This, as the kids say, is Grey's last day of being zero. This time last year I was having a meltdown because I had seen my midwife in the morning, and she had checked things out, and nothing was happening. And baby was turned nearly posterior. My parents were on their way to Utah, driving. I was convinced he was never going to be born, and if he was, it was going to be a three day long labour, that would end in one or both of us barely surviving. I cried to my Mum. I complained to my very patient friend JaNae. All I wanted to do was sit in a chair and be mad or sad or whatever I wanted.
That night I went to the store to grab a few groceries and things in preparation for what I was certain would be my parents' entirely newbornless visit. I got out of my car and saw that the moon was very bright. "Stupid full moon.", I muttered to myself, as I remembered my midwife had told me a few times that they often see a rise in numbers of birthing mamas when the moon is big. I shopped grumpy. I went home grumpy. We watched a little tv, since Jeremy I'm sure knew by that point that a pep talk of any kind would only result in bad things for him.
I had had general pain for a few days, but mostly the kind that felt like the baby was sitting on something he shouldn't have been. I had more of that going on and tried to move around to get him to move. It got worse around midnight. It was sharp, localized, and nothing like contractions at all. I went to bed around 12:30, and spent hours trying to sleep, but mostly just shifting trying to find a spot where the pain would stop. It was like severe menstrual cramps, as well as a little person inside stabbing me with a tiny knife. On about my 3rd trip to bathroom, I sat up (which would have been easier with some kind of pulley system in place), stood up, and sploosh. Wha?
"That's so weird." I thought to myself, "Especially since I'm not having contractions and not in labour." And then, "Dude, WHAT is this baby sitting on? Because it freaking HURTS."
So I'm in the bathroom, and suddenly I'm grabbing the counter, and feeling, just, weird. And then, pain. Lots of pain. My cell was charging on the counter, so I grabbed it and called my midwife. It was about 4:10 am. The conversation went something like,
"Hi Suzanne, it's Wendy. I don't know what's going on but I'm having a lot of pain. I think my water might have broken."
"Sooo, do you think you're in labour?"
"No, I really don't. I know what contractions feel like, and this is not that. I don't know what this is, but I'm having a lot of pain... wait..." (off the phone) "Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow..." (back on) "This just doesn't feel like labour."
"Well I think I'll just come over and check you and see what's going on."
"Okay." between clenched teeth.
At this point I thought, this baby might be coming somehow even though I'm not in labour, and I should wake Jeremy. I woke him by saying, something is going on, I'm in pain, Suzanne's coming, could you please start filling the (birth) pool? He sprung out of bed and ran around speaking his own special delirious dialect that appears when he's not really very awake. For some reason I sat back down on the toilet. No idea why. It seemed reasonable at the time. He starts asking me how to set up the pool. Really? REALLY?
Then I suddenly realized, I wasn't just breathing or moaning through the pain anymore. I heard a sound that I recognized all too well. This slightly strained grunty groany noise. "Wow, that sounded an awful lot like the sounds I make when I'm pushing when I'm in labour." I thought.
I called my midwife back, and hollered something like "This baby is coming, please hurry!!" She was already almost on our street. In between yelling that I couldn't have a baby on the toilet, and that I couldn't move and why aren't you filling the pool, I told Jeremy to go unlock the front door for Suzanne so that she could just come right in.
She hurried in, and checked me. She says, "Oh, yeah." Jeremy says, "What, is she in transition?" Suzanne says, "No. The baby is right there." Jeremy: "WHAT???"
Meanwhile I'm completely freaking out because I have no water. Not to drink, but to sit in. The pool wasn't even half inflated. You have to understand, having had my previous two births in the water, I was convinced I COULD NOT do it outside of the water ever again because it had been so much better in. Jeremy asked if he should fill the tub, I said yes, and then somehow, moments later, they were helping me in, and I was in just-barely-deep-enough-to-give-birth-in-it water. Thank goodness for a freakishly powerful faucet. Suzanne wanted me to face her, I couldn't sit that way. I moved to where I felt better which unfortunately resulted in her having to impale herself on the faucet in order to reach me. I still feel bad about that.
I was pushing. Mightily. Then I remembered he was nearly posterior on last inspection, and got scared. Marley had been posterior, though we didn't know it in advance, and I pushed for a good long while and it was so very painful and difficult. I braced myself for a repeat. Suzanne was checking the baby, and said, "There's the head." I thought to myself, "Well yeah, I would hope 'there's the head' since I feel like someone's holding a blow torch to my nether regions." But what she meant was, the head was out. Which I figured out a moment later when I pushed again and was suddenly holding a tiny, warm little blinking baby boy. I dissolved into tears. I could not believe it. He had turned the right way. He had come early in the morning of the day my parents were set to arrive. It was 4:58 am, and we had a baby. All the thoughts and feelings in those moments cannot be put into mere words.
It was my quickest, craziest labour. It was completely different than my other labours. They were all different from each other, of course, but with the first four, my contractions felt alike, they all started high, and radiated downward, I could feel them throughout my torso. With Graham, it was this weird, sharp pain, all from the waist down, and felt like nothing I recognized as labour. Even weeks later, Suzanne was still having a good laugh about my first phone call to her. "It's not labour. ow, ow, oW, OW, OW!"
This little boy has been a joy and a blessing. He is a lousy sleeper, yes, but he is the most snuggly, affectionate, smiley, content, easy going baby. The kids routinely say things to him like "Good night cutest baby in the world who I will love forever." and "You are SO delicious, Grey." He is just so lovable. And I'm so glad he's here. And I cannot believe it is his last day of being zero. (Happy Birthday tomorrow, bubba.) :)