Sometime after my last update on the Early Labour? post, I remembered that my mother had asked me to take a belly picture when we talked on Thursday morning. So, between contractions, I had Chris take this picture:
Shortly after this, I returned to the couch to continue labouring on my side. However, it’s possible the movement stirred something up; I puked after my next two contractions. Chris asked me to move off my side, at which point I think I lost my shit and told him there was no way I was moving because it was too comfortable here, but then I realized I really didn’t want to throw up again and so moved to sit on the floor with my back to the couch.
Hours went by. The contractions grew a bit stronger, but they were still short, and we watched television together while continuing to track things. Chris brought out the air mattress, put our clean shower curtain down on it, our least favourite bedsheet over that, and I returned to sitting on the couch.
Around 10:45pm, I hit a point where I had to start really focusing on my breathing during the contractions, and had started some vocalization (and had debated with Chris whether “mmm” “ohhh” “ommmm” or “shhhhhhhhiiiiiiiittttttt” would be the best sound to make, a debate that lacks resolution); at 11pm, as the DVR switched to Comedy Central to record The Daily Show, I finally accepted this was real labour and said, “I think you should call your mother.”
“Nah,” he answered, “let’s let her sleep a little bit more.” My contractions were 4-5 minutes apart, but still only 30-45 seconds long, and it’d been an hour like this, but we were waiting for the contractions to hit 1 minute long before we called the midwife.
11:02, it feels like a bubble pops inside of me, and a GUSH of water (I’m talking like Niagara Falls) comes surging out. Onto the couch. It didn’t hurt, but it was strange, and I screamed: “MY WATER JUST BROKE!”
He stared at me. “What?”
“CALL THE MIDWIFE, MY FUCKING WATER JUST BROKE!”
“You can feel your water break?” (Clearly, at this point we were both in shock)
“Like a fucking waterfall, call the midwife.”
“Okay, was it clear? Get up, go take care of it.”
So I stand up, amniotic fluid dribbling down my leg, my shorts totally soaked, knowing MAIA IS COMING OUT TONIGHT. I look at the couch and don’t see anything dark or bloody looking. “Take care of it? I think it’s clear. What am I supposed to do?” And off I go to the washroom, tottering back and forth, to sit on the toilet. I hear him on the phone and yell, “It’s clear!”
I get back to the living room and lay down on the air mattress just in time for a contraction to seize me. Now, maybe this is my memory moreso than reality, but while it hurt and was uncomfortable, it was NOT agonizing. It was intense though, and I had an overwhelming desire to push. Chris grabbed my hot, sweaty hand and talked me through it.
We had stacked up something like six pillows behind me, to keep me propped up. I knew I didn’t want to lie down, and in all actuality I had every intention of labouring in any position OTHER than one that put my weight on my pelvis like sitting, but once I got settled there I Was. Not. Moving.
And then began the most terrifying part of the labour. He and I, alone, the baby coming, the contractions growing more intense, me wanting to push so badly, his mother on the way, the midwife on the way, my mother not on her way. It felt like this part lasted forever; we were both so scared. With the start of every contraction I would grab his hand — I didn’t actually want to, because someone touching my skin felt horrible, but I knew he was terrified and just trying to comfort me.
Stephen Colbert was on the television, so it had been over half an hour since we called the midwife and my water broke, when I told Chris to turn off the fucking TV (I’m so nice) and he said, “Well, I’ll change the channel.” NO YOU WILL NOT, TURN IT OFF. “But I want the TV on.” AND I FUCKING DON’T! “What about turning on some music?” NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Poor dude.
We were sitting there in silence. Between every contraction I would close my eyes and slip into some zen semi-meditative state, then during them we’d scream at each other: “DON’TPUSH DON’TPUSH DON’TPUSH! *pantpantpant* DON’TPUSH!” Finally, at one point he said, “Oh my God, I need to breathe, I’m going to faint.”
Finally, at 11:40 or so, we paged the midwife again. Except — get this — the paging service put us on hold. I honestly thought Chris was going to lose his shit as he waited and I sat there screaming “DON’TPUSH!” through another contraction. When we were finally answered and put through our page, Sarah called back within two minutes; she was right outside of the building. Chris decided he was going to help her carry her things up, although I was just about in tears at the thought of being left alone, but he didn’t want me waiting any longer than necessary for her to get up here.
So I went through two contractions on my own.
The door flew open and in rushed Chris and Sarah. She said something — some sort of joke about how fast this had gone so far — then threw on a pair of gloves. I have to tell you that nothing in my entire life had ever sounded as unappealing as having someone check my cervix at this point in time, but then she said the magic words:
“You’re fully dilated. Push when you feel like pushing!”