A couple weeks went by and it was a few days after the 38 week mark for me and I woke up having contractions. They were sporadic, but I was consistently having them. I also lost my mucous plug which happened very close to when Gracie’s labor started. We figured this was probably a slow start to labor so Jeff stayed home for a little while and I decided I was fine to be home with the kids while he went to work to finish things up. My contractions started, stopped, then started again and at about 11:30am I called to have Jeff come home. As soon as he came home, they stopped once again. A little while after that we asked my mom to come over and be here in case anything changed right away. As soon as she got here, we got the kids down for a nap and we went for a long walk, but still no contractions. I rested for a while, but couldn’t sleep. Finally, around dinner time I decided I wanted to go to Costco to stock up on some things for after the baby came. As soon as we left I started having a few contractions again, mostly 7-8 minutes apart and nothing too intense. When we got there, I started to have some contractions and wasn’t feeling in the mood for browsing anymore. As we were walking to the car I started having painful contractions 3 ½ minutes apart. Of course, we came home and they stopped…for 2 more weeks!
To everyone’s surprise I hit my due date…plus five. On the eve of the fourth night passed my due date, my midwife this time, Ramona, sent me a text that she was heading out of town. I knew about this trip months in advance but was certain I wouldn’t go late and I was putting a lot of hope in my birth for her to be there. For most of this pregnancy I was struggling to trust God that He would get me through this labor and delivery. I had high hopes of how it would go, and was holding on to every other tangible thing to get that, except for Him. In the last few months of my pregnancy I was praying hard that He would give me strength to surrender while also meditating on his words that He would be sufficient. When I got the text from Ramona that night, I immediately started to cry. In part, because I was sad that we wouldn’t get to share that moment with her, but also in part because it was so very clear to me that God was saying, “I am enough. Trust in me.” He had slowly been taking away the tangible things I was putting my hope in, and Ramona was the last thing there was to take, 5 days beyond my due date. In that moment, I got it and I was ready to surrender. Jeff and I went to bed that night and I felt at peace about the labor we were going to have, however it would go.
The next morning was a Friday and Jeff got up and ready for work as usual. When Gracie woke up at 7:30 I got up to get her and I realized I was having contractions already. This wasn’t shocking as I had been having them for weeks. The contractions were fairly weak and about 7-10 minutes apart, but consistent. Jeff waited around with me for about 15 minutes and was going to head out for the day, but I asked him to wait another 15 minutes to see if they kept coming. Sure enough, they kept coming. I think I was somewhat in denial that this was REALLY labor since we had played the start and stop game before. Jeff made a few phone calls and we started to prepare for the day. Things were pretty slow for a while, but it was nice. It gave me time to wrap my head around what was happening. At about 9:30 my mother-in-law came over to get Noah and Gracie and as soon as she left I got in the tub. Jeff called Sherry, who was our doula, and she was set to come over. I labored in the tub for about an hour with contractions 2-3 minutes apart. It must have helped because I kept asking if they were slowing down. I was fighting fear that labor would stop and I would do all of this work for nothing…and be pregnant forever. They assured me, contractions were close, it was not slowing down, and I would have this baby today.