I really thought that there would be some kind of sign that would alert me to the impending birth of my son: bloody show, breaking of the waters, etc. Something. But in the end, it all came out of nowhere. I really didn’t expect to wake up in the middle of the night and feel such strong contractions. I remember sleeping through some of them, the hideous back pain becoming part of my wacky dreams. By the time I woke up, they were too strong to ignore. I remember getting on my hands and knees instinctively in the bed and rocking back and forth, moaning. Andy woke up and asked me if it was time. I didn’t want to jump the gun so I told him maybe, maybe not. I’m sure he thought I was crazy when I told him to go back to sleep. I went downstairs to use the bathroom and Andy came down soon after, probably because he could hear me moaning through the vents. At his suggestion I called the midwife on call and told her that my contractions were strong, etc. I had just been in the clinic 3 days before and my cervix had been hard to find/closed so both of us agreed that I would wait a while longer just in case I was only in the beginning stages. After hanging up, I got in the tub to take a nice relaxing bath… except not. The shower head relieved a lot of the back pain that I had, but I couldn’t get comfortable. Finally, we decided to call back Beth (the midwife) and let her know that we were on our way to the hospital because wow! my contractions were a mite painful. Poor Z was woken up in the middle of the night and strapped in his car seat in his pajamas: we hoped he would fall back asleep but the morning proved to be too exciting for that. The drive went okay despite the fact that I couldn’t roll over and have Andy put pressure on my back; I had to compensate with turning up the seat warmer and grabbing Andy’s hand as hard as I could.
When we finally got there, things went pretty fast. Beth got there soon after and checked my cervix-I was stunned that I was already 7 centimeters dilated!!! I remember that after she checked I got back on my hands and knees to suffer through a contraction and although I was pretty far gone I had the good grace to apologize for my huge naked ass sticking up in everyone’s faces. I eventually ended up completely naked in a half empty tub (it was taking too long to fill it, they assumed that they had time that they didn’t), pretty much writhing around like a maniac. Before I got in, I had a moment where I thought I was going to die: the lower half of my body felt like it was going to split in half and when I looked down between my legs and saw blood dripping onto the floor, I freaked.
“I can’t do this! Someone help me please! Please help me!” I literally shrieked at the top of my lungs. The nurse, Kate, grabbed my arms and looked into my eyes, instructing me to breathe. “You can do this.” she chanted. I really thought she was nuts at that point. I just said that I couldn’t do it, did I have to spell it out? Funny thing: All of the pain aside, Andy and I shared a WTF? moment witnessing Kate and Beth’s ummm… flexing? Beth: “Kate, could you do the blah blah medical thing?” Kate: “I don’t have time to do that right now, I’m slammed. I’ll blah blah medical thing and then do whatever I want.” Beth: Right. Make it so.
Ten minutes later…
Beth: “Katie, can you-” Kate (laughing, but in that “Fuck you…” way): “Kate. Kate.” Beth: “Sorry! Okay, listen..I really need…” Kate: “Hmmph.” Beth: *eyebrow raised* probably thinking, “Listen, bitch…”
I mean, I’m going through some of the worst pain of my life, and all I can think is, Must laugh about this later. And you know what? I did. Talk about unprofessional!
After I got into the tub I flailed around aimlessly, trying to find a comfortable spot. On my hands and knees didn’t seem to do it for me anymore. Another aside – Zain was so good during all of this! Andy had managed up until this point to hold him and relieve the pressure in my back (AMAZING) simultaneously, and then he sat him in his stroller to watch from there. I think my behavior at that point riveted him so much that he was able to sit on his own and watch in wide eyed horror. Anyway, it was somewhere around this point that I felt this overwhelming need to push. I grabbed onto the handles on the tub and did what came naturally. It was the weirdest sensation, almost like I like I was trying to blow up a balloon through my anus (sorry, tmi). And there was a lot of burning. I didn’t push long: Andy and Beth mentioned that they could see Mad’s head after a couple of pushes and soon after I was delivering a 7 lb, 4 ounce baby. It was the best feeling, that pop and release…such relief! After they placed him in my arms I felt so happy and strong. I also felt a little embarrassed.
“I wonder if anyone heard me…” I said to Andy. He told me not to worry about it and that he thought my wailing sounded like a whale song, very primal and beautiful. He also told me how proud of me he was. 🙂
So here it is, a week later and I’m still getting used to having a newborn again – it helps having my sister Bethany in town so that I don’t felt so overwhelmed when Andy’s at work-going to miss her when she’s gone! :(. He’s so tiny! Z is a giant by comparison. I can’t believe I have kids now. Kids. Cuckoo.