July 15, 2011

Huh. Didn't expect to give birth the next day.

When I posted last, I was 38 weeks and one day and thinking, "gee, I feel like this baby might be early." And then he was born. Here is a short account for those who like to hear about births. The rest of you can gawk at this picture and just imagine that the angels sang a chorus and we were spontaneously transported to the hospital where he just appeared in the bassinet next to my bed.

August Robert Bernard was born at 1:11 pm on Saturday, July 9, 2011. I had woken up to pee at 4:30 am that day, but something was a little different from the usual mid-night run. Sure enough, half an hour later I was contracting. For some reason I was not convinced this was it. By 6:00 or so I was not a happy camper - yet still not convinced. Meanwhile, hubs knew what was going on and got into full I-better-get-as-ready-as-possible gear. He was setting up the bassinet, cleaning the kitchen, tidying the dining table, somehow all while comforting me as I began to writhe every few minutes.

By 8:00 I decided that we needed to go to the hospital even though I feared getting there and being told this was just false labor or that we should've stayed home because it would several more hours before anything important started happening. I wasn't sure that I could endure several more hours of this, or believe that "real" labor might be harder. And so I made my delirious way to the car, although now I have no recollection of how I was able to manage it.

I had been imaging how this car ride would go for a couple of weeks and figured I would be berating hubs for hitting too many bumps and making my whole achy belly jiggle. In fact, I noticed zero bumps - I only knew that I was undoubtedly going to explode and FINALLY I embraced that this is happening.

There was only one moment of bickering, and it was over where to park. Really, it was just that hubs was going to park in the ramp as we had planned and it was very suddenly clear to me that I would not make it from the ramp to the ER. Indeed, as I walked the ten yards from our metered car spot to the doors, I was wondering what would happen if I just collapsed in the driveway. I didn't though.

Fast forward through almost passing out at check-in and being wheeled up to labor and delivery triage... the nurses got me on a gurney and started doing stuff. I don't know what, but it was all just a horrible way to torture me while denying me the drugs I always said I'd *try* to do without but now desperately needed. Check number one: 4 cm. Check number two about 30 minutes later: 10 cm.

Suddenly they were all, "let's get her to a room!" But they didn't know which because there had been no time to plan. We stopped in a few doorways before settling on a room. The hurry to get me into a delivery bed was quite cinematic. And then I proceeded to push for four hours.

I think there are a few reasons for this... 1) we hadn't had a chance to call anyone and my mom and sister needed time to get there; 2) like so many first-timers, I had to figure out how to push when it was both the last and first thing I wanted to do; and 3) it had all gone so fast and was so intense that my body was already wrecked - it was definitely what they call "back labor." Which means unbearable, hip-bursting excruciatingness.

I won't detail the actual delivery, but will say that I did feel it all. At many times during the process I thought, "I'm never doing this again," and other such dramatic beliefs that trauma induces. I'm not taking it back so far, as you can clearly see that I have not yet achieved the forgetting they talk about.

When August came out, they put him on me and the only thing I remember thinking was that I've never felt anything so soft. There were cheers from the room. My head was otherwise white noise. He didn't cry, he just looked around like, "well, here I am." And he was so soft. Apologies for the ridiculous mushiness, but suddenly my existence meant something totally different than what I'd ever known, because a human being was made. From nothing. I'm still trying to understand.

7 pounds, 8 ounces
19 1/2 inches long
14 inch head cir.

Six days later we've come home and are doing all the things new parents do, and August is just doing his little baby things. Except for rolling over. He totally rolled from his front to his back at five days old.


miss.e.motional said...

YAY! And...yeeeowch. Good thing he was worth all the trouble ;)

I am so very happy for you guys! Congrats again!!! xoxoxo

kwink said...

Congrats to you both on the obviously advanced (in timing and in intelligence) August! I can't wait to meet the little guy. All the AHA boys are growing up and becoming daddies!

katemccoyb said...

How fun to read about your experience of bringing a new life into this world. It's pretty unbelievable when you think about it. I'm so proud of you! Sounds like you got the full birthing experience too - ouch. Congratulations guys!
We'll be home next weekend and would love to stop by, even just for a few minutes to gawk, squeeze some cheeks, and drop off a Debbie Wilbers sweater for August.

Nina said...

You had the baby! And he's so cute! Congrats!!

Sara said...

OMGoodness! He's adorable!!!

Love the birth story. I'm always fascinated by the many ways these little ones make their appearance.

I remember not knowing how to push and my labor and delivery nurse took her fingers and pushed on the area called the taint and said "push to here". It worked having a spot to aim for.

Congrats! :)

Megrageous said...

Well done! I've been present for many births, and have an idea of what that day might have been like for you. Way to go, 4hours, thats pretty much torture. Just remember when he's being a braty teenager you can remind him of all this. What a beautiful Gusgus!

Fresh Garden said...

Wonderful! Fantastic!