Some people work until their due date, and some take a few weeks off to prepare. We lived in a town with no birthing facilities, so we had to make an extraordinary trip out of town and fund our own accommodations.
We chose a humble abode three hours out of town. A quiet little B&B within walking distance to my midwives and a hospital that would take you.
The choice to leave your village is a difficult one. You’ll miss people, and you never know when baby is coming. You may think you have a month left and you’re on a helicopter out the next day. (That was not my scenario, as all of my children were days overdue. No exceptions. Not even the last one.)
So we uproot our little life. Pack two kids, pregnant me, and a month's worth of supplies, and we drove to our destination. Arriving at the little inn was like a mini vacation. When we got there, a small minor detail had been mentioned via a post-it-note.
“A fan was to be kept on in the bathroom, due to flooring repair.”
We unpacked and got cozy, knowing the duration could take a while. The child before had taken thirty long days. It was a sacrifice in time, but a blessing as he was born in two hours from water break to first cry.
I had been to the midwife's office to let them know I was in town and to start making my baby come out. I would drink potions, squat, or any other trick to not spend a million dollars on my accommodations.
By day four, we were pretty settled. As in all the suitcases were empty and my kids had toys everywhere. I went to dress my daughter when I noticed she was covered in spots. Oh my, seriously? Chicken pox, now??
But it wasn’t. It was fleas, and the entire cottage was infested.
So. It was a Sunday, we were pregnant, not from this town, and had no idea what to do. We called the owner. She was mortified, and after putting two and two together, realized that the flooring being repaired somehow caused a flea infestation. I can’t do math well when I’m pregnant, but to me it sounded a lot like a refund was in order.
I can’t be pregnant and itchy. The landlord happily refunded us and found new accommodations at an older couples house. I didn’t know the deal came with an old woman stalking us until the baby came.
So we packed, drove, explained to kids, arrived, unpacked and settled in. Again. This place was immaculate, and huge. I needed a space like it and figured it was a blessing in disguise.
...Until the owner of that house took it upon herself to monitor my every move. It was adorable for the first ten minutes, and then it was Grandma is here and she won’t leave. The worst part: we were there for two more weeks.
I tried everything to get baby out. And I mean everything. I drank cod liver oil, stripped my membranes, obsessed, cried, screamed, squatted, and complained. Nothing.
I had my midwives put a birthing pool in the bedroom. This set the old woman off. Not in a bad way, but in a "I sure would like to see baby born in a pool!" way.
No. My husband assured me he would get a bouncer. Every time we went for a walk or did a grocery run, she was outside.
“No baby yet?”
We tried to find alternative exits. I went through the sliding doors and she was pruning a garden I am sure didn’t need it. I was about to lose my mind.
Finally, the midwives could hear my cry and convinced me to let go of the home water birth and get induced.
I ran out the door and basically drove myself to the hospital. Not without a forced wave to the old lady.
Once in the hospital, the doctor examined me and said I would only need a drip of drugs to get things moving. Seven hours of induced contractions, but I wasn’t itching, and Nana was at home.
Finally, at 11:30 PM, a strong, healthy boy was born with a lucky-knot. In utero he had swam a knot into his cord. The midwife’s face flushed the minute she saw it. She said he was lucky to be alive. Many times, the force of delivery can tighten the cord and cause a lot of damage, even death.
Needless to say, birthing is quite an adventure in my little family. And we all felt very lucky to leave town and head home.