… and then there was the baby!

Posted by Karen in Isla, Malarkey.
Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 at 8:51 pm

Monday morning we went to the hospital to get checked out after I had a bloody gush thing happen.  We were worried something was wrong, and ended up being told, to our total surprise, that we were in early labor!  They hooked me up to an electronic monitor and the midwife asked us some questions.  Then she said, "So while we’ve been talking you’ve had two contractions."  And I was like, say what?  She couldn’t believe I didn’t notice them. Then I started really paying attention, and realized that the slight little crampies I had been feeling the past couple of days in my lower abdomen and lower back were timed with when the monitor said I was20090819185211_dsc01103.jpg having contractions,and oh yeah, my uterus also was turning hard as a rock at the same time.  Huh.  After they ran a few tests to rule out anything being wrong, the midwife did another pelvic exam and found that I was almost 2 cm dilated, where I had been just about 1 cm when she first examined me when we got there.  So she told us we were in early labor, but that things could continue that way with little contractions for the next week or two.  Or we could have a baby that night.  Either way, no point in hanging out there. 

We busted out of there and headed straight to Pizza Luce to carbo-load and make a plan of action.  We had called our doula to give her a heads up and agreed to keep in touch as things progressed.  When we got home Nate and I both began a mad rush of trying to get things in order at work and home for us to potentially be very busy for the next, oh, 8 weeks, give or take.

My contractions had definitely gotten stronger, but were still not a big deal, so I called our doula again in the evening and told her I was sure we would get a good night’s sleep. I was wrong.  I slept a bit between contractions, but at about 3am a new somethin somethin got added to them.  I woke Nate up and said it was time to call our doula and ask her to come over.  He replied with a very doubtful "really?"  I said yes, and I think we need to go to the hospital.  Again with the doubtful "really?"

I forced down a bowl of Gorilla Munch, cereal of choice of this preggo, and hopped in the shower, determined to start this whole thing off squeaky clean, because who knew how long it would all take?  Our doula Emme came over, watched me for a bit, and said well, yeah, physically where I was at seemed like a good time to go to the hospital, except that I was still speaking in coherent sentences, and that was throwing her off.  I said let’s hit it, so we did, and that 25 minute car ride to Woodwinds totally suuuuucked. 

We got to the hospital at 5:30am and found out that our midwife, Jess, who we had been seeing throughout the entire pregnancy, happened to be starting the next shift at 6am.  Hell yes! 

OK I know this is super long but believe it or not it’s still just a summary. I will gladly give more details to anyone who wants them though, because seriously, the birth of our little girl was truly awesome.  I don’t know a lot of people who speak of their birth experiences in a positive light at all, and that is really unfortunate.  There are so many reasons for that, and we realize how fortunate we are that so many things lined up just right, literally – baby in the perfect position, cervix and dilation and all that happening more or less how it should, etc.  But more often than not mamas don’t know that birth can be a positive experience.  Television and movies and doctors and hospitals and really, people in general, would all have you believe that it is going to be the worst pain of your life and that the whole thing is completely out of your control.  But the fact is there are a lot of things you can control going into it, you don’t have to be terrified, and it doesn’t have to be the worst pain of your life at all.  I really feel that all the hard work Nate and I both did to have a super healthy pregnancy, to educate ourselves on the whole process, and to prepare ourselves mentally really paid off in a big, big way.  But like I said, we also know that things could have20090819185117_dsc00965.jpg easily gone a very different way and that a bunch of it really is luck of the draw.  Still, I can’t help but think that if more women knew that it was possible to have a wonderful, amazing birth experience, there would be more wonderful, amazing birth experiences!

OK, so here are the basics.  The only thing I had known I would need ahead of time was good music playing the entire time, and I had put together a few different moods of play lists ahead of time.  To my surprise, I stuck with the most mellow of the play lists the entire time.  I was in the zone in a big way.  All hail Blooma prenatal yoga, for teaching me how to really breathe, and how to focus.  I seriously can’t believe how important that ended up being. 

Nate was the most amazing birth partner ever.  The few things we had known ahead of time I would get crabby with him over, I did indeed get crabby with him over – saying "right with me" like he does to the dog, 20090819185052_dsc00952.jpgsaying "that’s right" like Quagmire from Family Guy, and coaching too much (aka telling me what to do).  But these were just tiny blips in an overall showing of true awesomeness.  I can’t say that I’m even a little bit surprised at this.  He knows me and knew exactly what I needed and what to do at all times, and never left my side, or actually my front or back, since he was always holding me up in one way or another.

Things progressed pretty rapidly.  We labored in the birthing tub, and the hardest part was when my body was ready to push but my cervix wasn’t quite there, and I had to try to not push.  That, in case you were wondering, is damn near impossible.  I got out of the tub for a bit, and my water burst with a POP! and a big puddle all over the floor, just like on TV, except that I wasn’t in the middle of the grocery store and it wasn’t like the first sign of labor.  Apparently, that almost never really happens, the whole pop and gush thing.  It scared the crap out of everyone in the room, myself included.  

Luckily, things opened up all the way pretty quickly, and I finally got to let ‘er rip.  And ohhhh the sounds that came out of me.  I had no idea I could gro20090819185145_dsc01045.jpgwl and roar like that.  I even tried to tone it down because I was worried I was scaring any other mamas in neighboring rooms, but again, damn near impossible.  We finally could feel the top of her head, which I thought meant she’d be out in the next push, but not so!  Many pushes, roars, and screams of "BABY COME OUT!!!" later, out she flew!  We were in the birthing tub, and Jess said "Karen, grab your baby!"  I reached down, grabbed her, and pulled her out of the water, and was immediately astounded at how big and chubby she was!  How the hell did that come out of me?!?  And how huge her hands were!  Yes, these were the things I thought first, not oh, my sweet angel, not oh blessed miracle of life.  That all came later. 

That was all 1 week and 1 20090819185241_dsc01136.jpgday ago, though it feels like forever.  And now we have a sweet beautiful little girl named Isla in our lives, and we pretty much stare in amazement at her all day long, and dream of all the future holds.  The adventure has begun! 

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6 Responses to “… and then there was the baby!”

  1. kristen Says:

    Awww…Karen! Such a wonderful experience for all of you and a gorgeous chubby-lumpkin to show for it! I agree that too many people complain about the birth experience, which is too bad because it is so mind blowing and there is nothing in life that compares to it. xoxoxo

  2. Cody Says:

    I just got teary-eyed reading your post. Not Crying (god forbid!), but totally mushy. I’m so happy for you guys. I can’t believe you have a baby!

  3. Rick VanThuyne Says:

    What a fantastic story. I wish I could give you all a great big hug right now. I love you.

  4. Laurel Says:

    Very cool story, thanks for sharing. Sounds like some things just worked out, like the midwife you wanted coming on at 6. But you were definitely well prepared, so kudos on making your birth such a good experience! I can’t wait to meet Isla!

  5. Mary Jo Says:

    Wow, what a fantastic account of an even more fantastic event, but then you always did have a way with words. I wonder how you even had the time to write all this, knowing how hectic things are for you now. You two are going to be the most wonderful parents, just look at the great start you gave Isla.

  6. steve Says:

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful story and pictures of your love with all of us. I’m so happy for all three of you.