Fridays have always been my favorite day of the week! They start off serious and then turn into a day of fun, followed by two more days to LIVE IT UP! Friday are like little holidays each week! Friday, March 6, 2020 will forever be my most epic FriYAY on record!
I woke up like the average Friday. I made coffee, threw my hair in a pony, slipped into my pregnancy uniform (Aka a giant SIU sweatshirt and the one pair of leggings that were comfortable). I laced up my shoes by lifting my foot onto a stool and waddled out to my car. Off to the gym I went to keep my clients on track with their health and wellness goals. Friyays are a bump’n morning at SIU; the energy is high and everyone is excited #TGIF
When I arrived home, Marcus was excited to because, duh … Friyay! I got a few text messages from friends saying they thought it was baby day, I shared the details with Tevi and he said “Do kay!” We also joked it was getting a little late in the day for labor to start. Neither of us had wanted a up-all-night birth. We are routine folks and staying up all night isn’t for us!
To celebrate Friyay we took off to grab lunch. As we head to our destination, I tell Marcus, “I think I’m having contractions.” He doesn’t even respond, he just fast forwards to “What should we eat?” (his favorite question ever!). We pick up my aunt and bring her with for fun. At lunch, things are starting to feel a little more intense but I’m cracking jokes. “Think people can tell when I’m having a contraction?” “Think it’s normal to be out to lunch when your are starting labor?” “Am I even in labor?” “I think we are having a baby today.” Tevi still wasn’t feeling it but my aunt was slightly nervous.
Driving home, things were really getting wild. I’m still talking, laughing and thinking it’s going to end. When we drop off Kim, we agree Ruby should go to her house before bed for a sleepover. We left her off at 3:15 p.m. We drive another 5 blocks home and Marcus said, “Your contractions are getting closer together and seem longer. I’ve been timing them.” We rush inside and pack up an overnight bag for Ruby. Ruby keeps saying “Mama, what doing?” At first I’m polite and respond in my normal voice, “Dying sweetie, dying.” Then after the 20th ask, I yell, “Marcus let’s get her to Kim’s now.” Clock is 3:30 ish, I volunteer to drive my car to Kim’s house so she has a car seat if needed. Marcus goes, “Can you make it?” Me, “It’s 5 blocks, I’ll leave right after a contraction!” Not trying to be a hero here but keeping my mind moving kept the pain away. Our drop off included contractions ever 3 to 4 minutes, shit was feeling for real, for real and Marcus finally was getting in the game.
We arrive home around 4:15 p.m. By 4:30 p.m., we are on the phone with Jen, our midwife. We have her on speaker because I can barely talk at this point. I’m rolling around our living room and telling Tevi about the pain. Jen asks, “Are your contractions mild?” I pause and Marcus speaks, “Yeah, I think she’s in pain.” Marcus tells her they had really picked up and been going strong for over an hour. She said, “Head in and I’ll meet you!” My eyes got big and I started to panic. I said, “Marcus – if these are ‘mild’ I’m fucked!” We quickly threw together the rest of our hospital needs, grabbed the champagne and a few beers, and off we went.
Now the next 1 hour and 34 minutes went by in the blink of an eye but also as slow as molasses. Jen, our midwife, met us shortly after we got to Ridgeview. When she walked in, the nurse said, “We have the tub filling, I don’t think she’s leaving. My heart was racing and Tevi was pacing. Quickly Jen got into my crotch and said, “Your cervix is gone and I feel the sac”. I looked at her and said, “What does that mean? Where did my cervix go?” She said, “It’s baby time! You’re at a 7 or 8 and soon your baby will be here.” Yikes, I am in labor. These are contractions and fuck, they are clearly not mild!
At 5:40 p.m. or so, I got into the tub. We had another guest join us for the hot tub party, Katelyn. She’s an interning midwife and needed more tub birthing experience, so she asked to be present at my birth. I agreed, the more the merrier. Happy Friyay!
I’ll set the stage: I’m naked, and in a tub with 3 people staring at me in silence. The lights were dim and nobody was speaking except me. I couldn’t get comfortable;, l was tossing and splashing all around the tub. Trying to breathe and listen to the inspiring coaching I was receiving in between awkward moments of silent. Marcus was speechless. Finally I said, “Marcus you gotta sing or something. It’s too quiet.” He turned on my labor rap playlist and, for once, the gangsta beats pissed me off or pissed Rickie off because all of a sudden I had to PUSH! I said, “Change the music,” and asked for permission, “Can I push?” “Sure, whenever you want,” Katlyn said. One or two pushes in and the sac came out still intact. Now I don’t want to be too graphic here, but I thought I pushed the whole baby out at once it was such a pressure release. And then I touched it and was like “WTF is that?” “It’s the sac, your water neve broke, but you are pushes away from your baby!” Katlyn informed me the next push would be the crowning of the head….yep, I could feel that. Then a few more super strong, body-shaking pushes and he was here! At 6:34 p.m. Rickie was in my arms in a still warm tub, screaming his head off covered in a coating that smelled slightly terrible and all I could say was “Now what?” They said, “Sit down mama and just hold your baby.”
Easier said than done when your body is shaking with adrenaline and heart bursting with love! Tevi was still fucking speechless. Less that two hours later, I’ showered, we cracked champagne and sat in shock. Who knew today would be the most epic FriYAY of our lives?!
Rickie Born Tevis 7 pounds/18 inches