Some of you may have read the Cliffs Notes Version and feel that's plenty for you. If so, you are free to skip this. But for those who love them a birthin' story, here it is. It's amazing how much I've already forgotten (or blocked out). So I'm referring to GH's account as well to make sure I get it right.
(December 1st, the Estimated Due Date)
On December 1st I had an appointment at the clinic. The midwife (whom we will refer to as Midwife A) examined me and said that I was dilated to about 2.5 cms, the baby was right down where he needed to be, and that things were looking "ripe" down there. She guessed I would go into labor in the next couple of days. And then, as we were finishing up, she said something that would turn out to be important later.
Midwife A: By the way, I don't believe your baby . . . will be a small baby.
Me: Wait, what?
(Note: This is the first time anyone had ever made mention of the baby's potential size.)
Midwife A: Yeah, you're pretty much all baby in there. I'm guessing 8.5 pounds, maybe more.
Me: Huh. That's . . . interesting. (And also insane. All the babies in my family and GH's family were average sized, so I didn't see where 8+ pounds would be coming from. Sure, I'd been eating my (considerable) weight in Baby Bel cheese and Ramen noodles in the last little while, but what of it?)
About 36 hours later, when I was at the hospital trying to push out said baby, Midwife C and the labor & delivery nurse made their own guesses at around 7 or 7.5 pounds.
Me: Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too. But you know what's funny? Midwife A checked me and said he was going to be huge. Funny, right?
Them, exchanging a look: Midwife A said that? She's . . . usually pretty good at this kind of thing. But still, you never know til they're out!
(Which I now know was their way of saying, "In that case, you're screwed. Good luck giving birth to a Mini Cooper, sweetie!")
On December 2nd, I woke up at 5am to go to the bathroom. I'd been invited to go to the Festival of Trees with GH's Mom and sisters. While in the bathroom, I pondered whether all that driving and walking would be a good idea..
Turns out that decision was to be made for me, because as I got back in bed and started drifting back to sleep my water most definitely broke. I jumped out of bed and made it to the bathroom as fast as a legged-manatee-on-land can move, trailing water all the way. "GH GH GH, water-breaking water-breaking!" It didn't all come at once, so I had to run back to the bathroom a few more times over the next couple of hours.
Aside from the water breaking and the "Oh my gosh that's what a mucus plug looks like? Eeyeeww," not much else happened. I got back in bed and hung out there for the next hour or so, feeling a couple of very mild contractions, then called Midwife A. Because my water had broken, she said I should head to the hospital around noon unless things picked up before then. (Note: Next time if this happens I'll ignore that and stay home until I'm in actual labor, while of course being careful not to do anything risky.)
That morning we had breakfast, finished packing for the hospital, and just hung out. I asked GH to give me a blessing, which was really nice. I listened to my Hypnobabies mp3s and timed the contractions a few times, which were about 10 minutes apart and didn't feel like very much at all. (My thoughts then: "Wow, I must be SUPER GOOD at Hypnobabies! What if they're like this the whole time???" Secret Note From the Future: They won't be.)
Around 1pm, with me still not feeling very labor-y, we loaded up the car with our bags, pillows, CD player, video camera, digital camera, iPods, birth ball, curling iron, bathing suits, sleep mask, (yes, I was possibly mistaking the hospital for a cruise liner) and about 8 million other things. It was a gorgeous, sunny, blue-skied day, which I felt boded well. And then we were off to have us a baby!