eli zaad arrived on saturday at 10 am. he was 8 pounds, 13 oz. 21 inches long. from the time i started having to vocalize during contractions until i saw his beautiful face was exactly 3 hours.
so add one more to the boy side of the gender tally!
eta: here's my birth story
i went to bed around midnight friday night with the feeling that something would happen soon, but i didn't say anything to anyone. at 3.30 or 4 i woke up because of ctx, they were coming every 9 minutes and lasting 1-1.5 minutes. i made a bed on the couch and tried to sleep. i slept between ctx as much as possible for a couple of hours. around 5 dh was awake anyways so i told him that today's the day so get some sleep. he got a few things ready and went back to sleep. by this time the ctx were too strong and frequent to sleep between so i lay awake and focussed on not making noise to wake the boys. i was calm and relaxed and excited.
i'd noticed that every time i got up to pee or get water or anything the ctx had intensified and i had a feeling that once this baby started really coming, it would come fast, so i held very still and stayed very calm so that things wouldn't get too intense too soon. i really wanted brad to get a full night's sleep and morning to come before i had to call for babysitters and stuff. calling people in the middle of the night just isn't kind. so i talked to the baby and dozed here and there... it was nice, as far as early labour goes.
right at 7 am the ctx finally got too painful to stay silent through. they were coming every 3 or 4 minutes and lasting almost 2 minutes and i started needing to make noise. so i woke dh and he called the mw and then he got things ready to go. i stayed still so as not to speed things along. mw came and checked me, i was 6 cm and fully effaced. dh called the babysitter and we were on our way.
by 8 i was checked into the hospital and climbing into the birthing tub. just getting there had made things intensify even more and the ctx were awful. i climbed into the water and everything became so much better. the water helped a fair amount with the pain of the ctx, but mostly it was just amazingly comfortable and relaxing between them. dh put on music and got me an iced capp. there was one interval around 8.30 where i was relaxing in the tub, enjoying the music and licking the whipped cream off the top of my drink. me, dh and mw were laughing & joking around. it felt more like a vacation than labour for a few minutes. i remember around 8.30 or 9 telling dh that we would definitely have the baby by noon and him being skeptical.
then i hit transition. it was unmistakable. the contractions tripled & quadrupled in length without being spaced farther apart, so some overlapped and i seldom got even a few seconds' breather. and in the middle of each ctx i'd have maybe 20 seconds of unbearable, unspeakable pain. i mean, the ctx hurt one hell of a lot, but then for those little bits i hit the limit of my ability to feel pain. my whole birth with ds had been like that. the amazing thing was that even in the worst of the pain i never lost control of my thoughts. with ds i was out of control and chaotic the whole time, i had no idea what was going on and was just in hell. this time even though i couldn't communicate during ctx (beyond smacking dh for trying to touch me when i didn't want to be touched) i still knew what was going on and was totally rational. it was a revelation that birth could be something besides chaos and agony.
then i started pushing involuntarily. this is when things got a little nuts. the hospital has a stupid rule about no pushing in the tub, or at least no pushing in a tub with water in it. the whole time we'd been there a nurse had been hovering outside the door listening for illicit pushing, and the moment i started she was there, emptying the tub and telling me to get out NOW. even in the middle of the contraction and pushing i managed to yell at her that i'd get on it as soon as i was not having a contraction. i believe i swore. so when it ended i stood up and was bent over, about to climb out of the tub when the next ctx hit. i stayed bent over and discovered that pushing like that felt very good. i reached inside myself and felt my bulging bag of waters and was amazed. as soon as the ctx ended my waters broke in a huge gush of clear fluid. i have no memory of my waters being broken for ds and so i think i said something like 'holy s*** that' cool!' before being hustled out of the tub. i guess bent over the side of a spa tub isn't the best place to have a baby, since there's no way for anyone to position themselves to catch. so i got out.
i managed to run my mostly naked self across the hall to my room before the next one hit. there i bent over the bed and pushed. pushing was amazing. it hurt so badly but i was doing something, it was working! for most of the time i was pushing i kept a couple of fingers inside me, feeling the baby coming down. i talked to it and told it to come on, come on out... it was incredible. well, except for the part where a massive head was forcing its way through a delicate body part with lots of nerve endings... that wasn't so hot. i cussed like i have seldom cussed before. i probably sounded schizophrenic, alternating between talking tenderly to my baby and swearing like mad at the pain. then the baby was crowning.
i could feel my perineum bulge madly and i yelled at the mw to get pressure there NOW because i did NOT want to tear. she rushed off and got a hot compress for me almost instantly. she wasn't holding it exactly where i wanted it so i grabbed it from her and did it myself.
things stalled for a bit at this point. i felt like i already was pushing as hard as i could, but nothing was happening. i needed to push harder. i didn't really know what to do and wanted someone to come tell me how to push to get this done. after a couple of fruitless attempts i realized that at this point everything was 100% up to me. no one else was going to help or tell me what to do. this baby had to come out and i had to do it myself. so i pushed him out into his daddy's waiting hands.
dh handed the baby between my legs onto the bed. this was my boy! he was covered in vernix and not crying at all, but definitely breathing. and SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! i started touching him and talking to him right away. the cord was so interesting, and i loved how i was connected to him by this living rope... i loved so much that i'd just experienced every moment of this child's emergence into the world.
and so was born eli zaad at 10 am on saturday, july 28, 2007.