On December 14th, I had been having cramping all day that came with the contractions (I thought they were the same Braxton Hicks I’d had since October). I just felt ‘off’. About 2:30 I called Husby and asked him to come home from work to just be with me. It was funny, because he was in a meeting, and just before I called his boss had said, “We’re going to put Jared on the spot now…” and then ring ring! =)

We were watching some TV, sitting on the couch together when my water broke. I didn’t know that was what had happened, until I went to the bathroom and thought hmmm… that’s kind of a lot of liquid! I actually got to say, “I think my water broke!” It was 5:30. We called the doctor, who thought we should start heading to the hospital. We threw a few additional things into our hospital bags and hit the road!

By the time we got to the hospital, I wasn’t having regular contractions. But as we were admitted and hanging out in triage, I was getting increasingly uncomfortable. We got to our room about 8pm. My nurse was a Godsend – super practical and encouraging and professional. I loved her. Right away she asked about pain management. She laid out my options, and we decided she would not offer me drugs, but would give them to me if I asked. My hope was to deliver without medicine.

By 9:00 I was in ‘active labor’, having regular painful contractions. They came in waves, and I clung to Husby and the side of the bed.

I was on a monitor for quite a few hours because Sam’s heartbeat wasn’t where they wanted it to be. My nurse kept saying, “It’s good, but we’re going for awesome.” =) It never quite got to awesome but I desperately wanted to get out of the bed and walk around. Finally the nurse was satisfied, and I got up.

We walked, tried the birth ball, and the tub. By now the contractions were really painful, and closer together. When I got in the tub I was on all fours. There was no way I could be on my back – the second I rolled to it the pain increased. The birth ball helped, and standing against Husby was ok too. Really, I remember thinking that there was NO comfortable position for me to be in. At some point I climbed back into bed and stayed on my side, hugging the railing and Husby.

I was so ‘into myself’ that for most of the night I had my eyes closed, opening them only to look at my focal points – Husby, and Sam’s ultrasound picture with a tiny stocking ornament attached to it. The ornament had two big stockings, and a teeny third stocking that read ‘and baby makes three!’ =) Husby kept saying, “That stocking is what you’re working for!” We tried to bring some Christmas with us, and the entire night had a DVD of a fireplace with piano Christmas music playing! That fireplace was an awesome focal point for me as well!

Around 2:00, my body really wanted to push. But I still had a centimeter of cervix that was hanging on, and they didn’t want me to push yet. I have never experienced anything like that before – fighting and focusing against what my body is instinctually doing. I was shuddering with the impulse and breathing (more like grunting!) to control myself. At this point, I was running totally and completely on instinct. I felt primal, connected to Eve and all her daughters.

–to be continued–


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