It was like I was a plane, taxiing aimlessly around the airport, unable to get clearance for take-off. I guess you could say I got sent back to the gate after about 15 hours of taxiing, and had to tell the passengers to disembark.
Which means, I had false labor or practice labor, or real labor that just decided to stop.
Got home Friday night and started having contractions about 10:30. And immediately and thoroughly freaked out. 20 minutes of listening to my relaxation hypnobirthing CD (I’ve only ever stayed awake through the first 10 minutes), and my heart was still beating hard. It took me about two hours to calm myself down. By then I had decided who to wake up first (Devo, Karen, Mom) and what my strategy was going to be. But then, the contractions stopped.
So I laid in bed and tried to sleep for another two hours.
And then they started up again.
So I woke up Devo, and he called Karen, and Marni, and my mom. And got the tub filled. And lit candles. And hauled all the supplies out to the living room. And every one arrived (except mom, of course) and they came in to look at me. But, of course, as soon as I had set things in motion, the contractions slowed down. Now instead of being worried that no one would get there on time, I was worrying that everyone was there and nothing was going to happen.
And then I was worried because I was so tired from being up all night.
So I stayed in bed and learned to breathe through the sporadic contractions. Karen went home. Marni gave the girls a bath (they had an absolutely great morning playing with Marni…they hope I’ll be in labor a long time, or at least often). Then I got up and Marni went home. And I took a shower. And we went to Vons to buy chocolate silk (the only thing I thought I could put into my very queasy stomach) and croissants. And to Henry’s to get some Valerian tincture…to help me get a good sleep.
Back home for a nap. And by the time I got up from that nap (the first little bits of sleep I’d had), everything had fizzled out entirely. Even went for a long walk up a big hill (stopping to explain to people that no, I hadn’t had the baby yet). And nothing. Had some Thai food to soothe my bruised soul.
So I took my valerian tincture, crawled into bed at 8pm, and slept until almost 10 this morning. I love valerian. I’m going to have some more tonight.
I’m mostly over my humiliation consternation angst that I got everyone out of bed and over here for nothing.
And I’m pretty okay with walking by all the birthing supplies that I’d hoped would be used and put away by now. I do look wistfully at the sling for weighing the baby.
And I’m not feeling like a nervous wreck anymore.
But I’m still working on the possibility that I might have to go to church next week still pregnant…after they announced this Sabbath I was in labor–to applause, I understand. (Which would have been very sweet if I had actually produced a baby). That will take some courage and inner fortitude.
Even though Pastor Chris texted the encouragement that Jesus did His best work on the Sabbath, I’m inclined to think that I chose the wrong Sabbath. Somebody else referred to Holy Saturday as “the day all creation rests”. Apparently my body took that literally. Hahahaha.
Today, being delightfully well-rested, we let the girls go for a swim in the birthing tub before emptying it into the garden. And we had an Easter egg hunt. And had our friends/family Clark and Sara over for dinner. And made Resurrection Buns…empty on the inside and surprisingly delicious. And went for a walk.
So, as I told my mom, “No news is…no news”. Which was rather a let down as the last time I had talked to her I said, “Next time I’ll talk to you, I’ll have a baby!” I also told her that if she had taken the next plane from Guam when I went into labor, she would have made it for the birth. hahahahaha. (It’s 16 hour minimum trip).
I’m hoping that I learned a few things from this experience:
1) Not to worry about the details.
2) How to really concentrate and focus on my labor, staying relaxed.
3) How to optimally “breathe up” contractions. (Extending my stomach fully like it’s being filled with air really changes how I perceive contractions. I don’t feel the ebb and flow as much, and definitely feel more tightening up top rather than cramping at the bottom).
But I still don’t know why I got/get so wired up and nervous. I’d really like to not spend the first part of labor just calming myself down. We’ll see if I can work that out. It would be infinitely more comfortable to think, “This might be labor…HOORAY!” HAhaha. And I’m still hoping for a two hour labor.
So before I head off to take my valerian and drift into dreamless sleep, I’ll leave you with this “letter” Lia wrote (and translated from pictures into words) for me on Sabbath afternoon:
I hope you have fun in labor.
I hope you enjoy the love of Devo.
Lia and Amelie will carry the baby brother and take care of him.