for two weeks the contractions had been curiously presenting and then fading away, but on july 19th, she decided she was ready. (i sure was!)
2am, i awoke glowing- literally. the moon (just past full) was crossing the sky and for about 5 minutes it hovered in the window above our bed. i awoke contracting and glowing, and certain i was having some bizarre esoteric dream- likely all the spicy food i had been consuming just before bed. but no, it was an actual contraction, and i somehow knew that i'd be meeting our little girl before long. i laid in bed enjoying (and breathing into) the stillness and getting ready to wake chad (after all the false alarms, he had gone to bed, saying, "don't wake me up this time" :)). through the monitor, will woke up just then, calling for us and crying. it's amazing how in tune he is. luckily chad was able to settle him right down and he was back to sleep.
4.30am, lit candles and got the bathwater ready between contractions. chad was packing our bags, i kept coming up with random extra things to bring with us :). got into the bath, and lasted about 3mintues before deciding that the yoga ball was much better. soon after, my water broke, and the reality that this was it, became even more clear. chad called our doula (jennieve), his parents (to come hang with will) and the midwife.
5.30, our house filled w/ chad's parents and jenneive. the sun began to rise. little baby pearson was getting ready to come, she was rotated posterior, and jennieve and chad helped me get her to flip (phew, no back labor this time!). things progressed, and by 7am it was time to go.
our house is only about 5 min to the hospital (where i also work) and i was planning to work that day, and would have been arriving around 7.15, now instead, i was arriving in active labor at the same exact time. shuttling up the main entrance elevators in labor was interesting to say the least.
we went to the wrong floor and had to shuttle up the elevators again. random lady trying to congratulate me and touch me and say how beautiful labor was- luckily the elevator ride wasn't long. i had tears of overwhelm, just from being around so many people at that stage of labor. we checked into our room, and got back onto the yoga ball. all was well in that moment.
one of my biggest fears was labor slowing down once we got to the hospital, but things continued to progress. they set up the birthing tub and checked me and i was over half way there (6 1/2 cm!). being a teaching hospital, there was quite a team of people supporting me. our midwife, a midwife student, a nurse and a nursing student, chad, jennieve, and another nurse who came and went. in the birthing tub i was surrounded by people, but in a most calming and supportive way. i labored in the birth tub for about 2 hrs. i was convinced that i needed the yoga ball in the tub. they entertained my request, but after trying to push a huge inflated ball into a tub of water multiple times (with it flying up into the air w/ the resistance of the water), i finally came to my senses...and was able to laugh between contractions. what an amazing and intense range of emotions from laughter to tears to pure exhaustion/ sleep.
chad was amazing...and exhausted too :)
after about 2 hrs laboring in the tub, the midwife asked if i felt ready to push. before she could even get her query out, i felt an overwhelming compulsion to push. the intensity was overwhelming. the challenge was to try not to control it, rather to work with it. i fought it for a while, and then my midwife asked if i was scared of anything. i immediately shook my head, and said "i don't want to push again for 4 hrs." she assured me i'd meet this little girl any moment.
it wasn't quite a moment later, but after an hour of pushing and all of it's intensity, she arrived (1:03pm) kicking in the water, with a smile on her face.