A month after my perfect birth
Dream quickpage by Kimberly Pollinger
It's hard to believe that my baby is a month old today.
Funny how time keeps going forward like that.
My little Junebug is a much more laid-back baby than Fly was. JP tentatively suggested the Bug is my do-over baby -- partly kidding, of course -- because Fly was and still is an intense child.
JP also pointed out that with the Bug I got the labor I always wanted, and because some people enjoy birth stories, well, here ya go. (If you don't want to read the birth story, you can scroll down for a picture of a super-cute baby!)
The day before the Bug was born, I was determined for him to come out. My doctor was planning to induce me because I went past my due date and an ultrasound showed the baby was big. Not a fan of pitocin, I desperately wanted the Bug to come out on his own. So I started the day with a plan. I took Fly for a bike ride over speed bumps. I went out and bought, then drank, raspberry leaf tea (which turns out probably doesn't do anything to encourage labor). I made super-spicy "jump start your labor" cookies as suggested by the Rookie Moms. For a week before, I had been walking as much as possible and trying just about any trick and old-wives' tale I heard about.
I woke up early the next day because I couldn't sleep. I did a little yoga -- for the first time during my whole pregnancy -- and watched the morning news while JP and Fly slept. It felt so good to move and stretch my body, which I hadn't been doing for months, and I felt the baby was almost moving and stretching with me.
I had an appointment then, when my OB had me do a non-stress test to get a read on the baby's heartbeat. I sat there for an hour while nurse after nurse tried to get the baby's heartbeat -- which was clearly audible -- to show up on the test machine's printout. It wasn't working, so the doctor told me to have the test done at the hospital and also to get another ultrasound. Perfect! Just what I wanted to do with my day. Did I mention I was trying to squeeze the doctor appointment in before JP had to go to work so he could watch Fly?
When I called JP to tell him I had to go to the hospital, he called his parents to come watch Fly, and we went to the hospital together. Everything checked out fine with the baby, who was still measuring big, and I begged the doctor to give me a couple more days on the induction on the evidence that the Bug was doing just fine in my womb.
JP and I stopped to pick up some lunch for ourselves and his parents to take back home. After eating, I started not feeling so good. Before his parents could go home, I decided to lie down. It was about 2 pm. I wondered if I might be going into labor. JP's parents went home.
By 3 pm, I started feeling mild contractions. Another hour went by, and I told JP maybe he should call his parents to come back. Fly had been napping, which was good timing, I guess. At some point, he woke up and came into my room, where JP was helping me time the contractions while I tried to use hypnobirthing techniques. I was able to relax through the contractions, for the most part -- I lasted longer with the hypnobirthing this time than with Fly.
Very quickly, the contractions started getting stronger and closer together. JP called our doula at 5 pm to tell her to come. Around 5:30, I felt the urge to pee, and my water broke while I was in the bathroom. JP called the doula again, and she was stuck in traffic. She told him to have me get in the tub and try to relax. By this time, the hypnobirthing wasn't working for me anymore. My in-laws were across the hall from the bathroom now, in Fly's room, and probably hearing every moan I made. Suddenly, I felt I couldn't stay in the tub anymore. I got out, and JP found me trying to put on some clothes and helped me get dressed.
I was about to tell him we should get going to the hospital without the doula when she arrived. I don't remember details at this point, except for really wishing I didn't have to go to the hospital and just have the baby at home because I dreaded the thought of getting in the car for the ride there. JP and our doula helped me into the car, and she followed us in her car to the hospital. I'm pretty sure JP broke several traffic laws, but I was too busy writhing in my seat to really notice.
Once I got checked at the hospital around 6:10, I was already 7 cm dilated. They put me in a labor and delivery room pretty fast. My nurse suggested getting an IV in me, but I was moving around a lot, and JP and my doula knew I didn't really want an IV and somehow I didn't end up with one.
I'm not really sure what all happened between the hospital check-in time and the time the Bug was born (7:47), but it didn't seem to me to be as long as an hour and a half. Someone would tell me how far along I was, or asked about when my OB was coming, and the contractions kept coming in waves. Finally, my doula told me I was going to have the baby and I said, "Don't tease me." I didn't think the baby could possibly come that quickly -- Fly took forever.
And then one contraction had a bonus: a strange urge, like the urge to throw up, except, well, of course, at the other end. I started pushing. This was strange to me because with Fly, I had an epidural, and my OB told me when to push because I didn't feel anything. (I pushed him out in eight minutes.)
My nurse naturally told me not to push because my OB hadn't arrived yet. But how can you tell someone not to throw up? Every push felt like a crash throughout the inside of my body. I'm pretty sure I sounded and looked like the Exorcist. This was torture, and yet I thought about my baby and how soon I would be holding him and this would all be over.
My OB arrived, and then everyone in the room tried to get me off my side and on my back, down to where the doctor was at the end of the bed. I basically refused, so they dragged me into position. JP told me he could see the baby's head. I couldn't believe it! A couple more pushes, and the little Bug was out and immediately in my arms, screaming heartily.
Here was my 8-lb. 13-oz., 23-inch blessing.
He's perfect. And beautiful. (Today, he's 11 lbs. 5 oz. and 23-3/4 inches.)
Another blessing is I got to have the drug-free birth I wanted. No induction. And not even an IV. (Although that came later. Pitocin to make sure nothing remained in my uterus. Many of you probably know the drill.) I just thank God it went quickly and without any complications. It really was a perfect birth. At the thought of that, I'm amazed.
But I told JP at the time I didn't think I ever wanted to do that again. The pain! The crashing pushes! I still feel it when I cough, sneeze or laugh hard.
Basically, though, I'm just so thankful to have this baby and to have two healthy children. And who knows, maybe once again I'll forget about the labor pains, the pregnancy heartburn and backaches and fatigue, the tussle with nurses and doctors and appointments -- and want to have a third child. I really feel I'm getting too old for this babymaking business, but I can't rule out what is meant to be, can I?
After all, babies are kind of like potato chips: It's hard to stop at just one.
Especially when they're this sweet and cuddly.