I woke up having contractions here and there, feeling like “this could be the day”….. just like I had done every other day for the past month.
Around 2pm I started feeling confident that I was actually in labor, but by 3:30pm contractions had spaced out and I was getting discouraged.
At 4pm my doula gave me some tips on helping the baby get into a better position and instantly my contractions were more intense and closer together.
Around 5pm it occurred to me that I was going to have to endure a car ride to the birth center and I decided we better head that way before things progressed any further. At some point I remember saying, “if my water breaks he is going to slide right out.” I was simultaneously concerned we wouldn’t make it to the birth center and annoyed with myself for not laboring at home longer. I didn’t tell family (other than those babysitting our other kids) that we were heading to the birth center just in case it wasn’t really time. (this seems absolutely ridiculous in hindsight, but my only other labor experience was 50+ hours)
At 5:10, shortly into the car ride, my water broke and suddenly I realized we may not make it to the birth center. It was a gray, foggy day and there was SO much traffic. There was a funny moment when we stopped at a red light mid-contraction, I looked over and the older gentlemen driving the car next to us waved at me cheerfully. I don’t remember if I waved back, but I didn’t have kind words for him. I may have also yelled at my husband for driving like an old man. He was annoyingly calm about the fact that I was trying my hardest not to give birth in the van. I found out later that he didn’t actually believe I was close to giving birth.
Finally at 5:35pm, we arrived at the birth center. Our doula met us in the parking lot and the midwife had already prepared the tub.
I got right into the tub and instantly felt relief. Partially the hot water on my tense muscles, and partially the realization that I wouldn’t be giving birth in a van on the side of the road.
The next few minutes are a blur… I remember being really hot and rambling things between contractions.
Thankfully our sweet friend and photographer beat us to the birth center and captured the whole experience for us. 10 minutes and a few contractions later and our sweet little boy was earth side. I lifted him out of the water and my first words to him were that he had his brother’s hairline and looked just like his daddy.
I had spent weeks making music playlists long enough to outlast a three day labor… and in the end I gave birth in a dimly lit, quiet room after just a few hours of labor. I could not have asked for a more supportive birth team, everyone was so calm and attentive. It was more peaceful and perfect than I ever imagined it could be.
There were many unknowns and some unexpected disappointments along the way, but when the time came it was clear that God was truly working in the details.
[Doula Note: From the time Roxanne arrived in the parking lot, no one touched her. She walked into the birth center, got into the tub, and 10 minutes later lifted her baby from the water. It was amazing to witness.]