Although her birthday is not until tomorrow, today is technically 52 weeks after her birth. Thus, I am sharing the second part of her birth story. Check out part one, if you missed it.
After my husband, doula, and I got to the 4th floor, we found the admitting desk & they directed me to a triage room. I was certain we were not going to be there long at all. In fact, I even whined to my husband, "why are we going to triaaaaggeeee?" My husband, doula, and I thought we were an hour from meeting our baby. If this were a movie, there would be ominous tones playing to indicate we were all obviously wrong.
|right after birth|
My most vivid memories from the triage room are my husband helping me waddle to the bathroom outside the door. I "had" to use the bathroom about 4 times in an hour, just to get me out of the bed. Contractions make anything more difficult, and when you add the bulk of unplugged monitor cords & the awkwardness of a hospital bathroom, I'm surprised my husband still finds me attractive.
|soon after birth|
Because our birth plan was to have a natural labor and delivery, we were given a big room with jetted tub at the end of the hall. On the long walk to our room, I joked that they were putting me so far away from everything to keep the screams of natural labor contained. I didn't actually scream, though, just loud moans and such.
|about 40 minutes old|
Eventually laying in bed without being able to move got really REALLY old. We opted for the midwife's suggestion of internal monitoring so that I could at least move around more. I didn't want that at all (have you seen the end of the device? They SCREW it into the baby's head), but I figured this "give" was better than possibly ending up with an epidural &/or C-Section. The good news is that despite the bump in our plans, I kept progressing. I felt like it took forever, but looking back, it really was an average labor.
|one hour old|
At 7 am, there was a shift change and the new nurse we got was also awesome. She had great suggestions and worked well with my midwife who came on shift at the same time. She verified that my water had, in fact, broke, because there was definitely nothing 'up there.' My midwife is the kind of woman who tells you how it is, with no sugar-coating. Sometimes that means she doesn't come off very warm or motherly, as you might expect a midwife too. Luckily, that ended up being exactly what I needed in late labor. She told me I needed to get Little Bear flipped around so we could push better. She got me out of the bed & on to a birth ball. It hurt so bad to finally be on my feet (as I moved into position), but it worked like a charm. The baby turned anterior and I dilated the last little bit (had been at a 9.5).
My husband was looking beat, and our poor doula (who was 20-something-weeks pregnant) was hanging on by a thread. The night had taken a lot out of us all. Although the clock on the wall seemed to stand still, it was bright outside and the sunlight brought some serious momma-bear-will-power out of me. It was time to push and everyone in the room got ready. We started pushing a little after eight am.
|the end of her birth day|
The nurse had me lay on my side to see how that went. I felt like a beached whale. I would curl up into a little ball when I had a "break" between pushing contractions and then flop over to my side to push.
I'm really glad that we decided on an unmedicated birth, because I was able to participate in the whole thing. No one needed to count for me, or tell me when to push. I just instinctively knew. After about 30 minutes, my husband got scrubs on and shoe protectors. I joked that's how I knew we were close, he had the protective gear on.
I kept looking at my stomach, waiting for it to go down. I used that as my motivation to keep pushing. For some reason, I thought that the more I pushed, the farther away my baby bump would look. I know that's weird, but I just fixated on my stomach moving while I pushed. I suppose that was my way of visualizing our little bear coming out.
My pushing got stronger; everyone cheered me on. They could see the baby's head! There was hair!! Little Bear started crowning, and I totally felt what you may refer to as 'the ring of fire.' All I can say is that it's like nothing I've ever felt before and there are no words to describe it. I was dying with a 14 inch circumference head pushing it's way out of my body and my spunky baby decided to hang out right there for a few minutes, while the contractions took a 'breather.' When the next pushing contraction came, I mustered up all the energy possible--and with the help of God, brought our beautiful little baby into this world.
|1 day old|
2/22/11: G.C.B. 8 pounds, 11.7 ounces, 21.25" long
2/22/12: TBD soon :-)