So, I was pregnant. I spent those first twelve weeks the way I always do when pregnant...avoiding cooking. I get SICK cooking, or brushing my teeth, or thinking about cooking or brushing my teeth....so, we ate out or ordered in quite a bit during that time.
I also had a meeting the the Commanding Officer of the ship, and his wife, during that time, since they needed to know me if I were to be his representative to the other families associated with the ship. He must have liked us...there was another wife being co-Ombudsman with me, since I already knew I'd need some time off, what with a new baby coming....because he arranged for us to attend a training class.
The Ombudsman training class was interesting. I learned a LOT. It really helped me to know a lot more about the Navy than I'd ever have learned on my own. I'm grateful for that short school that prepared me for this life we live.
I also was trying to figure out how to have my long-dreamed-of homebirth. We found a midwife. She was increadible...a practicing nurse, in school full-time, and working as a lay-midwife while finishing up her training as a Certified Nurse Midwife. I was VERY happy with her.
Oh, another small detail...the ship was preparing to deploy, too. When I realized when they were supposed to leave, I got more than a little anxious about when this baby was going to be born. See, I already had this history of REALLY long pregnancies. I did NOT want to go so long that Jason would miss the birth of his 5th child.
Sue and Julie and I finished taking the Ombudsman training class, and three things were approaching at break-neck speed...the birth of my baby, my first experiences as Ombudsman, and the ship's deployment.
The CO announced us to the ship through his newsletter, and we started planning our first meeting with wives from the ship...the last meeting before the ship left, exactly a week before the ship was supposed to deploy. It was a pot-luck, and I spent most of my day getting things ready...fixing my devilled eggs and other dish, and cleaning my house. I was uncomfortable, but figured I'd been on my feet all day, so I was bound to be uncomfortable. Another girl from our housing was riding with me, so we left, and went to the meeting.
The meeting was fun...small, few people, good food, and the CO was speaking and taking questions, so it was pretty informal. During the meeting, I kept having to run out to the restroom....I was getting more and more uncomfortable...and less and less able to concentrate on the meeting. The meeting drew to a close, and I wanted to stay and help clean up, but there was no way....I needed to get home. Fortunately I had the girl who had ridden with me....there was NO WAY I was going to be able to drive home, feeling like I did!
We arrived at the house at about 7:00 pm, and I told Jason that we needed to call the midwife, and get things ready. In the mean time, another lady from church called, and said she was coming by...she didn't know I was in labor, but she probably realized something was up by the way I talked to her on the phone.
I talked to the midwife around 7:25...she was at work at the hospital, but would be there within an hour. She also was sending another girl from the church...one who had a homebirth not long before, and wanted to attend some births. In the mean time, the first friend from church showed up and was wonderful, rubbing my back, taking me through contractions, and getting me to walk around the apartment.
Cammie, the midwife, arrived and things went well. She and the other girl cleaned up my bedroom, made up the bed with my supplies, and basically took over, so I didn't have to worry about anything except having the baby. Jason put the kids to bed, and sat down to do his normal thing while I was laboring....watching TV...at least in our house he wasn't watching in the same room as me, annoying me!!
The time went quickly...things are somewhat of a blur to me now....walking around the house, getting in and out of the tub and shower (my two older girls came down to see me while I was in the tub, before they went to bed), and just laboring....back massages by the girls attending to me, and background noises. Sometime around 10:00 pm I went into transition, and by 10:45 wanting to push. Cammie got me on the birth chair, and we got busy....and not even 15 minutes later, my "little" girl was born....Leah Elizabeth weighed in at 8 pounds 14 ounces, born at 10:54 pm on March 25th, 2002. She was "only" 21 days later than her due date.
The people from church had anticipated the birth, and provided meals for us a week ahead of time, so we had some lasagna in the refrigerator....the ladies heated us up some dinner, cleaned up the house for us, and left us at around midnight, mom, dad and baby snuggled up in bed, exhausted.
Exactly one week later the ship deployed.