I tried to write this all in one post, but it’s just too much all at once. So I’m breaking it up into pieces, partly to make it easier to read and partly to make it less overwhelming to write. :) Part 1 has no photos, but the rest will.
I’ve tried for two weeks now to write the details of Isla’s birth, but every time I think about starting I can’t decide where to begin or how to quantify in words one of the most perfect events of my life. How does one explain magic without trivializing its enchantment? I’m not sure I know how to write about Isla’s arrival and do the emotions and story justice. So I haven’t – I just haven’t written it down yet, except on the pages of my heart. But like all wonderful stories, I know the details will fade if I don’t collect them into a cohesive account of our day, so I’m going to put aside my fears of telling her story less-than-perfectly and just tell it.
It started Friday night when I realized I didn’t feel quite right. Actually, strike that – it started Monday morning when I flipped out about the laundry and redid those 8 clean loads. Several friends told me behavior like that could only mean one thing – nesting – and I’d be having my baby soon. You reach the point in pregnancy, however, where you stop believing you’re actually going to have a baby and believe the universe has just decided to torture you indefinitely with this enigmatic things called pregnancy, otherwise known as immobility, weight gain and crankiness. So I didn’t believe them, figuring I had a solid two or three weeks left before we could expect any action.
As I said, Friday I started feeling different; it was nothing major or overly intolerant. I just noticed I was having some annoying discomfort; I couldn’t even really call them cramps – I just felt blah. I tucked into bed at midnight after my work shift and figured I’d be up again on Saturday morning ready for my Saturday shift.
Sometime in the night – around 3:00, I think – I woke up to use the bathroom and felt – or maybe heard (I couldn’t decide which) – a distinct pop. It was odd enough to notice but wasn’t accompanied by any cramps, pain or gushes of water so I chalked it up to a weird sensation of pregnancy and went back to sleep.
By 4:30, however, I was awake with more discomfort than I had gone to sleep with and was horridly curious as to if this was the beginning of spontaneous labor. I fired up my contraction timer app – first two contractions were 20ish minutes apart. The next was 10, and the fourth came 7 minutes later. At that rate, I figured I might as well get up and take a shower because if everything continued progressing that quickly I’d have to head to the hospital sooner rather than later. I hadn’t washed my hair in a few days and decided that since sleep was eluding me anyway I might as well take a shower and see what happened. Still not convinced I was in labor I figured it wouldn’t hurt to get ready just in case.
Contractions never seemed to get more regular; they did last about a minute but they vacillated between 7 and 15 minutes apart, none horridly painful. I got out of the shower and over the corner of my burgeoning belly caught a peek of my unpainted toenails and decided they deserved a quick paint job just in case they were to spend the day front and center in stirrups. Then I headed into the bedroom to find something to wear.
Standing at the foot of the bed sorting through laundry I noticed the unmistakable but confusing sensation that something was leaking, so back to the bathroom I went, where I became convinced I was, at the very least, losing my mucous plug and searched to locate the nearest pad I could find. Gabe woke up at about the same time and I headed back to the bedroom to tell Tahd something was happening and we should start thinking about the day. He jumped into action and I decided to use the few minutes before my work shift started to throw a few things in a bag. Although I had packed several weeks prior, I hadn’t completely packed and needed to finish up the odds and ends.
8:00 rolled around quickly so I settled myself into a wooden chair (just in case my water had or was going to break) in front of the computer and started working. The first few minutes weren’t too bad, but within 15 minutes I experienced the sudden and obvious gushing sensation that told me my water had certainly broken and we’d be having a baby! I Skyped my boss to give her the news and went back upstairs to finish packing only to find that the more upright I was the more likely my contractions were to hurt. I also noticed a mere super mondo pad was not enough to contain leaking water, so I had Tahd locate me a diaper and hoped that would contain the situation.
Tahd and I had varied ideas about how to make the morning progress most easily. He had several things he thought he should do. I wanted him to drop and give me twenty at my every command. I kept asking him to do certain things and he’d sandwich them between other things he was trying to accomplish, and I just kept getting more and more angry at any delays. I’d also periodically stop and pant, refusing to communicate in any form, which created a slight void of information he needed but I didn’t feel like giving. Add into the mix Gabe and we were a regular circus, everyone running somewhere but no one accomplishing anything! Eventually we realized we needed to get Gabe to go to my parents and I needed a few particular things of Tahd, and once we got our system down we made much more progress.