Surprise! And to think I was ACTUALLY worried because I didn’t get Bill anything for his birthday! I gave him the gift of a son at 6:10AM on Sunday, May 22nd….the morning of his 30th Birthday!
Celebration. Let me just rewind this story a little so you can get the full picture. Saturday night we went over to the Rosati’s house to have dinner and celebrate Bill’s 30th. As always, there was great food, even greater wine, and some amazing friends. For all 3 of the aforementioned reasons, we stayed there until 2AM.
Wake up honey. After an amazing 1.5 hours of sleep, I was woken up to the sensation of my water breaking. Now, ideally, this was going to happen while I was overhead squatting, but whatever. I didn’t want to wake up Bill right away, instead I went in the bathroom and tried to clean myself up a bit and waited. After 40 minutes my contractions started. I got through about 4 contractions using my hypnobabies relaxation techniques, but by contraction number 5 I wanted to punch that lady with the soothing voice right in the throat! Time to wake up Bill.
HURRY. We started getting stuff ready for the midwife, but my contractions were coming so fast and so strong that I wasn’t much help. Plus, I wanted Bill there to put some counter-pressure on my lower back, so he couldn’t even run around and get stuff ready. Fortunately, my Mother in Law lives just down the road, and she rushed over to help. Somewhere in the midst of being in agony on my hands and knees on my bathroom floor, I managed to look up and see Gabby (the dog) panting on the other side of the gate. DAMN does that dog breathe loud!
Just in time. The midwife was called at 4:45, and she arrived about 5:50. She immediately suggested I move to my bed, as I was having the feeling like I needed to push. Bill kept peeking under my nightgown to make sure there wasn’t a head sticking out….he’s so considerate. I crawled to my bed where she checked to see how dilated I was, and I was at 9-1/2 cm. Her question was, “do you want me to move the lip out of the way, or do you want to breathe through a few more?” I had no response. I just popped back up on my hands and knees and kept breathing and moaning in agony.
My wise uterus. The overwhelming theme of the midwife and her assistant’s help was their constant repeating of the phrase, “your uterus is so strong, and your body is wise. Just let your Uterus do its work”. It was odd, but I somehow found comfort knowing my uterus has like a PhD or something. And your body definitely knows how to birth a baby. It’s almost involuntary. You just listen to what’s happening, tell yourself it’s almost over and do what needs to be done.
17 minutes. After only 17 minutes of pushing, Brady emerged. I was still in the hands-and-knees position, and THANK GOD. The midwife later shared with me that if I had been on my back, I was at risk for re-tearing my previous episiotomy. I had a few small tears, but they were on top instead of down below, which has made recovering a lot easier. I’ll spare you the story about the process of suturing “top tears”. I have two words for you: Labia Puzzle.
Glory and Bliss. The beauty of a home birth is that the midwife got Brady breathing, and then immediately passed him to me. He was still attached to the umbilical cord and everything. I sat back against the headboard and held my squirmy, slimy baby, and all I could think was, “don’t throw up on your baby”. I was VERY nauseous and incredibly exhausted, but somewhere in the middle of all that, I had this amazing baby. I held him against my chest and he laid there blinking up at me. It took about 30 minutes for the cord to stop pulsing, and then Daddy cut him free.
Home sweet home. The best part of the whole experience is being in familiar surroundings during one of your most vulnerable times. I was in my room. In my bed. Surrounded by my things. I don’t want to glamorize natural home births, but there is definitely something amazing about it. The pain is intense, but it’s supposed to be. I experienced birth as prescribed by nature. I dug deep, and found the courage to believe that I COULD DO THIS. The whole time I was in labor, I kept a little sign given to me by a friend a long time ago in my sight. It reads:
She believed she could…
So she did.
And I did.