I think the worst part about the contractions was the pressure. It was one thing when it was in its Beethoven subwoofing stage. Kind of like when the orchestra is tuning before the concert begins and you just hear a mosh of instruments gradually getting louder and louder…and then dissipating. As the contractions were getting more and more intense, there were definitely more horns in the mix, but again, it felt like a huge wave. And then the conductor decided to add more tubas. And bassoons. AND A GONG. All at the same time! And you’re sitting in the front row. Well, you get the idea. It was a big hot mess. Continue reading “BIRTH: PART THREE (Her Side of the Story)”
The waiting, which felt like an eternity, was finally over. It felt like we had been awake and at the birth center for days. But in reality, we were only there for 6 hours before it was declared that it was time to “have a baby.” The moment we had prepared for was here. The head midwife came in, along with an assistant and turned the lights up. They meant business. Aya got into the tub on her knees. The midwife put a mirror in the tub and shined a flashlight on it so they could see the “area.” I was on one side of the tub facing Aya. Two midwives and an assistant were behind Aya on the other side staring in the mirror. Aya’s breathing and contractions were getting more intense and I just tried to stay calm. Continue reading “BIRTH: PART THREE (My Side of the Story)”
The Universe was ready for me to go into labor that day. Despite of leaving right before rush hour and driving through a usually very congested freeway on our way to the Greenhouse Birth Center, not only was the weather relatively comfortable and clear(in the middle of a Michigan January), but so were the roads. I always wondered about freaking out dads-to-be driving like maniacs as their laboring wives thrashed and moaned in the passenger’s seat on their way to the hospital. If they were driving really crazy and got pulled over, if the cop realized they were a couple about to have a baby would he/she drop the ticket and lead the way for them? Well, we didn’t need an escort for our 90 mile journey. Matt was a fantastic driver. Driving one handed, while having his other hand in a death grip by me the entire way. I couldn’t handle any bumpiness so he was steady, calm, and reassuring. 90 miles is a long way to keep composure when you have a woman in labor sitting next to you.
As soon as we got in the car the contractions jumped to four minutes apart. It was so precise, I could have set my watch to them. It was actually really amazing. The car ride was very quiet. We had some mellow zone out music on and neither of us spoke. Every four minutes she would squeeze my hand until it turned blue, and then she’d relax. This was the pattern for the next hour and a half until we arrived at the birth center. Continue reading “BIRTH: PART TWO (My Side of the Story)”
*DISCLAIMER: The irony of this is that despite of both Matt and I wanting an intimate birth experience with just the two of us, we are putting our birth story on the world wide web. Well, it’s so other ‘moms and dads to be’ who are in the dark can hear a real story. Something we hadn’t heard much before we had Ellie. The stuff “The Baby Story” didn’t show. Not the “so and so went into labor” followed by a “baby was born”. Well, what happened in between?! So I thought about holding back some details, but decided not to. Because labor was painful, uncomfortable, frustrating, annoying, and definitely not pretty, but also loving, validating, beautiful, peaceful, at times even funny, and most of all, EMPOWERING and REAL. It’s not all trauma freak-show, and there’s nothing hush-hush about it either.
I started off being terrified of labor. Absolutely fascinated, but terrified. Maybe I watched too much “The Baby Story” on TLC in college, or all those movies featuring screaming and cussing women in labor in war-zone like chaos. I had this preconceived notion that labor was going to be traumatic, chaotic, pain like you’ve never felt pain before, and having absolutely no control. Why do you always hear the traumatic stories? Why does no one talk about the positive ones? I even remember a particular episode of “The Baby Story” where the woman was literally about to push the baby out, screaming in pain and the OB shushed her and told her “no screaming”. WHAT?! And her idiot poor husband was totally disengaged, just repeating to her what the OB was saying. You better believe I’m going to scream if I want to when I’m in labor, and my husband BETTER be feeling the pain that I am in too! Is what I remember thinking. I’m squeezing a miniature human being out of a hole. IT’S A BIG DEAL. Continue reading “BIRTH: PART ONE (Her Side of the Story)”