Fluid was leaking down my legs and worse, collecting into a puddle in my shoes. At that point in my life I had never felt more physically uncomfortable.
I take that back. One time when I was a missionary I went door-to-door talking to people and had a really unfortunate, almost painful situation with a pair of panty hose. As personal as a birth story may be, I could never, never share this particular panty hose story with the world. Yikes what a doozy.
Here were my internal thoughts at that moment:
I am pretty sure that was my water breaking.
Ugh. Squishy shoes.
I need to turn around and get home.
How am I going to walk home?
How am I going to convince The Chief we need to turn around?
At this point, what is going to require more energy--getting the The Chief to turn around or finishing the walk though it will take twice the distance?
"Honey," I said in a voice like a calm mother whose water didn't just break. "We need to head back home."
"No. Way." Said my son back to me, lifting his head from sniffing the flowers. Pointing to the sharp incline ahead of us.
Somebody taught my son how to say "way". This word has liberated him from a limited vocabulary dependence. "Way" means MY WAY OR THE FRAKING HIGHWAY. Daily I try not to hate the person who taught my son how to say "way." Hate, repent, hate, repent--all day long.
Fluid was still trickling down my ankles.
And so I made the brave decision to continue the walk. No matter how gory this story gets, please know I consider continuing the walk the most brave thing I did all labor long. I turned the corner and, while pushing the empty stroller, walked up a very steep hill until we rounded out the block and were headed home.
The pain, the anguish, the waddling it took to accomplish this feat was instilled inside of me in the pre-existence because nothing in my mortal past could've prepared me for that long walk home. Every fiber of my corpse ached and protested.
Plus squishy shoes.
Around seven o'clock Chup walked in the door.
He hugged and kissed me. He took me to eat Mexican food. I just wanted something immersed in guacamole. And a Vanilla Coke too please.
It was at the end of our meal, when Chup was signing the check, I got my first real contraction. We came home and put The Chief to bed. Contractions were coming every ten minutes. They felt like my uterus was turning to concrete--churning and hardening--and melting. Repeat.
For the two weeks previous I had decided what I'd do when I went into labor. One, was to fill my house with tons of food. Fruits, chips, dips, candy, quality chocolate, baked goods, vegetables, drinks in a large variety, and a large tub of spring mix salad. Two, was to call Ashlee, my hair therapist to give me Labor Hair.
I didn't have time to go grocery shopping at that point, but one text to Ashlee--and while counting contractions--she gave me the most incredible display of braids and twists and hair sprayed it to withstand even life's biggest moments. All of this from the comfort of my own kitchen. Inspired by Jessica Simpson on The Price of Beauty.
(I love Jessica Simpson.)
(And it all matched so well with my Labor Earrings.)
I texted all my sisters and told them to come by and throw their last bits of advice. Page showed up an hour later and we went through the game plan.
"I know technically I should have this baby within 24 hours." A bit of trivia I remembered when I had The Chief. My water broke, but because of his posterior self, we didn't have good contractions until we went to the hospital for a healthy shot of pitocin. It was 48 hours after the water breakage and Everyone And Their Scrubs were worried about infection.
"Right. You want to keep these contractions going stronger and stronger. Call the midwife when they start lasting around a minute." Directed Page who then offered to rub my feet.
Labor Hair, Labor Earrings and a Labor Foot Rub?
AND Labor Guacamole.
By the time she was done my feet felt fantastic, we solved a few of the world's problems (i.e. let it all go) but my contractions had vanished into the spring night.
I had less than 18 hours to go.