Posted by: Morgan | September 7, 2010

It’s Labor Day

I’ve been wrestling with the events of this morning all day, going through a varied, wide-range of emotion. When I started feeling contractions a little after midnight, I waited and did not believe they were real. I wasn’t willing to hope that this was it and that the end of the pregnancy was near. When Caleb suggested I call my midwife, I really didn’t want to. I was very much in denial that it was happening, because if it wasn’t I didn’t want to be disappointed. After having seen my midwife’s assistant, drinking some tea, and going back to bed, I was startled awake by contractions with more intensity. After several close together, I called her as requested and thus began the next four or five hours of fairly intense (I couldn’t talk through them), fairly close together contractions. I finally believed I was in labor.

Caleb and I did great, if I do say so myself. I was able to fully relax through every contraction and our teamwork felt superb. After a while, we asked his mother to come get Emma, as it was distracting me that she may wake up. Interesting to myself, the back pain I’d been experiencing with each contraction left with Emma. I don’t know whether Logan had been posterior and I was having genuine back labor, or whether having her in the house added enough stress that it tightened my back. Either way, the contractions became easy enough for me to work through without Caleb. This seemed great so that he could start preparing the birth tub and calling in people, as it was decided I was in established labor. At one point I asked and was told, “You’ll have a baby today”. I was ecstatic. At one point I was told that my midwife was at a workshop a couple hours away, which wasn’t a problem, except that she had just hurt her back and couldn’t drive for at least four hours. I wasn’t too worried, as I was sure her back up midwife was wonderful.

I hadn’t truly slept all night, so I nestled down on the couch and took a little nap. I was awoken by the backdoor being opened as people began to arrive for the birth. Apparently at the same time the back up midwife, camera person, and photographer arrived and began to set up their respective equipment. I laid there for a while, just listening, when it occurred to me that I wasn’t feeling any contractions. I stood up and greeted everyone, letting them know I wasn’t having contractions and that maybe I was going to walk my hallway for awhile. Nothing changed for awhile, so the back up midwife decided she wanted to do an exam. That was when it was decided that I was not in established labor and nothing would be happening, at least for awhile.

I just sat there while everyone packed up one by one, smiling and saying goodbye. We chatted with our midwife’s assistant while the camera rolled, and then had some conversation between just Caleb and I with the camera “watching” after she had left. Then the cameras were packed up and we locked ourselves in the house alone. That’s when I sat down and starting sobbing. Caleb just held me. I was exhausted, disappointed, and angry. Not angry at the midwife or the assistant for any decisions or conclusions that had been made, whether right or wrong. Not angry that everyone had come out and then had to leave. Not angry at myself for how I had responded. Angry at God. Angry that He gave me something I had been wanting, and specifically asked for the day before, dangled it in my face, and then ripped it away.

We ate. Then we went upstairs to sleep for a short time, at least. When I woke up I cried again. This time I wondered if I had dreamt it all. When Caleb confirmed I had not, I wondered if I had been exaggerating the intensity of the contractions, wondering if maybe they hadn’t been real. Caleb once again said that he could tell I had been in definite labor, whether it had stopped or not. Then I wondered if I or my body had done something wrong. Maybe my subconscious stopped labor when it realized my midwife couldn’t get there at that time. Maybe I hadn’t done the right thing in response to the contractions. Maybe my body wasn’t doing the right thing. Caleb calmly pushed away every doubt, but they lingered.

Emma came home and went straight to her nap. We sat up and mulled over the morning, attempting to distract ourselves and, for me, work through what had happened. When she woke up we went to the mall to try to walk the contractions back. They remained elusive, and we went home to spend the evening quietly. Caleb was sure labor would pick back up, but it didn’t.

Finally, after talking and thinking through why I was so upset, considering I wasn’t even technically full-term yet, I realized that I was bothered by the way I had acted, and some of the responses I had received in those seven hours. I had been a patient. I was nervous about declaring what I wanted and was quite pliable to the decisions of others. I was not in the mindset of listening to what my body needed, and instead went with what others told me to do. I gave in on some things that I had already decided before that I did not want done during labor, instead of sticking to my preferences and birth plan. It was good to realize. It is not that I don’t respect and want to listen to the advice of those I’ve put into my birth team the next time I go into labor, but I will be a woman birthing her child how her body needs her to be, and not a patient. It may end up just being a state of mind, and not effecting the decisions that are made at all. But it’s a change of mind that is important, I think. Even with that, though, the evening was still difficult. To start a morning thinking you’d end it with a newborn baby in your arms, and then go to sleep with a large belly still is hard.

I was also still angry with God. The next morning I woke up and suddenly I realized that two days before I had specifically asked God for me to go into labor the next day. I did not ask for the birth of my son. Whether or not someone may still think it mean to not give me what I did ultimately want, He had given me what I had asked for. I had to apologize. And I was honest about my disappointment. And I think He was ok with that. I felt so much more at peace about being pregnant for even three to four more weeks than I have recently at all. It would happen. My body was designed for this and when God allowed those hormones to start flowing, and not stop, there was going to be a day that ended with a baby boy in my arms. And he’d be born just at the perfect time.

As I finish this post, it’s been a few days. I’ve had several bouts of mild contractions, but none that have been regular or lasted more than two hours. I have had a beautiful weekend with my husband and daughter. I have gotten into a funk once again about still being pregnant. And I have been lifted out of that funk by the gentle reminder from God that three weeks isn’t really that long.

I’m still hoping it’s tonight though. 🙂

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Responses

  1. i know that feeling!!!! the second baby is sooooo different. in my situation i just couldnt get over the fact that it WAS different and i kept expecting that it would go the exact same way as my first labor/delivery. hang in there – be true to yourself!

  2. Still praying and can totally relate to that disappointment of labor that stopped. It is so frustrating at the time and I spent a lot of time crying after that, although now it doesn’t matter to me at all, once I had that baby, it didn’t make one whit of difference that I had to wait another whole week to have her in my arms. All of the frustration of false labor and a few weeks of bedrest dissipated. It doesn’t really make it easier in the moment to be told that, though, as I can also relate to… sometimes it’s just irritating to be told what it WILL be like when all you can see and feel is what’s right in front of you… so why am I saying it? I’ll shut up. haha
    Hoping you can enjoy these last few days alone with Emma in small ways. Logan’s arrival will rock her world! Love you and getting so excited for your news! Did I tell you I check my text messages first thing every morning? That’s how excited I am for you and anxious to hear!

  3. […] which over the next few hours turned consistent. For the full story of that night, please see my previous post. To sum it up, I ended the day feeling like I had been in seven hours of labor that stopped for no […]


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