Wednesday, August 25, 2010
This is the second part of Lucy's birth story. Read the first part here.
pressure waves = contractions
transformation = transition
Sunday, July 25, around 6 am
When I talked to the midwife on the phone, I didn't have a single contraction during the conversation. I was still a little worried that the waves would stop again, so I told her I would call her back in about 20 minutes if I was ready for her to come.
After talking to the midwife, Mark filled our bathtub and I got in. There was one pressure wave when I was walking to the bathroom that I was unprepared for and it was probably the most uncomfortable one I had. I had been lying on my side in bed with my light switch off (meaning my body was completely limp and relaxed, no moving). I walked to the bathroom with my light switch on (not in hypnosis) and was caught off guard when the bathroom door was locked! I started pounding on the door, panicked because I had planned on making it to the tub before the next wave. Mark opened the door and I kind of collapsed onto him because the pressure wave had just hit. After it was over I got in the tub and it was so nice. So nice. I was able to lie on my side with my knees bent and I used a couple of towels as pillows. We timed some more contractions and decided it was time for the midwife to come. (She lives about 50 minutes away) They were 4 or 5 minutes apart and very strong.
I had Mark turn on the "Early First Stage" track on the computer, because I didn't want to worry about my ipod with the water. By this time my mom and the girls were up, and I could hear all the happy morning noises in the other rooms. My pressure waves felt quite powerful, but not in a negative way. During each wave I would relax completely and picture my muscles working to make way for my baby.
Sunday, July 25, around 7 am
My midwife arrived at 7:15. I can't remember exactly when we stopped timing waves, but they were about 3 or 4 minutes apart at this time. It seemed like there was so much time between the waves, and I wished they would come closer together because I felt like I was still so far from having the baby.
Before the midwife checked me she asked me how dilated I thought I was. I said "Oh a 3?" and secretly hoped for a 5 or 6. She laughed and said she thought I'd be farther along than that. She was right, I was almost an 8!
Almost an 8! I could hardly believe it. When I had Eden I was struggling at 6, but here I was, almost done! As I settled back into a comfortable position I tried to prepare mentally for "transformation." When the Early First Stage track ended I had Mark put on the Deepening track. Everyone left me alone for awhile. As the intensity increased, I started to vocalize during the waves, saying words like "relax" and "open" and I don't remember what else. I know some people feel totally uninhibited when they are giving birth, but not me. I actually felt quite silly and self-conscious but vocalizing helped me so much. It seemed to override any discomfort that I might have otherwise felt.
During transformation I felt totally in control. I never had that "I can't take this for a moment longer" feeling. I still felt like I had plenty of time of rest time between pressure waves. I did get a couple right on top of each other, but I was able to accept whatever came my way. If I felt discomfort at the beginning of a wave I would say "relax. relax. relax" and remind myself that it was just pressure and tightening and that's what it became. I had a completely different experience when I had Eden, so I know how painful transition can be. But this was not painful. Intense, yes, but so so different.
Sunday, July 25, around 8am
Mark sat next to the tub and held my hand during this time. The midwife was in the bathroom too, and told me to let her know when I felt like I needed to push. Soon I felt things change, and during a pressure wave I felt the baby's head move down a bit, then slide back up after the wave ended. I told my midwife that I was ready to push. She knelt down next to the tub and with the next wave I started to push and felt the head move down, and then out it slid. I wasn't about to stop pushing though! A second later the baby's body slid right out and the baby was lifted up to my chest, all warm and pink and beautiful. It happened so fast I was shocked. One push and it was all done! Oh, and the feeling just after you have a baby. There are no words.
After a minute or two the midwife asked if we had seen what the baby was. Oh! I had totally forgotten. In those moments the whole boy or girl thing didn't matter at all. This was my baby, and my baby is healthy and beautiful. That's all that I thought. But of course, after she asked Mark checked and it was a girl! And no, we were not disappointed. Another girl is just perfect.
My mom had taken the girls outside to play, thinking it would be a while longer until I had the baby. She didn't believe Mark when he came out and announced it was another girl! They all came in to see the new baby. That was one of the best moments, being together as a family for the first time.
Lucy was born at 8:07 am, less than an hour after the midwife arrived. Amazingly, I pushed the baby out in one push without tearing at all. This was the first time I didn't have to worry about the dreaded stitches. After I got out of the tub and cleaned up we hopped into bed. Lucy was happy and calm and eager to eat. All I wanted to talk about that day was how amazing the experience was. Even my mom, who was terrified about me giving birth at home, is a bit of a convert now.
I think I may do one more wrap up post here, and then that will be it. But maybe not. I know that giving birth is a different experience for each person and for each birth. But it doesn't HAVE to be "the most painful thing you will ever experience." It can be a beautiful and joyful experience. I feel so blessed to have had the experience of bringing this little person into the world. It's so hard to write a birth story, because there's no way I can really capture the experience. Anything I could write would fall short. But, it was magical. The end.