Consider reading part one of my birth story first.
Everyone asks, “How long was your labor?” But how does one define labor? Among many wise things, our amazing childbirth educator told us, “You know it was labor when you have a baby in your arms.” I wouldn’t say it took that long to know I was really in labor but it definitely took a while to sink in that, after months of preparing, it was finally time to meet our baby.
On September 6, 2013 at 39 weeks 3 days, I woke up at 11:30 pm with a very mild twinge. I started to doze and woke up again about 20 minutes later. The dozing/waking continued every 15-30 minutes. I hadn’t felt Braxton Hicks contractions during pregnancy but thought that must be what it was. We had taken the dogs for a long walk before bed and I had spent the day weeding. I figured the activity did me in. Besides, as a first time Mama I was fully prepared to go 40+ weeks.
Around 2 am I got tired of tossing and turning and got up to make macaroni and cheese and watch TV. My husband came downstairs and asked, “What clock are you on that you’re eating macaroni and cheese at 2 in the morning?” I simply replied, “The clock that says we might be having a baby soon.” He said, “ok” as he turned to go back to bed. He swung back around and said, “Wait, what?!?” And so it began – wondering and waiting. Waiting and wondering. Could it really be time?
At 7 am I woke my husband up and asked him to bring me to my chiropractor appointment. I still wasn’t sure this was really it but didn’t want to drive in case it was and things progressed while I was out. My chiropractor said the adjustment should slow/stop contractions if it was prodromial labor or possibly speed it up if it was real. By this time they were about 15-20 minutes apart and more regular. It felt wonderful to be adjusted!
We still weren’t convinced this was it but decided to cancel plans for the day and stay close to home. We called our parents to say we wouldn’t be stopping by and went to breakfast instead. The contractions started to become more regular, 10-15 minutes apart, but were still pretty mild. As we ate a delicious breakfast (cinnamon roll french toast) and texted back and forth with our midwife, we couldn’t help but feel the excitement start to build. Could it really be time?
After breakfast we returned home and our midwife stopped by. She wanted to bring her bags and have everything at the house. She also wanted to touch base and see how I was doing. She stayed about an hour. When she left I was sitting on the kitchen floor, swaying a bit, with contractions coming about every 10 minutes. It started to sink in. Carol left her bags. This must really be it.