I was 41 weeks and 4 days pregnant.
I was sitting in my study, playing poppit on the computer, and browsing parenting forums.
I was listening to Dave snoring in our bedroom, two rooms away.
I was TIRED, so very tired. That kind of tired you only feel when you've been pregnant FOREVER and you've had prelabour FOREVER and you've been to the hospital, only to have labour stall.
But as well as tired, there was something else. A tiny little thing, deep down, an ember glowing in the depths of my mind. That ember has caught a breeze earlier in the day. I'd woken up in the wee hours of this day, four years ago, we regular mild contractions. I'd been excited! FINALLY! Finally I was going to go into labour ON MY OWN! Not at 42 weeks with the assistance of ruptured membranes and a drip. Not at 40 weeks and 4 days with the assistance of rupture membranes, but ALL ON MY OWN, because my baby was ready!
I'd gotten up at 5am, all set to labour at home for a while. My excitement had continued to grow over the next hour and a bit, until I decided to call my doulas because my previous (augmented) labour had ended up being 30 minutes long...
My lovely doulas got to my house by about 7am-ish and we sat around as the sun rose and I embraced every contraction. I tried to stay centred and serene, but my 6 and 4 year old wanted me to answer questions and cut out masks they were making themselves, and eventually I thought I might be able to labour more effectively at hospital, so off we set.
Only a 3 minute drive door to door from home, I had no contractions in the car. I had a tightening or two when we got out of the car, but not as intense as at home. We went inside and I was shown a birthroom. We settled in and waited for labour to recommence.
We walked and waited for labour.
It never came.
We climbed stairs, drank Golden Seal diluted in water, and "tried not to think about it", no more contractions.
My midwife wanted to know what I wanted to do next. I was so disappointed, I was looking forward to meeting my baby that day, four years ago. I might even have agreed to an induction, but a tiny voice told me to go home. A tiny voice said, "Wait."
I said I would go home. They asked if I lived far away. I said I would go home. They asked if someone was available to drive me back quickly, if needed. I said I would go home. The pointed out my last two babies had been 10lbs and 9lbs. I said I would go home, and home I went.
At this time four years ago, I was so tired.
I wanted to meet my baby, and I wondered how long my baby might want to wait.
Deep inside an ember had caught a breeze and the ember glowed.
In an a couple of hours from now, four years ago, I had a big contraction that heralded my third babies journey out of me. He came quickly, but not too quickly, in 3.5 hours of labour. When I went back to the hospital this time, my labour didn't stop.
Deep down though I knew my fourth baby would be born at home, and perhaps that's what my third baby was trying, ever so gently, to tell me with his brief "labour strike"...