"Oh, hello there. My name is C, and I decided to inhabit my nursery after all! I held off for 8 days past my mom's due date, and I've been keeping her on her toes ever since."
It may be cliche to blame a baby for not posting on your blog...but here I am, blaming her. Where I once lived a life of great efficiency and productivity, my goals are now limited to one a day. Well, one goal + one nap. Conquer those amidst feeding, rocking, and diaper changes, and my day pre-husband-arriving-home-from-work is pretty much used up.
But today, on her 6 week birthday, I decided it's time to share my birth story.
As someone who doesn't like to take pain killers for her headaches, I wanted to have a natural birth. After talking to other moms and getting recommendations, we decided to pursue care at a midwife clinic, give birth in a tub, and attend Bradley classes to prepare. Great decisions, all of them.
The day before she was born, I was at the clinic for my 41 week check-up. At that point, I was dilated to a 3 and everything looked good...if only that baby would come. We had a feeling that she might make her appearance soon, so my husband and I took the opportunity to go on a date to a Thai restaurant, where I of course ordered spicy food.
My stomach felt tight all night, so once more, I went to sleep wondering if this was really it - could I really be going into labor? At 1 a.m., I woke up with a contraction. Knowing I would need the energy for pushing, I stayed in bed and tried to relax and sleep as much as possible, despite the contractions holding steady at 8-10 minutes apart. When the alarm went off at 6:30, I immediately turned to my husband and told him, "I think this is it!"
As soon as we started to move around and get dressed, the contractions became even stronger. After a few calls to the midwife, some oatmeal breakfast, and an attempted bath, it was official: time to go to the hospital. After 20 minutes or so of electronic fetal monitoring, they checked me and found I was dilated to a 7. Time to fill the tub!
Once the midwife arrived, I walked across the hall to the tub, shivering and shaking the whole way. The water was such a relief. It warmly encased me and eased any gravitational pressure or discomfort so I could really focus on relaxing through the contractions. They continued strong, and I kept trying different positions to maintain comfort without slowing labor. When the urge to push came, it really took me by surprise. Then, although it didn't feel like it, I pushed for 1 hour, 40 minutes under the gentle coaching of my midwife and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl with a head full of blonde hair [only 4 hours after arriving at the hospital!].
And so began the complete, utterly radical changing of our lives forever.