Apr 21, 2012

Homebirth-A-Go-Go 2012--Part I...

Part II     Part III     Part IV     Part V

I should probably get this down, while it's fairly fresh, and before the true hectic-ness (Hectic-ment? Hecticity??) of 3 kids sets in for reals. The Youngest--she doesn't have an official bloggy-name yet, but I'll start with The Youngest and go from there--made her entrance about as early as one can on a given day, 1203 AM on Friday, April 6.

The plan this time was, again, a homebirth. I was so pleased with how things went with The Littler One that, barring any complications or issues, it was a no-brainer for me to choose the homebirth route again. My midwife from before doesn't travel all the way from Denver to Cheyenne anymore. She said she would for me (because she is just that fantastic), but it turned out a colleague of hers in Fort Collins was starting a new homebirth practice, and I thought "Hey, Fort Collins is that much closer than Denver, if she's a good fit for us this could be good too." The new (to us) midwife is also a CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife, as opposed to a CPM--Certified Professional Midwife--who are credentialed differently and not covered by Tricare, so the CNM-part was kind of important to me), and has been practicing in hospital settings for years but recently made the switch to homebirths.  So we set up a meeting, and got acquainted, and long story short, we went with the new midwife in Ft Collins.

Now, the last time I did such a good job of anticipating a not-early baby that it nearly shocked me when The Littler One came at 39 weeks and in just over 5 hours from start to finish.  This time I did such a terrible job of anticipating a not-early baby that it threw me for a loop when I sped not-so-swiftly past 39 weeks...and then 40.  I began alternating grumpy days and OK-days, and tried to keep up with the tidying and grocery shopping and so on, and finally convinced myself that she had decided to just stay put forever and was never coming out.  Once I determined this, things didn't exactly get cheerful, but they did get more bearable.  When friends/relatives/foreign ambassadors from small republics pulled the old "So, anything yet???"  I could explain that, in fact, there would never be anything because my daughter was just going to stay put, because apparently my womb is quite comfortable and sufficient for long-term sustenance.  Then they were all, "Oh, ha ha Skerrib!" and I felt good about not burning any bridges with overly-snarky responses, because I had some serious snark available had the situation called for it, but I knew that people were just being nice, so I didn't really want to, um, alienate anyone or anything.

By this time it was Thursday April 5--40 weeks and 4 days.  Two other friends due right around the same time had had their babies, and in a deep and secret corner of my brain I thought, "If she were to decide to come out, she would round out the group of 3 quite nicely," followed quickly by "but she's staying in forever. Too bad."

Then I got a call from work.  It turned out I needed to fill out some security paperwork (because I'm very important and official) and I thought "Good, something to keep me occupied," and I figured I should get started on it, just in case she decided to come out, even though she probably never would.  I joked with my boss that maybe having a task to accomplish would start labor, and then realized that just by hoping to start labor I was dooming myself further to perma-pregnancy, and I assured my boss that I should be able to get the paperwork filled out in the next day or two.  So I fed the boyz lunch and got to it.

It's an interesting thing, the subconscious.  I'd been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for months in the afternoons.  They are the laid-back "practice" contractions that don't usually mean much.  In my case it has always been very distinct when actual labor contractions started, so I don't generally pay a whole lot of attention to the BH's.  But you know, by this point I did know that I had them mostly in the afternoon/evenings, that they were never closer than 10 minutes apart, and that by reclining and drinking water they would pretty much subside.  I don't know that I ever consciously told myself or anyone else all of this...but as I was filling out my paperwork I noticed that they kept coming every 10 minutes or so, even though I was drinking water, and they were starting to resemble more of a "wave" pattern, where they would gradually get more intense and then subside.  Suddenly they were different than before.

"Maybe I'll just start keeping track of these," I told myself, "even though she's never coming out."  So starting at 1:41 pm, in between tracking down past residences and references and such, just for grins & giggles, I wrote down start times, and pulled up an online stopwatch.

After an hour or so I texted a few folks.  I told the Cat Daddy "Don't come home yet, but I might be having a few contractions." I told our fabulous neighbors, who had 8 family members--including 5 children--staying with them "I'm not sure yet, but I may be sending the boys over for their slumber party tonite.  And may I please have your middle name and email address for my work paperwork?"  I told Carol (the midwife), "Just so you know, I might be having some contractions.  I'll let you know if things get interesting."  And Carol texted back, "Hmmm, my first-time-mom client might be showing signs of early labor too."

And suddenly I switched mental tactics and thought, "I have GOT to beat the first-time-mom!" (Geez Skerrib, competitive much?!) and I allowed myself to think, "She just might come out after all..."

Part II    Part III    Part IV    Part V