He came in the middle of the night. A wrestling. A blessing. An opening and marveling the unexpected.
My doula arrived as I tucked in the boys with a story. Contractions were sharp, working, yet easily managed (about fifteen minutes apart, but varying in both duration and spacing). Wise Woman and I walked up our hilly street a couple of times, visiting and enjoying the evening's diminishing of the day's heat.
After a shower, I sat on the exercise ball and enjoyed the Wise Woman's company. Contractions weren't picking up and I felt sleepy, so my doula went home and I tried to sleep.
I had little success. Instead, I felt each wave swell and carry me. The Cowboy heard my humming and asked if I'd like the birth pool filled.Yes! Yes, please. It was minutes until midnight. My body began shaking from the energy.
I retreated to the bathroom, where I called my doula back and relaxed by sitting. There in privacy I cried aloud with gratitude. Wrestling. Feeling. Answering fear. "Thank you, God. Thank you, God. Thank you for bringing my baby." My husband would later chuckle at overhearing my self-coaching: "You can do it. You can do it. Just relax. Yes, you're doing fine." I was also saying this to Baby.
My patience expired and I ventured to see if I could get in the pool. Almost ready. And here came my doula. I got in the eight inches of barely warm water - better than nothing. The tea kettle and pots boiled diligently to add to it, as our hot water tank was already empty.
I leaned against the side and Wise Woman's knees. Soothing. Thought of surfing and held still through the thundering waves. Love is bringing Baby to me. Love is stronger than fear. A single rose graced the counter - a love-gift of hope.
The pool wall sagged almost spilling water. The Cowboy tried to blow it up more. I moved to lean on a different spot. I shifted to a flat squat, trying to engage the approaching wave rather than cringe. I thought, It's late. I want to go to bed. I'm not one to feel awake even with this excitement. I wish he'd wait til morning. And this pool doesn't feel right.
I agreed to Wise Woman's suggestion to try the restroom. I didn't know what to do. I'd had a straightforward plan - same song, second verse. This wasn't the same song.
[to be continued]