There's this limbo land that exists at the end of pregnancy. The way I experience this doneness is that I'm convinced I will be pregnant forever, where I plead with the person in my belly that they should just come out. Where I seriously offer things like tacos, or a pony, if baby would just come.
Of course, I've never been pregnant forever, rationally I know I wouldn't be. But pregnancy isn't a rational experience. Baby never takes me up on my offers either. They've all been stubborn like that, always picking their own birthdays.
As I laid in bed, minutes past midnight, a full moon in the sky. I was ready for my baby. I finally had contractions that felt big, big enough to bring a baby. I could feel my skin pickling up into goosebumps. Another contraction was big enough to pull myself and my fully bloomed belly out of bed. I didnt get my hubs out of bed, I wanted him to rest. I knew I'd need him once baby was actually coming, I wasn't convinced this would be it.
My birthing pool sat in our living room, pictures of Bram all over the walls. Affirmations from my blessing hung in my bedroom. Pieces of my community filled my home and birthing space; my necklace and bracelet made for me, a dear one sent my pool liner that I wrestled onto my pool, my belly binder, candles that remained unlit, cards, love touching all our spaces. I was safe, I was surrounded by love and comfort.
I decided the birth pool should filled, it would at the very least be a good test to check for leaks. I pulled the hose out, got it connected to our shower, but the next wave stopped me and forced my attention toward my body. I still hadn't admitted it to be real labor, I was still sure that at some point the waves would stop and I'd go to bed to greet another sunrise with a baby tucked beneath my heart. Hubs stepped in and did all the things I needed him to do.
My A, at 2.5 years, was very excited that we would "him" (swim) in the living room. I stripped naked and lifted my aching legs into the pool and let the water fill around me. A joined too so he could "him him." It was quite and beautiful being in the tub. The contractions were coming, I have no idea how often or how long, but regularly. I cried "what if it's too soon to be in the water" but what if it's not. I asked hubs for the time, 12:50am. The tub was full and warm, it felt so good.
I suddenly needed to throw up. I asked for a bowl and hubs quickly found a large one in the kitchen. I threw up and A was so disgusted he started gagging. Through my retches, I asked TJ to get A out of the tub. As soon as he did, A threw up next to the pool. Poor hubs cleaning up everyone's vomit. He brought me an electrolyte drink to help my belly after throwing up.
The next contraction that came was huge and I yelled louder than I had been at this point. I couldn't get comfortable. I very obviously was feeling waves in my sacrum. I was rolling and squirming all over the pool. My legs kicked wildly without much direction from myself trying to open my pelvis more to help baby move her back away from my back. I leaned over the edge and screamed. Every contraction I screamed louder. I screamed how much I hated labor. I screamed how I didn't want to do this any more. I screamed for an epidural. I screamed for sleep. I screamed swear words over and over and over. I screamed help me. I screamed until the screaming didn't help. I cried and said I needed the hospital but I knew I couldn't and wouldn't be getting out of that tub.
Oh the back pain was so intense and consuming. When the screaming stopped helping, biting was the next option. I squeezed hubs hands and chewed on him. But I wanted to bite harder to get through the pain. So he handed me the hose, and I bit down with every wave until I couldn't take another wave. I was done. I held hubs hands and pleaded that he help me, he assured me I was doing it, anything I wanted he would do for me. I cried. I hurt. I needed my baby out.
I felt my water burst, it felt so good for it to flow. And then I growled a deep gutterly growl. I rolled over floating on my back, legs pressed against the pool walls holding my labia wide and I pushed. I swore my butt was going to explode. I chanted I love pooping I love pooping. Hubs giggled, I can't blame him. After a few pushes I reached down to feel my baby and couldn't tell if it was a head or a butt. With my next push I felt and knew it had to be baby's head. Another wave and I had to move before my body pushed again. I've always thought it miraculous for women to move with baby half way out. Still I was able to move my body, flipping myself over, all while her head hung from me, the rest of her still inside. Such a phenomenal feeling. I got back to my hands and knees and told hubs to catch his baby just like I had told him for Bram and A. I wanted him to take her out, he held her head and shoulders as I pushed the rest of her plump little body from mine, into his hands.