by Karen, USA
It was Sunday evening. The day had been long and I was looking forward to a good sleep. I could tell the baby was setting lower than normal, my bones were aching. As I was settling into bed I started having some hard cramps in my lower belly and back. I didn't think much of it. I was 37 weeks along and knew that my body was getting ready for the big day. I woke up a couple of times that night and each time I noticed the cramping.
Monday morning arrived. We were planning to have a homebirth and I had an appointment with my midwife, Kate. I told her about the cramping, but it had stopped. As the day went on, I noticed the cramping here and there, but I didn't think much of it or pay attention, the kids were keeping me busy.
As I was preparing for supper, I finally realized that my cramping was not going away, and was I just tired or were they getting stronger?
That afternoon my husband had gone hunting and got a deer, but he couldn't find it, so he was planning to go out early in the morning to look for it. He had a busy day planned on Tuesday. Now I was kind of nervous about the cramping. It wasn't anything that took my breath away or made me stop what I was doing, but I knew the baby would be coming soon. I really hoped the cramping was going to stop.
After we got the kids settled down into bed, I called my mom. She suggested I start timing, which I hadn't thought to do because they really didn't feel like contractions. But I did anyway. The “cramps” were happening every 6-7 minutes for about 35 seconds each time. My mom said I should call the midwife. So I did.
8:30pm. I called Kate to tell her I thought I was in early labor, and I was planning to go lay down in bed and try to sleep. She told me to call her in 30 minutes to see where things were, and that she might come and stay the night just in case.
9:00pm. My husband and I went and made the extra bed. I was still timing, and by this point the cramps were every 5 min but only lasting about 45 seconds. They were definitely getting stronger, but still not enough to make me stop what I was doing or even breathe with them. I got ready for bed and laid down.
Suddenly, I had a huge contraction. I kept waiting for it to subside. It lasted 2 minutes, and left me gasping for breath when it ended. I called to my husband that he should come upstairs. He came and sat on the bed. A couple minutes later my water broke! I looked at him with wide eyes and maybe little bit of panic and said, “My water just broke! Call Kate!” He ran downstairs for the phone while I lay in the bed moaning with the next contraction, it was very intense, and I thought, “I can't do this!” thinking I was going to be laboring for some time. Jake came upstairs and said that Kate was on her way. It was 9:15 pm.
The next contraction came, and I could feel the baby coming! I know I was hollering to Jake at this point, and I remember the look of panic on his face. But there is no stopping a baby about to be born! Jake caught her as she came out and put her on my chest. It was 9:20pm.
We were both in shock! I could not believe that I had just given birth, Jake could not believe that he had just delivered our baby! We got a towel wrapped around the baby, and he called the midwife to tell her the news. We kept our phone line open with her until she arrived 30 minutes later. In the meantime, we called all our family to let them know little Joy Leanne had arrived!
It wasn't how we may have planned or expected, but it was a special and joyous night that we will never forget!