She was completely in denial from the beginning. Contractions had been 8 minutes apart for a good four hours, she had cleaned the bedroom, taken a shower, asked Nathan to vacuum, had me lay out the birth supplies and still she kept saying she wasn't in labor. I finally convinced her, mid-afternoon, to let me give the midwife a "warning call". She reluctantly agreed, still fearing this was a false alarm. Contractions continued, the time between decreasing to 5 minutes, the discomfort increasing until she could no longer walk and talk through them. She had been in labor for over seven hours when we finally called the dogsitters and the midwife.
Only a couple of short years ago, my daughter informed me of two things: 1) she would not be having children this side of 2013, (if she had them AT ALL) and 2) she was NOT like me when it came to the whole "crazy natural childbirth" stuff.
Now I found myself massaging my daughter's lower back, watching her handle early labor like a pro, with her very supportive husband labor-coaching like a producer for "The Business of Being Born", and awaiting the midwife's arrival for my granddaughter's grand entrance via a non-invasive, non-medicated homebirth.
The midwife arrived at 8:30 and asked if we wanted to know how far she was dilated. We debated for a minute, preparing for the distinct possibility of only being at 2 centimeters. When the midwife announced "7 centimeters!", Kacey was forced to admit, for the first time all day, that she was, in fact, in labor.
She compliantly continued to breathe and squat and kneel and rock and walk and do all the right things to keep labor progressing. Even at the height of transition, after one of her most difficult contractions, she stated, "I can do this. This is not so hard." Then her water broke and the pushing phase began.
Because the names in my blog have not been changed to protect the innocent, we shall suffice it to say that my beautiful grandchild was trying to exit eyebrows first, but with a conehead Jane Curtin would have envied. Needless to say, pushing was NOT a relief. It was nothing short of excruciating . . . for Kacey and for me. Nathan and I held her and encouraged her, and when she cried and said she couldn't do it anymore, Nathan whispered sweet things into her ear . . . and Mom left the room and sobbed. As I said in a previous blog, parents are not wired to watch their children in pain.
I pulled myself together and went back into the bedroom in time to see the baby crown, in time to see Kacey's relief at the realization that her daughter's birth was close, in time to photograph things I can never share with you, or anybody else, without fear of serious retribution . . .
and in time to witness two parents fall instantly in love with their child.