Evan and Dean came into this world in very different ways. I have to admit my second son, Evan’s, birth was a much more pleasant – not the labor part, yikes I’ll share that soon – but everything else was simpler, easier, and less worrisome.
Instead of going a little past my due date this time around, I went WAY past. 11 days, according to my midwives. I never hold any stock to their silly estimations anyway, but by seven days out, I was done. Done, done and more done. I was cranky and in pain and completely tired of everyone asking me where he was. Seriously, if you’re pregnant do what ever you can to hide your due date. Or lie about it. I think statistically more than 75% go past it anyway, so you might as well give yourself some wiggle room before the questions start pouring in. Not that family and friends don’t mean well (it’s sweet that they’re thinking of you) but when you’re that pregnant, fielding questions is the last thing you’ll want to do.
In hidsight, however, going so far over my due date was a hidden gift. On the morning of my induction I hobbled into bed for my examination to find – surprise! – I was 5cm dilated. 5cm of progress having only suffered minor, on-and-off contractions at home! A.MAY.ZING. Those first few centimeters with my first son, Dean, were by far the most painful centimeters of my life.
Rather than be induced, I was able to progress naturally for a couple more centimeters until they broke my water. Minor discomfort, no big thang.
“It is going to hurt eventually,” the midwife reassured me. Yeah, I knew it would. So I attempted to mentally prepare. I wanted to try to labor unmedicated again.
The familiar lower-back brutality progressed quickly. Instead of not being able to sit comfortably like last time, I labored on the birthing ball quite a bit. And I made a point to change positions around the room. I had to get antibiotics for Group B Strep, another new thing for this birth, but I was unlocked from my IV whenever possible. Yay.
Up until this point my husband Jeff and I had been fairly bored, binge watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. It’s oddly my go-to pregnancy show. The early episodes of course. The new ones blow. Now, however, Jeff was in full labor-partner mode, pressing on my back, changing the music, reassuring me in any way he could.
Eventually I made it into the tub. What a help that was! I had to wrap my hep-locked IV in a plastic bag and try not to submerge it, which was annoying. But other than that, it was delightful. Still painful but tolerable. The midwife can in an watched me at one point. I can kind of recall not wanting her there, but also glad she was around. Jeff was the DJ, searching for all the mellow Dave Matthew’s Band music he could find on his laptop.
When I awkwardly stumbled out and got back to bed, I had reached my breaking point. I asked them about an epidural and they decided to check me again before getting the juice. 9-10 CM. Groovy! But I wanted the damn meds anyway, so they called it in. But they knew there was no way getting to me in time.
I can’t recall how many minutes later I was screaming I couldn’t take it.
“Do you feel like you have to go to the bathroom?”
I knew what she meant. Poop. No, but I felt like I had to pee. Or I was delusional. Who knows. But apparently it was time.
Ten to fifteen Oh My God MY INSIDES ARE SPLITTING APART minutes later, I was told to grab Evan and pull him up to my chest. I was shaking all over. That is the second worst part of labor, the shaking. Uncontrollable, lasting for nearly an hour, shaking. They say it’s due to the hormones.
If you ask Jeff about my pushing phase his face will light up with excitement. “You should have heard the words coming out of your mouth,” he told me. “F-this, f-that!”
Yeah, I remember. I got primal. I even remember reaching down at the very end, wondering if my body was splitting open. I guess that was the “ring of fire” moment. “Ring of Hell” is more like it. But quick. Last time, 1.5 hours of pushing; this time, fifteen minutes max.
After spending some quality cuddle time on me, little man was whisked away to warm up.
8 pounds, nine ounces, 21.5 inches of boy was born at roughly 3:45pm. Well worth the debilitating 20 weeks of nausea, long gestation, and quick but intense med-free labor!