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.