First of all, by far this was the fastest and easiest of the three births. It’s also the one I was the most anxious about.
Tuesday night, I hardly slept and when I did it was fitfully. We were up at 6 in the morning and headed to the hospital. My last meal had been the night before at a Greek restaurant called Mykonos that my body “evicted” before we even left the restaurant. We were supposed to get there at 7 but didn’t get up to Labor & Delivery until about 7:30 in the morning. It was 8:05 when I was in the bed with the monitors on, and the IV in with a very slow drip of Pitocin going. My doctor didn’t come in until about a quarter after 10 and at 10:25, he broke my water. I was about 4 centimeters and the Pitocin had worked beautifully even at the very low dosage. I was fine. The contractions until that point were mere blips on my radar verified by a quick glance at the monitor. Baby’s heartrate was solid. Once my water was broken the contractions intensified but this time, things were different. I had brought my Zune with me with a Soothing playlist loaded on it and I was a little more assertive about what was more comfortable for me. For instance, lying on my back was really painful but I found lying on my side was very manageable. It was strange how I reacted this time. It was a very manageable experience for me. Lying on my side, I tuned out of the room into my music. I found that if I listened to songs that I liked to sing along to, I was really able to get through the tough contractions. J was more on the same page as me this time and just knew that I wanted quiet and to be zoned out. He came over and massaged my back for me with one of those plastic massager guy thingies that has three legs? It felt great. He didn’t say a word, just let me be. Things really started intensifying when my parents came in to see me and the pain I was feeling was definitely registerting on the unmanageable side of things so I asked them to please get J so I could request an epidural. When the nurse came in, she asked about my pain and specifically if I was feeling any pressure to which I replied “Very much so.” So she told me she’d have to check me before getting the epidural and found me at 8 cm. She asked if I really wanted it which baffled me. Yes I did please because things were getting really out there. What I couldn’t figure out was she was trying to explain that the worst of the pain I was feeling was NOT the contractions but the pain of the pressure of Baby moving down– something the epidural would not alleviate. They put the epidural in at about 11:30 and sure enough while it did alleviate the contractions, the pressure was insane. I had also been shaking and at that point, the shaking intensified as did the nausea I had been fighting. This time, it was only dry heaving which was a giant relief. Not long after, I was pushing and Baby was born at 12:07 PM after three or four sets of three pushes. The nurse was awesome. I know they didn’t give me a very high dosage of pain medication because I was able to feel my legs and even move them without much help. And most importantly, I was able to really focus on pushing because I wasn’t feeling the crowning or the epistiotomy. Baby apparently had the cord around his neck loosely and he was a much bigger baby than my other two so I’m very grateful I didn’t feel the damage inflicted. She was excellent at communicating with the anestheologist and helping me be comfortable. By the way, standing felt excellent too and I wished I could spend more time that way but lying sideways with my music was excellent too.
I was and still am amazed. At everything. At myself. At my body. At my husband. At our connectivity. At the nurse. At the doctor. At Baby. At the speed.
I was absolutely elated when they pronounced it a boy. I was also shocked. And excited. And overwhelmed. I held him in my arms against my chest and was so happy. After they’d cleaned him up a bit and fixed his cord and everything, they brought him back to me to nurse and it was perfect. He latched on perfectly on his first try and nursed and nursed and nursed. It was a beautiful birth– the one that told me yes this is totally possible and this body of mine works and works really well. I don’t know why, but that was important to me.
Today, my little Baby is five days old. And we took him to the doctor to make sure the jaundice was ok and everything else checked out. He’s a really wonderful HEALTHY boy. The doctor told me they expect babies to lose up to 10% of their birth weight in the first ten days and sure enough Baby was on that path because when he was discharged he weighed 7 lbs, 12 oz. Today, he weighed in at a whopping 8 lbs, 7 oz. Further evidence, for me, that this body I have been given works and it works well and it lets me create and care for my gorgeous and amazing children and for that I am insanely grateful. For that and so much more.