Saturday, September 13, 2008

Birth - day

When my water broke it was like a balloon popped. Dave was downstairs watching TV and I yelled that it was time. His face went white and his hands started to shake. He asked what to do and I told him he needed to change the sheets and stay calm. I called Ellie (my midwife) and she told me to lay down for a bit and call her when the contractions got a bit harder and closer together.

I laid in bed and searched for my rhythm to deal with the pain. The contractions came fast. At first about 5 minutes apart and within an hour they were two minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds. And they stayed that way until transition and then got closer and longer.

Dave came up to check on me and I told him to call my mom and Ellie. My mom jumped in the car with my dad and drove as fast as they could.

Ellie arrived at 3:30 and started to fill up the birth tub.

I had found my rhythm of dealing with the pain...counting. I counted to 100 through every contraction knowing that when I got to 50 it would be the height of pain. And I wasn't just counting in my head. I was counting out loud for all to hear. Dave said that he almost corrected me when I missed a few numbers. Ellie stopped him short.

I moved into various positions to find comfort. Very little helped.

My mom arrived in hysterics and ran upstairs thinking she had missed the birth of the baby. Everyone thought this baby would fly right out because I was dialated to 4cm for 3 weeks. Well, she certainly didn't fly or fall out of me.

My dad came up at one point and pushed on my back, one of the ways I found relief. It drove me a bit crazy because he was clicking the pen that he was using to write down the contractions and their timing.

At 7 a.m. I was finally complete. It was time to push. Again, it took me a bit to learn how and a good coping mechanism.

I tried to push in the tub but the baby was stuck behind my pubic bone. I needed to lay flat with my knees as far back as possible. My midwife, an assistant, an apprentice and my mom were all holding my legs back.

I was yelling ALOT. I remember Dave sitting on the stairs with his head in his hands. He doesn't handle pain well, especially the pain of loved ones. I wanted him to be able to do what he needed to do during my birth. I didn't have any expectations of him being supportive or encouraging to me during the birthing process. That's why I hired a midwife and her team. It's a group of women helping another woman birth. It feels so natural and so pure. And it worked well for Dave and I.

I pushed so hard for 3 hours. THREE HOURS! The memory of that pain is burned in my mind for life. Dave helped hold my legs for the last hour and was so encouraging.

Finally, with two hard pushes the head and body were out. The baby was flipped onto my belly and I started yelling, "what is it? what is it?". As if planned, in unison, they all yelled, "it's a girl!" and started crying.

She was here. My Eloise Caroline.

I was shaking intensely from the adrenaline. I didn't care much about the baby laying on my chest, I was just amazed I had just endured the most intense pain of my life and it was over. It was FINALLY over. With that I proclaimed, "I deserve a shopping spree. I deserve a freaking medal". I did get a spa package a few weeks later. I guess that will have to do.

Today my sweet Eloise is 3. She's 3! I'll let you all know how we celebrated in few days.


aimee said...

Beautiful post, Kate. Gorgeous daughter. Wonderful celebration today. Thanks for inviting us to partake in her big day. She is such a sweetheart! We loved being there with you, Dave, and all the other great people. I hope to see you and Jodi again SOON. Love you!

AnonyMe said...

It was wonderful to read this, Kate. I did actually tear up. I think that strength and power coursing through your body during birth is amazing to experience. I could very clearly remember it as I read your account. Thanks so much for sharing.

Kate said...

You are my hero. Love that picture of Dave and that baby girl!

amanda said...

wow friend.

you are a rockstar mama!!

and happy, happy birthday eloise :)

Daniel, Laura and Noah said...

hello! crying! trying to talk to daniel but i can't becuase i'm crying!
you did good, kid, you did good.

i'll be seeing you soon!

Dena said...

what is it about birth stories that just make every mom cry?? Maybe just remembering my own stories and knowing EXACTLY what you're talking about.

Whew. I need a tissue...sniff. sniff.