Continued: So the sweet sweet midwife is trying to get me to move around. Get on my knees. Use the exercise ball for balance. Walk, like I wanted to do. I was stuck, because if I moved the contractions would get more intense. ABC…breathe…move a little. Holy crap. Then I have to pee. They told me to get up and I said no thank you. I’m pretty sure I was that polite. They offered a pad or to hold a towel to my cooter and I tried but I couldn’t do it. So I get up and pee like a racehorse and pretty soon after this I get the urge to PUSH. They have been checking my cervix for dilation and I came in at 4 cm but this means nothing. I had been 3 cm at my last check up. If you’re that open, you think, oh this won’t be that hard. Then if you don’t progress in some fashion, you think you’re doing it wrong. It’s just whatever. I imagined opening up like a beautiful flower (a la hypnobirthing lingo) and once I felt the urge to push, my midwife checked me and said I was pretty darn close. She let one more contraction come and used that to get the last of the cervix out of the way. I could proceed when I wanted! So different than the movies where the doctor yells at you to push. Would it work if someone yelled at you to poop? It’s the EXACT SAME. You poo out a baby.
When my midwife was getting set up, she cracked a joke about needed to boil water. She was great about directing the group and helping them help me. And of course making sure I was not directly on my back (I’m a dumb dumb for not letting gravity help like I SAID I wanted.) She said that the boiling water was actually for midwives to make tea. A little tidbit from her to me to you. They put a mirror so I can see what’s happening in the nether regions–very very helpful. I could see what worked and what didn’t. TWO – THREE HOURS OF PUSHING, my friends. I wasn’t exactly timing, but I got tore up. I got really tired. Thirsty, thirsty, thirsty, and tired. I was getting so much support from the group when I would make the tiniest bit of progress that I thought I was close and would push outside of a contraction. Der. Not helpful. My midwife used olive oil and had me touch her hair to get back to reality. Whoa. Hair. A head. Coming out of MY cooter. Very different than swishing baby belly. Someone was about to be really really REAL.
After 13 hrs of labor, EB was born at 2:25 pm. She gwoooshed out of me and splattered the bystanders. Everyone looked down to make sure the damage wasn’t too bad, then all started crying. What a feeling. I was adamant about wanting to hold her and let the umbilical chord do its thing before they cut it. Everyone respected my wishes like it was standard protocol. Did I mention that I love my midwife? And she let us take pics of the placenta! I don’t even remember it coming out. It was like a cramp and a big poo and gush city. I had EB so anything could be happening down there. And EVERYONE had seen it by now. I didn’t even care. My cooter had become this vessel to bring a baby into the world, not something graphic or to be ashamed of. It was really liberating for someone that didn’t want to change a bra in front of my girlfriends before. I became way more in tune with my body and loved it for what it did. My body cooked a HUGE baby that was healthy. 8 lbs 14 oz, 22″ long.
She was alert and squeaked in between cries and was so amazing. NOW I remembered why I stuck to my guns about not having an epidural. I’m really lucky that the major things in my birth plan came true. The things that didn’t were my choice and I think I know what to do differently in the future. My preggo friend ended up using a birth stool and gravity did it’s thing. Note to self.
We stayed in the hospital for 2 days and it was really nice having someone tell us how often to change diapers, how often to feed, checking on breast-feeding and helping me jam my boob in EB’s mouth to get a better latch. I’m telling you, I was so comfortable with things I never thought possible before. I felt very adult. And there was nothing but support for breast-feeding. Her latch started out like vice grips and they kept on me to get it right. They gave me ice packs for my cooter and told me to take a shower when I had just plain forgotten that was something I needed to do. After GIVING BIRTH. I’m sorry to those that had visited me and I was stinky for far too long. And can I say, thanks Medicaid? All of this was free to me. Midwives, hospital stay, EB being taken care of. Fill out that paperwork if you qualify, it’s a b-tch but oh my gawd we saved thousands of dollars. That I paid for with taxes already.
I didn’t want meds during the birth, but they asked me afterwards if I wanted something for the pain. I hadn’t even considered this. Hospital grade stuff was a lifesaver. I don’t even like to take advil for a headache, and I took the entire dosage for 11 or so days. Only once did I let the pain get to me and it’s so much harder to get back to feeling normal, so that was the last time I didn’t take them on the schedule. You know why? I earned it. Oh, and here’s my placenta. I got about 25% flack for it on my FB page but I don’t really care. I thought it was amazing. I mean, I made something so beefy!
Please feel free to ask me any birthing questions or about maneuvering the Medicaid system. And if you are in Austin and want to talk to my amazing midwife, I would be ecstatic to share her. Here’s where I went for hypnobirthing classes.
I heart birth stories (and thanks for making it to the end of my novel),