From the time we knew we were expecting twins, my midwife and OB told me that our ultimate goal was to keep these babies in the womb until 37 weeks gestation. Our first goal was to make it to 32 weeks, then "we would be grateful for every extra week".
I made it. It was early on a Friday morning, Mr. Visionary's day to work at home. I was 37 weeks pregnant, and was prepared to go to my midwife appointment and hear her say that it was "time". At the appointment, she said that I was fully effaced and measuring 4 cm. dilation. I was prepared for a little herbal cocktail and possibly having her strip my membranes to get labor going. I fully expected to not return home until I had two babes-in-arms, but it was not to be. My midwife did not have a peace about beginning labor yet, so I was sent home to wait, "but I expect those babies to come this weekend".
I called my Mom, who hoped be around when I had the babies and told her to listen out for a call. She lives eight hours away, so instead of waiting, she secretly hopped in the car.
My hormone levels had to be off the charts, as I could hardly go an hour without crying. Miserably uncomfortable in any possible position (my fundal height was measuring 53 cm.), I could not sleep. The disappointment of waiting for the big day to come only to have to wait longer was more than I could bear. I was a basket case. I spent the afternoon crying and trying to nap until my midwife called. Phil must have told her how I was doing, because she tenderly gave me "permission" to have my babies whenever I was ready. She let me know that I had done well - that I could now let my body do whatever it needed to without worrying that it was too soon. She reassured me by mentioning who was on call that weekend, and simply spoke comfortingly to me.
I hadn't realized that I wanted "permission", but I relaxed greatly after hearing it. If you have never experienced the care of a midwife before, you do not know what you are missing. They truly understand the whole picture of a pregnant woman and can minister more effectively by taking emotions and family dynamics into account in a way that an OB simply does not even have time for. I was blessed by her call.
The Wallers were in town, staying at my girlfriend's farm and having a Rosh Chodesh gathering that night. I had made no plans to go, thinking I'd be in labor, but somehow I was talked into getting some food together and going. Ugh. It was a hot, sticky August night in the South. We sat around a pond where I fretted all night about my one-year-old getting too close to the water while I was too whale-like to run after her. I was so hot, uncomfortable and downright miserable I cried the whole way home.
I spent the next day, Sabbath, praying for a way to be able to make it with Phil at work the next week and begging Phil to help me find a way. I was thinking I could go into labor at any moment, but that if I did not, there was no way I was going to be able to care for the children and myself alone. I was already fretting about how I was going to get to the hospital in time and get someone here to be with the children. I have a history of precipitous labors, and we live 40 minutes from the hospital, so to this day I still believe some of the fretting was valid.
My Mom was in town for my seventh birth (she even got to be at the birth), but had to leave that day. She had never been around for a birth before that, so I was not expecting any miracles on that front, but one came anyway. Monday morning she came over to be with the children and me and stayed the whole week! I believed my Heavenly Father pulled that one out of thin air because it was not even a remote hope of mine. I was so relieved!
Late Monday night when Mr. Visionary brought in the mail, there was a letter from a lady who had read in the Samaritan Ministries Prayer Guide that we were expecting twins this month. After reading that she had twins herself that she (no doubt to encourage me) conspicuously mentioned carrying to 41 weeks, I broke down in loud, heaving sobs and eventually cried myself to sleep.
You may read Part 2 here.
Part 3 is here.