~The Inevitable Birth Story~
Wednesday night was any other night. Two weeks worth of my body crying wolf had me doubting that it would ever speak the truth and so I ignored the nightly contractions-as I had done the night before, and the night before that.
Off and on during the night I would wake up, uncomfortable and in pain~but that too was no different than before.
At 4:00 am I woke and went to the bathroom and thought how odd-they are more painful this time. Perhaps this is the time? I still had my doubts so I went to bed again. This time, with a watch to see how far apart the contractions were. But as I crawled in bed Matt turned and gave a drowsy "How do you feel?"
I had anticipated his question (he has asked me that before while sleeping), and I had assumed I would say "fine"-waiting to be SURE this time was IT before I stirred him. But my mouth blurted out "It's time to call your parents". I was surprised that I had said that. Before the words had even left my lips, he had become fully awake and said "WHAT?"
And the hustle began. He called. They came. We left, but not before I wrote a letter to my children. A letter explaining what was happening, and how dear they were to me.
We arrived at the hospital at 5:15 where I was monitered for a short while, checked and told I was dilated 5-6 cm. A happy surprise. No WONDER they were getting so intense!
It has been my hope to try the hot water bath since my FIRST pregnancy and so I requested it and they happily obliged. "But it takes about 10-15 minutes to fill..." I heard someone say.
Oh my-how painful the contractions were! How quickly they were coming! I couldn't walk through them. I couldn't think.
15 minutes later, the tub was filled and I was excited: but the nurses said they ought to check me again before I get in (since waterbirths weren't protocol and they thought I might be progressing too fast). Turns out, I was 9 1/2 cm dilated at that point. And they told me I wasn't allowed.
Oh-the PAIN! The disappointment!
I went into the shower since water is water, RIGHT?!? Especially HOT.
Then, I apologized because I noticed I had splashed the nurses shirt with the shower. I felt really bad. She laughed.
It wasn't long though-before standing seemed too difficult and I went into the bed. I prayed. and prayed. and prayed. Probably the same few words, over and over. "Help me Lord. Help me through this. Sustain me. Please Lord. PLEASE LORD."
Bunkin was born at 6:40... only an hour and a half after arriving at the hospital.
Everyone's delivery stories are uniquely their own and yet very similar. The ending is still the same, after all. This story is carbon copy of many deliveries, no doubt. But it is mine, and my own personal sprint resulted in my own personal trophy...and a lovely one at that.
Three things stand out in my mind though. Three things that separate me from the rest of the women-and from the rest of my deliveries:
1) I broke my own water. Both previous pregnancies they had to be "popped". Remember the nurse who I profusely apologized to for splashing with shower water? She just HAPPENED to be at the foot of the bed when I couldn't take it anymore. I popped that sucker SO hard that I HEARD a pop and then a HUGE splash. I mean, NIAGRA FALLS people! Then, the crowd roared with applause as Megan (poor girl) squished away to get a new shirt. And pants. AND shoes. Their laughter didn't get a chance to quiet before it erupted again: when I said directly afterward:
"MAN, that felt GOOD!"
2) My husband was the center of my world. Previously, he has taken a backseat while I was laboring-taking it all in quietly and emotionally. I relied heavily on nurses to get me through. But not this time. Besides the "wet nurse", I saw no one but him. He held me through contractions and squeezed as hard as he could until the contraction was over. I remember wondering how he knew when he could tighten his grip on me-he did so perfectly timed. He knew. He knew what I needed and how to give it...without me even hinting. Looking in his eyes gave me strength. Being in his arms gave me comfort. And hearing his voice encouraged me. He was so incredible. So amazing. I just can't thank God enough for this man He has gifted me.
3) The midwife and nurses laughed at me when I asked them to hand me my camera bag just minutes after giving birth. I hadn't yet delivered the placenta, in fact. But his face. My husband's face. The look on it when he saw our daughter. It was so precious. So priceless. I never wanted to forget that look. I wanted our daughter to see it in his eyes too, someday. So~not quite done with delivery~ I started snapping away. My legs were noodles and my body was shaking-but I snapped away anyway.
With shaking hands, it's no wonder the picture didn't turn out. (whaaaaaahhh.) But even the blurred image makes me melt.
And now....I want to be a photographer who specializes in labor and delivery. I won't have post-delivery camera shake to contend with at OTHER babies' births. Right?!?
SO much pain you go through during delivery~but it takes just SECONDS to turn your grimacing face into one of total contentment.
Not the most photogenic photo of myself, but the contentment written all over my face IS a beautiful thing.