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I got up extra early on that Friday morning, feeling good and rested. It was a big relief, as I had been getting really strong, yet sporadic, contractions for three consecutive days prior to that morning.
Surprisingly, my back wasn’t as sore, my thighs didn’t feel like they were going to fall off, and my heels didn’t feel like they were ready to explode. To celebrate, I whipped up a big breakfast of banana-peanut butter-chocolate pancakes (like the super sinful, unhealthy kind) to cure my hunger pangs.
I remember very clearly making three big ones for myself and a little Mickey Mouse shaped one for the 40-weeks and five-day hitchhiker in my belly.
A little after breakfast time, and for about the twentieth time since I got up, I used the toilet and saw blood-tinged mucus in my underwear. “Oh, joooooy! It’s bloody show time! Baby is coming any day now!”
And just as if on cue, the familiar sensations of contractions kicked in. I sent an SMS update to my midwife, Deborah, and doula, Irina, assuring them that I was still feeling okay, and that I would let them know if anything would progress from there.
Nanay, who was my yaya/nanny when I was a baby and living with us now, left shortly after breakfast for work. Migui, my husband, went upstairs to the gym. I was okay on my own and used this alone time to do my morning house chores.
My "birthing suite" at home
I tried sitting on the toilet to relieve the pressure, which helped just a tiny bit. To get my mind off the discomfort, I got busy and cleaned the house.
I was quite amused to find myself transitioning from vacuuming the bedroom, to getting on my hands and knees for breathing exercises in the living room, to getting up again to wipe the kitchen counters, to transferring to my birthing ball to circle my hips, to scrubbing the bathroom floor, then to my yoga mat to stretch my back.
“Oh sweet Jesus, Malasana and Bakasana have never felt THIS good in my entire life!” Thank you, God, for yoga! It was only at around 9:30AM that I remembered to time my contractions. 25 seconds in 20 minutes. It still seemed far apart, though at this point, I really needed to concentrate on breathing, especially at the peak of each contraction.
I messaged my friend Monica, one of my birthing mentors who also did a home birth (a super successful, unassisted VBAC!), to let her know my progress and to ask for prayers, too. She mentioned that bloody tinge could mean today, tonight, tomorrow, or even the day after that. In my head, “The day after that?! How the hell am I going to manage being like this until Sunday?!”
I prayed. “Please, God, don’t make this last too long. Just the length of time you know I’ll be able to manage, however long that may be.” Migui came back from the gym and found me on my bed, on all fours, making strange moaning noises.
Vocalising helped sooooo much. I told him, with a surprisingly calm voice, that he should stay home and not go to work anymore. His face lit up, and just as if he read my mind, says excitedly, “Lets inflate the pool!!!”
At 11:15AM, contractions were 45 seconds in four minutes. I could not talk anymore during a contraction, and I noticed each one was getting a lot more intense than the last... (Continue reading...)
Bianchi is a registered nurse-turned-writer who likes binge-watching crime shows. She believes pizza is mankind's greatest achievement.
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