i think this labor and birth is such a sweet culmination and end to my pregnancies. we have made the decision that this will be our final babe during my pregnancy, so i knew that it was to be savored. i think my short life as mother has also taken such different twists and turns and this was a sort of acceptance of who i am and where i am as a mother. in a strange way i was also born out of this birth. there is nothing like labor that can truly dig into your sub-consciousness and force you to deal with some things. physical pain can be so powerful psychologically speaking.
so onto the labor...
so here i am...3 days past my due date. getting a little nervous because my midwife was leaving for vacation in 4 days and also being a little discouraged since i had not gone past my due date before...but still feeling really good so i couldnt complain...but i manage to...nonetheless...
my mom had just arrived on tue night. the next day we decide to take the kids to the El Dorado Nature Walk to walk around. i had a couple contractions while we were there...more serious ones than i had before, but i didnt want to start getting my hopes up. We got home and they weren't stopping, so i started timing them and they happened pretty consistently 20 minutes apart for a couple hours. I told my midwife and she suggested going on a walk, so Bryan and I started walking, when i remembered that Farmer's Market was happening not too far from our house. my mom drove the boys and met us there and we walked around and had dinner on a blanket next to the ocean and farmers market. it was such a lovely night and my contractions started getting a little closer, but i was enjoying them still because it hopefully meant we would be meeting our baby soon.
we went home and got the boys ready for bed. my contractions at this point were closer - about 10 minutes apart at around 8:00pm. I lost my plug shortly after and then the contractions really started coming...and one on top of the other...intense...i called Sue at 9:00 because i started wanting to get in the tub...which i did as soon as she arrived. Everyone else arrived shortly after that - Sue's assistants Lindsay and Tiffany and my sister, sister-in-law, niece and rashelle (my mom was here already). we all sat in the office and talked and laughed...and then got quiet during a contraction...then would start up again...poor bryan was severely outnumbered, but he did awesome...when i started transition and things got intense the mood changed but the atmosphere was so lovely. so positive. so encouraging and filled with love.
there will be forever scents and smells and songs that will remind me of this birth - leonard cohen and tuber rose candles and laughter and hands grabbing mine and the sound of me humming through contractions. bryan's strong support by me the entire time. the background of his birth.
as i was in labor i really had to dig inward to find strength to allow the contractions to come and do their work. i realized that while pregnant with bryson all i wanted was to not feel pain. i thought only of myself and did no research at all because i didn't want to feel guilty about getting an epidural. after his birth and lots of reflection, among other experiences, i decided i wanted a different experience with Bodie. still...i was scared...still...i didnt want to feel that pain. i fought against the contractions. i tightened up and tensed and tried to fight my body. when it was time to push i wanted someone to do it for me...i wanted someone to just take the pain away.
i realized during this labor that i needed to allow it all to happen...and that it would be over more quickly...i dug down deep to find that strength. really deep...and something amazing happened. i listened to my body. i felt my body open up. i actually felt myself dilating and the baby moving down. it was so absolutely incredible. there are not words for me to adequately describe how magical our bodies are. feeling him move down made me realize i was that much closer to meeting my baby and gave me a renewed sense of energy. i could feel more pressure at this point, but still didnt feel ready to push.
with both of the other boys i had a bit of anterior lip left on my cervix before i was at 10. i pushed prematurely with both and it caused the last part to be drawn out and much more painful. i told sue this and so she checked me and i was at 9 but no lip. this was the last psychological barrier for me. then, the baby's heart rate started dropping. it got worse with each contraction. the atmosphere changed and i could tell that they were concerned. sue checked me and i was at 10 and told me i needed to push the baby out with the next contraction or else we were getting out of the tub. there was no way i was getting out of that tub, but i didnt feel the urge to push yet. i was scared, but this was so beyond me at this point. i knew what i had to do for my baby and that went beyond my fear of pain...beyond me at all. i told my sister the next day it felt like someone telling me, "okay - go ahead and cut your arm off now" and having to prep for that mentally. but somehow i dug again...found that strength to push him and his head came out with the next contraction. they told me to wait until the next contraction to deliver his body, but i was concerned about his heart rate at this point, so i pushed again and out he came into my arms.
the joy - that he was breathing - that he was okay - that i was able to do it somehow - was overwhelming - that is what you see on my face. but holy cow! how tiny is this baby! i was so shocked. i did not expect such a tiny tiny thing. he looked like half a bodie...and practically was at 5 lbs 11 oz (Bodie was 9lbs 8oz - Bryson was 7lbs 13oz). it didnt make sense to me, but he looked so good and healthy and perfect.
this is bobby nursing for the first time. he has been so alert and nursing amazingly. he did not lose any weight either when they weighed him the next day, which was so comforting since he needs all the ounces he can get!
we are feeling so blessed and so in love with this tiny peanut of a baby. the boys are in love too and we are so grateful for all the help we have been given. i feel like i have grown a lot through this pregnancy and labor and am so thankful for this experience. i will take these memories with me throughout my life and cherish them, for they have formed me into the woman i am, the mother i am - the powerful trans formative power of birth.