Friday, April 03, 2009

My birth story, or Everyone in the Pool!

Sorry for the hiatus, but I appear to have a child who is either 1) nursing 2) screamng 2) nursing 3) nursing 4) being carried 5) screaming 6) screaming 7) nursing. To say nothing of my two other kids who for some strange reason also seem to want some attention.

So you see, not a lot of time for blogging. In fact, I hear him snuffling right now, so this could be short.

Here goes:

At about 8 p.m. March 9th, I started having regular contractions, about 15 minutes apart. Within about an hour or so they were at 12 minutes. I called my doula and my midwife to alert them.

I tried to go to sleep about 11 p.m., and I might have dozed a bit. Not sure. By 2 a.m., they were about 5 minutes apart, and by the time by doula and midwife got there, they were about 2 minutes apart.

While I was waiting for them to arrive, I tried to rouse my husband, who was sleeping on the futon in the office because he was really sick with the flu. I had him attach the hose connector to the shower and bring up the pool before he went back to sleep.

The pool, by the way, was a large inflatable kiddie pool with all kinds of colored fish on it. It was big enough that I could extend all 5 foot 8 inches of my body and not touch either side. I'm sure we'll have fun with it this summer. When it's outside. And not in my room.

Anyway, now I needed his help getting the pool filled, laying down tarp so we didn't flood the house, etc.

Yeah. He didn't budge. In fact, I was sure he was going to miss the birth.

I called my neighbor Robin at about 4 a.m. so she could come shoot the birth (she's a photographer, not a marksman), and I believe David found his way upstairs soon after she arrived.

There I was, moaning my way through contractions as I floated in the pool - while David was lying on the floor moaning even louder.

I wanted to kill him. I was all "Man up! I'm the one pushing out a baby!" Mostly, I was sad he was missing the experience and, frankly, he wasn't at all helpful.

Finally, finally, I knew this baby was coming. And that's when the shouting started. Mine, that is. I believe it was something along the lines of "GET THIS BABY OUT OF ME!" or something equally as poetic.

The actual birth was, well, amazing in a truly crazy way. I mean, it hurt. I can't lie. But that part was so fast and then he was out, and my midwife was shuttling him - under water - between my legs like a quarterback to me, so I could grab him and lift him out of the water for his first breath.

Then there was peace. Just me and my boy, hanging out in the pool. And no, there was no blood or anything in the water, in case you're wondering. No one rushed to clean him off. No one took hin away and swaddled him before I could count 10 perfect fingers and 10 perfect toes.

No one intruded as we gazed at each other for the first time.

And that is the true beauty of home birth. You know, never once during the process did I think "I can't do this." It never crossed my mind to ask to be taken to the hospital for pain relief.

It wasn't pretty and easy, but I knew I was strong enough, that my body would know exactly what to do.

The best part, though, was the immediate bonding I felt. Like there was just him and me and no one else existed.

That is, until Sage wandered in a few minutes after the birth.

"Mommy? Why were you crying" she asked.

Because pushing out a baby is hard work.

"Oh! It's hard work pushing him out of your bagina?"

Yes, yes it is.

But SO worth it..


Wendy said...

Tears are running down my face - beautifully told, my friend!

Jen C said...


Janine said...

That is such a great story. I am so glad you got to experience a home birth liked you had planned. The birth process truly is amazing and more amazing when you have the most control over your body. That is too bad that DH was so sick, but it is a good story to tell Xander when he grows up!

Melissa said...

Great story Cheryl! :)

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