Tuesday. (Read the previous part of the story here). When I go to pee, I notice a light, "bloody show" and recognize that I've lost the mucus plug.

Oh my, this baby really is going to come earlier than I guessed.

10:20 brings a mild contraction. I expect things will progress faster than last time. So I call my doula to update her that I expect baby to come this week - maybe Thursday morning or even earlier.

I call my husband to share my expectation. I ask him to cancel our Wednesday commitment.

At 2:05, I note that I completely lose the tacky mucus plug.

In the evening while sitting on the couch, I feel pressure on my cervix that is not a contraction. Baby wiggles a lot and drops snugly into place.

My sister sits criss-cross on the rug, having played all day with the two-year-old, while I had cleaned the bathrooms and floors. House is clean, baby is at the gate - let's do this.

The Cowboy says he was distracted thinking of me all day.





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Monday, February 2, 2015

Our Christmas Gift (A Little Early)

Crampy contractions interrupt my sleep and enter my dreams throughout the night. After 5 Tuesday morning, I lay awake.

Yes, I'm ready for this baby, but not yet ready. I'm ready for him to come next week, after Mom arrives Saturday, after a few errands in town.

I enter a Jacob-wrestle with God. Will I lean in, trust - or will I tense, fear? I track contractions: 5:36, 5:48, 6:01. "Yes," I say. "Yes."

Let go. Lean in.

The errands might not get done. I believe if baby comes before Mom get's here, the Lord will - is - providing all we need for the birth.

I relax and enjoy this for the gift it is.

I sleep soundly until 7:30.