Monday was a great day.
Ross did housework and I got the ball rolling on deferral.
By 1pm we had packed the car with towels, floaty, cooler (yes, with beer, it's my celebration, damnit) and dog for a day on the Russian River.
My logic was this: Let's drive as far out of town as we can stand and see if that doesn't jump-start labor.
Also, August is finally hot and summery and I have not spent nearly enough time on the river this year.
We arrived with sandwiches and cherries and 1 beer down. We found shade, inflated a floaty and tortured the dog by taking him with us on our first slow float. (Spider is not a water-loving dog. On a hot day, he'll head for the water, drink it up, get in up to his belly and maybe follow Ross or I as we wade or swim, but he does this without enjoyment.)
There were beers and yellow jackets, dogs on leashes, white trash girls who were much cuter than their white trash boys and lots of smooches between Ross and I (the mix of sun, water and white trash has that effect on us).
As well, I got lots of attention from the locals.
Moms/Grandmoms approached to find out how preggo I was and compliment me on being out and about, or on my figure (!) and especially on our decision to do a home birth.
Younger moms and friends (with beers in hand) were also thrilled that I was out, and on my due date no less. We compared due date stories of water and celebration.
The teenagers (beers in hand when no one was looking) next to us, however, seemed to refer to me as a warning, a public service message, if you will.
About my boobs: "Oh, yeah, but then the milk comes and you're all sore and when you're done they sag."
About breeding: "I think I could have one kid, maybe, but I'd have to do it soon so I can get my body back."
About everything else: "Take off your clothes." "What?" "Get naked!" "I can't hear you. Shut up!" (This a conversation between two 15/17-year-olds, maybe a couple, mixed with unintelligible honky/gangsta slang and debates about who was being a slut).
I was happy with my role, loved the attention, and chuckled at the teens. I prob'ly sounded like them until my mid-twenties, minus the gansta slang.
Throughout the day, I got progressively less comfortable. Floating was nice, but lounging, sitting, laying around = awful. Ginger was moving lower and lower, and letting me know what positions were cramping her style.
Cat and cow postures helped, and likely added to my persona of "really fucking pregnant lady over there." The drive home was interesting and I simply gave in to the pressure on my cervix, the total inability to lean forward and a massive thirst.
At about 1 am, I was experiencing my first-ever round of contractions. Intense enough for me to notice, practice breathing and counting, and remember what the midwives/doula had suggested.
I alerted Ross, but told him to stay in bed (he listened and made me agree that I needed to get some sleep.) I was feeling wired, like whole-pot-of-coffee alert as I thought about what we needed to do before the doula arrived: wash the dishes, fill the tub, get the crock pot out, etc. Not exactly relaxing were these thoughts. I was excited that she might come and did what I usually do when I'm excited: Think myself in circles.
So, I got up, ate a dinner-size snack. Hydrated. And opened the pretty darn nice bottle of wine I had hidden just for this purpose. As I sipped on my massive glass of red, I wrote the emails that I thought I'd need to send when labor actually starts, added more media/text to our phone plan because we'll be using more in the weeks that follow Ginger Crash's arrival, and checked our lists of needs, to-dos, etc.
By the time the second glass of wine hit, I was calm enough to go back up stairs and within 30 minutes, I was asleep.
Pretty cool to get the practice round in! I should expect a few more before I start to labor... and I should pretty much play it just like that: do whatever it takes to relax, rest or sleep. When labor starts for reals, I won't be able to sleep, but the practice relaxing and resting will really pay off.
OK: Ginger, bring it on, honey! I am ready for whatever you've got in store for me.