Saturday, September 6, 2008

Birth Story

No exciting "A Baby Story" moments here.

Our dear daughter Lucy was born March 4 (progress day) at 9:36 AM. It was a Tuesday.

We had been working late on Sunday night painting our hallway - trying to get those last few nesting tasks accomplished. (Zero VOC paint) I woke up Monday with mild contractions, which I mentioned to the midwife at our weekly checkup. We came home and I tried to take a nap, it having been drilled into my head that labor is hard work. No nap for me, the contractions kept getting stronger.

I was ravenous. We had a huge dinner of black beans and rice and oven roasted tomatoes and homemade tortilla chips. I was still hungry so I called my mother (who lives next door) and she brought me all kinds of fruit - pineapple and blueberries. Then, I ate a hardboiled egg. I vaguely remember snacking a bit more... but on what I have not clue one.

Wes and I headed to bed and tried to sleep. Again, no sleep for either of us.

Again and again we had been told not to ask ourselves when it was time to go to the hospital, but to ask when I was no longer comfortable at home. I reached that point at 4:30AM.

We arrived at the hospital at around 6:00AM. There was a storm on its way. The wind was whipping through the mountains and so Wes had to drive quite slowly. My mother rode with us - the two of us in the backseat and let me squeeze her hands for the contractions.

Labor was progressing rapidly for a first-time birth - I was seven centimeters dilated and 90% effaced. I was placed on fetal monitoring briefly (although it seemed like ages) while they filled the birthing tub.

I had this beautiful vision of giving birth in the tub - being able to help birth my baby in the water. Well, it was not to be. I said I wanted the water hot... but it was... hot. The work of labor combined with the temperature made the tub unbearable. Before anyone could stop me I was out of the tub and back on the bed.

Once the relief of the heat was gone, the contractions were even harder than before. The midwife had me get onto my back - a position that they tell you avoid in natural birthing circles - but this was a bit different. I was flat on my back with my legs waaay up in the air - Wes holding one and my mom the other. I talked to Lucy telling her I needed her help and my wonderful husband and mother and midwife encouraged and praised me.

My water still hadn't broken... And suddenly while I was pushing it broke and shot across the room - hitting the midwife on its way.

Soon, her head was partially out and I was able to reach down and feel it - making her all the more real and giving me the motivation I needed for those last few pushes. And out she came, sucking her little thumb and, I'm told, quite purple.

Immediately, Wes placed her on my belly. And this soft, wet, squishy creature was part of my life. She had the most delightful smell. She just felt so good. Lucy was here.

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