The day before I went into labor was a particularly wonderful day. We had moved into our new home over the weekend and I was overwhelmed and giddy about that fact alone. The doors were left open allowing the new spring air to drift through the house while I unpacked some decor to make our house feel like a home. I had picked Harlo up from preschool, met Brady for lunch and driven through swig drive through. All our completely normal afternoon things, except they all felt new and fresh because we were living in our new home. The home we had waited for and dreamed about and now we were finally here, and just about to welcome a new baby into. It was my favorite kind of day.
The next morning was my due date. I hadn’t planned on the baby coming early at all, in fact I had willed her to stay in over the weeks of trying to close on our new home, so I was feeling rather peaceful about meeting my due date. I rolled my big belly out of bed that morning, feeling the familiar knees in my rib and the added weight on my extra full bladder. I walked slowly to the bathroom with achey hips and a few little jabs poking me from the inside. “Ah, happy due date”, I thought. I sat down to find I was losing my mucous plug and a little blood along with it. I thought briefly about having a baby on my due date, but quickly laughed it off. It didn’t quite feel like time yet and I had lost my plug weeks before I delivered my Stella. I didn’t want to make myself crazy with wonder, so I quickly pushed it out of my mind and got ready for my midwife’s appointment that morning. I hadn’t been checked yet this pregnancy, but something in me this day wondered how I was progressing. I was in my house now and my baby was finally welcome to come any time. I had painted her nursery the night before and planned to paint my bedroom a fresh, beautiful white to welcome her into. Janae checked me and I was dilated to a 4, which I knew meant business. We went over my last minute delivery-day requests and Janae sent me out the door without making my following week’s appointment. “I’ll be hearing from you soon,” she said.
We ate my favorite Cafe Rio for lunch and I went home to take a nap. I hadn’t slept well the few nights prior and was feeling especially tired. I woke up to the fresh spring breeze and sunshine coming through my window, with giggles carried in from the backyard. I had slept for 3 hours straight – the longest stretch I’d had in a while. It felt amazing. I made my way to the front porch to gather my family for dinner. I had to stop and ponder this sweet life for a moment. The weather was perfect, my newly hung wind chime singing a beautiful melody, we were in our new house. It could not have been a more perfect time to have this baby. I thought back to the previous year, it was a year ago exactly I had passed my miscarriage and what a sad time that was for my family. This day, one year later could have felt so sad but it was filled with so many blessings and such happiness. I wrapped my hands around my full belly, closed my eyes and offered up a silent prayer of gratitude. I felt overwhelmed in the best kind of way.
Brady had church meetings that night and since nothing crazy was going on, I insisted he still go. I knew I’d be wanting him to miss the next few and waiting around with eyes on me wasn’t going to help anyone. We grabbed a quick dinner, but I couldn’t have more than a bite or two. My appetite was gone which was very unlike me. We dropped Brady off and headed home to get to work. I had decided that painting my room was a bit too big of an undertaking this late in my pregnancy, but my nails could sure use a fresh coat. I always like to meet my babies looking my best. I got home and showered, shaved my legs (or as much of my legs as I could reach..), put on a little make-up, and got a fresh coat of polish on my nails. I was having contractions all throughout the day. They were the same as my usual daily contractions, but these ones were a bit more uncomfortable. Deep and achy, not sharp or very strong. I just felt really crampy all day.
I had received all sorts of calls and texts and messages asking how I was, how my midwife appointment had gone, etc. I had had a bout of false labor a few days prior right before our move and once everyone was hustling and bustling around us my labor came to a halt. The “fishbowl” part of pregnancy makes me so anxious so I kept my responses brief and withheld too many details. I was having more contractions in the evening but didn’t call Brady away from his meetings. I got the girls tubbed and enjoyed every minute of my life as a mother of 2 as I knew there was a good possibility it would be one of my last nights. Brady got home just in time to help me finish the bedtime routine. I layed with the girls that night longer than usual. I felt my baby move around against Stella’s sleepy body, one of my favorite parts of this pregnancy. I waited until both of them had that heavy breathing that told me they were off to dreamland before I rolled my body out of their bed. I had a couple big contractions before I heard Harlo start coughing. The minutes ticked by and the coughing just picked up. I stressed about having a baby in a house of sick kids. We gave her medicine, oiled her up, set up the diffuser and still the coughing wouldn’t stop. An hour had passed and I realized my contractions had completely stopped. We decided to give Harlo a blessing for her persisting cough. When they were through with her blessing, Brady offered me one. He gave me a beautiful blessing. He blessed that my body would cooperate during my labor, that my baby would be safe as she made her way to us, he blessed that my head and heart would feel calm and peaceful during the work. During his blessing I felt a confirmation that I would indeed be having this baby tonight. I felt that all would be well. I felt so close to her in a way I can’t explain, but I had felt before. As I closed the door behind Grandpa, I realized that Harlo hadn’t been coughing since her blessing, at least 15 minutes ago. Just then, a contraction came. Then 2 minutes later, another, and another, and another…