Our Eli is 18 days old today!
Well I haven't had time to be on here much. Here's my birth story in some kind of nutshell:
My due date was Feb 25. This is my first birth and I had a pretty healthy and comfy pregnancy all in all. My ideas of labor were really naïve before this...my only real idea was from movies, that fast dramatic 'honey get in the car!' style birth. We took a bunch of birth classes and I read an excessive amount of books and learned a TON and braced myself for a 30 hr + natural labor.
We had an additional aspect hanging over our heads which is where we live...in an extensive renovation project house...my father in law was living with us the past month to help us get more work done. We didn't even have a toilet in. (Yeah..I managed my whole pregnancy with a bucket system.)
I'd made a relatively elaborate mardi Gras costume (Feb 9th) and the plan was for me to crash at a friends house and we'd work on our costumes a bit more...the next morning we'd hit parades and then meet up with my SO & father in law later in the day. My costume was a big white bird and my giant stomach was an egg and a stranger off facebook even loaned me a wheel chair that I planned to turn into a nest and be pushed around town.
Around 11:30 pm my friend picked me up. I got in his car and we literally drove like 10 feet when I felt a pop and woooosh. Really calmly I saw something like "can you put the car back where it was?" we backed up 10 ft and I said "I think my water just broke. Don't worry, I probably wont have the baby for hours but I need to go back inside"
So I came inside and saw that there was pink watery fluid. My friend left and me and my s.o. started digging through all our notebooks of info to see what to do next. I had switched from my OB to a midwife literally DAYS before this so we called her. She told me to get in bed and rest.
A few minutes later I started having contraction intense enough that I couldn't really sit...I was pacing and getting nervous...I really didn't want to be at home because our house was totally unprepared and not comfortable. My s.o. started packing a bag for the hospital and encouraging me to get in bed. The contraction got more intense and there was no way I was going to rest through them.
We called the midwife again and she asked what my pain level was. I said a '5'. I really would have rated it a 6 or 7 even, but again I thought this is only the beginning to I better low ball it.
About 15 mins later the contractions got really really bad. They were only 2 minutes or so apart and were extremely painful. I felt my legs 'give out' and I only felt sort of ok by propping myself 1/2 up against a table in a sort of squat/lunge position. I started moaning and getting really scared because it hurt so bad. Then I took the most painful enormous shit I've ever taken in the middle of the floor in our room.
My s.o was a champ and held me, cleaned me, was calm as could be given the situation. I thought I was going to shit again and felt this really intense pressure and felt like I was going to have the baby right there.
We called the midwife again and she said to get in the car and go straight to the hospital. I was terrified of going in the car because I was in so much pain I was afraid I would jerk or spasm and cause my s.o. to run off the road. I begged the midwife to come to our house, but she was stern and said no- go to the hospital NOW.
I listened to her and my s.o. and put on these ridiculous rain boot gouloushes. Walking through the backyard to the car I felt sort of out of body...it felt like a scene from a horror movie..I could hear myself saying, "oh god help me! help me!" it was night time and pitch black and kind of cold. If any of my neighbors would have heard it probably sounded like someone being chased or something.
In the car I kind of kneeled backward and kept my head in a pillow. I moaned the whole time and did this really deep guttural chanting...I went "I'm ooookay....you're ooooookay...he's ooookay" This helped me IMMENSLY. It let me feel like I was reassuring myself and telling my partner and the baby that we were all okay.
Retrospectively I think I transitioned and the pain peaked when I took that giant shit. I was afraid in the car and the contractions still really hurt but did not get worse. At the hospital we had to go through the ER. I sat in the wheelchair kneeling into my pillow. Some little shitbag clerk at the front desk asked me for my social security and to spell my name out over and over. I between contraction I would list it out real fast. He acted all impatient and told me to stop moaning and started going on about ridiculous beauracratic non sense. It was very weird.
Thankfully a nurse noticed that I was about the give fucking birth and came and grabbed me! They took me straight to delivery and we could all feel his head crowning.
In delivery the midwife got there 5 minutes later. I had 2 nurses holding both my hands and my s.o. holding my leg next to the midwife. They were are very encouraging and I pushed for 45 minutes. It was great to be able to relax in between pushing. The ring of fire thing really hurt and I ended up taring in 3 places but I didn't feel it.
My s.o. caught the baby and passed him onto my chest. It was the most surreal thing ever. I was so overwhelmed and had been through so much intense sensations that I felt pretty dumbfounded.
I cuddled with the baby while the midwife started sewing me up. Then I got bad news that my placenta wouldn't come out. They gave me some Pitocin but that didn't work. We waited 1/2 an hr. They decided a dr had to come in. She came in an for lack of a nicer description, fisted me, stripped the membranes and pulled out the placenta. It was painful as hell but at least it went quick.
The entire labor from my water breaking to him being in the world was 3 hrs. They call it a 'precipitous' labor and apparently it is not very common (my midwife had only experienced 2 out of 160 births). I didn't even know that was possible and it definetly took me off guard.
The birth itself is something I feel like I will need time to come to terms with. I think a lot of it was just very very painful to me and I probably blocked it out somehow while it was happening. Things I was able to face in the moment seem scary to me in my memory. In the hospital for the next few days I would find myself replaying things that scared me and would start getting scared again.
What hasn't helped has been telling people about my birth experience and hearing "Oh you are so lucky it was only 3 hrs!" It still felt pretty traumatic to me. I don't think there is anything unnatural about this and know I'll be able to find my own peace in my own time.
On the flip side--- having a baby is so much better than I ever imagined! (so much so that I have found myself thinking about future babies alreadylol) I can't believe how in love we are and how beautiful and new and simultaneously ancient infants are. I really feel blessed and deeply satisfied to have this experience.