Saturday, July 29, 2017

weston's birth story | part three

The next few minutes after deciding to head to the hospital were a bit of a hurried whirlwind. I had completely forgotten to pack a hospital bag, just in case, and my sister, Martin, and the student midwife ran around trying to pack my bag for me! I was way too consumed with my contractions to be of much help and later laughed when I was getting ready to leave the hospital in my bathrobe because the clothes they packed me didn't quite fit my postpartum body :) We didn't pack much and forgot a bunch of things like the car seat(don't worry, Martin went and got it later that day :)and my camera, but in that moment I would have gone to the hospital naked if it meant we could just leave already so I could get some relief. 

The sun was just beginning to rise as we began to all caravan to our new destination. Let's just say that was the longest 10 minute car ride of my life. I'm thankful it was early morning and there were few people on the road. I sat in the backseat of the car with my hands clenching Martin's headrest, muttering a few curse words under my breath, and praying that we wouldn't hit any red lights. I didn't want anybody pulling up next to us and seeing a very pregnant lady in serious labor! I'm sure I was scaring Martin half to death with each contraction, but he drove steadily and quickly and was probably so glad when I got out of the car! 

When we arrived at the hospital they were all ready to take me upstairs. My midwife had called ahead and let them know we were coming. I am so so thankful that my midwives and sister stayed with me the entire time. They were my voice and advocate while we were there. I knew that I wouldn't have control over certain things now, but I still wanted to be able to make decisions that we felt were best without feeling pressure from the hospital staff and my midwife was able to help us do that.  

The anesthesiologist was quick to get started and I was truly thankful for that. As I sat up on the edge of the bed I had one of the biggest and longest contractions I had had yet. It felt like it just wouldn't let go of my body. I remember yelling out, "WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG!" and then in my politeness added..."I'M TALKING ABOUT THE CONTRACTION!" so the anesthesiologist didn't think I was being rude thinking he was taking too long to get everything set up :) So many people we talked to were curious about why were choosing to have our baby at home. Our plan for a home birth was not because I don't believe in epidurals or pain relief during labor, but it was more about the environment that I wanted to bring my baby into. I wanted to be in the place where I felt the safest and calmest. Where it was quiet and where we could be surrounded by the comforts of home with a midwife who we had gotten to know and trust so well. In the end, I am so thankful for the time I did get to labor at home. Those hours were beautiful, intimate, empowering, and peaceful. 

By 7am my body could finally rest. After about 12 hours of the most intense labor of my life, I felt a sense of calm wash over me and I knew I had made the right decision for myself. There's no way to know if I would have made it through my entire labor at home, or if my body would have suddenly dilated to 10 cm in an hour (one can hope :) It's hard for me to not think about the what ifs. These past few weeks have been about accepting my decision and being at peace with it and all I can say is that at that moment I was so happy to be able to sleep for a little while. And sure enough, that's exactly what my body needed me to do. 

We spent the next couple of hours sleeping on and off again. We drew the shades and turned off the lights and let ourselves relax. I was progressing much faster now and by about 11am I was ready to start pushing. I remember my sister coming over to the bedside and brushing the hair out of my face as everyone around us prepared for the arrival of our baby. At that moment I just started crying. I think I just needed to release the past 9 months...all the anxiety, emotions, and excitement. The disappointment of these past few hours...she gave me a big hug and told me not much longer.  

With everyone by my side, encouraging me through about an hour of pushing, it was finally time to hold my baby. Martin got ready to announce if we had a boy or girl and with one last push he cried out that we had a boy! I was so incredibly relieved our baby was here safely and I truly couldn't believe we had a son! All those months of guessing and wondering! I don't think there was a dry eye in the room as the midwife quickly placed him on my chest. I held him close and kissed his tiny nose. He looked so much like his sister! He was perfect and he was ours. 

What an incredible moment it is to meet the little soul you've been carrying for nine months. It was him all along and I felt like I'd known him forever. 

Part one here
Part two here

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