Birthing Tristan

by Julia O'Farrell

I woke up Friday morning after a rough night's sleep. I had been contracting off and on throughout the night. The entire right side of my body was achy, especially in the joints. At some point during the night I remember thinking, in between birthing waves, that I didn't want Geremy to go to work when morning came. I had this intense need for him to be near me and to stay close.

We also have a lot of construction going on and I was afraid that if I were to go into labor while he was at work that he’d not make it home in time. My labors go fast. I made a note to myself to mention this to him when we woke in the morning. I tossed and turned a bit more after this, at some point drifting off to sleep and waking just after 7 am to our daughter calling for her daddy.

When I woke, despite the night I had just had I fully expected to still be pregnant come Monday. I really had no inkling that I was going to go into labor anytime soon, much less come 1:30 am. I was about to mention to Geremy that I'd rather he not go to work, when he said he was planning on staying home knowing I had had a rough night (although not knowing the details just yet).

I smiled and shared with him how glad I was to hear that, and why. The rest of my day went about its usual course of events, feeding and cleaning up after kids, doing school work and so forth. Geremy had his Friday night class to teach so the older boys helped out with dinner and the clean up.

Once the kids were in bed I went downstairs to finish catching up on laundry, tidying the downstairs living room and bedrooms. I continued until Geremy got home. It seems the boys had "second dinners" with him as he'd brought some stuff home to eat. I stayed downstairs doing laundry and one by one sent the boys back to bed.

Around midnight Geremy decided to go upstairs to get something, shortly after I heard him say, "She's puked all over!" I placed the laundry I had been folding down and sighed, "Well shoot," I muttered to myself as I headed up the stairs.

As I walked through the kitchen I found myself feeling stressed that it was a mess. No one had cleaned up after themselves. The living room was a mess, too, not to mention the lovely scent of throw up that I was now picking up as I got closer to Isabelle's room. Geremy was in the process of changing her so I cleaned up the crib, washing it down with disinfectant and taking her crib sheet out. Then I gathering the clothes so I could start another wash.

As I walked back through the house I once again felt really stressed by how messy everything was, muttering to myself, "Just watch me go into labor tonight, messy house, puking kids, I could really do with a shower, I'm not wearing anything cute blah blah blah..."

After saying the last part to myself I started to laugh because for weeks up to that point I'd made sure that the house was clean before going to bed, that I had showered, was feeling good and that I had something to wear. That's when I thought, "Ya know, oh well. The house is a mess. It's not the end of the world. If someone wants they can do the dishes and if not they can sit for awhile. Who cares what I look like, I'm not putting on a fashion parade?"

I went back downstairs I put on a wash and then sat down at the computer. At this point I had a bit of déjà vu in regards to my last birth. I had started to contract a bit and I thought to myself, "This feels familiar" -- both the contractions and sitting up at night knowing I was more than likely in early labor. I stayed downstairs for a bit longer paying attention to the birthing waves and tiding up here "n" there.

About 30 minutes later I went back upstairs to find Geremy asleep so I thought that perhaps I would lay down to see if I could get some rest. This didn't last long. I laid there for a bit paying attention to my birthing waves trying to feel if they felt "real" or not.