Saturday, November 19, 2011
Introducing the Bean
Our sweet Mr. Beaney was born November 8th, 2011
21 inches long
Everyone is happy and healthy, and Beaney has slipped right into our family seamlessly. I don't we could love him more if we tried.
Labour with Beaney was unlike anything I have ever gone through. I gave birth naturally this time, but not quite like I expected to. A week or so before the Bean was born I had mentioned to Benjamin that I thought I'd like to try having him naturally. Just so I can say I've had the experience, but truth be told I kind of dismissed that idea fairly quickly.
The day Bean was born started out like any other day. I'd had no signs of labour at all and was getting ready to go crazy. In the morning, I dropped everyone where they needed to be and then went in for my weekly OB appointment. At this point, I begged to be induced. None of my kids have made it to their actual due day except my eldest and I was beyond ready to have the kid out of me. My OB was actually just fine with inducing me, and we scheduled it for the following morning. Quite happy with that, I went on my way and headed off to a massage and chiropractic adjustment. Still nothing unusual about my day at this point. No contractions or signs of labour approaching. Around 12:30 I went to pick up Boy and Goob from my friend Robyn's house, and stayed until about 1:30. Now this is where the day started to get fun. At 2:30, my kids get out of school, and as I was driving to get them, had had the most intermittent and mild contractions. No worse than the Braxton Hicks I'd been having off and on for weeks. I even stopped to talk to each of my son's teachers, and had a good laugh b/c I had to pause our conversation b/c of contractions. However, it was still nothing I thought to be real labour because I was able to drive home. By the time we got home, I thought I might be in early labour, as my contractions were now regular, though still far apart.
I decided to call Benjamin around 3:30 and suggested to him that he might want to leave a bit earlier than normal so that he'd have time to pack a bag before it was time to go to the hospital. By this point my contractions were very uncomfortable, and I had to focus quite a bit to get through them. However they were still manageable. I then went up stairs and decided to get in the shower to try and relax a bit. The shower helped but by the time I got out, I was in quite a bit of pain in each contraction, and it was all I could do to not curl up on my floor and cry. The younger boys were sleeping though, and the older boys were in the next room over though, so I didn't want to freak them out by making too much noise. I decided to call my mother in law and have her come over to watch the boys, so that when Benjamin got home we could head to the hospital. I wasn't sure that they would keep me, because, painful though they were, I didn't think my contractions were regular enough. I had after all still been able to move aruond the house and deal with the boys.
Benjamin got home, and I knew it was time to go. The contractions were right on top of each other at this point, and the five minute drive to the hospital was gruelling. I remember telling him in the car I was sorry ahead of time, because I was pretty sure I was going to end up swearing soon, since it hurt so much. In asking him later though, he said I never did end up swearing. I can remember thinking in the car ride over two things. One: the car in front of us was driving way too slowly for a highway, and two: I really had to pee. By the time we pulled up to the ER and got in, the contractions were so painful I just stood in the lobby as the guy printed off my admitting stuff, and buried my head in Benjamins back while rocking back and forth. As the man put my wrist band on (I was this close to clawing at him, he was taking so long!) Benjamin grabbed a wheel chair, and basically just ran me up to the OB floor. When we got to the OB floor, he slowed down long enough to ask me what room we were in, and then we went. It felt as if we didn't stop for the nurses or anything, just wheeled past them, leaving them and my midwife to follow behind.
As soon as we got to the room, I got out of the wheel chair and made a beeline for the bathroom still feeling like I had to pee. I had never felt so much pain before, but by this point it felt as if the entire thing were an out of body experience. I did not have to pee, I was ready to push. That quickly, I was ready to push, so I went to the bed, climbed up and started to sob to my midwife that it hurt so badly and I just wanted her to get him out of me.
She told me she was going to check me, and I remember snapping at her that I didn't want to be touched, and she replied that she wasn't touching me, what I felt was the babies head and it was RIGHT there. Again it was such an out of body experience at this point. I have never yelled through a birth (b/c I've always had an epidural) but I was yelling and begging for her to get him out. I remember begging her for an epidural, and it just not making sense in my head that it was too far along to have it, even though I knew he was right there. It seemed as if everyone was scrambling around the room to get things ready. Normally I doubt they have patients just walk in and crawl up on all fours on the bed and announce that whether the nurses were ready or not, they were going to start pushing the kid out. However, that is exactly what I did, and ten agonizing and surreal minutes after I walked into the ER doors I was holding my new son against my chest.
The moments after Beaney was born were equally surreal. Looking back on it now, I honestly think I was in a mild state of shock. Everything had happened so quickly, and after giving him to me for a minute, they took Beaney away to make sure that the rapid fire delivery didn't do anything to him. So as he was being looked over I remember just sitting there trying to process everything, and slowly returning to myself from my 'out of bodiness'. Truthfully, because it was all so fast and I think I was in a bit of shock I don't recall having that overwhelming whoosh of love for Beaney that I did with the other boys, but more of a slow realization that he was actually here and he was ours. Soon enough, people cleared out of our room, and we were left to cuddle in with Bean and get to know him.
Looking back at it, I commented to a friend that the were was no way I could have given birth naturally of my own choice. That I just wasn't strong enough to have not chickened out, given the choice. But as I think about it, I realise that in a way, it was my own choice, and I was strong enough. Yes, my labour was quite short this time, but I was at home for all but the last 15 minutes of it. I was working through the contractions while I was dealing with children, driving cars, and moving around, all the time telling myself that they were not too painful to cope with. All the time thinking that I surely had much longer to go and that the truly painful stuff was yet to come at a later point. But I was, in reality dealing with it right then. I was labouring naturally. And so, when that time came to deliver, yes the window for drugs was gone, and yes it was insanely painful and fast, but I was able to do it, and do it strong. When I think of it in that regard, I find the whole experience quite empowering. To think of my body and self as being that strong and not even consciously knowing it at the time. Like I said, quite empowering.
In the end, having delivered both with medicine and naturally now, I still stand by my original view point that it doesn't matter how the child arrives so long as, in the end both mother and child are healthy. However, I feel quite blessed to have had this experience, to show me how strong I am, and that in the end I can say I belong to a collection of women who have, through history, delivered their children in such a way.