Friday, February 09, 2007

Day sleep, but at least I'm not the one in labor

Homebirth mom called us back at 2:45 am. (Wouldn't you know the phone started ringing JUST as I turned off my computer and decided I would take a stab at sleeping on one of the couches at the birth center? I am definitely going to have to get over my problem sleeping anywhere other than a bed in a dark room with perfect quiet.) Her contractions had picked up to one every five minutes. Maribel and I got into our cars and headed back over to her house, this time possibly to stay.

We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived that Homebirth Mom, Homebirth Dad and Mom of Homebirth Mom had honestly tried to get some sleep after we left the last time. That can be incredibly hard when you are having contractions every 10 minutes and are extremely excited about having your first child. It is even harder to look back after hours and hours of contractions coming much closer together than ten minutes apart and to wish you could have just taken that two hour nap.

Maribel checked Homebirth Mom, and announced she noticed significant progression since our last visit, with effacement (thinning of the cervix) and dilation (opening of the cervix.) We were there to stay, and she went to call Shari to report the results of the exam, and to call Carol, the midwife who would be attending the homebirth.

It is now just after noon, and I have to say this is one of the most wonderful labors I have ever been blessed to witness. Homebirth Mom, Homebirth Dad, Mom of Homebirth Mom, the doula and her best friend are an incredibly positive and cheerful bunch of people. It is so refreshing to see a woman who has a long labor maintain a consistently positive and relaxed attitude.

No, she didn't have the four hour labor her mother had years ago in Rome. But, she didn't find out she had only dilated one centimeter and a half after four hours of natural labor and burst into tears and insist on being sent to the hospital for an epidural either. It breaks my heart when mom with all intentions of going natural gets a "bad grade" on a vaginal exam and all of a sudden "can't handle" the contractions that she was breathing through with no problem five minutes before the exam. I fully understand the disappointment, having a 24 hour and 36 hour labor (yes, the second one was LONGER...) under my belt. But, Homebirth Mom smiled, stood up, and went to dance to Bob Marley and Barry White with her best friend, mom, doula and Chihuahua .

Unfortunately, we are on a ticking clock since her waters are broken, which leads to increased risk of infection and a mandatory transfer after a certain amount of time in Florida. I will check back in with an update on how the remarkably accepting and upbeat Homebirth Mom does. So far she has had two hours of sleep, more than 12 hours of labor, no drugs except for the antibiotics we gave her, two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, several cups of Gatorade and raspberry leaf tea, and an endless supply of joy and support from her remarkable labor posse.

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