So after my retching episode woke the midwife she decided things were going to get serious so she called the nurse. Dustin and I were walking out in the backyard when she arrived. We met her under the moonlight in between contractions. It was fun. Her name is Farrow and I love it.
Anywho, if you aren’t doing meds the best way to ease the pain is to take a bath to relieve some pressure. At one point I asked for a bath but they told me they didn’t think I was close enough to that time yet since that was the last trick to ease a tired laboring mama. A few minutes later I asked to be checked and the midwife said surprisingly that I was ready to push. Apparently when I asked for a bath I was starting to hit “transition” but didn’t realize it.
For those who don’t know, “transition” is sort of when your body decides its go time. This is when you usually hear things like “I can’t do this” or “I’m going to die”. And I can’t say that those things didn’t pop into my head, but I WILL proudly say that I did not say them out loud. It was realy hard but I just kept thinking that it was going to get much worse. It didn’t transition is the worst. Pushing was better. But its different for everyone.
So as soon as she said I could push my entire body started shaking uncontrollably. Its crazy. It was like the flip of a switch. My muscles also started pushing and I wasn’t even trying. My body completely took over and my brain was not telling it to do anything anymore.
Do you see that picture above? I love it. So sweet. A certain song pops into my head every time I look at it. “what a man, what a man…” I labored like that for over an hour. My husband sitting beside me. The midwife and nurse laying down, propped up on one elbow chatting quietly just out of frame to the right. Staring at my… ehem, lady parts. Occasionally they would look over and say something like “You’re doing great” “Just a little further” “Keep it up”. Dustin had made me a birthing playlist so we listened to some Bon Iver and other chill jams during this time,
It was the most laid back birth I think there has ever been. And it was wonderful. I just labored there. It felt like I was doing it all by myself. Just me and my exercise ball bringing this baby home. God love it. And it was perfect. I felt so empowered, so in control (or at least my body was), so right. It just felt right.
Later when Dustin and I would tell people the story he would joke that we paid for an exercise ball to be our midwife. Which was obviously just a joke. I am so grateful for my midwife and nurses. But seriously, that ball became my best friend that day.
When Dottie finally started to crown I got into a squatting position and between me and gravity we had her out in no time. I think gravity helps sooo much. I can’t imagine lying flat on my back during that time. Oooff. So any future mamas out there, if you can squat or lean or do something so that gravity is on your side while pushing just do it! You can thank me later.
I hadn’t screamed or cried up until the moment I saw her. When she finally came out I started cry/yelling hysterically. It was the most wonderful moment of my life. Dustin and I just clung to each other staring at our baby who just sort of laid on the floor getting adjusted to the world. The midwives just sat back for a short moment letting her try to figure it out for herself. With the four of us just taking it all in and admiring her beauty for a few short seconds. We left the umbilical cord attached until it stopped pulsing and I would highly encourage you to do so. Dottie was so calm. It probably took her 30-40 seconds to take her first breath but because of the umbilical cord she was so beautiful and full of color no one really worried.
Dustin knew immediately that she was a girl but I was so fixated on that beautiful face it took me a few minutes to look at her lady parts. All I knew was that she was mine. My girl and I sat skin to skin resting on Dustin for a good 10 minutes and then we made our way to the bathtub and soaked for a while just staring at each other. After that the three of us crawled into our OWN bed. Dottie and I had our first go at nursing (which is rough and exhausting) while Dustin fed me a sandwich.
And then we napped. In our own bed. In our own house. No check ups, no monitors, no intercoms, no nurses, no recliner in the corner for dad.
It was so peaceful. And so natural. The whole process felt like what my body was made to do and we just fell into place with each other. With bumps along the way, obviously, Thanks Eve! But our little family was complete. And even though Dustin and I had no idea what we were doing, we were left home alone with a new born just 6 short hours after her arrival. And it just felt right. And that is her birth story.
I love you Dottie Bea. You and me, it just feels right.