The Night Before (Friday night)
On Friday night, I was hanging out at home and was really in the mood to go out
dancing but knew that wouldn’t be safe so I went online and downloaded all of my
favorite booty shaking songs (Apple Bottom Jeans, Hips Don’t Lie, etc) and danced all
over the house while I cleaned.

Contractions Start (& how it feels and cool things to do for them)
The next morning, I woke with contractions coming every 5-8ish minutes and lasting
about a min each starting at 8:45am (Sat). I treated them like my usual Braxton Hicks
and went inward for them and did my deep breathing and Kripalu through them. I sort of got into a high from all this, actually! It didn’t really hurt so much as felt like achy exercised muscles? You know, like that good hurt? And I quickly learned that the light massage by Ryan – first across the base of my belly, then on my hips, then across my back as the contraction reached the end – it feels like it erases a good bit of the ache!
Freaking awesome! Friends came to pick up our dog Pixie to watch her until Rowan
came, which was so very helpful!

TBC Visit #1 – noonish Sat
Anyway, so I just spent Saturday going through contractions. When they started getting
more intense, I figured maybe I was about ready and went to the Birth Center (TBC) to
see Katie and Colleen. They gave me a look and I was quite disappointed to hear I was
only 3 cm dialated and may not pop until tomorrow! Colleen gave me a good sweep,
though, to help me along. They were so encouraging and supportive! Then home we

Back at Home
Back at home, we chowed down on chicken parm and pizza. Delicious and really kept
my energy up! Ryan kept on giving me massages through contractions for many hours
until they were all under 5 min – then we decided to brave the snow and go back to

TBC Visit #2 (progress?) – evening Sat
I was a lot less interactive and felt even more high from the breathing and all. Sadly,
Katie and Colleen told me I was only a big 3cm at that point! Argh! I was having a little
more trouble peeing at this point – I noticed I had to laugh to do it. (Perhaps I should
have mentioned this to the midwives…)

Back Home Again (with helper angels)
My sister and Mom came over to help and took care of me in shifts – finally allowing
Ryan some sleep! I didn’t sleep much as I had it in my head I had to work to
keep contractions coming so I could be done with it! By late morning, though, the
contractions became more irregular and I was really getting run down by exhaustion so I
called TBC for help.

TBC Visit #3 (yay for morphine and sleep!) – 11am Sun

I talked to midwife Sarah and she had come me in and gave me morphine to sleep
(yay!!!) and also gave me a little water through the morphine tap because I was really
dehydrated after all that work! I slept for 4 hrs! I felt much better after that and was
refreshed enough to go home and get back to it in good spirits. Especially since I went
from 3cm to 4 cm just while sleeping!

Back Home & Resting More – 4pm Sun
I let myself sleep some in between the contractions now. When I slept, they would be
as much as 11 min apart. I felt much better – sleep is good!

Little Breakdown (endless cramps!)
But then there was a change at 10pmish (Sun) – the cramping didn’t stop in between
my contractions so I couldn’t rest or relax between them. I didn’t mind the contractions
much when I could rest in between but without the rest and the pain ramping up – I
called TBC in tears! If I couldn’t get a rest in between, if this was how it’d be for a whole
night, I was done! And I didn’t want to come in and hear I hadn’t progressed either – I
just couldn’t hear that! Nicole, now on call, was very sweet and talked me down from
my panic and convinced me to come in so she could troubleshoot.

TBC Visit #4 (the last visit!) – 11pmish Sun
When I arrived a new pain in the creases of my thighs & hips hit really hard. I
forced myself to let her check me despite the pain and learned 1) Rowan had turned
backwards so I was feeling back labor (hense the hip crease pain) and 2) my bladder
wasn’t emptying properly and I had a freaking LITER (more than that even) in me!! (this
was the cramping in between the contractions, understandably!) Nicole quickly was
able to fix both problems by putting me in the baby-turning position and cathetering me.
Oh did it feel amazing to have both problems fixed so quickly! My contractions went
back to being those familiar old ones that I was rather comfortable with.

Fixing my bladder with the catheter made my contractions more regular. Plus I was at
6cm and was now officially in “hard labor” – AND Nicole could break my water to get
things moving forward! Yay!!! It was about 1:30am on Mon at this point and we called
the rest of the family to come on in, finally!!!

Filling the Tub and Good Contractions! (1:30am Monday)
Oh, it was so good to look over to my side and see her start filling up the waterbirth tub,
finally, after all those visits! I happily went back into my contractions and sat on a chair
to really help them work. They came on good and strong but it was fine since I had
Michelle and Mom massaging me at the same time. The contractions weren’t so bad
at all and it was wonderful to see us moving fast forward. I was sitting in the tub in no
time!! And oh, was it nice and comfortable!

I was quickly ready to push and started pushing. Michelle, Ryan, Mom, midwife Nicole,
nurse Peggy and nurse Charlotte were all surrounding the tub telling me it was working, telling me I was getting closer, basically they were my big cheering squad! So sweet!

And I so needed to hear that I was progressing because this part took lots of effort
and I needed to not back off when that ring of fire came! I basically told myself before
each contractions that THIS was the one where he’d come out! I knew that this way I
wouldn’t back off at all!

I remember when the fire part started because I started saying “ow ow ow!!”. It was ok
though, it was going to end soon! It did hurt a lot because I knew this was all bringing
us to the end! Soon I could feel his head – a full head of brown hair! Then someone
said “Look, Ryan’s getting ready to catch him! One more push!” And then, with one
push for the head and next for the body, he was out and Ryan put him on my chest. I
remember feeling very happy and ready to teach him to breastfeed! I’ve also heard
word that Michelle and Mom were in tears when Ro came out. 🙂 So sweet…

Rowan was born 3:45am on Monday 2/1/2010 and was 8 lbs, 3 oz and 20.5 inches.
Very healthy and happy new baby!