October 17, 2012
It was Wednesday, exactly one week before Oliver's due date. Jonathan had the day off from work so we had spent the morning getting a little housework done, and then he had taken off to go golfing. I still needed to clean the bathroom (odious task) - so I remained in my sweats, a huge white maternity tank, and my Western sweatshirt. No makeup. Don't even think I brushed my hair. While Annie ate lunch, I plowed through a pile of mail, paying bills, organizing coupons, etc.
After her lunch, I was putting Annie down for a nap and I had a strong contraction that was more painful than any I had had in the previous weeks. I read Annie a story then nursed her, after which I had another strong contraction.When I got back downstairs it was 12:45PM. I took the dog pee and made myself some lunch - then read a Thoene novel while I ate. I had a few more contractions about 10 minutes apart and 30-ish seconds long. I contemplated skipping my bathroom-cleaning chore, but figured these contractions would turn out to be a false alarm, so I plodded up the stairs with my cleaning supplies.
While cleaning, my contractions got seriously intense, especially when I would get down on my hands and knees. But I couldn't nail down any regular intervals, so I still wasn't convinced that this was the real deal. However, by 2PM I was worried that I would be in too much pain to take care of Annie when she woke up, so I tried calling Jonathan. I couldn't reach him, so I returned to cleaning. Because my contractions were becoming alarmingly more intense, I gave up cleaning and kept trying to reach the hubby.
Sometime around 2:20 I got a hold of Jonathan and asked him to come home...he would later tell me that he ran from the hole he was playing and jumped in the car and sped home. Good thing, too. Annie was waking up as he walked in the door.
Jonathan nervously tried to help Annie while trying to assess what I needed. I called the midwife for the first time at 2:30 when Jonathan got home, but because I couldn't tell her how close my contractions were or how long they were lasting - she suggested I monitor them for an hour and call back...or I could come in and she would check me out. I told her I would call back in an hour. Then I called my parents and my best friend, Ann. I started out the call with an apology about how this may be a false alarm, but they may want to start the drive to Bellingham.
Within the next 15-20 minutes, Jonathan felt we should just head to the birth center (BC). I was in agony and by this point contractions were pretty much one on top of another. I threw together a bag of things while Jonathan called a dear woman from our church who happens to live in our neighborhood and PRAISE GOD - she was on our doorstep in less than 10 minutes! She also happens to not be intimidated by our enormous dog and Annie adores her. In fact, Jonathan and I were able to slip out the front door without upsetting Annie at all, even though she had never been babysat by anyone other than my parents.
We ran into some construction on the way there, and were held up by a woman wielding a stop-sign. I kept hoping she would see me...that she would be able to read in my face that she needed to just let us through...but alas...we had to wait just like two people on their way to a movie or something. Anyway, we finally arrived at the BC at 3:45. Ten minutes later the midwife checks me and lets me know I am dilated to 9. I cannot believe my good fortune. I jump into the tub at 4 o'clock and am so relieved. We're at the BC. The pain will be over soon because the baby will be here soon. Yippee!