“Why the fuck am I not at the hospital with an epidural?”
That went through my head a few times during labor. Usually it was while I was going to the bathroom and I was alone. I would then follow up with:
“You are doing this for CJ.”
“You don’t want CJ to be in the hospital during this time.”
“You wanted to be home for the afterbirth.”
Home I was. Snuggled in my bed sleeping without a nurse checking on me every couple of hours. Little Man spending a lot of time skin on skin with his Daddy next to me. I think we spent three days almost naked in bed.
Even though it was challenging to have a home birth there were so many positives. For one, I learned SO much more from my midwives than I did from the doctors when I was pregnant with my older two. I never felt pressured to do anything or made to feel stupid (with my first the doctor told the nurse I didn’t know what I was doing right in front of me with my legs spread why). I went so deep into my primal abilities, that nothing in the world mattered and instinct took over.
Active labor started at 1:00 am. My mom was over by 3:00 am. The midwives showed up about an hour or so later. I took a couple of baths to help me relax and even laid down in bed for a bit. I spent a lot of time standing, holding onto a sheet Chris hung from the pull-up bar.
Side note, if you’re ever help a woman in labor breath slower, do not blow your breath directly into her face. Thanks for trying to help mom, thanks for stopping when freaked out, and thanks for laughing with me about now.
Things really got intense when I crawled onto the bed. That didn’t work because I was too exhausted my arms could not hold me up and when I put my head on the bed, my stomach touched my legs. That was a big HELL NO. Nothing could touch my torso during a contraction. I then crawled backwards and ended up with my knees on the floor and my upper body on the bed. Stephanie (midwife in training) said later she thought it was so beautiful how moved with what my body was telling me I needed.
The sun had risen, the window was open in mid-February to cool me off, and things progressed really fast. I yelled, “I don’t think I can do this.” Every one said you have this and Chris grabbed my hand. Later, Andrea (midwife) told me that’s when she knew delivery was really close by. She said every woman says that right at the end, even midwives giving birth for the fifth time.
My water broke (or I should say exploded out of me) at 7:38 am and Little Man was caught by his Daddy at 7:42 am.
Today I am grateful Chris was the first person to touch our son but at the time, I remember squeezing his hand. In my head I was saying “DON’T LET GO” but I was so far gone into my body, I couldn’t vocalize it. I laugh about how my mom had to pry my hand from Chris’s so she could take his place. And I remember hearing Chris yell out “Doctor Balke is ready!”
CJ came into this world, weighing in at 9 lb 10 oz and 22 inches long.
My body is amazing and it knew exactly what to do. “I am my mother’s savage daughter.” Beautifully designed.