It has been almost 6.5 years since Samuel was born, so I’m not sure what all I will remember, but I will try. I’m sure it will read a little differently than the other 3 birth stories.
I was due Friday, June 16, 2006. On June 17 I went to some garage sales & freaked people out when I told them my due date was the day before. My feet were so swollen & I probably looked pretty miserable.
On Monday, June 19, my outer bag of waters broke at night. I didn’t even know I had an outer bag of waters (lol), so that surprised me. I informed my parents I was probably going to be in labor soon, so they started driving through the night from NC. They arrived early the next morning & slept for a bit.
On Tuesday, June 20, I had Chris take off work since I “knew” I was going to be going into labor. I don’t remember much of what happened that day except that I wasn’t in labor. Ha. No contractions, my parents were there, & my husband missed a day of work he didn’t need to miss. Oops.
On Wednesday, June 21, we went to the birth center to meet with our midwife to discuss our options since labor hadn’t started yet & I had a broken bag of waters. Right before we left & as we were there, I started having some mild contractions. She suggested I get some funny movies to make me laugh, send Chris to work until I felt I needed him, and try to rest until they picked up. I got the movies, sent Chris to work, & began to watch with my dad. I was timing contractions the whole time on a sticky notepad. I remember later on when I went into the birth center, Linda (midwife) told me to stop counting & just let my body do the work.
In the early afternoon, I called & asked Chris to come home because I wanted him there. He hadn’t been there very long. Things were picking up & seeing as to how it was my first time having a baby, I didn’t know how long things would take. He came home & we headed to the birth center probably around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. I look back on the video of me leaving the house & remember how “concerned” I was, or how concerned I looked & I get embarrassed that I thought it was “that bad” so early on in labor. Little did I know how much more “intense” it would get. Maybe I was being a drama queen. 😉
Once we arrived at the birth center, we talked a bit & Linda helped me settle in. I was watching the clock & she turned it around so I couldn’t see. She asked if I needed anything & I jokingly said, “an epidural” even though I didn’t mean it at all. I later felt embarrassed I had even made that joke. Sigh.
I remember bouncing on the exercise/birth ball, leaning against Chris, while laboring. I would eat some cereal & sip on some water or gatorade. I also labored on my side on the couch but didn’t really like that. I would also walk around some. At some point I started feeling like I was hyperventilating cuz I couldn’t catch my breath & I had to figure out how to breathe better so I wouldn’t be lightheaded anymore.
At some point, we noticed it starting to rain & get dark & pretty windy. Linda asked me if I wanted the windows and/or blinds open or closed (some people like the storms; some don’t), and I told her I wanted them closed. Storms make me nervous. Because of this, the birth assistant gave me a homeopathic remedy called “Rescue Remedy” under the tongue. Not sure if it helped or not. She gave Chris some too. Linda was listening to weather reports, I had my music on, & the lights were on but dim. The power went out eventually & the storm started to pick up. Linda had to keep calling (texting?) her daughter to see what the latest weather reports were since we had no TV or power to listen to radios, etc.
I went ahead and got into the birth tub even during the storm, but since the power had been out it was lukewarm. It still felt nice & I didn’t want to get out. They lit candles & had flashlights. Linda heard from her daughter that there was a tornado spotted touching down somewhat nearby. Since we had a tornado warning, I had to get out of the tub (and I may have been in transition; at least close to it) and go labor in the bathroom. I don’t know how long we were in there but we were all camped out – Chris, me, my midwife, & her assistant – & I remember Linda writing notes using a flashlight and I was sitting on blankets or towels, wrapped in a towel because I was wet.
After the initial tornado threat was over, I was allowed to get back into the tub. The contractions had slowed down after initially getting in, but they picked back up pretty quickly. I don’t remember how long I was in labor after I got back in the tub, but I do remember I got on my knees to push & it felt “right”. Chris was sitting on the edge of the tub with his legs in the water & I was leaning on his legs & lap with my arms around his waist. He told me later how much it was hurting his bottom to sit on the thin rim of the tub, but he would think about my pain & it wouldn’t compare. He also told me later it was horrible seeing me in pain & unable to do anything about it. My water broke, I felt a gush, and I pushed for 24 minutes. He was born with his hand up by his face & that made me tear, but not too badly. Samuel Christopher Chowdhury was born into the water on June 21, 2006 at 10:14pm after 13 hours of labor, probably 8 of it “active”. He was 9 lbs 10 oz & 22.25 inches long.
Since I tore, I had to get stitched in the next room. Someone had finally brought us a generator so we had electricity temporarily. After everything was over, it was around 2:00am so we stayed at the birth center overnight. We hadn’t planned on staying & we didn’t have a “crib” so I asked where Samuel would sleep. Linda said, “um, with you”. I was like, “okay…” lol It’s funny cuz I had never thought of this option. So he slept in-between Chris & me and the next morning Chris woke up & realized he had slept in our bed & he was shocked but fine with it. That was the beginning of our wonderful journey of bedsharing/co-sleeping.
As for the intensity of the storm, we later discovered there was a small tree right outside the window of the room Samuel was born in that was uprooted during my labor. Also, the high school across the street from the birth center had part of its roof torn off. So it was definitely a strong storm. It actually was the worst storm the area had had in years & it had flooded a good portion of the city’s streets.
As another interesting side note, I used to have this recurring dream about a tornado. It was always a similar scenario: There was a tornado coming, I could see it coming & I was inwardly freaking out. Yet there were always kids with me that I had to be calm for because I was responsible for them. I would find shelter for & shield them from it, the tornado would pass over, and we would all be okay. After having Samuel “during a tornado” and having to stay calm for him, I did not have that dream again for 3-4 years, although I had been having it several times a year for as long as I could remember before he was born. I now have had the dream maybe 3 times in the last 3 years. It’s like God was preparing me to stay calm in the storm for Sam. 🙂