We contemplated whether we should call people. Our gut feeling said this might be it, even if it didn't look serious yet. I was really worried about getting everybody here and then have the labor stop on me, because it was only pre-labor. You would expect that I would have known with my 4th kid, but I still didn't. After supper, we started calling people. Our first call was to Mary, the person who was making a film about midwifery that we were participating in. We wanted to let her know that things might be happening, even though we still weren't sure, and that she might want to come over (she wanted to be here early this time, since she missed Tara's birth). The same for the midwife, but she wasn't at home. I got her daughter-in-law and she thought she was out for dinner. I left her a message to call me back when she came home, I didn't want to beep her yet, since I felt things weren't moving very much yet.
We timed the contractions around dinner for about an hour and they were coming on an average of every 4 minutes, sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. But they weren't too strong yet.
I called one of the neighbors to take my 2 oldest boys. We got them ready and I walked them over to the neighbor's house. She freaked out that I was walking around outside while in labor. Afterwards I walked to one of the other neighbors, to have her on call to take care of Tara. We hoped Tara would sleep through it, but she had promised to come over if we needed her. Tara was only 13mo at that time, and we didn't want her to sleep over with somebody if it wasn't absolutely needed.
Back at home, the contractions picked up again. Sander was going to put Tara to sleep (I didn't want to nurse her now, because I feared this would make the contractions pick up too much before the midwife got there and before Mary arrived. I noticed the contractions slowed down when Mary was there. Even though I was totally fine with having her there, it still seemed to have an impact on my labor to have somebody else there. I was kind of surprised about that.
Sander got Tara to sleep and we decided it was time to beep the midwife. I kept getting 'this call cannot be completed!'. Great, now I wanted to talk to her and I couldn't get into contact with her! I asked Sander to do it and he was able to figure out how.
The midwife finally called back at 10:30pm after we had beeped her 2 more times and figured out that we needed to key in a phone number. I talked to her and told her how things were going. I still didn't know how labor was advancing, but the contractions were not too strong yet and I could still use breathing to get through them and I could even talk through them, so I figured I had at least another few hours. So I told her I didn't need her yet (deja vu from last year, when Tara was born without the midwives there, because I thought things were not going very fast yet).
She called back around 11.10pm to ask how things were going. It was still about the same. But I said that maybe she should come over now, although I had no idea whether it was going to be 50 minutes or 50 hours. So she headed over.