Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Out the door not the window
In so many ways I feel as if I did in fact climb Mount Everest. In the unbelievable soreness of my body (though I am not totally sure how a vagina can be harmed in the climbing of a mountain) but also in the sense of accomplishment. Yes I do realize that this is a universal accomplishment, one that is probably being conquered right now by thousands of women, but that thought adds to the pride and awe more than puts a damper on it. I did it. He came out the door and my ugly window is closed for ever.
Everything about the labour was perfect. If I had written this a short three days earlier I may have offered a less than perfect, less sugar coating, rainbows and bubbles. It was hard, I think, I am so amazed at how quickly we forget the labour part, the pain part, the unbearable 'I think I may actually die' part and remember the important parts. These are the parts leading up to the unbearable and the seconds after, when the baby is placed on your stomach for the first time and you feel as if nothing else exists in this world but this perfect moment with this beautiful perfect baby.
My labour started peacefully at about 3am. I wasn't sure if it was a false alarm, so I kept waiting for the next contraction than the next contraction, than the next contraction until it was about 5am till I woke up Colin. During this time I lay there excitement and anticipation filling my entire being, and so much love for my two boys in which I was sandwiched in between. We were going to meet our new addition soon and I was swooning already!
I nudged Colin and said ever so casually 'what are our plans today again?' to which he replied in the most confused and sleepy tone 'what?' 'Well lets have a baby today instead!'. We slept a bit longer, groggily climbing out of bed around 630am. We did some puttering, got the bag together, had breakfast (french toast, energy food) a cup of coffee.........just try and deny me coffee, I dare ya. Called my brother to tell him the news, than headed over there to visit and drop Rohan off for the day.
I have now discovered that boys are pretty panicky. I was heading into a contraction every 3 minutes, and those guys were practically shoving me out the door towards the car to head to the birthing centre. I was pretty content to hang out there a bit longer, but they were having none of it! So bye bye Rohan, see you soon, into the van and on the road we go. Talked to the midwife en route and my contractions started to slow down. Now stuck in Gatineau until they started getting closer together, I just needed some nature to walk in for a while to get things moving again. We got some bagels and hot chocolates from Tim Hortons (whatever) had a nice contraction in the bathroom! Crazy! And headed for a park to walk in.
It was cold and rainy, but we walked and walked and walked around this little ghetto park, me stopping at each tree to lean against for another contraction. This felt so nice. This felt so natural. It was nice for Colin and I to have this extra bonding time, something we had been lacking for a while. Finally headed to the Maison de Naissance for some serious labouring.
There was such a sense of calm and quiet and peace walking in there, instantly different from the sensation of walking through the sterile halls of a hospital. Our room was purple, a huge bed on one end and a tub fit for several queens to the other. We were still in very high sprirts, turned on the radio (to CBC, god I am a geek) stripped down and hopped into the massive tub. At this point I am 5or 6 cm. I ate, I drank, me and Colin discussed names, giggled together and after much searching, agreed on a classic rock station, Pink Floyd and labouring actually worked pretty well together! Amazing amazing amazing.
Once I got out of the tub, I spent most of the rest of the labour on the toilet. This is obviously when things got a bit less glamorous! I started to sing a deep toned AHHHHHH through my contractions to keep my jaw open (it is connected to the cervix) and go with the flow. Lost my cool on many occasions, did some crying, did some vomiting (this also opens up the cervix) and started pushing while still on the toilet. There was a HUGE pop and an explosive gush of liquid, scared the bejeezes out of us! And so the fun began!
I distinctly remember the difference in intensity between the previous contractions and the very first one after the water broke...............I was up on the bed by then and I was literally climbing the walls. It was pure pushing after that. I felt the baby coming down (hurrah I felt everything this time!), I felt the head hit and the ring of fire begin. Wow! Then the head slipped out, one more push and in a tidal wave of liquid and baby out came the body. Ahhh amazing amazing amazing. There it was goopey and beautiful and on my naked belly, screaming and crying and warm and magical. 'Oh my baby. oh my baby' was all I could say as the tears streamed down my face. We did it little man, we took the trek and we arrived.
There was a book that I read that stated that there was nothing like bearing witness to a woman who accomplished a vaginal birth after a cesarean. After feeling as if your body was faulty, you finally get your chance to realize that you can do it, you can do what billions of women have been doing since the beginning of time! This is what it feels like. This is calm, this is bonding, this is real oxytocin running through my body, this is birth and it was beautiful!