Before I start the actual story, I feel that I should tell you that this story isn’t easy for me to tell. Even though I’ve told long and short versions of it over and over, it’s never easy. I still have a lot of regrets that I didn’t have the birth I wanted, and I couldn’t give Caedmon the start that he deserved. For a long time, I felt like I had failed him. I still feel that way sometimes. While at the same time, I feel guilty because I have friends who have worse birth stories. Mine is not that bad. But there was no reason that it couldn’t have been what I wanted, couldn’t have been better, and couldn’t have been my best birth.
He made it home. So after weeks of lying on the couch drinking water and praying this baby didn’t try to beat daddy, it was time to switch gears. At my forty-week check up, my nurse midwife reminded me that if I made it to my forty-one week appointment, we would have to talk about scheduling an induction. I love that with two weeks to go before I was “post term” we still had to talk about induction. So we started taking long walks, eating spicy food, all those good things you do when you’re trying to get a baby out. First my “official” due date passed. Then my due date passed (My nurse midwife chose to go with the due date according to my last menstrual cycle; my due date was based on the day of conception.). Then the day I had told him to be born (6-7-08…don’t you think that would be a cool birthday?).
My sister-in-law had said that he would be born on June 8 because it’s her anniversary, and I had already stolen her birthday (I was born first, but I guess that’s a minor detail.). So on June 7, even as we sat around with some good friends joking about stealing dates, I thought I felt some different sensations. We went to bed after midnight that night. And stupid me had eaten this huge meal knowing that it would come back to kick me in the bum through heartburn and acid reflux. Around 2am, I gave up on trying to get comfortable in bed, so I got up to watch “Frasier” on TiVo. A minute or two after I sat down I felt a pop, and thought Did my water just break? Then I felt the “water.”
So I turned off “Frasier,” went back to bed, and told Collin that my water had broke. Now right about here is probably where you’re imagining the crazy first time dad jumping out of bed all excited and asking what to do. Well, at least, that’s more along the lines of what I was expecting. Instead I got a half asleep, “Umm…okay.” And I’m pretty sure at that point he rolled over and went back to sleep. I decided that since I probably had a lot of work ahead of me, I should try to get some sleep. So I lay down and slept until contractions stated around 5:30am.
It didn’t take long after contractions started for me to decide that a warm bath was the best place to be, so I moved to the bathtub. Every once in a while, we would try to time the contractions, but I honestly couldn’t tell when they began and when they ended (I would later find out that that’s because I was having back labor.). My plan was to stay at home as long as possible. In fact, my nurse midwife had told me I could stay home until I felt the urge to push if I wanted. Well, the problem with that is that when you don’t know what the urge to push is or feels like, it’s really hard to know if you’re feeling it. And when you can’t get a handle on timing your contractions, you have no way of knowing where you are in labor. As far as I could tell there was no end to the contractions. There was never any relief, and I wasn’t prepared to have my baby in the bathtub (although, sometimes I wish that’s what I had done…okay, I’m half joking.). So around 7am, I decided it was time to start making our way to the hospital.
I’ll leave off here. Sorry this story seems to drag on, but it wouldn’t do it justice to give you the quick and dirty version. I’ve told that version a million times. This is for those who want all the nitty gritty details and to make sure I don’t forget them!