It took us nearly forty minutes to arrive to our destination. It being the dead of summer, made for a beautiful, warm day. I was grateful for the scenery as we drove along; it helped with distracting me from all the back labor I was having.
By the time we arrived to the cottage, my midwife and one of her assistants were readying my room. They took our vitals, then let me make myself at home. You best believe I did!
I quickly changed into my pajamas. How much better it was to be so comfortable! Dear set out the food and drinks in the kitchenette, making sure to get that first pot of coffee started. If counting from that first moment at home, I had been experiencing labor for about sixteen-and-a-half hours at that point. We knew it could still be a while yet, before our son entered this world.
Soon, our doula arrived. She came straight from her first job, having worked a full shift as a culinary professor. She was eager to get started to help, and we were so glad to see her!
From that moment on, time seemed still for me. The only way I knew time had progressed as much as it had, was by the darkening of our already-darkened room, by the setting of the sun. Each moment for me was simple: work with each contraction, by letting it do its job; rest in between each contraction, with either my doula or husband rubbing my back, while I sat on my birth ball, leaning over the bed; having those blessed, warmed rice packs applied to my back; having cool washcloths applied to my neck and/or face; be refreshed with water or Gatorade, and nourished with the various foods we brought; and, the occasional bathroom break.
At one point, my midwife asked if I wanted her to see how far I had dilated, after checking other vitals; I readily agreed. Having studied incessantly during my pregnancy, and years before it, I knew (as a first-time mother) I probably was not that far along. Was I in for a surprise! In just a few hours of being there, I was already at a "nine!"
That realization was such an encouragement to me! Dear rushed outside to message the news to folks! We were getting so close!
I was mainly surprised, because I kept waiting to go through "transition;" but, it seemed to never come. As I walked in between contractions (at the blessed suggestion of my doula), I became more teary-eyed the further I progressed. I was missing a very dear sister in Christ: my former pastor's wife, back in the Pacific Northwest.
I kept thinking of her encouraging me through each contraction, or simply being a calming, comforting presence; and, the more I thought about it, the more choked-up I became. Of course, I was in my own little world; so, at the time, no one knew. However, the feelings of missing her, and wishing she were there with me, became too much to bear. Dear, ever alongside me as I walked my path in the room, just held me as I finally became an uncontrollable, sobbing mess in his arms.
I told him why I was weeping, and he just compassionately held me. I found out, later, that my doula realized I was transitioning at that moment. She quietly notified the midwifery team, who were sitting at the kitchen table behind the closed door of my room.
It would be another five hours before our son was born. Yet, when he came... He came!