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.

Want to read more birth stories? Check out Birth Without Fear

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.