Catching Up? Check out Part 1 and Part 2.
I wrote that I was heading to bed on Monday night, and that never happened. Maybe we laid in bed, but sleep did not come. I writhed in pain. Alex was in full coaching mode, rubbing my back through every contraction. Finally around midnight we had had enough.
I got up and called the midwife and to my pleasure they were at the birth center with another patient and welcomed me to come in and be checked. We grabbed the car seat and the bags and headed to Statesville. I didn't believe we would be staying, but just in case.
When we arrived we slipped into one of the birth rooms and they let us know that while the contractions were creating progress, I was still only 90% effaced and not even 1 cm dilated. Defeated once again, they offered me a shot of morphine to help me sleep through the night. As important as a natural birth was to me, I was surprised I didn't once question the morphine. I never thought to ask if it would affect the baby. Later I realized it was because I truly trusted my care providers. We chose them for a reason. They could see the pain in my face. They knew what I needed.
We returned home. I slept through the night. Or at least I thought I did. Alex assured me we were up every 10-12 minutes as he helped me through each contraction. I had little to no memory of this. Five in the morning seems to be our magic number because once again we were up on Tuesday. Monday had come and gone and we still had no baby. I was still in pain.
We worked through each contraction throughout the morning. Every 10 minutes or so I would start to breathe more heavily and Alex was right on cue to brace down on my lower back to help counter the pressure from the inside. I honestly can't remember if I sat in the tub Tuesday morning at all, or if I just writhed in pain on the bed. But soon enough we decided it was time to call the midwives again. They offered to see me, and possibly give me another dose of morphine to get me through the day. Once again, the bags were packed and we were off to the birth center. Never, at any time did I decide we should stop and take a photo or look around the house. I never thought in my head "this would be the last time leaving without a baby." I didn't even stop to make the bed. I really believed she would never come.
We arrived at the birth center at 9:30am. They led us back into the birth room and once again checked my progress. I can't even remember if it was Nicole or Marsha, but she looked up at us, and said "Looks like it's time." Bad words to a pregnant woman who has been in labor for 4 days. I thought she meant it was time to push! I was ready to be in and out. So when her next sentence pronounced we were 4 to 5 centimeters I was just as disappointed as I was excited. Finally, we would have this baby, but it still wouldn't be soon. At least we didn't have to leave the birth center again. At least I would have my midwives to help us through the pains. We were there to stay, and one way or another Eleanor would come.
Hour by hour the time ticked by. I remember looking at the clock and thinking she would definitely be here by 2pm. I put the date in my head, forever notched as her birthday. November 6, 2012. It didn't even dawn on me that it was election day. I am glad we had the forethought to vote early.
For most of the morning I laid in bed, falling in and out of consciousness with each contraction. They were still coming so far apart so I would literally fall asleep in between. We had Pandora on to the Hillsong station and it helped to keep me calm. Then as a new one would surge it would jolt me out of relaxation and I would bolt upright. Alex would begin to apply pressure to my lower back and one by one we fought them off. I tried to stay calm and relaxed with each one, urging it to do its job. I wanted this baby here, fast.
The midwives would pop in occasionally to check in on us, but for the most part it was just Alex and me in the room. Ten o'clock came, then eleven; noon was upon us and soon we were facing down the afternoon. I believe at this time the midwives began to worry about my progress as well because they kept urging us to change positions; go for a walk; sit in the shower. I was comfortable in bed so for a while I resisted. But eventually they started a hot shower for me, Alex changed into his swim trunks and we moved to the shower to continue. I begged for labor to end, I begged to be done. I felt so drained and still defeated. It felt like she never would be here.