The amount of free time I have now with three very dependent babies under the age of 4 is, well, not much. Or at least not enough that on any given day I'd rather write instead of just sit in silence with a coffee in hand for those blissful 10 minutes. But, since I have at least one hand free I better get to it.
It was Thursday, December 5th, exactly 6 days past my due date of November 29. I was home with the kids doing our regular stuff and preparing for Emery's Christmas pageant that night at 7pm. I'd had Braxton Hicks pretty regularly throughout this pregnancy but this day they felt more like very mild, but real, contractions. It wasn't possible to time them but I was having at least two per hour and they'd last maybe 30 seconds at a time. Very mild, cramping, but not painful at all.
I didn't mention any of this to Dustin because we had a couple false starts throughout the previous week. A few days before I was certain labor had started so with high hopes we started filling our tub, but of course, contractions tapered off completely and that ended in lots of frustration and no baby to show for it. I didn't want to be let down again, so I brushed this off and went about the day. We all went to Emery's pageant that night, got the kids to bed around 8:30/9, and just relaxed for a couple hours. During the bustle of the afternoon/evening I don't remember having many contractions so I figured it was just another tease. But, we went to bed around 10 and I woke up about 11:30 unable to sleep because I was having definite real contractions. I figured that this was just the beginning of a long labor so I should try and go back sleep and get a little rest. That didn't work so well. The contractions weren't extremely painful yet, but they were annoying and the excitement that this might, hopefully, be time for baby to come was too much for me to get any real rest.
I woke Dustin up about midnight and told him that I thought this was real this time and that we had better start filling up our tub. We had the tub set up in our basement next to our couch, surrounded by a couple wool blankets, and a laundry basket full of birth supplies close by. Since we don't have shades on the windows Dustin decided to prop pillows up so that our neighbors wouldn't get a peek of what was going on in our basement that night. I changed into some comfier clothes that I had planned to wear for this occasion and we just started timing contractions and preparing for the birth of our baby boy. At that point, about 1:00am, contractions were getting stronger and concentrating into my low back, coming every 3-5 minutes, and lasting about a minute each.
Dustin and I had settled in our bedroom, which is right off of the living room area of the basement, for the past hour. I found it somewhat comfortable to kneel on a pillow while leaning over the bed, resting my head on another pillow. Dustin had his back against the wall and was applying counter pressure into my throbbing low back through each contraction. I'm certain his arms were aching because I would let all my weight fall into his when a contraction would begin.
It was nearly 4am when I felt pressure on my cervix and the weight of baby shift. I needed to push. Dustin and my midwives led me out of the bedroom and to the tub. Very shakily, I got into the tub. Each contraction and push felt like it was taking over my body and felt more like a dream than real life. The pain. I could hear myself make these odd shaky groaning-like noises that I wasn't even aware I was making, nor did I have control over them. The time seemed to stand still through these moments and I could see my team around the tub, smiling, cheering me on. After another push I could feel my baby's head, his hair, lots of hair! Two more pushes and he was out. Slowly Dustin and my midwife pulled him up and out of the water.