One might wonder what I'm doing up at 330 am when I was up all night the previous night...The answer...I have a newborn. You see, 24 hours ago, I was about to decide that I was tired of the pain, tired of the pressure. 24 hours ago, I had already given myself two black eyes, broken a bunch of blood vessels in both eyes, blacked out twice, and the worst bit, tried to give up. 24 hours ago, my son was born.
It seems fitting to stay up for a few minutes right now to write his birth story; the amazingly quick, but horrifically painful venture that let him into this world.
It all started at 9:20 pm on Wednesday. We were going to bed, because that's what us early bird types do. I hadn't slept the night before, and we had gone running around all over town that day. I was pretty pooped. I remember saying to Kyle, "I can't wait till he's here, I just want to hold him," right before turning off my light and rolling over to go to sleep. I felt a strange popping sensation low in my uterus. I had time to think, "What the f....." before I felt a gush, and quickly rolled out of bed onto the floor. So glad I maintained some agility throughout my pregnancy. I managed to make it off of the bed without drenching the mattress. I had to call my midwife right away. I was group B strep positive, so I would have to receive antibiotics throughout labor. She told me to head to the birth center, so we gathered all of our stuff, got in the car, and headed over. About 5 minutes into the car ride, I was kneeling on the seat, hugging the back of it. My contractions had started. While not too bad, they were definitely taking the wind out of me.
We arrived at the birth center at 10:15, and headed into a cozy little bedroom type set up, complete with tub. On the next contraction, I ended up on my hands and knees, so my midwife, Fran, handed me a kidney bean shaped birth ball to lean on. That ball, and some counter pressure from Kyle got me through the first couple of hours. The first time Fran checked me, I was 3cm and 80% effaced. I was shocked. I had checked my cervix right before my water broke, and it was closed. That should have been a good sign.
The next two hours were the most painful of my life. I decided it was time to get in the tub after about 2 and a half hours. I was in some really nasty pain and not getting much of a break between contractions. I ended up consenting to one dose of narcotics, which I won't do again. All it did was make me not care for about 20 minutes, and made me throw up. It did nothing to dull the pain. The next thing I knew, I was begging for an epidural. The contractions were fast and hard, and I was exhausted. I couldn't take it anymore, and I just wanted to rest. Pathetic, right?
Fran, being the wonderful midwife that she is, said, "We can do whatever you want, but just let me check you." I was amazed to find out I was 8cm. I knew that even if I made it to the hospital, the relief I was begging for wouldn't happen, so I got back into the tub. I was in transition, the time when most women want to give up. I decided that if I wasn't going to get meds, I was going to scream and let fly a few cuss words...It did make me feel better. I was in the tub for about another 45 minutes when I started feeling the urge to push. Fran checked me, and there was just a little bit of cervix left in the way. She helped to push it out of the way as I pushed. I started pushing with each contraction in the tub, until after one, I got the sensation that I was just waking up. The second time of "waking up" I decided that the tub was no longer an option. I got out of the tub and moved to the bed. It turned out that, both instances of blacking out were caused by me pushing wrong. This was also when I gave myself the two black eyes and made many blood vessels in my upper body just burst!
Finally, with the help of Fran, I was able to figure out how to properly push. I started feeling progress, and was able to get more into what I was doing. I was sleeping for the short lapses of time between contractions, and still wanted to give up, but I knew it was far too late for that. I finally ended up getting pissed. Rowan was crowning, and it felt like his head was going to make my crotch shatter into 1000 pieces. I hated the way it felt. I got mad. I pushed. And then the contractions stopped. I think 2-3 minutes went by before the last contraction hit me. That made me really pissed. On the last contraction, I grabbed my legs and PUSHED! I pushed like it was the last thing I would ever do. Nothing else mattered. I didn't feel tired, I didn't feel like quitting. I wanted that baby out, and I wanted him out now. Well, that's what I got. On the 4th push, I felt something slippery go shooting out. From what Kyle told me later, he really did shoot out. Once his head slipped free, the rest of him followed.
Fran caught him, set him on me and threw some warm blankets over us. It took him a couple of minutes to let out some cries, but he was definitely breathing. He was cooing right away. It sounded like he was saying "hi" over and over again in this sweet little high -pitched voice. I asked Fran why I felt so cross eyed and couldn't really see right. That's when I found out about the blood vessels. I tried and tried to get him to latch on, but couldn't. That battle has only just been won.
6 hours of labor. That's all it took. Statistically first time births last an average of 16 hours. Not me. I got to do things the short, painful way. It was definitely all worth it. Some pictures to bring you to the moment.