Saturday, January 2, 2010
It was Wednesday now, December 16. I visited my midwife for what would be the last time. Piper played merrily with the daughter while Brandy examined me.
Four centimeters dilated; seventy percent effaced.
As I rolled off the table, the contractions grew stronger. I called my mom on my way to Pete's office to ask her what the numbers meant. I hadn't been paying attention.
We chatted and laughed with Pete's boss and coworkers; Piper wanted the candy in the office lobby. I met a girl I'd been meaning to meet. She wants to assist me if I shoot any weddings down here. She was very sweet. Pete told me later she'd opened up more with me than he'd seen her since she'd come to work two months ago.
I was huge. I felt huge.
We went home. We were in bed by nine or so. I woke around 2:00 a.m. with a contraction. I was hungry. The baby wouldn't let me go back to sleep.
I didn't bother waking Pete. I went to the kitchen, ate, caught up on blogs, wrote a new post about something I'd noticed, something about Jesus, about not being ready, about how He wasn't always ready, but love...
Finally, I went into the living room to read in Christmas-tree light. I'd been working on a book for a while; it was time to finish. I'd been having contractions, but the pain wasn't intense.
I tried not to notice them. The squeezing was so familiar by now it was almost comforting.
At 4:55 a.m., three pages from the end of my book, just as I was dropping into that pleasant almost-get-to-close-my-eyes drowsy that meant I would sleep again soon, a long, strong contraction ended with a "pop."
There was an exclamation point on that "pop!"
I laughed, thinking that Bredon had just kicked against the contraction - he did that a lot. But there was a sudden gush of fluid, and I was up with a speed I'd been missing for the last three months or so, bursting through the door of our bedroom into the jack-and-jill bath with a "Pete, my water just broke!" on the way through.
While we were on the phone with Brandy, Piper woke, disoriented, sensing the tension.
I was shaking. My mind was racing. Was something wrong? Piper's water hadn't broken until about 30 minutes before she was born. My contractions were still ten minutes apart. Had I done something to cause my water to break? Other women started their labors like this all the time. It wasn't so unusual. Would this make the labor harder?
My sister took Piper back to bed with her while we resettled on the couch to wait for Brandy, to wait for the labor. I was so grateful to be home. I couldn't imagine having to go to a hospital, not now. I needed this safe.
Within 20 minutes, the contractions were a solid 4-5 minutes apart.
(Image © Informal Moments Photography)