I am so sorry for the long absence. But as I'm sure you assumed or knew, or whatever, I had my precious little boy and I made it to 38 weeks and 1 day! It was a marvelous, perfect experience. All through my very fast, three hour labor I kept thinking over and over to myself, "this is real, this is so real. My baby is healthy, he's allowed to come now, this is good and this is real!" You wouldn't believe how different it is to birth in fear for your child and to birth in anticipation of a healthy child.
My mom was there with me and it was so perfect. Her hands were cool and comforting, just like they always were when I was little. She has such soft hands. The skin is smooth and she has slender fingers. I could feel the roundness of her wedding ring right where it has always been, not quite at the base of her left ring finger as I pressed my face into her hands during contractions. It was so magical the way her hands found me when I needed them. I love her! I needed her there.
When I woke her up at midnight to tell her it was time to go to the hospital she urgently asked me if I really wanted her there. It was a beautiful moment for me to let her know that, yes, I wanted and needed her there. She made the experience so complete for me. I felt so good showing her that the gift of life she gave to me, I was now sharing with my little boy and I owed my gift to her.
It was so incredible to shift from focusing so completely from desperately keeping the baby in to joyfully welcoming him to the world. Mr. P. and I both felt surprised that all the sudden we weren't "in trouble" for having a baby. I am so grateful for his willingness to support me in labor. He was so present and focused for me and it was wonderful. It was so clear how important it was for him to help me do the work of a mother, creating the first moments of our child's life in a sacred and beautiful way. I am so grateful that we agree on the potential for birth to be a time to build and strengthen our relationship. The whole time I just communicated with Mr. P and he communicated with everyone else. It was great to know that he understood me and what I wanted. He is the best.
We were offered a room equipped with a birthing tub and we took it. After about ten minutes of hard fast contractions at the hospital I told Mr. P that I wanted to get in that thing. It looked good! So I did get in that thing and an hour and a half later I had an unplanned water birth. To be quite honest, the idea of water birth to that point had never appealed to me, but once I got in that jacuzzi of love, there was no getting out. It felt amazing to float during contractions. Now that I've given birth in water, I can't imagine doing it any other way. It was awesome!
The craziest thing was pushing out that kid's head and shoulders. I pushed two or three times with Frances and once her head came, her shoulders just sort of slipped out. But a normal sized baby? Wow. You actually have to try to get those shoulders out! What the heck is up with that? After I delivered his head, I had my hand on his head and I thought, man, I don't know if I have it in me to push hard enough to get the rest out! And when I finally did, I was pooped! It was really demanding. My midwife scooped him up and lifted him out of the water and put him right on my chest. It was really incredible. I was so glad to sit in the warm water with my new little one and take a break.
A few minutes later though, Mr. P. had to lift me out of the water because I really had no energy left to do it myself. I felt like my body would never move again. Somehow though, I walked across the room with the baby in my arms and got in the bed.
I couldn't believe he was there! I couldn't believe that I was holding him and they weren't taking him out of my arms. He smelled amazing. Mr. P. was a little grossed out by the goo that was still on him, but I loved it. I never saw Frances that way, they scrubbed her off before I saw her, so I was soaking it all in with my little man.
So now he's here and he's doing great. I need to think of a blog name for him. The real one was hard enough (story for another blog post). Thank you everyone for all your prayers, thoughts and concerns on my behalf, he is a miracle and I am so grateful to be his mother. Thank you thank you!!!
****GRAPHIC ALERT**** Want to know why all water birth photos of moms
holding their babies are in black and white? Because after that baby
comes out, the water looks like the Nile while Moses was terrorizing
Pharaoh. And the only person who would tolerate sitting in water like
that is a mom who literally cannot lift herself out of it, and is
completely oblivious because of the sweet little thing she's holding in
her arms...it's a little distracting. And really, after pushing out a
baby, who has time for getting grossed out by floaties?