Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The birth story of Lucas Elliott

Unlike any of my other births, this labor started in the late evening. I went to bed, or rather, tried to go to bed, and for the next two hours I had to pee constantly. It wasn't just the feeling either. I actually had liquid in my bladder to get rid of every 10 minutes or so. It was like my body pushed every bit of liquid through me in preparation for labor. Around 11:30 I started to labor. Just small things about this run seemed different. The contractions were coming from the bottom and wrapping around the bottom of my belly. And they were painful. They reminded me of low gas pain.

I laid in bed and watched a comfort movie for the next few hours, getting up to use the bathroom every few minutes, and by the time Don came to bed (around 1am) I was sure this was different. I decided to let Don sleep... I didn't even tell him what I suspected because I felt (and was right) that I would need him rested later. Around 2am I called my best friend and Doula, Sarah. She came over right away. It was such a comfort having her there. We chatted and watched Sense and Sensibility while I sat on my birth ball until around 5am.

I decided that I would try to lay down at that point (after all, I hadn't slept since the night before and my sleep was broken and sporadic normally). My body decided that was the worst idea ever. I had horrible painful contractions, one on top of the other until I got back out of bed about 10 minutes later. Back on the birth ball I go, but at this point I am starting to really get tired.

Around 6:45am the kids wake up. They are getting ready to leave and being generally loud and kidlike. Cyan is so excited she literally pingpongs down the hall way as fast as she can, bumping into walls and sliding on the wood floor in her socks. This felt like spikes being driven into my entire body. It was just too much and my contractions started to slow down.

The kids leave, and I am starting to feel as though all of this is going to stop and I am going to have to call everyone back and say "just kidding!". I am discouraged... but only for about an hour. By 7:25am I called the midwife, because everything had picked up again and every time I stood up my contractions would get longer, harder, and seemed very productive. They were never any consistent distance apart or a consistent length. But from experience with Logan's labor I knew that could continue until the baby was born... so I was pretty darn sure at this point that it was going to happen, and soon.

While Don was gone taking the kids to the sitter's, Sarah filled the birth tub and lit candles. I went and found the stereo and attempted to make a playlist of songs I liked... That wasn't happening. I would guess I was close to transition at this point. So instead I just hit the 'classical' button and played that.

I decided that I wanted to take a shower. I had been working for a long time at this point. I felt pretty gross and most of all, cold. I am not sure why, but each time I phased into a different part of labor this time, I would get cold shakes... they felt like I had a fever, but I didn't. I just was cold and shaky.

The midwife arrives along with her apprentice. It is 8:45am.

At this point I start to want to turn in. But the spot where I have chosen to labor, although perfect when dark outside... that morning there were spots of snow on the ground. The sun was out and streaming through the sliding glass door. So to turn in I started to bury my face in Don's clothes. Sarah and the midwives apprentice try to get me darker curtains, but I don't really have any, so it stays very bright in the room and it makes it harder and harder for me to 'turn in' and be comfortable.

I climb into the tub and try different positions to get comfortable, but the tub is too short, the light is too bright and I keep having to support myself on my elbows during contractions, which brings all but the very bottom of my belly out of the water. No comfort there. At one point I yelled "Dammit! None of my tricks are working!" And that was how I felt. I had a plan, and I just couldn't get into the groove... I felt quite hopeless at this point. Not just transitioning hopeless, but like I had planned badly. It was the strangest thought... but I kept having it every time I would try to get settled to actually push a baby out. Don and the midwife started talking me through contractions. Don telling me how wonderful I was, and the midwife giving me tips on breathing and ways to relax. This helped a bit, at least it gave me something to focus on, but I was very frustrated.

Then, the baby moved. Not just moved, but started coming... no pushing, no work from me at all. In fact, I feel like I had to move my leg so it wouldn't be in the way. And I was just about right. Next contraction and my water broke with a huge GUSH, next one (less than a minute later) he was out. Head, body and all. It was almost a shock it happened SO fast. (I thought for a while that he hit the bottom of the birth pool. Midwife reassured me she was there to catch him, but admits she only had a few seconds to do so.)

He was moved strait to my arms and skin to skin. There was tons of vernix in the water and on him. And as we rubbed his back and checked him out he started to cry and we all started to relax.

I can hardly describe what came over me next. I had been SO frustrated for SO long. The long, hard, overdue pregnancy, the night labor, even not being able to find my birthing spot... all of it was so frustrating! But like a magic spell in one of those movies (Willow comes to mind with the 'dust of broken heart')... I was instantly in love. Compassionately and completely in love. It was an incredible feeling. And not one that had come over me so strongly or so quickly with any of my other births. It was like a high...

We hung out in the birth tub for a while. Verified that he was in fact, a little boy. We touched him and talked with him, wrapping him in a blanket, hat, and my arms. Don whispering words of love and affection for both of us as the flurry of birth activity calmed down. I just could not stop staring at him. He was stunning. He was perfect. And I was in love. Then the baby looked up in that blinky, punch drunk, sleepy-newborn way... and he smiled!! Don and I both saw it and were floored. But he smiled! He hadn't even been born 30 minutes. We talked about it a couple times, writing it off as a fluke, until the next day when he did it again! And then every day since we have gotten smiles from this sweet new babe. It was like he was just as happy to be here as we were to meet him.

The placenta came slowly, but when it did come, I was moved to the bedroom and we started to check out this new little person.

Wow, was he a big boy. 9lbs, 9oz and 22.5 inches long. My longest baby by a full inch (that includes Logan, who was 5oz bigger). He hardly cried at all. Just watched the people who were working with him as though in awe of his new world.

He settled to the breast as if he was made for it, latching on in seconds and falling asleep while still nursing a few minutes later.

There have been some pretty big bumps in the recovery road, but through it all I have kept that awe and bliss feeling for the past two weeks, just being completely in love with this little critter to the point where I could spend hours just watching him sleep (and I have).

Speaking of which.... he is up from his nap and I have the joy of going to snuggle with him again. *love*

Peace and blessings my friends.



Pam... said...

awesome! much of it sounds very familiar to my own birth stories.

Kids and Canning Jars said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I cried a little. He is beautiful. Congratulations.

Unknown said...
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Simple Mama said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. He is just stunning mama! You done good!

Jill said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us. Every birth amazes me. Congratulations!

Ann Marie said...

Val what a beautiful birth story! I so wish I had labored at home (does an ambulance count as a home birth?) Anyway - God bless your newest family - your family is gorgeous!

Shirley said...

Congratulations again!

ColorSlut said...

Congrats. Your story is amazing and I'm so greatful you are sharing it with us!

Sarah said...

What a beautiful story! He is beautiful too. All the pain and frustration during pregnancy just sort of melts away as soon as they look up at you.

Hi, I'm Jami! said...

Congratulations! I loved reading your birth story. I can't imagine a happier birth for a healthy baby - no wonder he has been so smiley!

erika~ the inspired mama said...

well done, mama! hope you are having a lovely babymoon! ♥

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

Love, Love, Love!! So fun reading your story on the anniversary eve of my own journey into motherhood 8 years ago tonight. Such a range of feelings, emotions, and HARD physical work. Hugs to you and your sweet family. Wish I was closer so I could come get some newborn snuggles too! xoxo ML

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