My blog has been on hold for several reason, but one of the main being that I really wanted to post my birth story and I could never really get through it. Here is what I started to type only 13 days after Mateo's birth:
It has been 13 days since the birth of our beautiful son and I know there is no way I'll be able to write his birth story without uncontrollably weeping as I write. My experience with birth was so incredibly beautiful and joyous that it will be difficult to describe with words...
I awoke around 4am, not really in pain, but simply uncomfortable and incredibly alert. There was no way I was going back to sleep and I had 'a feeling'. I came downstairs as not to disturb Javier, fired up my laptop and began to frantically take care of some Junior League work that I had been procrastinating. I also wanted to be sure to communicate to the Junior League girls .... "Hey, seems I'm going into labor so don't count on me for anything for the next few weeks." It's interesting how together my head was. I wasn't really having any contractions, but just this extreme intuition that the whole process would be starting soon. I also wrote an email to Anna, Alice and Laurel (the midwives) at 6:10am,
"Okay ladies - I think things are firing up over here! FINALLY, THANK GOD! If not, I'm going to be heartbroken. I woke up around 4am with what felt like some bad cramps (although I dont really know because I am not one to typically get cramps). I decided staying it bed was too uncomfortable and was moving too much. The contractions seem to be lasting about a minute or longer and are coming fairly inconsistently, but maybe like every 10 minutes ish. I'm not going to call yet ... not sure when to call... something like 4-1-1... but I've forgotten what that means ;-). I'm totally okay, but of course the contractions are kind of painful. Do you think I should cancel my breakfast plans or am I getting too hopeful? xoxo,Erin"
Laurel wrote back and suggested I go ahead with my breakfast plans. I got her email about an hour later after my contractions had begun to get slightly more intense. When I read her email I was thinking, "There is no way I'm going anywhere, I'm having this baby today!" and I was irritated at her response. Things were definitely progressing and even if they were not, I was not going to be able to sit in a car, eat breakfast and go walking. No way!
So that was as far as I got at the time.
And really those are just facts. I think that's why I decided not to post it. It's kind of boring. I really feel like my labor was relatively textbook (I guess, it's very difficult to remember). But here's goes. Time to finally complete this story....
Each midwife arrived one by one. The first being Laurel. I feel like her words to me shortly after she arrived at our home on December 4th (around 11am) helped me tremendously. I said to her, "Laurel, I just cannot seem to get comfortable." I said this because in all the classes and books they talk about massage techniques and ways to position yourself to be more comfortable. But she said to me, "Honey, you aren't going to be comfortable. You're in labor and you just have to go with it." I'm pretty good at taking instruction and with her telling me that, I feel like my mind just said, "Okay, got it. I'm going off to a different place. A place where I can just be in this and get to the other side."
The next thing I really recall is her and Javier working to fill up the birthing tub in our room. I felt like being in the tub would sincerely make a difference, and I was getting a little annoyed at how long it was taking them. The tub was nice and I stayed there for some time, but as soon as Laurel informed me that the tub was "slowing my progress" I was out of that thing in a flash. It was nice in the tub, but not worth slowing me down!
I do also remember the second midwife, Alice, arriving. It was interesting because the energy changed. Laurel is a soft-spoken California sweetie with three little girls of her own. Alice is a straight shooting New Yorker with two grown boys. When Alice was added to the mix (around 1pm) I tried to acknowledge and appreciate the shift in energy and immediately go back into my zone.
Flash forward to my next memory ... Laurel says to me, "You should try to go up and down the stairs. That will really help you progress." I left my zone for one moment to give her a look of dagger eyes. And I have no idea what I said to her, but what I was thinking was something like, "Are you F'ing CRAZY?" Really, the thought of walking down and back up the stairs seemed completely incomprehensible. But, as I said before, I do follow instruction well, so when this birthing goddess at my home recommended me walking down and up the stairs, I decided to put forth the massive effort to try it. I only recall doing it once, but Javier reported later that I did it several times, and I'm sure that has everything to do with them telling me it was helping me to progress. We have photos of this. I hope no one every sees them ;-)!
So that was pretty much what I remember of labor. I was ready to begin the pushing stage of childbirth by 6pm and this is when the third midwife arrived, Anna. Now, I had really armed myself with a lot of info before labor and I had read so many people talking about how much they enjoyed the pushing phase of labor. Well, I do not even have words for how hard the pushing stage was, but let's just say that I didn't enjoy it at all. It was a very difficult ordeal for me. Perhaps becuase he was so big? I don't know, but it was HARD and it was not my favorite and I find it crazy that it would be anyone favorite part!! But, when we finally got to meet him, WOW, that was special and as soon as he made his appearance I couldn't remember a thing that had happened before. I felt so happy to finally meet our beautiful little boy. It's a fascinating thing ... to be with someone every second of every day for nearly 10 months, but never to meet him. Words cannot describe what it felt like to finally meet him.
I was on a major high for the following days for sure. The human body is amazing and bringing forth a new life is otherworldly.