Ever since our little girl had first kicked, she’d been moving non-stop. She’s so energetic and I’ll find her moving around at all times of the day. The third trimester started off great with the excitement of our daughter finally kicking and the fact that I wasn’t too uncomfortable yet. We took advantage of that time with deciding to go on a week long babymoon in Windenburg. It was the best idea we could have had and it was perfect for that last big romantic getaway – at least for a while. After the baby was born we’d probably be too busy to be able to just be together. And it’s not until she’s a child that we might have time to just relax with each other but by then we’ll probably have another baby so this was really special knowing it would be the last time in a while that we were alone.
The scenery was gorgeous and we spent plenty of time just walking around the town simply talking. The new shoes I’d gotten before the trip were a godsend and I doubt I could’ve walked around as much as I did without them. But I guess all that walking affected me more than I expected because at the next doctor’s visit once we got home they told me I had to go on bed rest because my blood pressure was higher than normal.
That week I spent on bed rest I thought I’d go crazy. I couldn’t do work, or do anything, really. I slept a lot, though, since the fatigue I’d felt in the first trimester had suddenly decided to come back. Dani was so sweet and some days after she came home from work, she’d just lay beside me while we’d talk about the baby. It got even harder when near the middle of the week, what they call nesting suddenly hit hard and I was obsessed with all things baby. I spent so much time just looking through baby catalogs that Dani brought home from me and that Saturday we just made a baby wish list, looking at things we wanted from the baby. I’m pretty sure I put everything in the store in our ‘shopping cart’ but thankfully we didn’t get everything or we’d definitely be broke. Apparently Lyric had found our other baby stuff list once since she made it into the registry for our baby shower, as I found out while going through all our gifts. The one good thing about having to do nothing was that I had a lot of time to plan for the baby’s birth.
I was set on having a home water birth because after so much being done in doctors offices and all, I just wanted to do this without any doctors. Dani was worried about what could happen at first but I assured her if I felt something wrong we could go straight to the hospital since it was only 20 minutes away. I’m sure I’ll be wishing I went to the hospital to have her when the contractions really start hurting but I really want a natural birth. After being on bed rest for a week I was itching to get moving again. I prayed to the Watcher the whole time we were in the doctor’s office that I wouldn’t have to go on bed rest again – and thank gosh I didn’t have to.
At 38 weeks, I started taking maternity leave – much to Noemi and Irena’s relief. I’d gotten so big it was a running joke that I’d end up giving birth there. And I was huge. I’d gained 40 pounds throughout this pregnancy and I knew it wouldn’t all come off. But it’s fine. Our little girl is worth it. She’s worth anything. We’d gotten everything ready for our baby’s arrival and both of us were so excited to finally meet her. It had been crazy trying to get everything set up since she could come any day now which was both exciting and terrifying. Our life was about to change so much. Lexie’s been spending so much more time at her boyfriend’s place that I’m wondering if they secretly got married or something like Dani and I did. Dani thinks she’s just trying to give us some space right now and she’s probably right. It’s all about the baby right now and I totally understand that she might not want to feel like she’s intruding into our life – plus she’s probably not all that into talking about baby stuff all the time.
I’d been having Braxton-Hicks contractions (practice contractions) for a few days so when I felt contractions come on today, at 39 weeks I thought nothing of it. In fact, I went to bed. I woke up at 2 in the morning to pee again when as I moved to get up I realized the sheets were wet. Damn it. I’d actually peed the bed. For some reason, even though I’d already apparently emptied my bladder, I still really needed to pee. The whole time it took to get to the bathroom, pee kept leaking out and I was mortified. It was only after I got to the bathroom that I realized it wasn’t pee at all – my water had broke. Our daughter was coming tonight. I woke Dani up the second I got back to our room and she must have realized what was going on because she was awake in an instant.
“Okay,” Dani breathed, laying her hands on my bump that wouldn’t be so big in some hours. “We’re having a baby. We’re really having a baby.”
I nodded, caressing my bump. Real contractions wouldn’t start for a few hours according to everything we’ve read but Dani was all over the place getting everything ready while my huge pregnant self laid on the bed. I still couldn’t believe it was really happening. It didn’t feel real. My back hurt – as normal – but nothing too crazy.
Two hours later, it felt very real, and I was curled up in the bed in pain while Dani was squeezing my hand. The contractions had started out small and relatively pain-free, but now…my stomach feels like it’s turning inside out and I can’t tell anything that’s going on around me.
I could hardly breathe, never mind say a word as my stomach cramped up again. I tried to focus on anything but the pain, thinking about our daughter, about anything. But nothing could stop me from feeling this. My eyes watered from the pain, even as it died down. We’d watched numerous home birth videos and read practically everything there is out there but suddenly it all went out the window.
“Ok, breathe. Umm, we’re going to count how long it is between contractions, okay?” I could see that she was freaking out but I was so glad she was holding it together because I barely was. And I was sure this wouldn’t be the worst of it. Another contraction racked my body and I struggled to stay upright.
“Lay down,” Dani said quickly, grabbing my pregnancy pillow and a few others for me to lay down on. When the next one came, I screamed. It was horrible and I just wanted the baby out of me. Dani announced my contractions were five minutes apart and sat next to me, squeezing my hand. I think I broke hers with how hard I clenched it. I’d just gotten my breath back when the next one came and I gasped, clamping my hands onto my stomach and by the end of the contraction I was left panting and exhausted. How was I supposed to go through hours of this?
“It hurts so much,” I moaned, sucking my breath in as the next one started.
“4 minutes and 25 seconds apart, Adelaide. You’re doing great, sweetie. You’re so strong,” she murmured, squeezing my hand again. She brought over the water bottle we’d filled up earlier but we quickly realized I couldn’t drink water out of that without getting it all over myself so she had to go get a straw. I focused on the warm fire flickering in the fireplace, trying to get through the pain. It was the only source of light in the room, since I’d wanted all the big lights off. I couldn’t even make out what Dani was saying any more and I could hardly get a drink of water with how close the contractions seemed. As this last one died down I let out my breath but as I got ready to drink again my body seized up and I shrieked from the pain.
“What the hell?!” I yelled, placing my hands on the floor behind me.
Dani pushed my hair out of my face and she got the straw in my mouth the second it stopped. “That was a back-to-back contraction, honey – ”
All I heard was back-to-back before I screamed, “What?! What are those?!” I’m sure I’ve heard of them before but right now I don’t even think I could do simple math.
“Exactly what they sound like…multiple contractions without a break. Oh my gosh, I hate seeing you in pain. I’m going to call Winnie now, okay?”
I nodded, curling up into the pillows as I readied myself for the next contraction. Winnie was our midwife. At first I’d liked the idea of having a freebirth, without any doctor or midwife there, but both Dani and I were scared about what would happen if something went wrong and nobody was there to help so we went with a midwife. Winnie was super nice and down to earth, and she really clicked with us. I don’t know why neither of us thought of calling her earlier but better late than never.
I calmed down a lot once Winnie got here and I was so glad we went with a midwife because it just really gives you peace of mind knowing that someone who knows what they’re doing is there..
Once I got to 5 cm dilated, I could finally get into the birth pool. Dani pulled the birth pool in the room after putting the mat down and slowly helped me into it. It was so nice in there and my body felt so much lighter. By then my contractions were 4 minutes long and 1 minute apart. I was in labor for the whole night and finally got to push at noon after eight excruciating hours of labor. I literally thought I was going to die and my voice got hoarse from all the screaming and groaning. If I didn’t have the birth pool to lay in I don’t know how I’d have gotten through it because even though it eased the contractions slightly they were still so painful.
I tried with everything I had to push and just as I stopped pushing my body seized up again and I hear Winnie call out for me to push again and I just started bawling. I’d been in labor for practically the whole day, my whole body hurt, and I was so damn tired.
“I can’t do it,” I moaned, tears running down my cheeks like a waterfall. I screamed as the next contraction took hold of me.
Dani grabbed my hands, caressing them softly. “Sweetie, you can do it. We’re about to meet our daughter, okay?”
Our daughter. This was all for our little girl. Damn it, though, why couldn’t she come out already cause this hurts like hell!
I heard Winnie call out, “Ok, are you guys ready to become mommies?”
“Does this mean she’s coming?” I moaned. Please say yes.
“Yes, she’s crowning! Push!”
I pushed and I felt her start coming out and everything happened so fast. Dani even exclaimed that she caught her and the second she placed our daughter in my arms all the pain seemed to fade away and I felt more love than I even thought I could feel. Welcome to the world, Valentina Lilah Clemonte.