Jump to Waterbirth: a Labor Story Part 2
I have been married for eight years, and spent the better part of six of those years either pregnant or breastfeeding a baby. My mom had her first baby at 29, so growing up I never imagined I’d have three kids under the age of 5 before I turned 30, but whelp, here I am! I delivered Spartacus three weeks early at an army hospital in Texas, and Little Miss was born half an hour after arriving at the hospital, but Scoober Doo #3 made us wait — not long, but compared to the others it felt like forever!
Waiting for Baby
Two weeks until due date…
I finished out my seventh year of teaching, got through graduation and got my grades posted. It was a slog at nine months pregnant, but all I had to do between hitting “Submit” in my gradebook and my June 18 due date was wait for my precious baby #3 to be born.
Given the distance between us and the birth center (at least 25 minutes in easy traffic) and my fast labor with #2, we made plans to stay with my in-laws a few days before the due date. They live about 5 minutes from the birth center, and it would prevent us needing separate accommodations for kiddos if I went into labor in the middle of the night.
Unfortunately, about two weeks before my due date, Hubster ended up in the ER with shortness of breath and extreme abdominal pain. The ER doctor thought it could be an ulcer, but our GP diagnosed a bad gallbladder and referred him to a surgeon.
Gallbladder disease runs in Hubster’s family, but the timing couldn’t have been worse! While it’s a laparoscopic outpatient surgery, the recovery time is about a week — and he was told no driving. My due date was June 18…on June 7 Hubster went in for surgery to remove his gallbladder, and we were praying that I wouldn’t:
- Go into labor DURING his surgery
- Go into labor at any point during the next week when he was still extremely sore/couldn’t drive me
We ended up transferring to my in-laws earlier than expected so my amazing MIL could care for both my kids AND my husband.
One week to go: still waiting
For about three weeks before I actually delivered, people at church and in the grocery story would tell me I’d go early. I heard a lot of “You look so ready!” [to which I gritted-teeth-smiled “Any day!”]
Scoober Doo dropped about three weeks before, so I FELT like I would go early.
Little Miss was born about four days before her due date. Given that knowledge I figured June 15 would be a great day to delivery. June 15 came and went.
Twice during the week before, I had random contractions — I’d begin timing, but within 45 minutes they’d stop. Because the birth center is not staffed 24/7, if I went into labor outside of business hours I would need to call my midwife to meet me there. This means I really didn’t want a false alarm and wanted to be really sure I was in labor, so this made me very paranoid (again, given the speed of my last delivery, when Little Miss was born 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital).
I didn’t get a cervix check until my 39 week appointment. There isn’t much point to doing it earlier (though my midwives offered it) because someone can be dilated for WEEKS before delivery. At 39 weeks I was 3 cm, baby was head down, and my midwife told me that night was a great night to have a baby.
I went to bed.
I woke up.
Still no baby.
Due date: still waiting
My in-laws live on a double cul-de-sac, so my kids and I did laps around that loop three or four times a day, trying to jump start labor. My due date came, and at my 40 week visit my midwife did a membrane sweep, which according to her has 50/50 chance of starting labor…like virtually every other labor “trick” out there.
Hubster’s grandfather was celebrating his 80th birthday — what a great day to have a baby and share a birthday, four generations apart! — but no luck. We did attend his family birthday dinner at a local Amish restaurant (with a fun playground for my kids). Pretty much everyone there was shocked to see me, because…well, I was a blimp. But I was bored out of my mind doing loops waiting for labor to start, so any excuse to get out of the house was worth it (as long as I wasn’t driving by myself or going outside of the ten minute radius to the birth center, as per Hubster’s dictum).
I make note of this because I love remembering what I was doing the night before baby…before Little Miss, Hubster and I were on a date: we went shopping (I bought slippers!) and then had dinner at the Outback with a gift card. Before Spartacus, we binge-watched Downton Abbey waiting to get called in to be induced. Before Scoober Doo, my kids were trying to get me to use the see-saw at the Amish restaurant.
I have never been good at taking “bumpies” (selfies of my bump), but I tried to have a few pictures of me pregnant with this one, because I have very few from my first two pregnancies. By #3 I “popped” a lot sooner.
Spartacus took this one accidentally with my phone at an “art show” for his preschool. I was about 32 weeks pregnant.
Here I was 36 weeks, attending a wedding that I mercifully wasn’t in (though Hubster was – between the two of us I believe we have worked some 12 different bridal parties). This is NOT a maternity dress, and I am thinking I perhaps should not try to wear it as one again.
38 week: an actual bump-selfie! In my classroom, wrapping up the end of the school year. You can see all my final project binders I had to grade before I could be free to…wait to have a baby…
Then finally…the day after my due date…I got to wake up Hubster at 4:30 because it’s time!