On March 19, Earth’s satellite will be at its closest point to our planet in 18 years -- a mere 356,577 kilometers away. The event -- also called a lunar perigee -- was dubbed a "supermoon" by astrologer Richard Nolle back in the 1970s. The term is used to describe a new or full moon at 90% or more of its closest orbit to Earth. Next week, it will be at 100%.
Now, I do not typically believe in the pull of the moon as having the ability to create natural disasters or even send women into labor for that matter. But, my due date was on March 21 and I hoped that I could will the moon to make my waters break on that Saturday. I was ready to meet my boy.
On Thursday, March 17, I became faint at work. A clammy, dizzy feeling lead me to call my midwife for fear that my blood pressure was out of control. She immediately ordered me into the office for a blood pressure check and to check the baby's heart rate. Luckily, T was not working that day and was able to drive me to the birth center.
Thankfully, my blood pressure was within normal range, although slightly elevated. The baby's heart rate looked good but my midwife encouraged me to stop working and stay home. Although it is not common practice, the midwife offered to do a vaginal exam to see how far along I may (or may not) be. After debating whether or not I wanted to be checked, I opted in. I knew that despite any progress I'd made up to that point, an exam would still not tell us when our boy was coming. She checked me, which was quite uncomfortable, and announced that I was already 60% effaced and dilated to a 3. She then stated that she was the midwife on call over the weekend and that she was sure she would see us soon. T and I were ecstatic and, on our drive home, called our parents letting them know our progress.
I did not return to teaching the next day and so began my maternity leave. I spent all day Friday on the couch, reading, watching television, and sleeping. I felt wonderful. That evening, T and I took a very long walk to Whole Foods where we bought strawberries, sandwiches, and root beer (a constant favorite for me during pregnancy!). We walked to a local park where we took pictures of my belly and enjoyed each other's company.
Lo and behold, Saturday, March 19 rolled around and I had no signs or symptoms of impending labor. I sighed but didn't lose faith in that supermoon. I went to the grocery store to walk up and down aisles to encourage the boy to move lower in my pelvis. After returning home, I made multiple trips up the stairs bringing in heavy groceries and staying as active as possible. But, at 39 weeks 5 days, that can only last so long. Before heading to the couch for a nap, I went to the restroom. Upon standing, I felt the slightest trickle down my leg. I sat down, performed a kegel, and stood once more. Yes! Finally, my waters were breaking.
Being that T works nights, he was sleeping in the bedroom reversing his schedule for his upcoming shift. I gently awoke him, and told him he would have to call out that evening as I was pretty sure I was in labor. At that moment, I proceeded to burst into tears. Confused, he comforted me and asked why I was upset. I was emotional for many reasons: thrilled that meeting our boy was imminent, scared for impending labor and delivery, and nostalgic for my own childhood as this means I was really growing up. I was going to become a mother.
Much to our surprise, I did not have a single contraction for 11 hours after my water broke.
Read Part II here.