Uterine log: Star date May 7th 2012
Since mothering times two presents more time-management challenges than mothering times one, my birth story won’t be as long as the first time around. Thankfully, the story just isn’t that long to begin with, and that’s a thanks from my vagina as well. (You’re welcome)
So, as you may have guessed from the last post, I did not make it to the birth center. Sunday night I fell asleep with Virginia in my mom’s bed and woke up again around 10:45. I lay there wondering if I should even bother to get up to be depressed or just wake up that way. I felt I owed it to myself to really bugle that dream to Jesus so up I got and sat in the living room with my mom, watched some TV and stared at the clock. “What would happen if we just WENT there and were all, “OMG I’m pushing! Admit me! Quick!” and then they’d check you and be like, “Oh you’re 1mm dilated. *angry face*!” Could you stay then?? (Probably not, but it might be a great way to piss off some nurses)
Anyway, I forget if I cried or not. Most likely. I stayed up looking at dumb crap on my iPad until about 2:30am and then went back to sleep with Virginia. When we woke up in the morning I felt sorta crampy and just had a feeling that today was going to be the day. I had to head up to Roosevelt hospital anyway so they could start the program of frequent ultrasounds and fetal monitoring that they do for us “post-term”ers. The last thing I threw in my bag was this rubbery teething ring that belonged to V when she was small and I told my mom that I *might* not come back from my appointment.
My phone rang and it was Jocelyn from the midwifery group asking if I wanted to come in and have my water broken. The idea made my cringe. I declined and said that I hoped it wouldn’t be necessary as I had been having cramps/mild contractions and would probably call or come find her after my tests were over. I asked her her name again and offered that we had actually never met … but she sounded real’ nice!
Mike met me uptown – the ultrasound looked great- our son was sucking his thumb. The estimated his weight at a totally manageable 8.7 lbs. Mike had a bunch of real estate related crap to do and since they don’t allow partners in the fetal testing room I sent him away knowing that I would most likely need him more later. The fetal testing was fine. My contractions, which were roughly 10 minutes apart, were showing up as these huge hills on the ticker tape spewing out of the machine. The test complete I had the nurse get in touch with Jocelyn. She invited me to come by the office after I had some lunch. I grabbed a slice and walked over to their office which is thankfully only 3 blocks from the hospital. Twice I had to lean against a building or a car hood to brace myself as a contraction took over my body. Things were accelerating.
Jocelyn and I talked, she checked my cervix and invited me to just chillax on her couch while I waited for Mike and she returned some phone calls in the other room. I closed my eyes and just tried to keep my body loose. The intensity of the contractions reminded me that I had the teething toy in my bag so I took that out and would bite on it as I rode the wave (bro) over the worst part of the contraction. Mike was late. Things were getting pretty real. I considered hollering for Jocelyn and suggesting we just go to the hospital and have him meet us there but after a bitchy text from me, it’s like my husband just magically appeared. He pretty much walked in and I had him go get Jocelyn and we left. I was having a lot of trouble standing up at first. Was on my hands and knees on the linoleum floor of the waiting room (glamorous). Jocelyn said the walk would do me good and even though at the time I remember thinking, “Lady, you don’t know me. I’m going to have this baby in the elevator,” I cooperated. (God, I’m awesome.)
Mike had to pretty much support my weight all the way to the hospital (glad his back is better?) Also: I had the teething ring in my mouth like a mental patient. Also: my dress was totally hiked up to my butt. Sexy.
I got wheeled up to the 12th floor where I was supposedly a “direct admit” – whatever that means. Apparently it means that 30 paper-pushing, chatty morons will hand your husband a clipboard, ask you a million unnecessary questions, and otherwise be hyper-annoying. Jocelyn got me on the bed and checked my cervix again which was 9.5cm – pretty much ready to go. I got into a position I thought would work for me (semi-upright, on my back, same as last time) and waited until I felt the urge to push. For whatever reason – maybe the vibe of the room (lame) or because I was more tired (Thanks Pinterest) I didn’t feel my pushes were that powerful or effective. Jocelyn gave me some pointers and assisted manually when I pushed and that made me feel stronger. I pushed and pushed and apparently the water bag would periodically balloon out and retreat, etc. Mike asked what he was looking at and Jocelyn explained that because my water hadn’t broken we weren’t going to see the head proper – just the housing material.
My water broke on my second to last push (4:20 dudes) and then it was time to get mad serious! I pushed out his head and though his cord was wrapped twice around his neck (a fact that thankfully was just kept from me until afterwards) he soon tumbled out (Jocelyn was keeping his head close to my inner thigh so she could pull his body up and over it and then unwind the cord quickly). He was pretty grape-colored when he emerged so the nurse gave him a vigorous rub down with a towel the second he was on my chest and he began to wail. It was amazing. Not even nine (or ten) months of pregnancy prepares you for that moment. Not even giving birth before. When you actually see the creature that has been inside you, it’s like seeing all the world’s mysteries all at once. Nothing else on earth exists in that moment except this primal euphoria about your connection to this child and this child’s connection to the universe.
Plus, there’s the obvious physical relief of not having to push a baby out anymore, which can’t be discounted. Your undercarriage pretty much feels like Jesus coming down off the cross.
Graham Winston Wallace
May 7, 2012
Well- GWWW is waking up now so I’ll finish this later.