My due date had come and gone. 40 weeks.** I had made it all the way to full term. I wondered if I would or not. I had a feeling that I would. My first two babies were born in the hospital, induced 9 and 7 days early, respectively, and I was barely dilated both times. This was going to be my first natural birth. I didn’t even know what it felt like to go into labor. I was so nervous with anticipation. Not scared, just anxious; but not anxious in a bad way, more like an “I can’t wait to meet this boy and experience birth the way it was meant to be” sort of way. Two days after my 40 weeks had passed, I was at church with my kids at our homeschool group classes. It was a Tuesday. I was pretty miserable! I was so worn out and tired, and struggling to help my oldest son with his classes. I’m sure all the other parents there could see my weariness and pain. They were so supportive and offered encouragement to me. That evening, something happened. Was that a contraction? It felt like a menstrual cramp. It radiated across my abdomen. Could this be it? Finally?! Oh, how I was so ready for it! But Joshua wasn’t ready to come earthside yet. I was having prodromal labor, something I had never heard of before. My doula was amazing throughout this process. She and I texted throughout this week as I kept her informed of my progress. I can’t tell you how invaluable she was for me, especially during this last week! Yes, you read that right, a week. A week of prodromal labor, usually starting up in the evening, but never getting into a good rhythm.
I’m what people around here call “crunchy”. It’s a synonym of “granola”, used to describe a lifestyle that revolves around natural things. That includes a whole host of different things, such as natural medicine, natural baby feeding (breastfeeding and baby led weaning), natural eating (anything from clean eating, whole foods, organic, to gardening and fermenting), natural birth, attachment parenting, babywearing, cloth diapering, et al. There are differing degrees of “crunchiness”. There are some of us who do a few things, but not that many. Some are more middle of the road, and others still are all out full crunchy. Some people like to call us “hippies”. I’ve never liked that word personally, because it evokes in my mind visions of the 1960s, with all the “make love not war”, free love, dope smoking crowd. That’s not me. At all. So I much prefer crunchy over hippie. Sometimes my husband calls me a hippie just to get a rise out of me. He’s a big agitator, that man!