Thursday, March 11, 2010
Owen is 8 days old! Where does the time go? He's already huge! :) These pics are actually in descending order (ie the first one was taken today; the last one was taken on his birthday). He's changed already. It's amazing!
We're doing great. Owen is an incredibly calm baby. His nickname so far is Squeaky---his preferred mode of communication. He squeaks a bit when he's hungry...that's about it. He wails like crazy when he gets his diaper changed though! We are bonding like crazy. I weep daily--out of joy--just by looking at him.
I want to share my birth story. I feel SO LUCKY to have had an uneventful, amazing birth...Something I hoped for, and planned for, but also something I approached realistically, knowing that labor and delivery is about the last thing a person can expect to control.
Last Tuesday night (after posting a blog entry pre-labor!) I got into bed at exactly 10:00. The moment I got into bed I felt the first contraction. Wasn't sure what it was, of course. My mom was set to arrive the following day, so I called my friend Maya to ask if she would mind spending the night. I was kind of feeling like, oh, this might be the beginning...there's a long way to go. I then called my doula, who said we should keep in touch and speak in an hour to see if it's progressing, or not. Well...within an hour, my contractions were 2-1/2 minutes apart, and I could barely speak through them. Basically what appears to have happened is that I skipped early labor altogether. I was definitely in active labor by 11:00 or 11:30.
My doula came over, watched me go through 2 contractions, and told me to call the OB. The OB told me to get to the hospital! So at about 12:30 we arrived at triage. By this point I was having extremely strong contractions almost continually---maybe one minute apart, maybe less. They checked me out and....drumroll...I was NINE CM dilated. At that point, the triage nurse asked if I wanted an epidural. The doctor chimed in "gosh, it may not even be worth it at this point...you're kind of almost there already." I was somewhat delirious but I knew that I didn't want the epidural if I was so far along.
So up to L & D I went with Maya and my doula by my side. What an amazing team. My doula talked me through every contraction. She made me see with each pain how my body was working to birth my baby--pain with purpose. Of course you know this intellectually but believe me there ain't a lot of intellect going on at that point. I needed that help to focus because oh, boy, did it HURT!
Up in L & D I went through the final stage of labor---ohmyohmy that is the truly traumatic part because it feels like your body is going to break, as the pressure on your lower parts gets so intense. I say traumatic but I don't mean insurmountable. I mean, obviously it's no cake walk for your body but at the same time, your body CAN DO IT. It's really pretty freakin incredible.
One crazy thing that happened is that the aminotic sac bulged outward, meaning (sorry TMI here!) bulged outside of my body without breaking. Most likely my bulging amniotic sac is what allowed the dilation to progress so quickly. But seriously the OB and nurses were like "Woa--you don't see that every day!" The OB broke the sac and there was a bit of meconium, which just meant that the baby would have to be suctioned, etc, immediately. No need to panic.
So by 2:45 I was fully dilated and ready to push! I started pushing, which I must say I didn't ever think I 'd be able to do, I mean, it seemed truly impossible. And yet I was doing it. Definitely the hardest part for me, and not a "relief" as I hear some women describe it. Let me tell you, there were primal screams that got me through that.
Incredibly, by 3:20, Owen was here! He came out WAILING; I cut the cord (this part is a blur), and he was taken away for about 3 minutes to be cleaned up, but was on my chest very shortly thereafter. The moment it was over, I felt AMAZING. I was so glad that I did it without meds, so extremely surprised, too, and on such an adrenaline high for hours and hours and hours. I couldn't believe it was over---that it came and went so quickly--!
Since then I have experienced the most intense euphoria, even through the haze of exhaustion.