This week, we have a break from all our outside classes. I was really excited thinking maybe this would be the week I'd have the baby without the distractions of homework and pack in lunches and having to be anywhere at a specified time (my favorite).
On Saturday, it seemed like the baby might be amenable to that plan too. In the late morning I started feeling some strong contractions, back pain, and general irritation/distracted. I took a warm shower to see if it might slow down. Shane asked if I'd like to go look at cars. I said
"No. I don't want to be looking at cars when I go into active labor!"
He asked if I would like him to go look at cars.
I said I didn't want him to be out looking at cars when I went into active labor.
The shower didn't stop the contractions. Every labor has started out in earnest ( and with the brief interlude in the middle of Malachi's delivery) has been pretty straight forward. No false stops and starts for days on end. So we were pretty sure this was it. The 15th. I liked that. And we cancelled our re-re-scheduled dinner plans with friends. Who were going to cancel as well as the wife was not well.
I called my mom, who was out of town, and she advised I call the midwife now. Number 6 might progress sooner than I thought. Which was a happy thought. Maybe before dinner, I hoped. So I made the necessary calls. Got really annoyed with the midwife answering service ( And the reason for your call? Can you spell your last name? If you don't hear back in 10 min call us back and we'll do this again.)
The contractions were 8-9-10 min apart. Kateri was happily writing them down for me while I lay in bed with a hot water bottle on my back. Shane suggested I start the energy chews I'd gotten from the sporting store, and remembering how awful I felt running out of steam with Malachi, I did. The midwife finally called and we discussed what I'd like her to bring ( namely the birth stool, which she'd send the assistant to fetch) and she told me to call back when they started getting closer. Her direct number so I could bypass the question and answer part again.
Really, who wants to be interrogated while in the throes of labor? Ok. So, I wasn't exactly there. But I could have been.
Shane's parents and my sister arrived. I got antsy and decided I wanted to get up and walk, so I did. Then I ate. Then I took a nap. Then the smells of banana bread and slowcooked meat started wafting up the stairs and I eventually came down to eat again with everyone else. The contractions continued to slow and we made preparations for bed. Kateri already had a sleeping arrangement worked out for her and Malachi and Tirzah. My in-laws went home to sleep. Tirzah baked a big pan of baked oatmeal for the next morning, or whenever we needed it, and around 12:00 we all went to bed. At 12:30 I felt a few more strong contractions again and was feeling really annoyed with our kids preferred arrival times. Why can't it ever be AFTER a full nights sleep?
But in the end it got quiet and we all slept. All night. In the morning Shane and I got up and had coffee together, which felt really cozy. My sister joined us and we discussed plans/options for the day. The kids came down, Kateri was especially relieved she had not missed anything. We ate oatmeal. Second cups of coffee. My in-laws came over. We went for a walk in the freezing cold rain and wind, partly to test for labor starts and to wear Malachi out. Neither was successful so we carried on like a normal day. My sister went home to her family. We continued our name search, adding some new ones and crossing others off the list. For the last time.
I got an email from the homeschool group asking for grade numbers for the year book. Apparently, lots of kids were missing their grade numbers so the list was quite long and I was excited to see all the new names to look over. There were some good ones definitely worth considering, though we are still not done.
Bedtime went somewhat smoothly, though I think Malachi was missing having Auntie Tirzah to snuggle. And we slept all night. Again.
The next day Shane went to work for a bit. I sat and fiddled my fingers. Not really. I had the kids do some housework and I tried brainstorming about meals post-baby. I didn't get very far. But I did come up with some other things I might want for labor: like a birthing ball. I have never used one but am willing to try anything. And the kids would enjoy a new toy if it didn't get used anyway. So I set out to get one. Then I returned it and got a bigger one. Then I went to a different store to get an even bigger one. And today I returned the middle sized one. I felt a little like Goldilocks but am glad I persisted and am happy with the final one(75 cm size). My father-in-law took the big boys out to lunch and then to the sporting store to get me some more energy bites, as I had eaten most of the ones I had already purchased. I got more drinks and snacks, did more laundry, my mother-in-law took Kateri and Muffin to their house and when Shane got home we went out to look at cars.
Which is not an activity ever to be attempted if you are really in labor. Which I was not. But felt just close enough to it to have very little patience for the whole,
"We don't put prices on ANYHING. Well, I cant really give you a ball park price until we pencil it all up. And with delivery fee I can't be certain it won't change. So whenever you are ready. These are really hard to get right now. I might be able to intercept a delivery to another dealership, but I might have to shoot someone in the process."
So after a very fruitless and non-helpful visit, where all my car-dealership pre-conceived ideas were proven true, but where at least I was able to see how much self control I could assert in not throttling the man to make him actually say something helpful, we decided to head down to a restaurant near Shane's office he's been want to take me to. Only to find they were closed for remodeling.
On the way home I found myself breathing through a particularly strong contraction and was relieved to be able to get my cozy jammies on and just wait. Although the freshly made fritters Shane described sounded really tasty. I said that should be our first outing with the new baby as I will be able to eat a full meal (plus lots of extras) once there is more room and the nursing appetite gets going. So now we wait.
I am certain that all the pre-work is going to have an effect and it will be the easiest, fastest labor ever. It was a good practice run, I got some extra foot rubs and lots of tasty treats which we are still enjoying, and the midwife who attended the last two births was able to get back from a trip. Which may be what the baby, or I, have been secretly waiting for.
So all is good.