April 26th 2012, 9 days past my due date, late evening. I get up to pee and after getting back in bed I still feel wet. Hmm, did I just forget to wipe? Let me see what's happening. I pull out a small mirror and discover a trickle of fluid. Labor has begun. It's 11:50pm.
I have a shower and shave. I am not excited at the thought of giving birth with hairy legs or a hairy vagina. Back in bed to see if I can fall asleep for a couple more hours. 2:30am bed is no longer comfortable. I text Doula Dawn to come over and keep me company. Husband moves to the guest room. Mom moves in the Master with my son Aspen. I pour a packet of geranium bath salts into the hot tub and relax until she arrives.
Dawn arrives and we walk down the street. One foot on the curb, one on the road. And back. We do some side lunges. And then I'm tired. I move to the couch, assume lotus pose, and put in my ear plugs with a guided imagery CD on called Ease Pain. I doze in and out of sleep for over two hours. It's only the second time I have ever done this, so I am still not really confident in the process. Dawn is observing, coaching, and following the flow of my labor. I keep coming out of my haze, hoping that she has some inspiring information on how things are going. Nothing. But, 6am is approaching, my son will be waking up soon, and I need to change things up. I tell Dawn to have a rest and head out to the hot tub.
I pour a packet of chamomile bath salts in and watch the colors of dawn light up the sky. A hummingbird flies over and hovers above me in the tub long enough to mean something. For the first time, the pain becomes overwhelming. I wonder why I am not at the hospital with an epidural. And cry, because it hurts. Dawn appears and comforts me and tells me just to let go.
I suddenly feel that I must get out of the hot tub. Meanwhile, Dawn has already told my husband to prepare the car. I make my way out of the tub, down the stairs, and across the lawn. I have a contraction upon entering the house and lean onto Dawn to hold me. I let her and my husband know that I cannot get changed to go to the hospital by myself. As they are helping me to change, I notice a spot of blood on the floor and my body clenches into a push. Dawn decides to feel for the baby. Sure enough the baby's head is right there. Get some towels she says. I freak out - scream call Dr. Cap (my Ob) and tell him to come over! Call 911! Where am I going to have this baby? Put towels on the sofa. Mom peeks out of the bedroom to see what the hell is going on. Go back signals Dawn. With one ear to the door, she amps of the volume on Octonauts. Hold my butt, it's going to explode! 911, what is your emergency? Ah my wife is pregnant...ah try I'm giving birth. Another contraction/body push and I drop down on my hands and knees. How many weeks pregnant is she? Ah 43...try 41 honey. Next one and her head is out. I suddenly feel calm and time stops. On the next body push I feel every part of her's leaving mine, her shoulders, arms, torso, hips, legs, and feet. I'll never forget it. All right there, on my hands and knees, on the living room floor.
Could someone get me something to lean on? Thanks. Whoa. What just happened? Knock on the door. Cardiff surf patrol...I mean EMTs, heeeey, congratulations...Thanks. Bold and darling Savannah is snuggled up on my belly. We are wrapped in towels. EMTs wait for the cord to stop pulsing and cut it long. Dawn briefly holds Savannah as they put me on the gurney, otherwise she is left on me the whole time. And what seems like forever later, I'm finally taken to the hospital. I birth my placenta on the way and when I say I am in pain, the EMT says sorry ma'am. I am supposed to be watching the baby. What?
They call to see if I need to be admitted to the ER first. You've got to be kidding me. Ok, straight to L&D for my aftercare. Good choice EMTs. Congrats say Dr. Cap on arrival. Thanks. Please keep my placenta for me. I am going to encapsulate it.