Sunday, August 19, 2012
Miriam's Birth Story (LONG!!!)
Well. The big boys are at church. The littlest boy is in bed (yes, naps trump church when one Ezra Lee decided 4:27 was MORNING ) and Miriam and I are sitting here. And it's my birthday.
I should nap. But, I've accepted that I am going to be tired and there's not a nap in this world that is going to undo that.
So instead, Miriam's birth story. My birthday gift to you. ;)
So, by way of back story, Ezra was born 20 months ago. His birth was rough for me. It was good, and it worked out perfectly, but certain aspects of it were very very hard. I carried a bit (a lot) of fear and anxiety throughout this pregnancy because of it. Would labor this time be as physically demanding? Emotionally? I couldn't handle the irrational fear that I was going to end up in some sort of identical situation. And I couldn't get passed it. I would jokingly tell people who asked about planning another home birth, that yes that was the plan, but I still wanted an epidural!
So, fast forward to Monday, August 13th. Kim, Midwife Super Hero Extraordinaire and her two fantastic daughters arrived just in time for dinner. Having my due date recorded at August 15th and having had every single baby at 39 weeks 5 or 6 days, we all joked that Tuesday would be the day.
Kim left a large slew of clients still pregnant, some OVERdue, and I knew that she needed to haul butt back home as soon as possible. However, I also knew by the time the boys were in bed that we'd have a baby by morning. I don't know HOW my body does this, but every single kid comes at the SAME time. It's weird. Truly weird.
I didn't say anything to anyone because I was afraid to jinx it. I'd been having contractions since week 34, some so bad toward the end, I thought labor might actually start. I didn't want to undo it if it was real. Silly, but still. Six weeks of contractions will make one do weird things.
We hung around, watched tv, and finally put ourselves to bed. Derek had blown up the pool and gotten the liner all ready earlier in the day, so we could rest easy, knowing it was all ready for water the minute I wanted it.
At 12:38am on Tuesday, August 14, Ezra woke up. That child is NEVER EVER going to consistently sleep through the night. Never.
He let me rock him for just a minute and went back to bed with no fuss.
And I was up for the duration. Contractions had started long before I'd gone to bed, but I had managed about an hour of sleep. Not great, but whatareyagonnado?
I woke Derek at about 1:45 to tell him "REAL DEAL!" and he got up and got things started. That man. I tell ya, he's a good one. I'm keeping him.
Next call was to Stacy, my dear friend and doula. I had asked Stacy before I'd even gotten pregnant this time around to come to the birth. We are really close, and without any real solid reason (after having had two home births with no doula present) I felt I'd need her.
Then we called Kim. Yes, she was sleeping in my guest room. But we called her so she could come whenever she wanted. It was funny.
Everyone wandered in eventually. I just did my thing until the pool was ready. (SOMEDAY I WILL HAVE A TANKLESS WATER HEATER... just saying.) Contractions weren't awful at all, really. Breathing mostly was all they required.
Next came the worst part of baby-having The combination of baby's position, plus pain causes my extremities to basically STOP WORKING. Hands? Nope, can't use 'em. Arms? No, not really. Legs? Gone, other than insane cramping. Face? I can't even open my eyes or mouth.
I can't say I enjoyed it ever in any of my labors and here it was again. So, everyone in the room got to help! Derek had to constantly (and by constantly, I mean, if he stopped for a nanosecond, I scolded him.) keep massaging my legs. Stacy and Kim were on hand-duty. It's the only thing that stops me from panicking.
It's really actually scary for me to not be able to do ANYTHING at all.
But, then after a pretty short while, baby shifted and I was fine. Ah, feeling. It was lovely. Contractions also took a big break which was welcome.
So, we chatted. Kim's daughters were also invited to the birth, so at some point, they had come in.
At one point, I asked what time it was and it was 3:30.
Contractions started picked up again.
And here is where all that fear that I had been carrying around for almost two years kicked into high gear.
I declared that I was going to be unable to continue in the process. That I was terrified. That I DIDN'T WANT TO DO IT. And therefore would not be.
Now, I have talked many MANY women through this phase of labor: that end when you're pretty sure you're going to die.
And I know all the right things to say to get a woman to find within her, the strength to let it happen.
And it ALWAYS happens.
So, Kim and Stacy (and Derek) said ALLLLL the right things. The things I've said countless times to powerful, strong, scared, tired mamas.
I could not, however, seem to find the words to explain that I was not JUST SAYING IT. I wasn't just done. I wasn't just in transition, I really really really meant.
I was not going to be pushing this baby out.
It wasn't going to happen.
I couldn't. I wouldn't. It hurt too much. I wasn't interested. I had reached a point wherein I was literally incapable of doing so. I was completely paralyzed with the fear that it was going to take hours and hours like it had with Ezra.
Oh and my friendly neighborhood vasovagal issues crashed down on me with full force again.
So, here I was: a mess.
A sobbing, crying, can't-feel-my-own-body-EXCEPT-for-contractions girl, in a fishy pool, yelling at everyone to KEEP RUBBING whatever various body part they'd been handed (Kim's daughter had been initiated into the doula-role at this point, pretty sure she had my hand) fully dilated, refusing to push. Kim checked and tried some "guided pushing" which helped ground me a little, but the fact was, I wasn't going to push.
I pushed a tiny amount so people would leave me the heck alone. That made my water break.
But I was not pushing this baby out.
So, I breathed. Everyone seemed fine with that decision. I breathed. That's all I did.
Kim told me to find the baby at one point, and I did, and she was a good knuckle up. Fine. Be up there. I didn't care. She could just stay up there.
I was not pushing this baby out.
Just as I settled into my new "Screw all of you. I am NOT DOING THIS" routine of breathing through contractions, something changed.
My body decided I was done.
With zero effort from myself, the biggest contraction I have EVER felt in FIVE babies took over.
I screamed. I swore. I tried to STOP IT and it wouldn't.
I felt the baby move move move down and out. My hands were around her and she was out.
One minute, she was nowhere near here. 10 seconds later. she was in my arms.
5:34am, Tuesday, August 14th.
Ouch. And I cried. Ugly cried.
Everyone was a bit... surprised to see that baby. According to Derek who was the only one at a good angle TO see anything said she shot out like a cannon.
Yes. My nether regions agree with you.
But here she was.
For the record: I did not push her out. I wasn't kidding when I said I wasn't going to do it.
And the only thing I can think is that God knew I wasn't joking. He knew I really really couldn't do it. I wasn't being dramatic. I absolutely, as my little, ridiculous self couldn't. It was beyond me.
So, instead, SHE did it.
That was cool with me.
The boys had woken up EARLY today, of course, so Kim's girls had been regulated to babysitters and so, even though Kim TRIED to get them there in time, Miri had other plans, and they were right outside the door when she flew out. The boys came in just minutes later to see her and then went on their way to eat and watch cartoons.
Eventually placenta came, and I got up and collapsed into bed.
The morning passed with weights and measures, and Derek and my poor Dad trying to figure out how to make the pump drain the stupid pool. They got it figured out, but I'm pretty sure my poor daddy is scarred for life.
It worked out. It was exactly what we needed. It was wonderful.
It TOTALLY sucked for a while, but that is pretty par for the course. My birth team was incredible. They never waivered from their "you can do this" stance, which is good because if they'd agreed with ME at any point, then I'm pretty sure that would have been the end of the "home" part of the birth. They were dear, kind, gentle, firm, helpful, smart, and present.
And I ended up needing every single one of them. I'm so thankful for them all.
It's hard work, this birthing babies thing, no matter what. Each kid is just so different. So, once again, here I am, learning, growing up and hopefully, being made into a better mother, person, and human.
Miri's stats again: 8lbs 2 oz, 20 1/4 inches long.
We all love her. And we're happy she's here!
And in case you missed it earlier : I did not push that baby out.