The pregnancy went well. I gained a lot more weight than normal people do, but it is my normal. I had a really hard time this go round with swollen legs and feet, and pain when moving. I think it has something to do with being older! I had prodromal labor for a few weeks...again, my normal. Contractions would be every 5 minutes, lasting 60 seconds, every day. I still thought I would go to 40 weeks...I really wanted a Valentine baby! The full moon was February 3rd and I was very low, and crampy that day. I went to bed as normal though...other than feeling like she was down really low I did not feel out of the ordinary. I woke up at 7:30 the next morning(Feb 4th) to a weird, strong kick and rolled my huge self out of bed. I wish I could convey the huge task this was! I rolled off the side and gingerly(swollen feet and plantar fasciitis) walked to the kids bathroom across the house. I think someone was in my bathroom that is only a few feet from my bed...I don't know why I went all the way to the kids bathroom! I sat down and peed, had a contraction that brought a bunch more...wait...this felt more "solid" or thick than pee. I wiped, it was really mucousy , but the flow stopped with the end of the contraction. I stood up and went to leave the bathroom, but had another small gush.I sat down again, starting to wake up mentally and realize that this "might" be my water breaking. That kick...it was just like the way it felt when Lucian was born and my water broke. But that brought with it hard labor and I was barely feeling contractions this time. I sat for a minute, gave a small push to test it, and whoosh! Yep, that was amniotic fluid! I had a huge surge of fear...the memories of the overwhelmingness off Lucian's birth flooded back full force. I wasn't done being pregnant yet! What if this is my last baby and I didn't get these last two weeks?!? Why were the contractions I had had for weeks now not happening? Can I do this? I looked in the mirror, leaned over the sink to let my stomach really hang down, and prayed for strength and courage. I felt my resolve bolster, I felt so much excitement that I was going to meet my baby this day! I grabbed a towel from the rack and wadded it between my legs, then trekked to the kitchen and grabbed my phone. I called Ruth(my beloved midwife,the one who has seen me through the last 4 births before this as well) and told her my water for sure had broke, butI wasn't feeling any contractions. She was sleeping, having just got home from another birth(or 2...they had 8 in 6 days!) She told me to try to rest, and call her back when things picked up. After hanging up I went into my room and told Brian it was time to get up, we were having a baby. ;) He was lounging in bed playing the kindle and he just looked at me being all calm and he couldn't tell if I was joking.I laughed and told him that this was really it, my water was broke and she was going to be born today. He got up and helped me strip the bed to put the shower curtain he had bought on.( Back story...we weren't sure how we were going to afford the homebirth and had started with ob care. It was hellish from the start and Brian got a guide to unassisted birth from the library. It said to cover the bed with a shower curtain. I remember how proud he was the day he came home with one lol...he was so much more involved after reading the book! I told him the blue pads would suffice, but we still used *his* shower curtain too.) Then I vacuumed the room again, and Brian had the kids helping clean. Since I had nested the house was already in order and we were out of chores in just 10 minutes.I put on some lipstick and eyeliner lol...I had never looked very good having a baby and wanted to do it a little differently. I felt some small contractions starting up and upon timing them found they were every 3 minutes, 75-90 seconds. I just wasn't feeling it unless I was really paying attention. I called Ruth back(it was now 9:30) and she said she was heading my way(an hour drive). She told me that after laying back down she had realized who was calling and started doubting having waited lol. (My last 4 labors had been 1 hr from water breaking, 1 hr, 3 hrs, and 1 hr.) I told her things were still calm, so we should be good. I called a few family and friends and let them know Ruth was on her way. Ginni(my friend, and pastor's wife) said she would head my way. My neighbor Marcia also came over, and did crafts with 7 of the kids! What a blessing that was! Trinity(my 16 year old) stayed in my room with me. Time starts feeling hazy at this point. I recall Ginni arriving, with her husband(wait, what?)Brian stayed out in the dining room to be with the kids/talk to Derrick. I was rocking in the old rocker in my room mentally turning inward during contractions. They picked up in intensity a lot at this point. I started standing during them, then sitting back down.Then I was swaying through them and couldn't talk anymore. Ruth arrived and asked if she could check me. I was terrified to lay down, but also curious if this strange labor was actually dilating me. I was an 8(phew). I got into the shower , things were pretty intense and I wanted the relief I always got in the shower. Unfortunately it wasn't happening. I felt like she was hanging out...the contractions were getting stronger but she wasn't moving.I squatted in the shower, nothing. Just more intense contractions. I couldn't get away from them, but I couldn't change this either. I aimed the shower at my back, it felt much better than when it hit my stomach. It hit me that this was just like all my other posterior babes. The realization mingled with the steamy water and I felt super queasy. I shut the water off and got out. I threw my hair into a half ponytail, makeup forgotten! and pulled on a shirt. I waddled out to the bed, climbed up and got in a side laying position. No good. I clambered onto hands and knees. I started feeling desperate...why wasn't she moving down? I feel like I got whiney at this point, I remember begging someone to help me. Ruth ,Brian, and Ginni all said I was really very quiet, but it didn't feel that way to me.
I was shocked at how hard it had been. Ruth said her head never moved, she was born looking straight up.
Serenity Love was born at 11:56 am. Labor was just under 2 hours from start of contractions, and the eternal pushing??? Only 9 minutes. I don't know how, we all agree it felt like much, much longer.
Trinity(16),Jubilee(8),Epiphany(5),Lucian(2) and Serenity 1 hour