For 9 months I planned to have a March baby. We have had children born in December, January, February and April. I planned for Elsie to come in March and never considered the possibility of going a week late and having her in April, not to mention being born on April Fool's Day. So I was delighted when labor started in the wee hours of morning on March 31. I stayed up late visiting with my friend Jody, who by the way was to catch a plane home on the 31st. This was her second flight booked for home. She decided to miss her earlier flight back and extend her trip by a few days in hopes this Carel baby would make his/her appearance. So my first contraction was at 1:09 am, minutes after going to bed for the night...or so I thought. They were sporadic but kept coming, some 8 minutes apart, some 12. I wasn't so convinced it was the real thing. I text this message to my midwife at 3:15am, "Been contracting since 1am. 8 to 12 minutes apart. Were 30 sec long. Now 45 sec long. All while laying on left side in bed. Haven't gotten up to walk yet. How close do they have to be before I know it's true labor?". I know this is baby #5, but my water broke before labor ever started with 3 of my babies. You know it's the real deal then. I didn't hear from Rene'e but decided not to call her yet. I woke Ed and asked him to walk with me. Walking made the contractions come every 5 minutes but they weren't as strong. I was confused. I called Rene'e at 4:30 am and explained to her what was going on. I told her I was fine, that the contractions weren't that hard yet but wanted to give her a heads up. She decided it would be wisdom to head in my direction since she is over an hour's drive away. I also woke Jody, called my friend Vicki who had a very important role and my friend Melinda who was to photograph the moments of the day and of course the birth.
Rene'e, the world's most awesome midwife, arrived at 6:15 am. She checked on the baby, then checked my cervix. I was dilated to a 7!!! Woo hoooooo!!! I couldn't believe I had gotten so far with such little effort. Unfortunately my blood pressure was elevated to a level she was concerned about. I had to stay in bed to labor.
After one hour of laboring in bed, Rene'e checked me again...still a 7. Oh NO, I was NOT going to take 5 hours to get to a 10! At that point I asked Rene’e if I could go for a walk to move things along. BTW, remember Jody had a plane to catch and this was going to be a March baby. Rene'e had agreed to the walk under one condition, we had to be back in ten minutes.
Our 7:30 am walk was beautiful. The temperature was perfect and our part of Texas full of color. About half way up the road, we realized we were being followed by Melinda who was hiding amongst the trees like a paparazzi.
The walking increased the strength of my contractions making me realize it wouldn't be long before my baby was in my arms.
Melinda stopped us in the front yard for a quick smile for the camera. She told me to look natural. Seriously? Natural? Okay, everything else about this labor is natural. So this is the "natural" look of a 41 week pregnant mama who hasn't slept a wink and been laboring for 6 hours. No photo shopping the bags under these eyes.