I keep hoping to have the time to sit down and compose this perfect account of the birth of my youngest, but time and perfect words seem so fleeting and I want to capture the magic that is still in my mind NOW, so here goes....
I knew having the "birth I wanted" was going to come with a struggle, mainly to find a provider who was willing to allow me to VBAC. Turns out that was the easy part. Three doctors, 2 interviews with doulas, a manual turn for a breech baby, and finally completing my hypnobabies training later, here I was staring at an ever expanding belly that housed a baby who had decided that inside was the place to be.
Two days before the medical staff was to serve her an eviction notice and induce me, I started feeling "something". Not ever having felt the natural oncoming of contractions I was constantly looking for the textbook signs.
They never came.
So just to have something to do I found a contraction timer app and downloaded it.
Yes, an app. My neighbor laughed and recounted to me "in her day they used a stop watch and a clock."
So I started to time these feelings and then set off to the Library to take the kids to one of the Summer programs. I think It was a music program.
All the while I was hitting my little timer going from 14-19 min apart. I remember my friend Kelly watching the app and how wide her eyes got when at one point these feelings were 9 minutes apart.
But I was too comfortable to be in Labor.
That night Hazel and I were in the shower together and I just felt the need to prep her just in case I needed to wake her in the middle of the night. She asked if the baby was coming now, and I said I didn't think so but I just wanted her to know so she was prepared (ie not a total grump munkin should I have to wake her).
I also texted my brother to tell him Happy Birthday a day early, just in case I was otherwise preoccupied the next day.
I finished packing my bags, brought my yoga ball up stairs and filled my water bottle.
My body did all of this automatically, I kept telling Mike this couldn't be "it".
That night he slept while I sat on the yoga ball streaming hypnobabies and tapping my app.
At 3:30 AM Hazel came in the room and bounded on the bed asking me if it was time yet to go to Ms. Kelly's and was I going to hurry up and have the baby.
Then she started singing Jingle Bells.
It was July 25... Christmas in July.
Then I felt SOMETHING and needed to get in the shower. By the time I got out I was tapping my app any where from 4-9 minutes apart.
I woke Mike and he called the hospital to ask if they thought we should come in, their response? "We will see you in a few minutes."
Ok, guess we are going.
I called my Dad on the way and told him we were going and how I REALLY hoped they didn't send me home.
I felt uncomfortable but not in pain, hitting the app every 2-4 minutes.
Standing in the parking lot at the hospital is when things got real. I started laughing/crying that I was scared that this was going to hurt sooo much.
The next 10 minutes were when I panicked a little. I was taken to a room while Mike moved the car, Kim my doula was not there yet, and the staff were trying to hook me up to all of their gadgets which I was trying to refuse.
The Intern Doctor came in and asked me about my hypnobabies tracks, afterwards she checked me "just to see where we are here".
Her eyes got really wide.
You're at 8!
Mike comes in
I'm at 8!
Call Kim now!
Kim, she's at 8.
And she rounded the corner.
Now I was ready.
They started to wheel me out and this poor sick pregnant woman was ahead of me. We both couldn't fit on the elevator.
They pushed me ahead, everyone was afraid I was going to have a baby in the hall.
I remember feeling so bad for this woman, she was holding a barf bag. I felt fine.
What I remember most about the midwife who attended my birth was that when Mike handed her our birth plan, she stopped.
She read it.
I was in awe.
Especially when she gave me no grief about my choices, even when she was scolded by the "head doctor" for not having me on a monitor.
She was there for ME.
The anesthesiologist however seemed to not understand I was NOT getting an epidural.
My water broke while I was in the bathroom.
This was so cool!
I was experiencing everything I never had the chance to experience naturally with my other two.
I immediately felt the need to push, but felt a bit at a loss of how I wanted to be.
Then Kim started humming with me through my contractions while I hugged Mike...
I was more vocal during the pushing process than I expected, but nothing dramatic.
I remember feeling as though her head would never come out.
Everyone reminded me that I was doing exactly what I needed to do.
And then, she was here.
Passed through my legs into my arms, I was the first person to hold her.
10 pounds 1 ounce
(Just shy of what her uncle weighed... they share birthdays)
She just looked at me, so calm, not crying, just looked at me.
We did it.
The midwife was patient and did not clamp the cord until it stopped pulsing, helped me deliver the placenta and then showed us the Tree of Life.
Kim stayed to make sure Lillian nursed well and then it was just us.
This birth was so healing for both Mike and I.
It was perfect.
And so is she.