I don’t know HOW she managed to take up soooo much room in my belly!
Around 2am June 9th I started feeling crampy but it didn’t feel like contractions- It just felt like a constant, dull, throbbing sort of pain. At three am I noticed that the cramping was no longer constant, but would come and go… It was stronger too.
I tried to get some sleep.
At three-thirty, I felt a little pop and then a trickle of water.
I jumped up out of bed and examined the sheets… I wasn’t sure if it was my water breaking or if I had peed…
(I am really not as idiotic as this account makes me sound. I hadn’t gone into labor on my own before this. I’ve always been safely tucked into a hospital bed, with people telling me what was happening to my body.)
The contractions were now getting quite strong and coming five minutes apart like clockwork.
After twenty minutes of hemming and hawing, I called the doctor and told her my water MIGHT have broken. She told me to take my time, take a shower and then come on in. So I took a shower and puttered around before waking up the huz.
In the car, the contractions were three minutes apart.
We arrived at the emergency room at 4:30. And waited… The pains were getting really strong now. At one point I thought I was going to throw up. This is where I start the timer on my “labor” -up until this point it was easy and the pain I felt had been more annoying than unbearable.
Quarter to six we were in a triage room. Lots of pain- this wasn’t like my other labors- it was so much more intense. I didn’t know how to deal with it. Lots of blowing. Lots of hyperventilating.
Lots of calling for an epidural- even though I had thought to go without one. I have no idea it is so intense because it is almost over.
Lots of assurances that I would get it, as soon as I went upstairs to a labor room. Just a few more minutes… Don’t worry!
Ten minutes past six, I am six centimeters dilated. The nurse gets ready to start an IV. But before she can put it in, they call me up to delivery. My room is ready for me.
I am sitting up straight on the gurney, because I had a contraction and sat up and now I am stuck. I couldn’t find the energy to lay back down. I sit there, puffing, while they wheel me through the halls, into the elevator. I am whining and apologizing for not being better at dealing with this pain… The nurse steering my gurney assures me that I will feel much better shortly, five more contractions and I’ll get my epidural.
Five more? I can’t LIVE through five more! Please, please make it stop!
We are now in the delivery room, and the gurney is right up against the bed. I just have to get on that bed.
Suddenly, it hurts more than it ever has before, I panic – I am confused as to how I should go about this… I can’t crawl, I can’t lift myself, it all hurts too much.
I get a glimpse of James, he is standing by the foot of the gurney, just trying to stay out of the way…
The nurses urge me to move…
I can’t! I am frozen!
But in the brief thirty seconds between contractions I manage to heave myself over the gap and onto the bed.
Oh Goddess… Another contraction… The mother of all contractions… Pressure… Stabbing… BURNING… IT BURNS IT BURNS OH GOD IT FEELS LIKE THERE IS A BOWLING BALL DOWN THERE!!!
(and that would be the famous “ring of fire”)
The nurse yells for the doctor, and asks me to lie back so she can check me. (I am still sitting straight up, crosslegged)
She has me lay back, and as I do I feel something burst, a gush, and then something shoots out of my body and plops onto the bed, between my knees. I feel liquid splatter my legs, all the way down to my feet.
The nurse yells “Whoa, get the doctor!”
And I realize I just gave birth. On my own. Without a doctor. Onto the bed… No one even had a chance to catch the baby!
The baby is whisked away before I can see her, and I am left, flat on my back in a puddle. I can feel James’ hand on my head, patting my hair. I can feel the umbilical cord lying between my legs, still attatched inside of me…
The doctor comes in, and they take apart the bed an put my legs in stirrups so I can deliver the placenta.
Its weird, with my other children, I was so wrapped up in holding them that I don’t remember the placenta part at all…
But this time, it was really clear… The doctor was scared that I might have ripped because of how quick it happened, but I didn’t.
After that, I start shaking. I went into shock. I remember just repeating over and over, I can’t believe that just happened…
I can’t believe that just happened like that…
I can’t believe that just happened…
When I finally came to myself, I asked if the baby was ok.
The nurse said that I was lucky I didn’t give birth in the elevator… She said that my sitting up was really the only thing that kept the baby in. I was lucky I didn’t birth her getting off the gurney and onto the bed!
When they laid me back, she literally shot out like a cannonball. I didn’t push at all…
That was so freaky, so scary, so weird…
In six minutes, I went from six centimeters dilated to DELIVERED!!!
In the four years since I wrote this, I have become so much more educated about birth, about my body- etc. If I could go back in time I would have done things so differently. And I would have had a home birth. I wish I had. I wasn’t able to have one with Cooper- because of complications early on in my pregnancy I got bumped up to “high risk” but I wish I had one with Willow.
Our beautiful girl
Her first picture- there wasn’t time for any before this!
Second Birthday… We celebrated her second birthday at the beach!
Last breastfeeding picture…
She weaned three months after her second birthday.
Three year old Willow.
I’ll have to take one of four year old Willow today!